GLC-era South Bank signage added to Lambeth's 'local list'

A distinctive signpost on the South Bank that dates from the era of the Greater London Council has been added to Lambeth Council's 'local list' of structures of architectural and historical interest.

GLC-era South Bank signage added to Lambeth's 'local list'

The colour-coded signpost is at the southern end of Waterloo Bridge, between BFI Southbank and the National Theatre.

The fingerpost - reminiscent in style of signs seen in other European countries - is a survivor of what was once an extensive wayfinding scheme installed when the South Bank was the domain of the Greater London Council, based at nearby County Hall until its abolition in 1986.

The signpost was nominated for official recognition by local resident Tim Dunn, best known as presenter of the Secrets of the London Underground and The Architecture the Railways Built TV series.

"I’m delighted to see this piece of often-overlooked piece of 20th-century street furniture be accepted to the Lambeth local list," Tim Dunn told the SE1 website.

"Some might ask why list something so modern: the answer is that it really is no longer very modern, and because it’s an increasingly-rare visual reminder of the GLC’s time, so quickly does London’s public realm change.

"It will be seen as important to the heritage and that place’s identity just as the retained earlier Victorian fittings are cherished by us today.

"It’s important to note however that local listing doesn’t change the sign in any legal way, nor does it mean it must be maintained.

"But it does mean that it has been officially acknowledged as being important; it’ll be thus flagged automatically to contractors if working nearby and it means that it’ll now get viewed as an asset rather than as a millstone.

"I nominated it easily via a form on the Lambeth website with a simple but compelling historical context I’d prepared. It took no more than an hour; i wish more people would nominate things they love before it’s too late."

Also added to the local list in the same batch is The Hercules pub at the corner of Kennington Road and Hercules Road.

Other South Bank furniture on the local list

Lambeth added a number of 20th century South Bank public artworks to the local list in 2020, including those pictured here:

Whilst Lambeth's local list is well-established, neighbouring Southwark only formally approved its local list for the first time in December 2023.

Tags: South Bank, Planning & Development, History, Lambeth, Politics & local government

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