There are two pages in the site that I have not yet mentioned in this blog – adverts and street furniture.
I find both really quite interesting as they speak about the culture of the time just by their design and look as well as their purpose.
However one looks at it, for better or for worse, adverts change and reflect society and so sometimes become interesting themselves. The local adverts that I have found that mention Combe Down or Monkton Combe generally fit in the ‘factual and banal’ category but are sometimes no less interesting for that in the context of local history.
Some of the adverts, like the one for Combe Down Brewery are clearly well ‘ahead of their time’ and one wonders who it was that created it. Others, such as the one for afternoon tea at Mayfield are so basic one wonders how well they worked, but, perhaps they are historic proof of less is more?
Street furniture such as post boxes, phone boxes, benches, fountains, watering troughs, memorials and everything else that has become so common now, such that now there are appeals to reduce some of it to stop motorists and others becoming confused, has exited since Roman times but it’s really only in the last 200 years or so that it has expanded from mile markers and the like.
Sometimes one has to look quite hard to find it like the waterworks plate, which many will, perhaps find ugly but which I think is quite charming. Others, such as the turnpike marker from 1827 are obviously charming and clearly well built to have survived for 190 years.
So, adverts and street furniture, things to look out for.