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Spelling mistakes and imaginary places - did Reedham Station have Britain's most pointless sign?

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FOR more than a decade, it was the most pointless sign in Croydon.

Sitting above the exit of Reedham Station, it was riddled with spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and even pointed to places that didn't exist.

The sign, which is the responsibility of Southern Railway, drew arrows to Purley Council Offices – a building which ceased activity in 1956 – as well as a place called 'Pampisford' which, for anyone knows, might be in a parallel universe.

It also spells 'Coulsdon' as 'Couldson' twice, and then 'Canon's Hill' as 'Cannons Hill'.

Paul Ford, who lives opposite the station, said that as a copywriter, nothing irritated him more than poor spelling, grammar and inaccuracies in public facing signage and advertising.

He had contacted Southern back in September last year but to no avail.

"They tried ignoring my e-mails and then said that the station wasn't owned by them," he said.

"Then they admitted it was – they had got confused and thought that the complaint was about Reedham in Norfolk – and said they would send the sign to a team of managers who would see whether it was 'deemed neccessary' to make the changes."

The e-mail from Southern to Mr Ford said: "I am sorry for the confusion on our part, we certainly do manage Reedham station in Surrey.

"I have looked in to this and can see we have escalated this to our station managers already. They will assess the situation and investigate the signage.

"It will then be with them to make a decision in regards to updating the signs if they deem it necessary."

Mr Ford argued: "Clearly, if this kind of mistake was on show at London Bridge or even East Croydon, it'd almost certainly be fixed fairly rapidly.

"But as Reedham is a tiny little out of the way place, it's seemingly not worth their time and effort."

However, despite Southern saying it would investigate the sign, nothing happened.

But within 24 hours of the Advertiser alerting the rail operator to its sign faux pas on Tuesday, it had been removed from public view.

Simon Gregory, who has worked at the station for more than ten years, explained on Wednesday morning: "I reckon it's been there for about 12 years and not once has anyone come down here to have a look at it, never mind take it down.

"Anyway, some men came down this morning (Wednesday) and took it down at around 7.45am without saying a word to anyone."

When Mr Ford discovered the sign had been removed, he exclaimed: "Magnificent. All it took was one whiff of bad publicity and they were down there.

"I have to say, it would be nice if they replaced it with a sign displaying the correct information with no spelling mistakes."

A Southern spokesman said: "We'd like to thank the reader for pointing this out to us. We agree that the sign isn't particularly helpful – nor accurate.

"The sign has been taken down and we will be looking at whether it will be necessary to replace the sign."

Spelling mistakes and imaginary places - did Reedham Station have Britain's most pointless sign?


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