Highway Code 1946

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Chris Bertram
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Highway Code 1946

Post by Chris Bertram » Fri Oct 20, 2017 16:56

Sorting out some bookshelves today, I found a copy of the Highway Code issued in 1946. Slightly crumpled, I'm afraid, but otherwise in reasonable nick, though the pages are discoloured - "foxed", I think is the technical term - with age. I still have no idea how I came by it, but that doesn't matter. So I've scanned it in, created four PDFs from it, and uploaded it to the Old Publications gallery. Please feel free to have a look.

It's got that immediate post-war austerity look. Size-wise, it's a booklet of smaller than A6 size, probably an old non-A or B series size. Apart from the cover, printed on coloured lightweight card, it's purely black-and-white, with some illustrations, e.g. of road signs and police arm signals. It's structured into sections for different groups of users, as is the modern publication, with a section at the rear on "The Law's Demands" listing the legislation behind the code. Stopping distances - in feet - at various speeds, up to the heady extreme of 50mph, are also listed. Traffic light signals are described rather than shown in illustration. And there are only 32 pages! Obviously there's no section on motorway driving (in 1946?), but what is also striking is that there are so few road signs illustrated, with only the "more important" warning signs shown, and nothing at all about road markings, which admittedly were largely absent back then, or direction signage.

It's all rather charming, and a bit basic by today's standards. But we do have to remember that the roads were rather emptier just post-war, with little need for the detailed advice that is now a vital part of using the roads.

Enjoy.
“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.” - Douglas Adams.

Reading
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Re: Highway Code 1946

Post by Reading » Fri Oct 20, 2017 17:13

Chris Bertram wrote:Sorting out some bookshelves today, I found a copy of the Highway Code issued in 1946. Slightly crumpled, I'm afraid, but otherwise in reasonable nick, though the pages are discoloured - "foxed", I think is the technical term - with age. I still have no idea how I came by it, but that doesn't matter. So I've scanned it in, created four PDFs from it, and uploaded it to the Old Publications gallery. Please feel free to have a look.

It's got that immediate post-war austerity look. Size-wise, it's a booklet of smaller than A6 size, probably an old non-A or B series size. Apart from the cover, printed on coloured lightweight card, it's purely black-and-white, with some illustrations, e.g. of road signs and police arm signals. It's structured into sections for different groups of users, as is the modern publication, with a section at the rear on "The Law's Demands" listing the legislation behind the code. Stopping distances - in feet - at various speeds, up to the heady extreme of 50mph, are also listed. Traffic light signals are described rather than shown in illustration. And there are only 32 pages! Obviously there's no section on motorway driving (in 1946?), but what is also striking is that there are so few road signs illustrated, with only the "more important" warning signs shown, and nothing at all about road markings, which admittedly were largely absent back then, or direction signage.

It's all rather charming, and a bit basic by today's standards. But we do have to remember that the roads were rather emptier just post-war, with little need for the detailed advice that is now a vital part of using the roads.

Enjoy.
Pages 4,5,8 & 9 appear to be missing

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Chris Bertram
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Re: Highway Code 1946

Post by Chris Bertram » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:14

Now fixed. Pages stuck together during scanning.
“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.” - Douglas Adams.

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jgharston
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Re: Highway Code 1946

Post by jgharston » Sun Oct 22, 2017 01:42

I wonder how many people nowadays understand hand signals. A few years ago my indicator bulb blew and I used hand signals on the drive home, but was constantly thinking that people behind me had no clue what I was doing, especially a Left Turn hand signal.

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