Cars from continent; huge british rail enamel sign


Margate, England

Hoarde Vintage Member since 2016
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Measuring in at 2.35m wide, this British Rail Southern Region enamel sign is one of the largest enamels I've ever owned.
"Speed Limit 10 MPH. Cars from Continent must be examined in Customs Hall" - a very specific subject matter and not one I've encountered before; presumably it originated from a Port area like Dover? The need of 'cars from continent' to visit the customs hall was probably custom place before the formation of the EU and has become relevant again since the UK's departure from it!

A bold and unusual statement piece as well as a relatively cheap way of filling a large expanse of wall. The sign is in generally good condition; it retains a lovely surface gloss and strong colours. Until it's fixed to the wall it's extreme size does cause it to bend easily when moving and this over the years has caused enamel loss along the outer edges where the metal has flexed causing the brittle enamel to 'ping' ... I suspect that this started to occur before it was even displayed as some of the areas of damage have been touched in with a perfectly colour matched green and so was likely to have been done at the time of fitting. More has occured since, but it's only around the outer edges and isn't immediately noticable. The only notable areas of damage to the main face of the sign are a small area of loss to the 'P' of 'Speed' and a surface scuff / scratch beneath the 'O' of 'from'. Given the vulnerability of such a large piece it's condition is remarkably good.

It can be hung with (relative) ease using the original mounting holes that run all the way around the outer edges of the sign and displays very well when mounted.

The sign measures 2.35m wide x 90cm high.


  • H: 90cm (35.43in)
  • W: 235cm (92.52in)
  • D: 0.2cm (0.08in)



This item is located in: 

Margate, England

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I’m Louis Walpole. Over a decade of working for and alongside some of the best antique dealers in the country at London’s renowned Portobello Road have helped me to form a detailed understanding of, and appreciation for, a diverse array of antiques. In 2016, after ‘dabbling’ in the trade since childhood I decided to follow my heart and (ignoring a myriad of people advising against it) leave my salaried job to trade full time. Since then I have travelled around England and Western Europe collecting the pieces that particularly interest me. These pieces loosely follow the themes of; automotive, advertising, scientific and industrial. I have a select number of items on display in Atlam on Portobello Road. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.

If you would like to view any of my pieces in London, please get in touch to confirm that they’re at the shop or to arrange for me to take them there for you. It may also be possible for me to bring items to your home/bar/garage/pub etc so that they can be fully appreciated in-situ, again please just get in touch and we’ll see what can be organised."

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