We love a nice sign here at the Manchester Modernist Society and we have some pretty unique ones (as far as we know) right on our doorsteps. We sent our roving reporter Steve Marland out to track them down.
Dotted around Urmston, in the inter war suburban streets, are a few remaining concrete street signs. Nothing unusual in that but the lettering is set into the concrete itself. 0 out of 10 for legibility but 10 out of 10 for originality.
It is probably for the reason of legibility that they have fallen out of favour and have disappeared over the years. We cannot be sure how common they were and if they ever had a heyday. It seems likely that they were rolled out across the local area and just didn't catch on any further afield.
The Borough Architect at the time was a certain E L Leeming. Little is known of him but we do know for a fact he did Urmston Baths and almost certainly did Flixton Library. Both are now sadly demolished.
As you can see Mr Leeming was quite the Modernist and its safe to assume that his department had a hand in the street signage. Urmston is dotted with other interesting inter war details and we can probably thank Mr Leeming for those too. Steve found this charming commemoration stone on an inconspicuous bit of road - it celebrates the opening of that particular stretch of road and seems an indulgent bit of civic hubris but a lovely bit none the less.
We sent Steve out to document these signs because we fear they may not be around for much longer. If you know of anymore that Steve didnt spot please let us know and we can photograph them for posterity, if nothing else.