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Stranger Things

Posted by on February 6, 2019 in News - No comments

Recently, strange objects reminiscent of mystical obelisks from 2001 Space Odyssey have appeared in various places around the Truro town centre. Sadly, these are not a legacy from Arthur C Clarke to the town he visited regularly whilst stationed at RAF Portreath in the early days of World War Two, and where he was working on the early development of radar. Instead, they are the culmination of a long project to improve directional information for visitors to Truro – there is now no excuse for errant wanderers to be lost in Trurra! No idle wandering; only focused transactions and purpose!


The new signs include our proper street names. Let us hope that, as a result, we hear them being more often used, and that our streets once again become the marks by which we navigate, rather than Tesco, Poundland and Primark! As an aside, I made an enquiry at the Council about how to set about naming a new terrace of houses which have been recently completed in the town. I’m told that we don’t name streets after people – so, Boscawen, Frances, William, Charles, Lemon, John, not to mention all those roads at Hendra – Eliot, Stokes, Trelawny, James, Mitchell – and all those saints – George, Keyne,, Clement, Austell – hmmm! Did they mean to say ‘living people’? Possibly.


Also included is a short snippet of historical or cultural interest, and a picture. It is accurate, but merely a series of random snapshots – the ‘HI’ (‘heritage information’?!!!) might be there, but the Story is disjointed. Truro needs her story told.

The new signs are metal and include some elements of copper which, it is hoped by the designers, will discolour to become green, as time goes by. Quite why this should be a desirable thing is a mystery. The copper spire on St Mary’s is a distinctive and unique thing – much remarked upon and praised. But unique things are unique because they are the one and only – if everything follows its lead it will see its uniqueness overwhelmed by repetition. I make no mention of the Bus Station roof which seems to me to play the role of Sore Thumb in the pantomime of Copycat & Facsimile!
The location of the signs is the outcome of many meetings and laborious processes. By and large, they seem to be well-placed and visible, whilst not being in the way. Some anxiety has been expressed about the one on the corner of Lemon Street and Charles Street. Our vice-chairman is vexed by the intrusion of the obelisk in Lemon Street, at the junction with Charles Street, which interrupts the upwards sweep of the Georgian semi-parabola. Is there a need for a visitor-friendly sign at this point? Probably not! Does it interrupt the Lemon Street curve? Yes! Does it matter? Yes!
Each obelisk stands six feet high and is about eighteen inches wide. As modernist structures in a traditional setting, they echo the modernist layer of architecture which also enhances Truro’s architectural diversity and historical narrative. Do they enhance and beautify? I suspect the answer lies in whether or not they are useful. Feedback and increasing trade would be good.


The new signs are metal and include some elements of copper which, it is hoped by the designers, will discolour to become green, as time goes by. Quite why this should be a desirable thing is a mystery. The copper spire on St Mary’s is a distinctive and unique thing – much remarked upon and praised. But unique things are unique because they are the one and only – if everything follows its lead it will see its uniqueness overwhelmed by repetition. I make no mention of the Bus Station roof which seems to me to play the role of Sore Thumb in the pantomime of Copycat & Facsimile!
The location of the signs is the outcome of many meetings and laborious processes. By and large, they seem to be well-placed and visible, whilst not being in the way. Some anxiety has been expressed about the one on the corner of Lemon Street and Charles Street. Our vice-chairman is vexed by the intrusion of the obelisk in Lemon Street, at the junction with Charles Street, which interrupts the upwards sweep of the Georgian semi-parabola. Is there a need for a visitor-friendly sign at this point? Probably not! Does it interrupt the Lemon Street curve? Yes! Does it matter? Yes!
Each obelisk stands six feet high and is about eighteen inches wide. As modernist structures in a traditional setting, they echo the modernist layer of architecture which also enhances Truro’s architectural diversity and historical narrative. Do they enhance and beautify? I suspect the answer lies in whether or not they are useful. Feedback and increasing trade would be good.

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