11 Signs That You Might Be In Norwich

Train sign.

Sage advice from British Railways.

UK signs seem quaint to my American eyes. The one above was on the train to Great Yarmouth, but I thought it could make a great header for a blog.  Norwich signs seem wordy and polite, no parking signs start with the words “polite notice.”  While there are signs that say “fire exit,” most other exits are labelled, sensibly, “way out.”  At least they are not “way out, man.”  And dear readers, stay with this post to the end, where there is a royal treat!

Street sign

I like street names in Norwich, but only quiet side streets seem to have signs. They are low on the sidewalk, more for walkers rather than drivers.

Street signs are interesting, primarily because they don’t exist in American form.  Side streets are labelled with signs on buildings or walls, but the Brits assume you already know what a main street is, so you don’t need to be told.  The only place I saw lots of “American” street signs on poles is city centre — in the lanes where cars mostly can’t go.

Speed limit

Speed limit of 30? But, 30 what?

This was one of the only speed limit signs I’ve seen (at least I assume that’s what it is).  For the most part, there must be a set in-town limit that does not need to be posted.  This sign is in semi rural area I saw on one of my bike rides.

Pub fire warning

Warning sign in a pub. Read this when a fire starts.

British signs seem to be wordier than American ones, and also a bit polite and deferential.  This is a tiny detail of the fire warning sign that was in the Norwich pub where I had lunch today.  Among my reactions, besides thinking anybody would burn to a crisp trying to read this while flames licked at them,  I just also find the tone very cute.  Save everyone if you can, using “the appliance provided,” and only if you can do so safely.

Easter sign

Oh darn. I'll be back in Iowa and will have to miss oyster day.

Some signs reflect traditions that don’t make sense to American eyes.  For some reason, I just don’t think “oysters” when I think “Easter.”

Meet the sign.

Get it?

And some signs just have bad puns.

Mait logo

Side of mail van. What do commoners use?

Technically, not a sign, this is the side of a mail van.  Mail boxes look like giant red mushrooms.

Coffe shop.

"Americano" is espresso with water added.

I put this one in just because I like the name of the business.  And food is not “to go” here, it is “take away.”

Norwich restaurant.

"American" is a fairly common brand in Norwich.

One more eatery sign from city centre.  Who knew Captain America had a shop here?

Do not queue.

How nice. A park, just for cars.

A sign with a long explanation.  In Cedar Rapids, it would say “no line.”

Miss LIzzie.

Miss Elizabeth with some appropriate informal signage. One letter she does know is capital E, and any she sees makes her think a signs says "Elizabeth."

Finally, Miss Lizzie with a bit of graffiti, complete with a dropped H so it “sounds” English.  And no, none of us wrote it.  My theory is the Queen was feeling feisty and just happened to have a Sharpie with her, so ….




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