Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Capital street signs up for sale

Rupert van der Werff of Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex, prepares over 300 historic London street signs for auction
Rupert van der Werff of Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex, prepares London street signs for auction

Distinctive black aluminium finger signs which have directed Londoners and tourists to world famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are to be auctioned.

Estimates range from £20 to more than £1,000 for each of the 362 signs, which also include those which have directed tourists to Madame Tussauds, the Royal Academy of Arts and the London Aquarium.

Also being auctioned at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex, on May 21 will be a limited number of enamelled road signs, including for Abbey Road and Downing Street. Sealed bids will be considered for other lots.

The sell-off comes as Westminster City Council and Transport for London upgrade all of their signposting in the capital as part of a campaign called Legible London to make directions more user-friendly.

Robert Davis, deputy leader of the Tory-run council, said: "London is home to some of the most famous street signs in the world and buyers now have the chance to acquire a genuine piece of the capital's history. More than 15 million visitors came to London last year and they were greeted and guided to historic locations by signs like these."

The sale of the signposts, which were installed during the 1990s, has been described by auctioneers as an "absolute one-off".

James Rylands, director of Summers Place Auctions, said: "This is a rare opportunity to pick up a real piece of London's history.

"Estimates range from £20 to over £1,000 and buyers can buy a single sign to use as a signature piece displayed indoors or purchase a number of signs and display them on a post, just as they would have been seen in the capital."

He added: "If you imagine you travelled on the train, commuting for 40 years, this is your chance to pick up a sign for perhaps Victoria Station, that you know so well.

"I honestly think it will be huge. We have had a lot of interest already. Last year London had more than 15 million visitors. Obviously the big attractions were the Jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics. There are lots of visitors from overseas who want a souvenir of their time in London."

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