Signs of falling standards in Brighton and Hove streets

The Argus: Historian Averil Older next to the St Phillip's Mews signs that are missing an apostrophe Historian Averil Older next to the St Phillip's Mews signs that are missing an apostrophe

Is the humble apostrophe disappearing from our street signs forever?

For years the little marks have ensured that roads across Brighton and Hove not only have the right names but are grammatically accurate.

However conservationists claim Brighton and Hove City Council is phasing out the apostrophe on its new signs, which cost £200 each.

Town Hall officials maintain they check a number of sources when replacing old or damaged posts but said they have to use their own judgement when discrepancies come about.

Among the streets which have left locals baffled is St Leonard’s Road in Hove.

The old sign installed by Hove Borough Council has an apostrophe yet the recently installed one is missing the mark.

St Phillip’s Mews, a private road where the road sign is not dealt with by the council, is also missing an apostrophe.

King’s Road and Queen’s Road are listed with apostrophes in an 1888 street directory of Brighton and Hove.

However, both are now traditionally listed without the grammatical mark.

But others, such as St James’s Street and Queen’s Park Road, remain with the apostrophe in the right place.

Local historian Averil Older, of Goldstone Villas, Hove, said: “Over the years, at some point, the apostrophe could have been dropped but this is the ideal opportunity to get it right.

“New signs will be there for years now. They are wrong and should be spelt as originally intended, placed there by our ancestors in the city when care was taken to do it properly.”

The Argus: St Leonard's Mews right

The Argus: St Leonards Road wrong

Selma Montford, of the Brighton Society, said: “People are so messy about apostrophes these days that I bet people do not take any notice.

“Do people talk about going to Sainsbury’s or Sainsburys?

“I’m a lot more worried about people getting the Lanes and North Laine right.”

A council spokeswoman said: “All the road signs installed or replaced by the council are ordered from the nationally-used Mayrise system, which assists councils, contractors and utilities companies to co-ordinate highways services.

“This database contains some road or street names with apostrophes and some without. Sometimes there are discrepancies between the information.”

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Comments (14)

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2:06pm Thu 7 Feb 13

banargustrolls says...

Sorry state of affairs if you can't get that right - or worse - are not bothered. Sort it out.
Sorry state of affairs if you can't get that right - or worse - are not bothered. Sort it out. banargustrolls

2:09pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Purple55 says...

The ones with "St." are wrong anyway, should be "St". We have to live with that ongoing mistake, so for them to now be wrong in a different way is a moot point.
The ones with "St." are wrong anyway, should be "St". We have to live with that ongoing mistake, so for them to now be wrong in a different way is a moot point. Purple55

2:12pm Thu 7 Feb 13

rolivan says...

Tim is it Avril or Averil?
Tim is it Avril or Averil? rolivan

2:22pm Thu 7 Feb 13

John Fallon says...

The apostrophes on a road sign cost £200 each?
The apostrophes on a road sign cost £200 each? John Fallon

2:37pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Fairfax Sakes says...

who care's anyway?
who care's anyway? Fairfax Sakes

2:41pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Fercri Sakes says...

Fairfax Sakes wrote:
who care's anyway?
But its important to keep up standard's.
[quote][p][bold]Fairfax Sakes[/bold] wrote: who care's anyway?[/p][/quote]But its important to keep up standard's. Fercri Sakes

2:52pm Thu 7 Feb 13

MuammarQaddafi says...

Pish. If you're a fussy local, get a black paint pot and add your own apostrophe. Sorted!
Pish. If you're a fussy local, get a black paint pot and add your own apostrophe. Sorted! MuammarQaddafi

2:59pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Purple55 says...

MuammarQaddafi wrote:
Pish. If you're a fussy local, get a black paint pot and add your own apostrophe. Sorted!
Not a case of being fussy, it's a matter of correctness. Apologies but I do rally when people criticise others for wanting things to be right, as opposed to totally wrong! If I really want to be bothered, it's how the kids learn... if road signs are wrong, what hope do they have of learning correct usage of apostrophes which is already a quagmire.
(But as I said before, a moot point as the full point is incorrect anyway. Maybe I need a bottle of Tippex hahaha)
[quote][p][bold]MuammarQaddafi[/bold] wrote: Pish. If you're a fussy local, get a black paint pot and add your own apostrophe. Sorted![/p][/quote]Not a case of being fussy, it's a matter of correctness. Apologies but I do rally when people criticise others for wanting things to be right, as opposed to totally wrong! If I really want to be bothered, it's how the kids learn... if road signs are wrong, what hope do they have of learning correct usage of apostrophes which is already a quagmire. (But as I said before, a moot point as the full point is incorrect anyway. Maybe I need a bottle of Tippex hahaha) Purple55

3:26pm Thu 7 Feb 13

ICantThinkOfAName says...

As these Saints don't own the roads should they be correctly St. Philip Mews and St. Leonard Road after all we don't talk about Churchill's Square or Kemp's Town. Perhaps it is only Saints who get the distinction. By the way, has anyone been to the part of Hastings called St. Leonards or even the city of St. Albans.
As these Saints don't own the roads should they be correctly St. Philip Mews and St. Leonard Road after all we don't talk about Churchill's Square or Kemp's Town. Perhaps it is only Saints who get the distinction. By the way, has anyone been to the part of Hastings called St. Leonards or even the city of St. Albans. ICantThinkOfAName

6:41pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Automaton says...

John Fallon wrote:
The apostrophes on a road sign cost £200 each?
Bit ambiguous in article. Do they mean the new signs or the apostrophe costs £200. If the later then I'm in the wrong job!
[quote][p][bold]John Fallon[/bold] wrote: The apostrophes on a road sign cost £200 each?[/p][/quote]Bit ambiguous in article. Do they mean the new signs or the apostrophe costs £200. If the later then I'm in the wrong job! Automaton

6:41pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Automaton says...

John Fallon wrote:
The apostrophes on a road sign cost £200 each?
Bit ambiguous in article. Do they mean the new signs or the apostrophe costs £200. If the later then I'm in the wrong job!
[quote][p][bold]John Fallon[/bold] wrote: The apostrophes on a road sign cost £200 each?[/p][/quote]Bit ambiguous in article. Do they mean the new signs or the apostrophe costs £200. If the later then I'm in the wrong job! Automaton

9:40pm Thu 7 Feb 13

bug eye says...

Just as bad are the new ugly signs on all council buildings and on our city tourist sites and council estates. Our traditional iconic heritage signs have gone to be replaced by soulless kindergarden style cheap signs, this is not progress, it's dumbing down.
Just as bad are the new ugly signs on all council buildings and on our city tourist sites and council estates. Our traditional iconic heritage signs have gone to be replaced by soulless kindergarden style cheap signs, this is not progress, it's dumbing down. bug eye

9:56pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Uncle_Meat says...

More evidence of this appalling council making a mess of our street signs, or, in the case of Hanover, blatant vandalism - ripping down perfectly good metal street signs and replacing them with tacky, ugly plastic ones.
More evidence of this appalling council making a mess of our street signs, or, in the case of Hanover, blatant vandalism - ripping down perfectly good metal street signs and replacing them with tacky, ugly plastic ones. Uncle_Meat

11:44pm Thu 7 Feb 13

davenachfan says...

I am glad that The Argus has reported this subject.

Now will The Argus please take the apostrophe out of 'Books, Records and CDs' in its Classified pages.
I am glad that The Argus has reported this subject. Now will The Argus please take the apostrophe out of 'Books, Records and CDs' in its Classified pages. davenachfan

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