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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sepia Saturday: Follow the Signs

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories through photographs.

I have nothing historic in the way of signs or shops, so instead this is a nostalgic  trip  down memory lane of happy holidays,  highlighting "Signs with a Sense of Place"

Beginning with Scotland - and here is an unusual sign at the England/Scotland Border at Carter Bar, south of Jedburgh.  And no,  you will not find  a place to have a drink, as "bar" in this context is the old word for "gate" or "pass"  where the drovers drove their cattle to market.  [York has its Mickklegate Bar and Monk Bar].  It is the high point on the A68 road north with stunning views of the surrounding Cheviot Hills.    

Staying in the Scottish Borders, I like to capture distinctive street signs - and here are two which reflect  Melrose's  key attraction  - its 12th century abbey.


Across to the islands and two  signs at Tobermory on Mull  which make me smile: 

Here the real Highland cows on the island! 

A bookshop sign on the Iona reflects the Celtic  history of  this tiny island,  off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides.   It is only  1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long, with a population of around 120 permanent residents, but everyone talks about  the magical nature of this  seat of Scottish Christianity where St. Columba founded his Abbey in 563AD. Later it became a place of pilgrimage and learning,   and over 40 of Scotland's earliest kings were buried there. 

Shop signs abroad have such an appeal - some tips here, perhaps,  to  brighten up our beleaguered High Streets. 
An opticians in Salzburg
A travel agent in Salzburg

 A hat shop in Vienna.
A guest house in St. Wolfgang, Austria.

A shop in Bad Ischl, Austria advertising its handmade biscuits - Lebkuchen, 

And after all that shopping, look out for a restaurant sign! 

At Chatres, France

At Krakow, Poland

And finally I'll  finish  with the  directional sign at Lands's End - Britain's most southerly point - next stop west  New York 3147 miles away.   And if you are  into planning a long distance charity ride,  it  could be useful to know that you  have a 874 mile journey ahead of you to reach mainland Britain's most northerly point John O'Groats at the tip of  Scotland. 

Just follow the signs!  

Click HERE to see how, this week, other Sepians are pointing the way 

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. My favorites are the restaurant signs. The highland cows are beauties, both in the photo and as interpreted on the signs.

  2. I used to hate it when my husband wanted the family to pose beside a sign for a photo. Now I see the value of a sign to remind us of where we were. These shaped signs are really cool, so artistic. They would definitely draw me into the shop.

  3. A lovely collection from your travel albums

  4. So do you take photos of signs to make it easier when you get back home and sort your photos? I do, except when in Germany and Austria, where like you, I just liked the signs.

  5. Ah, we shared a journey from Land's End to John O' Groats.

  6. My local shopping centres are so boring. We don't have any interesting signs like your collection of beauties. But next time I am out I will lift up mine eyes and see if I can find at least one that is appealing !

  7. I like your travel signs,and they reminded me of one or two I could have posted, such as a photo of our son Strahan Featherston standing under a sign for Featherstone St in the town of Strahan, Tasmania, (only one letter out), or one of the Featherston family posing in front of a sign outside the town of Featherston NZ.

  8. Great post, taking us hither and yon. The Lands End sign is my favorite.

  9. Thank you, all for such lovely comments. To answer Sharon's question - I take photos of signs because I think they convey such a sense of the place - not just the pictorial signs, but also street names, signs for the Post Office etc. to illustrate the language. So I was spoilt for choice in selecting ones to show here. I rely on buying postcards for views, but I like to get my camera out for the less obvious holiday shots I suppose the nearest we have to them in Britain are pub signs, but I cannot say I have come across many striking ones in Scotland.

    1. You are right. Think I may need to take photos of more signs :)

  10. They are wonderful signs, Sue, but for me, the best part of this post is the Scottish Highland cows. They are adorable. Having met several in person, I can attest to their adorable and gentle personalities, too -- at least those of the cows. (I don't know about the bulls.)

  11. Gosh these are all great signs, but the arm stretched out holding the hat is just really creative!

  12. I always enjoy seeing interesting signs. I also like to photograph them and collect postcards picturing signs.

  13. I'll be looking for some of those signs on the Isle of Mull next summer when we come visiting! :))

  14. It's so hard to choose a favourite sign. Thank you for giving us so many to look at. They are all beautiful but I think I like the Edgartown one the best.

  15. I love the variety of signs Sue. I have a carry bag from the Island Bakery on mull. not sure that Highland "coo" should be licking his lips at his own demise.

  16. I enjoyed all these signs and it was great seeig the Highland Cattle again. Funnily enough I’ve just been scanning pictures of a holiday we had in a friend’s house in the Borders when the children were small.


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