Five things to look for on pubs and inns.

The traditional pub has been with us in various guises for centuries but with more and more closing every month we may soon lose many of the colourful additions they make to our streets.

1. The Inn Sign is perhaps the most obvious choice. Increasingly the painted sign is giving way to sign boards simply recording the name so worth photographing any unusual examples for posterity.

Inn Sign – The Bear

2. Many pubs were former coaching inns so look for high, wide doorways that once allowed the passage of coaches into the stable yard behind.

3. Brewery insignia. This may take the form of a plaque, usually displayed by the door, or appear etched into the glass, in tiles or on boards displaying menus and events. Often insignia for now defunct breweries remain helping to chart the history of the establishment although a few companies obscure or remove the livery of former owners.

Best in the West ceramic plaque

4. A few old coaching inns retain signs of this past life in the form of ostler bells or painted signs advertising the availability of post horses. Some even have the destination and tariff boards for the stage coaches either displayed outside or within the inn itself.

5. Tiled frontages can be really ornate and may be decorative tiles in a single colour or a series of patterned tiles. Some include the name of the pub making the changing of names popular with some breweries a little more problematical

Tiled Pub frontage – The Coal Exchange

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