Old Irish road signs are an instantly recognizable feature from Ireland and times past. Only a few originals actually remain in place on our roads today, mostly in isolated and rural areas.
Luckily some original street name signs can still be seen in towns and buildings throughout the country.
These distinctive white and black signs truly are a symbol of Ireland, especially for those who now live far away from home. I’m delighted to say that once again these old Irish signs are being crafted in Ireland. Anthony Proctor, from Moone Co. Kildare started a new company called Old Irish Road Signs to recreate these treasured symbols of Ireland’s past.
Today I’m thrilled to publish a guest post by Anthony, explaining his inspiration for creating these beautiful pieces. Anthony has graciously sponsored a giveaway for one lucky reader. More details on how to enter are at the end of this post, but first here’s the story of how Anthony started making these signs.
The Story Behind Old Irish Road Signs
by Anthony Proctor
When the original cast iron signs were replaced most were destroyed or recast into other stuff. But they also became collector items and a nostalgic reminder of ‘Home’, especially for people far from home.
Some were ‘saved’ from destruction and then turned up in gardens, pubs and anywhere that Irish people settled – worldwide.
I live in a village in Co. Kildare called Moone. I always wanted some signs in my garden but since they were so scarce there was no hope of finding any and definitely not with accurate mileage. There was no option but to make some. I made 2 exact replicas of Moone and Castledermot signs and then added accurate mileage from my home. The significance of these are Castledermot is my home town and Moone is my wife’s home.
Such was the immediate reaction from people on seeing these signs I was soon making signs for lots of people. First locally, then nationally and now I make and ship them worldwide.
The signs have been used for decoration in many different areas such as gardens, patios, homes, pubs, schools and businesses. Given as gifts for every occasion, these signs have an added nostalgic attraction for people who actually remember the originals.
Every sign means something – most commonly it is a customer’s home town or a loved one’s home. They can also be historical or functional, and one has even been fictitious . But on receiving each sign people always smile – and remember!
No one likes leaving home and the longer they are away, it seems the more they look for a reminder or link to home.
These signs are a constant reminder of our origins and I have added family crests to some signs for people who want something a little different , but equally attractive. If you have an idea for a sign I would be happy to discuss the options.
The signs I make are exact in size and detail to the originals. All have bilingual text and any mileage (accurate or fictitious) can be added as standard. Here are some specifications and details:
- The signs are 250mm (10 inches) high and the average length is 750mm long (30 inches).
- Length will vary depending upon the number of letters in the chosen name.
- The letters are individually handmade and bonded to each sign.
- The English text lettering is 75mm (3 inches) high.
- The Irish text is 35mm (1 1/2 inches) high .
- All signs are 6mm (1/4 inch) thick.
- Celtic style lettering is also available for the Irish translation on any sign.
- The white backround of the sign is 11mm (1/2 inch) thick.
- The material the signs and letters are made from is called ‘foamex’. It is a pvc material. Completely weatherproof in all conditions, it is also uv resistant. It won’t fade.
- These signs require no maintenance. But, good news, they can be washed with soap and water if necessary.
- The signs can be single or double sided and double sided signs come complete with a powdercoated bracket (no maintenance).
- The weight of a single sided sign is approx 800grms and a double sided with bracket weighs approx 2.5kg. This makes them easy to handle and to ship anywhere using standard post.
- The average cost of a sign is €65 for single sided, and €85 for double sided. Postage costs around €25.
Recently I have also added another ‘Irish’ product. A Post box featuring the Irish harp and ‘An Post’ on the front. The family name can also be added on top if required. They are also made from 11mm foamex, and are fully lockable and weatherproof. The standard size box is for A4 size mail. I can also ship these worldwide.
The green and gold is the standard colour but I can also do black, blue or red. They are easy to fix to a pole, wall or gate.
All the signs and post boxes are made in my home in Moone, Co.Kildare, Ireland.
The appeal of the signs and the post boxes are their unique connection to Ireland. We all want ‘a little piece of home’ no matter where we are. We want to make our little patch ‘just like home’.
There is nothing better than seeing a familiar sight, sign or even taste to remind us of where our heart is. We stand and stare when we come across them. There’s no place like home.
I hope these signs make that connection for you because I love making them, especially knowing they stir lovely memories of home for so many people.
The stories behind these signs, the people and the destination are always so heart warming. There are places I’ve never heard of in Ireland and I’ve sent them to places I’ve never heard of abroad. So it’s been an education and an opportunity to keep a little piece of the past alive.
If any readers would like to contact me for any reason or for more information , I would be delighted to reply, and answer all queries.
My Facebook page is called – Old Irish Road Signs and where you will find lots more examples of signs and products to browse through.
I can be contacted by e-mail:
phone – 011 353 86 3919162
Anthony from Old Irish Road Signs has generously donated a single sided sign as a prize for one of Irish American Mom’s readers. I think these signs would make wonderful Christmas gifts.
To enter our giveaway just leave a comment on this blog post by noon on Sunday, September 7th, 2014. You can leave any comment you wish. What you write does not affect your chances of winning.
If you need some inspiration, why not tell us what name or location you would like to have inscribed on your sign should you win.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so I can contact you to arrange shipping of the prize. Your e-mail won’t be published or shared, just used to contact our lucky winner.
The winner will be announced on Sunday September 7th, 2014 at the end of this post.
Best of luck to all our entrants and a big thank you to Anthony Proctor for sponsoring this fantastic prize for Irish American Mom’s readers.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
Disclosure of Material Connection: Irish American Mom receives a road sign for review purposes. I do not receive cash payment for publishing guest posts, but do so to help spread the word about home businesses and artists. Thank you to all who support Irish and Irish American crafts people and their wonderful enterprises.