Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Unexpected Alphabets No 3

Mr.Wilkinson was recently very gracious in acknowledging, in his absorbing English Buildings blog, the introduction I gave him to the Welland Valley Viaduct and its attendant church kneelers. So I return the compliment by finally photographing this sign he spotted on the same day behind a straggling hawthorn hedge in Rutland. Goodness knows how long it is since the Leicester Water Department commandeered a field just outside Uppingham, some nineteen miles from the city; it's been either Anglian Water or Severn Trent around here ever since I've had to cough-up to pay their exorbitant bills. But I love the cast iron 'pleasing decay' and the fact that for all its neglect it still manages to shout a stentorian command like an old sergeant major leaning into the wind on a parade ground. A straight forward well-lettered sign that wouldn't have dreamt of displaying a logo or a catch-phrase like 'On Tap For U'.

7 comments:

A F-A said...

It's so well-mannered isn't it? "PLEASE keep out". Most signs these days have forgotten the 'P' word!

Jon Dudley said...

Another seemingly ordinary item made extraordinary by Mr Ashley's Leica-eye and prose. 'Like an old sergeant major leaning into the wind on a parade ground' - me Leica too.

Ron Combo said...

As an occasional English teacher, I find interesting what is presumably the old usage of 'persons' instead of people. Sorry, bit dull. Off the sauce for a couple of days. You know how it is.

Jon Dudley said...

And there was me, Ron, thinking that you were enjoying the life of Riley, and permanently on the sherbert.

Camilla Jessop said...

Unlike you, Mr Combo, to lack precision. Does your comment mean that you are a teacher of occasional English? Or a teacher of English on occasions?

Peter Ashley said...

Blimey, I only blogged a picture of a rusty sign.

Philip Wilkinson said...

And a jolly fine sign it is, too. Pleased my eye-corner glance has yielded such a picture.

Re 'persons', the usage has long had a rather steely and disapproving connotation. I'm reminded of Mrs 'Bednag' Pugh in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood: 'Persons with manners do not read at table...Some persons were brought up in pigsties.'