Home.
Introduction.
Animals.
Buildings.
Lines.
People.
Plants.
Shapes.
Symbols.
Transport.
Conclusion.
Index.
Contact.
WAYSIDE ART IN EAST ANGLIA

TRANSPORT

This curiosity might easily be a railway engine, but it’s more likely to be a road vehicle as it decorates the outside wall of the Fire Station in Stradbroke in Suffolk.  Either way, it’s an early steam engine very much in the style of art that was prevalent in the 1960s.

Norfolk and Suffolk are both large, rural counties with a very long coastline and several long rivers.  There are no big conurbations, but instead market towns and two cities located at long distances from each other.  Roads, rivers and railways have all played a major role in the region’s development over the last two thousand years.  For example, rivers enabled the Normans more easily to transport stone from Normandy to Norwich with which to build the castle and cathedral.  Today, commercial vehicles pass through East Anglia to get between the sea ports and central England, and holiday-makers travel through from the built-up regions of the Midlands to East Anglian seaside resorts and the Broads.  Being relatively flat, East Anglia has also been a good region for airfields: air bases were established here during World War II and there are two major airports.   

 

But is this sufficient to explain the large number of decorative features that include transport as a major feature?   Patricia Mockridge in her book on ‘Weather vanes of Norfolk and Suffolk’ * says that ‘you could write a thesis on Norfolk boats from weathervanes - wherries, half a dozen racing classes, trawlers, lifeboats...galleons, clippers and Viking longships.’  And that’s just the weathervanes and water transport!  But transport motifs also appear on pub signs, village signs, walls, wall plaques, gates, railings, and even on tomb stones.  Interestingly, though, they don’t feature as often as other motifs inside churches.  They are a relatively modern fashion dating mostly, but by no means exclusively, from the twentieth century. Perhaps it’s a sign of peoples’ nostalgia for the days of sailing ships, steam engines and horse-drawn coaches, or their feeling for the region’s cultural and historical heritage.  

 

The pages here feature just a few examples of transport motifs, the largest group, perhaps unsurprisingly, being those related to water.  

* Published by Larks Press 2001.

AN INTRODUCTION TO  TRANSPORT

TO CONCLUSION

TO INTRODUCTION TO SYMBOLS