Save our inn signs

One of the most distinctive features of the traditional pub is its sign. Sadly, in some quarters, these may no longer be seen as important or fashionable but, happily, there is an organisation that is dedicated to their preservation. This is the Inn Sign Society. Founded in 1990, the society seeks to raise awareness of the nation’s pub signs and record them for the benefit of future generations.

The Inn Sign Society logo

Many pub names have links with historic events or personalities of national and local importance. The society provides a forum for members to research the history of inn and pub names. It has an active website and produces a quarterly full colour journal to which members are encouraged to submit articles, pictures of pub signs and news from their areas. With inns and pubs closing at an alarming rate, much local heritage is in danger of being lost forever.

Pubs are not just a place to enjoy a drink, they are often at the heart of the community and often reflect its history. Many members take a general interest in all signs, while some specialise in particular breweries or counties or topics such as aircraft or railways, to name but a few.

The Inn Sign Society is seeking to recruit more members and bring in new blood to help continue the good work of the last 33 years. For more information, including on how to join, go to our website. If the Inn Sign Society doesn’t research, capture and save our pub sign heritage, perhaps no-one else will.

Photos: the first sign is a previous example from the Imperial near Leicester Square (WC2H 7BL), depicting a young Queen Victoria. The second is, again, a previous sign from the Old Nick in Holborn (WC1R 4PZ).
Iain Perks
Membership Secretary – Inn Sign Society