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Children's crossing signs on Trinidad & Tobago

Roxborough (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Charlotteville (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Moriah (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Plymouth (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Roxborough (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Tobago is Treasure Island for roadsign collectors. Few spots on the world kept so many good old traffic signs alive. Two well behaving children (a boy and a girl) are walking on the pavement. There is no rush, push nor pull. That's how we know the British when people are looking. And indeed, we have found designs of the same family in Great Britain and also in Mauritius.
The drawing is characterized by much detail going down to the individual kerb­stones. Some of the rectangular signs still carry the old warning triangle. Newer versions feature the same drawing but as a canvas the European triangle was choosen. I wonder for how long Trinidad & Tobago will be strong enough to with­stand the good-willing pressure of the American design group. The first cracks are surfacing already (see below).

Pembroke (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Hope (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Charlotteville (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier

Children in many countries and before M. Bich improved on the ballpoint pen to make it a reliable tool, had to dabble their pen in ink. Thus to avoid unpleasant scenes with parents, teachers, until the 1950s, required their pupils to wear a dustcoat. That explains why the boy on the older panels appears to wear a dress like the girl. (Find another example in Argentina.)
Some roadsigns however feature the boy without his dustcoat. He's wearing knickerbockers. It is a completely different design. The pavement is absent, both children hold hands, the girl got a hair-cut (find out about Monsieur Jean's ideas.) and the feet are positioned in the characteristic manner of doing shown on the modern British signs. Could this be a precursor of the modern UK-design ?
The lovely children at play are a special case. They are not reduced to match-sticks, but they aren't entirely realistic either. They are living in a fairy-tale, I think. The scene is built up exactly like the corresponding antique British sign.

Cumuto (Tr), XII.2003;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
Charlotteville (To), I.2004;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
  Bad omen.
Why is it that people everywhere and at all times turn to bad design, to tasteless uniformity? Our team did find two variations. The first is a combi­nation of the European triangle with an American drawing. The second find (observed on both islands) is one hunderd percent American breed.
This is a bleak day.


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More signs from Trinidad & Tobago: Men at work - Falling rocks