Theatreland’s famous street signs go under the hammer

Street signs from some of the West End’s most famous landmarks are being auctioned off by Westminster City Council to help raise funds for a planned revamp of London’s theatreland.

The first 30 signs – which include locations such as Shaftesbury Avenue, The Strand and St Martin’s Lane – have now gone up for sale on eBay. Each has a reserve price of £100, but some are expected to reach far in excess of that price.

In all, the council hopes to raise around £10,000 by selling 90 such signs, which have been in use for more than ten years and are due to be replaced by new signage.

Councillor Alan Bradley, lead member for theatreland, said: “This is a rare opportunity for people to own a piece of Theatreland history. This is the first time we’ve ever put our street signs on an auction site like this and we are anticipating a huge amount of interest.

“The new signs are part of wider plans to revamp the theatreland district to help create a sense of drama and excitement in the streets to echo the performances on stage and make going to the theatre more of an occasion.”

All the signs feature Westminster’s traditional black and red capital lettering, which was created by acclaimed designer Sir Misha Black in 1967. The font, a sans serif typeface, is unique to Westminster’s street signs and is not available anywhere else in the world. Other organisations are forbidden by copyright law to reproduce Westminster street signs.

All proceeds from the sale of the old enamelled steel signs, some of which are up to four foot long, will be ploughed back into further theatreland improvements.

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