Pub signboards have been a feature of the English landscape for centuries but, being exposed to both the elements and changing fashions (and the lifetime of the pub), each board tends to have a fairly short life. Several years ago, noticing some familiar old signs had been replaced, I began a photographic ‘archive’. I then became intrigued about what or who they depicted. The signs described here are mostly from South Cambridgeshire, because that’s where I live.
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
‘The moon, like to a silver bow’
The Half Moon Inn, Little St Mary’s Lane, Cambridge
The Half Moon hasn’t been a pub for many years, long before my time in Cambridge, and I didn’t even know about it until about a year ago, when I began my quest for Cambridge’s ‘dead pubs’. The sign still remains, though, a silent witness.* Yet how many times have I walked past it over the years and not noticed?
As a point of historical interest, a pub of this name, a decent three-storey establishment, originally stood on the corner of St Mary’s Lane and Trumpington Street until in 1875 it had to make way for the Emmanuel United Reform Church. Presumably the name just moved down the lane to these smaller premises, which was certainly a pub in 1885.
(*Update: This sign is actually a copy. The original, which is gilded rather than white, sits in a cabinet in the Museum of Cambridge.)