...why 142 yards?

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drossall
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby drossall » 5 Oct 2018, 8:05am

I remember a route we used to use across Cheshire as teenagers. Occasionally, the distance to Whitchurch (Shropshire), or wherever we were currently heading, would increase. I was told that older signs were based on different measurements from later ones, sometimes routes had changed, sometimes Post Offices (to which measurements were made) had moved, and so on. Not sure how much of that is true!

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Mick F
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Mick F » 5 Oct 2018, 8:19am

There's a road north of Launceston heading south where the distance to Launceston go up and down as you head towards the town. Also, they don't come down as per the actual distance. Some of them are the same even though you've done a couple of miles or more.

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eileithyia
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby eileithyia » 5 Oct 2018, 8:36am

Mick F wrote:There's a road north of Launceston heading south where the distance to Launceston go up and down as you head towards the town. Also, they don't come down as per the actual distance. Some of them are the same even though you've done a couple of miles or more.

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I've seen roads / routes like that when touring... always assumed they got a bit confused after lunch at the local hostelry and sampling the local Scrumpy / Guinness / Potent Brew. :lol:
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Vorpal » 5 Oct 2018, 9:51am

eileithyia wrote:
Mick F wrote:There's a road north of Launceston heading south where the distance to Launceston go up and down as you head towards the town. Also, they don't come down as per the actual distance. Some of them are the same even though you've done a couple of miles or more.

B3254


I've seen roads / routes like that when touring... always assumed they got a bit confused after lunch at the local hostelry and sampling the local Scrumpy / Guinness / Potent Brew. :lol:

This one one of the first things I ever noticed about road signs in the UK. I noticed it driving to and around Mamchester as a visitor. I'd come across one sign that said 34 miles to Manchester, go a few miles, and see one that said 37 miles to Manchester. I assumed that it was because I'd passed a junction where the shortest route turned off, but later found out that it was a legacy of an older road.

I saw similar touring in Scotland. I really thought that the signs for Crianlarich were quite strange. I know it's a major junction, but signs for it seem to pop up in random places at quite variable distances.
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 5 Oct 2018, 10:03am

Ben@Forest wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:I like those pre-war AA signs found in market towns and little villages that say things like "London 217 3/4 miles" but I'd say it's they which are a mockery. Firstly, how can you give such a precise distance to somewhere as large as London? Sometimes it's specified as eg Hyde Park Corner or Oxford Circus, but that still leaves the question of route, because you certainly wouldn't find AA signposts at every junction. And moreover, being precise to a quarter-mile over such a distance leaves the measurement open to change through the cumulative effect of the slightest alterations in road layout.


For London all signs are to Charing Cross. I think for London black cab drivers 'The Knowledge' is a six mile radius from Charing Cross too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-35562786

Interesting. And prompted me to wonder why the site is called Charing Cross rather than, say, Eleanor's Cross. According to Wikipedia:
"Erect a rich and stately carved cross,

Whereon her statue shall with glory shine;

And henceforth see you call it Charing Cross." George Peele The Famous Chronicle of King Edward the First (1593)

The name of the area, Charing, is derived from the Old English word "cierring", referring to a bend in the River Thames.[4][5]

The addition of the name "Cross" to the hamlet's name originates from the Eleanor cross erected in 1291–94 by King Edward I as a memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile,[6] and placed between the former hamlet of Charing and the entrance to the Royal Mews of the Palace of Whitehall (today the top of Whitehall on the south side of Trafalgar Square). Folk etymology suggests the name derives from chère reine – "dear queen" in French – but the original name pre-dates Eleanor's death by at least a hundred years.[7]


As to measurement of distances, Charing Cross may be the default for London but it is not universal. There are mileposts stating the distance to Hyde Park Corner on some roads around Chippenham, Wilts. Presumably other parts of the country might also have found other sites more convenient, eg distances from London to towns in Essex might be measured to places further east than Charing Cross, such as St Paul's?

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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby ericonabike » 4 Mar 2020, 9:31am

Resurrected because I was searching for an image of the 142 yard sign, which as an old Norfolkian, has always intrigued me. I was searching because of this ad, lauding the new Golf's ability to see into the future, as it were. Initially I'd thought the ad agency must be based in Norfolk, but the small print shows that its Night Vision detects objects up to 130 metres away. Or 142 yards...
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 4 Mar 2020, 9:56am

Mick F wrote:Many signs are placed at the best place for them ............. the most visible and the easiest to erect.
That's not so obvious at the OP of course.


Although many also seem o be placed in the worst possible place... Just had some 20mph signs put up - directly facing into the heart of a tree. Of course it was winter when they were put up, so you could sort of see them...
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 15 Mar 2020, 7:12pm

Vorpal wrote:..
signs for Crianlarich were quite strange. I know it's a major junction, but signs for it seem to pop up in random places at quite variable distances.

I have been through Crianlarich on the train, I think it is a village but down the hill
Likewise Scotch Corner
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Morzedec
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Morzedec » 15 Mar 2020, 8:25pm

Down 'ere in Cornwall many of the distances are still marked in 'chains', a 'chain' traditionally being the length of 100 pasties.

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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Mike Sales » 15 Mar 2020, 8:32pm

Morzedec wrote:Down 'ere in Cornwall many of the distances are still marked in 'chains', a 'chain' traditionally being the length of 100 pasties.

Happy days,


I make that about eight inches to the pastie.
You are not mean with size of them in Cornwall.

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Morzedec
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Morzedec » 15 Mar 2020, 8:53pm

Blake's of Liskeard. Yum.

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Syd
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Syd » 15 Mar 2020, 9:38pm

Some signs in the UK do seem rather specific in distances. I came across this one in Blackheath a couple of years ago.

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Morzedec
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Morzedec » 16 Mar 2020, 7:20am

My Lord, (Syd), hello,

How long is a camel? I know, it depends on if it is a B or a D.

Is there a zoo in Blackheath, one where the animals regularly escape from?

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PDQ Mobile
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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 16 Mar 2020, 4:59pm

But the answer to the OP's original question is elementary My Dear Watson.

It is 142 yards because....

that is where the hole for the post is. :shock:

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Re: ...why 142 yards?

Postby Mike Sales » 21 Mar 2020, 1:20pm

I've just noticed an ad for a VW car with the very wonderful night vision.
It shows a sign illuminated by the car's lights, reading 136 yards ahead and showing the silhouette of a stag.
Perhaps it is merely meant to imply a spurious accuracy.