Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Pub Sign Tradition Dying

The tradition of the distinctive British pub sign, rooted in the historical needs of a largely illiterate population to recognize the most important building on the street, may be dying:
There are only 30 independent pub chains and breweries left which still order individually-painted signs in Britain.

Inn and tavern signs, which often have historic importance to an area, have instead been replaced by the logos and brand names of major pub chains.
This quote just leaves me speechless:
More boozers are also opting to replace old-fashioned signs with more modern artwork such as The Victoria in St Werburghs, Bristol, which swapped its image of Queen Victoria with Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, 34, in 2002.

1 comment:

Elaine Saunders - Complete Text said...

Pub signs are a pictorial record of our history - from Roman times, through the Crusades and the Dissolution of the monasteries to the present day. Their disappearance is like someone emptying the National Gallery.

With regard to Queen Victoria however, pub signs have always reflected the times which is why they create such an interesting historical record.

They've been inspired by religion, royalty, lust, pride, murder, heroes and scandals so whilst Posh might not be a traditional choice, two hundred years down the line she might be an interesting cultural reference on the High Street much studied by future scholars. Just the way Nelson, the Marquis of Granby and Dick Turpin were depicted in their day.

The reason pubs have survived so long is that they've changed with the times and reflected those changing times.

Elaine Saunders
Author : A Book About Pub Names