GEOFF CRAMBIE: Street signs chart the history of Colne

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“a Tale Of Two Signs” this week as we take a look at two signs in Colne with 122 years difference in age. Both these photos are from the camera of my good friend, fellow old Colner, Colin Bean.

The bottom picture captures circa 1975, the original 1890 cast-iron name-plate for Bunkers Hill, complete with an unique pointing hand (also in cast-iron). This iconic sign was made at the W.B. White and Sons Ltd., factory at Red Scar Works, No’s 33 to 37, Burnley Road in Colne. The sign (its name derives from the nearby coal bunkers) was to be in situ for 87 years when suddenly, during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year in 1977, the name-plate went missing.

Being a street sign long-time aficionado, I went straight down to the railway bridge to see the missing sign and, to my great surprise, in the long grass was (no, not the sign!) but the original cast-iron pointing hand (very heavy indeed). A new sign went up shortly afterwards and survived 33 years when, in 2010, this Bunkers Hill sign also vanished.

Happily, as seen in Colin’s top picture, in this 2012 Queen’s Jubilee year, a new ultra-modern (complete with arrow) sign is pointing the way to this historic corner of our town. As for the original 1890 cast-iron hand, it now proudly resides in my 81 Colne Street sign collection which includes Bells Yard, Chapel Court, Dam Side, Ludgate Circus, Nineveh Street, Turney Crook and Wellington Street.