For the first time anywhere in the UK, official antiques roadsigns are now in position in Gloucestershire.

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Nine signs are now in position on the A46 and adjoining roads, each carrying the stylised candelabra design (shown here) approved as a symbol denoting antiques by the Department of Transport.

Simon Chorley, who moved to their premises at Prinknash Abbey Park in August 2006, had been keen to replace the brown signs directing drivers to the local pottery (now closed) that formerly occupied the saleroom building.

They were told there were no brown signs catering for auctions but had immediately applied for the antiques sign after reading the front page article in ATG No 1796, June 30. Their proposal, submitted to Gloucestershire County Council along with a non-refundable application fee of £200, was to adapt the nine existing signs to include the word Auctions and the candelabra design.

Having convinced the local authority that they would be contributing to tourism in the area, permission was granted on November 30. A Tewkesbury firm, Signlink, carried out all the adaptations in early December at a cost of £400.

The DoT approved a design for a symbol to promote antiques on road signs in June. The breakthrough came after Sarah Percy-Davis, chief executive of The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers, LAPADA, persuaded the DoT to provide a working brief which she then took to John Hazlewood, head of the Graphic Design department at Buckinghamshire and Chilterns University.

The simple stylised candelabra design was the work of student Helena Tracey.

LAPADA, who have offered to pay the application fees for all their members, expressed, understandably, a little disappointment when learning that the first recipient of the brown sign would be an auctioneer rather than a dealer.

However, with a number of applications in place (including those for Witney in Oxfordshire and Petworth in West Sussex), they are hopeful the dealing community will feel the benefits of the initiative early this year.

Construction costs for dealers or auctioneers hoping to erect new signs are likely to be around £150 plus VAT for a pedestrian sign and up to £250 plus VAT for a standard road sign.

By Roland Arkell