Village people: What’s the fingerpost at Blackheath’s Royal Standard all about?

Blackheath Standard
Normally, this website likes to tell you things you didn’t know. But with normal service disrupted and not much time at present to keep this going, here’s something you can tell me. What’s that new village-style fingerpost sign at Blackheath Standard all about? And is it just me that thinks it looks a little bit odd? It looks less strange since Greenwich Council attached its sign to the front of it (does this mean everywhere is getting one?) but it still looks a tad weird to me.

Maybe it’s the Charlton arm pointing into a tree, perhaps it’s the design, or maybe it’s that faux-village street furniture always seems a bit peculiar in urban London. But it always has me scratching my head whenever I pass it. How did it come about?

Update, 21 June: A bit late with this, but thanks to Thomas Turrell for this explanation…

8 comments

  1. I think it looks odder that the Council has the logo on it.

    Reminds me of “the village” ala The Prisoner

  2. Similarly puzzled – have the fingers slipped or is the post too tall or are there more fingers to added ?(n.b. bringing to mind Mad Magazine’s All Roads Lead to Rome finger post cartoon-leave you to work it out). I don’t like faux rural .especially in urban areas, I am an urban creature, and am with Piet Mondrian who, when asked by a fellow artist to move from Lexington to Park Avenue (NYC) famously replied “No it’s too rural for me.”

  3. Thanks for pointing it out and make me think about it. It wouldn’t be so out of place if it were actually timber, not a metal pole painted like it was an original feature, but that oversized Greenwich logo is what looks even more out of place.

  4. I think it fails in terms of usefulness. As a road sign for drivers, it is badly sited and illegible due to its design. As a sign for walkers, it is badly sited and perhaps superfluous. Either way, it just looks like RBG just wanting to show off about its Royal status.

  5. You can find similar, however authentic, 19th C. sign posts all over Dulwich Village. It looks like an urban village marketing operation from Greenwich Council to me. Next one in Charlton Village ?

  6. So the idea originally came from a residents’ group as a “village” sign – see comments from Thomas Turrell in the post.

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