Street Furniture

Review by AB.

The term ‘street furniture’ encompasses a wide range of everyday objects that are found along roads and in towns and cities around the world, from manhole covers and postboxes to bus stops and cabman’s shelters. In this book, Lynn Pearson looks at the street furniture of the UK and explores how it has changed over time, taking the reader from Roman milestones and 17th-century turnpike posts, through the introduction of standardised road signs, drinking fountains, and public toilets, all the way up to modern environmentally friendly lamp posts and electric-vehicle charging points.

The book is sorted by category, with each chapter discussing different elements of street furniture, such as signage, transport, and water and power, with examples ranging from the prominent to the obscure. Pearson demonstrates the wealth of social history that exists in the seemingly mundane street furniture around us, and the stories it can tell about the changing world in which it developed. This short but informative and well-illustrated publication will doubtless be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the rich heritage lining the UK’s streets.

Street Furniture, Lynn Pearson, Amberley, £15.99, ISBN 978-1398107724.