Saturday, August 12, 2006

Whatever happened to our Cast Iron Street nameplates?

Using my position as Chair of Scrutiny for Transportation and Street Services, I’ve been trying to locate where removed cast iron street nameplates have gone. My endeavors to revealed a stock of cast iron nameplates at two Council depots. Photographs of them can be seen at:

The Officers have catalogued the ones they have and they are as follows:

Phillip Street store room
Belmont Passage B4
Bennetts Hill B2
Bennetts Hill B2
Brunel Street B2
Cannon Street B2
Cherry Street B2
Cherry Street B2
Congreve Passage B3
Congreve Passage B3
Corporation Street B4
Corporation Street B4
Corporation Street B4
Digbeth B5
Eden Place B3
Edgbaston Street B5
Floodgate Street
Gooch Street NorthB5
Mainstream Way B7
Navigation Street B5
Needless Alley B2
Northwood Street B3
Severn Street B1
Temple Row West B2
Temple Street B2
Union Street B2
Upper Dean Street B5
Upper Gough Street B1
Upper Gough Street B1

Warwick Passae B2

Thimble Mill Depot
Staplehurst Road
Cotteridge Road
Rectory Road
Jarvis Road
Warwick Passage B2

The above list does not account for all the cast iron signs lost in the city over recent years. These have either been stolen for scrap metal or broken – one of the problems with cast iron plates is that they break easily to sledgehammer blows.

To have a new cast iron nameplate made costs between £300 to £400 to produce. A modern flat aluminum nameplates cost £80.

Prototypes of plastic replicas of the cast iron nameplates have been made and are being assessed. Two are presently in situ in Needless Alley at the New Street corner and Grosvenor St West off Broad Street.

The plastic replicas are strengthened using a mild steel back support. Having seen them at first hand it is very hard to tell the difference between the cast iron and the plastic replica’s. Also the plastic nameplates weigh a fraction of the cast iron nameplates – the cast iron nameplates are incredibly heavy.

At the moment the Council only replaces 6 cast iron nameplates a year. The cost of producing plastic replica nameplates in such low volumes is between £200 to £300 each. If the Council buy 20 a year, the individual cost plummets to £100 per sign.

I personally would be happy to see all the modern aluminum nameplates in the Moseley Conservation Areas replaced with these plastic replicas – 20 nameplates for £2000 would do it!

I’ve also added on the webpage of the newly erected wooden salt dome at Thimble Mill Lane depot – it is an amazing structure looking like something out of a Martian landscape.


At 9:53 PM, Blogger Praguetory said...

Good for you Martin. I like man who has civic pride and believes in quality. I am at times a constituent of yours and appreciate your commitment and passion.


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