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When I was a kid, we had relatives in Hatfield, and the signs on the A1 from London used to show "Hatfield and the North" I used to think Hatfield must be miles away "up north", till I was older.
SO, why Hatfield, why not Stevenage or WGC or Huntingdon.
Also old black and white films have had these signs on, so I am not dreaming, also also, wasn't there a band/group called Hatfield and the North, or am I dreaming that one.
Once they were replaced the signs became:
<- The North M1 | Hatfield A1, Aylesbury (A41) ->
There are of course still "Hatfield, The NORTH" signs on the A1(M) though!
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Aylesbury seems to be another town over represented on signs, I remember seeing one “The NORTH (M1), The WEST (M4), Aylesbury (A41)” in south London, pointing north towards the Blackwall Tunnel.
IIRC TfL are planning to remove all primary signage to places outside London, except for quickest way to M25.
There have been some strange primary route destinations.
I remember as you left Aldgate on the A11, it was signposted Newmarket, but how many people would have been travelling to Newmarket! Why not Norwich, or Chelmsford or Southend even?
Also as you drove down the A12 at Marks Tey, the A120 was signposted "Puckeridge" which is tiny. I know Stansted wasnt developed then, but why not Braintree, or Bishops Stortford even? On some of my A-Z atlases from a few years ago, they showed Bishops Stortford as the primary destination, but only for a couple of years or so, perhaps it was a mistake on their behalf.
Sorry, going off thread now!
Thanks Ian, that was the sort of answer I wanted, I suppose with the old De havilland aerodrome and the rest it does make sense.IanA414 wrote:I think the original question regards to why Hatfield is the primary route destination instead of say WGC which is a larger town, it may hark back to the Industry that used to be in Hatfield?
Sorry, going off thread now!
Plus it supposes what your interpretation of "the North" is. When I was a kid in London , Peterborough was up north, now I live near there, London is down south!
This is because Newmarket remains the first primary destination on the A11 outside of London! No intermediate destinations are given because the A11 'disappears' into the M11 for about 30 miles.IanA414 wrote:I remember as you left Aldgate on the A11, it was signposted Newmarket, but how many people would have been travelling to Newmarket! Why not Norwich, or Chelmsford or Southend even?
The first destination is always the one listed. Norwich is a couple of points further on (after Thetford), and Chelmsford and Southend are not destinations off the A11, rather the A12 and A13 respectively, which is why they're not mentioned!
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... and a bl**dy important road junction. Miss it, and you add a lot of miles to your journey to the Lakes, and to many other places.Mark Hewitt wrote:Can't be more overblown that Scotch Corner, which I've seen signed from the M6 and yet it's little more than a serve area and a hotel
SJ (happy when she sees Munich signposted from 400 kmh away, anoyed when the M1 says Luton as the furthest distination.)
The use of Newmarket (and Hatfield & the North) as a destination out of London predates the primary destination system.IanA414 wrote:Harlow is on the old A11 and is before Newmarket!
See this sign which once stood in Portland Place
Hatfield/The North A1
Oxford/South Wales A40
As for the destinations not signed in this example:
A4 Slough/The West
Anyone know any others?