A road traffic sign, known as a prohibition disc dating from between 1904 and 1919.
Reason for Listing
The Traffic Prohibition Sign on Coast Road, Overstrand, Norfolk, erected between 1904 and 1919, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* RARITY: It is a rare surviving example of an early-C20 road traffic sign, very few of which remain in their original location.
* DESIGN: The sign has a decorative quality and level of detailing which is not found on later versions of this type of sign, which are mostly finished to standardised patterns.
* HISTORIC: It is representative of road traffic management on English roads prior to the establishment of the Ministry of Transport.
Although some of the earliest known traffic warning signs were introduced in the mid-C19 by an organisation called the 'Bicycle Union', it was not until the 1903 Motor Car Act that legislative power was provided to allow local authorities to erect their own signs. The subsequent circular of 1904 specified a standard design of either a hollow red triangle - indicating a hazard, a solid red disc - indicating a prohibition, or a hollow white ring - indicating a speed limit.
The red disc, known as a 'prohibition disc', signified that no motor vehicle was to pass beyond the sign. This is the equivalent of the present day 'No Entry' sign which is still based upon the red disc. Many highways authorities felt that in addition to the sign it was sometimes necessary to provide a simple narrative to make clear exactly what was prohibited. Subsidiary plates were therefore added below the disc to indicate, for example, that vehicles above a certain weight or height were prohibited. It was not until 1933, however, that the standardisation of these instruction plates was set out in the road traffic regulations. The earliest versions of these signs were decorative in their design, with ring detailing on the post, and the disc curving at its base to form a decorative post cap. By the 1920s the design had been simplified as the requirement for more signs increased the production costs. Only a few hundred of these signs were ever erected, most of which remained in place until the 1930s.
The exact date of when this sign was erected is unknown, but it seems most likely that it was erected between 1904 and 1919 to prohibit motor vehicles from passing down the narrow coast road that leads onto the beach.
A road traffic sign, known as a prohibition disc, dating from between 1904 and 1919. It comprises a cast-iron column that is approximately 9 feet (2.7m) in height, painted with black and white bands with a cast-iron disc that has a diameter of approximately 18 inches (450 mm) painted red. The column has ring detailing at its base and mid-shaft, and a simple, decorative post cap which forms the base of the disc. At the top of the column there is a pair of mounting brackets to take an instruction plate. A modern 'Neighbourhood Watch Area' sign has been attached to the column in the late C20.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.