Sunday, September 17, 2017
Pointing the Way
Well, my cold has settled into my nose. Mild, but super-annoying. I took the dog for a couple of walks yesterday but otherwise stayed on the couch reading and watching movies. We watched the cinematic equivalent of comfort food -- old favorites "The Shawshank Redemption" for Dave and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" for me. Dave made me promise not to shout all the audience responses during "Rocky," but I did it in my head.
Anyway, I want to show you some of our local street signs, featuring fingers conveniently pointing the way to a nearby destination -- a larger street, maybe, or a public building.
Aren't these great? I tried to do some research to get some history about them, but I wasn't very successful -- so I don't know how old they are or if they are still maintained when, for example, a tile is broken or goes missing. I would guess they date back 100 years or so, which seems to be the age of much of the housing stock in this area.
I also can't remember whether I've seen them in other parts of London, or whether they're just a Hampstead (and West Hampstead) thing. There used to be a Borough of Hampstead, before it was consolidated into Camden in the mid-'60s, and maybe the fingers were a consistent feature of street signs in the old borough. That's all speculation; I just don't remember seeing them elsewhere in town.
Sadly, some of them have seen some damage.
To make things even more interesting, the design of the hands can vary from sign to sign. Some tiles feature a bigger hand with a more open palm. I don't have any pictures of those, but there's one here.
Anyway, just one of the curiosities of my London neighborhood!