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Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

S W
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Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

I visited Dawlish just last week with high expectations considering the publicity of such places as Gays (cake shop) and the lovely black swans. I took my two dogs with me since the beach, or so I was informed, was 'dog friendly'.

Alas 'friendly' was not how I would describe Dawlish at all because from the moment I stepped from my parked car I was bombarded with notices telling me to do this and not do that. By the end of my visit I was convinced I had seen more notices and signs for visitors in town than I had seen by the roadside whilst driving the 14 or so miles from Brixham.

Sitting by the river trying to enjoy my Gays ice cream my view of the park was totally spoilt by a massive blue sign perhaps a metre square telling me not to feed ducks or to keep my dog on a lead. This sign was unnecessarily large because it was placed on the opposite side of the river facing me so those on the other side could see only the back of the sign blocking their view. As a result it was over-sized and could have been replaced with a considerably smaller version attached to the waste bin right next to my table - with equal effect.

As I approached the beach the signange instructed me to keep dogs onleads, pick up their poo, not allowed to do this or that and to go left to the next beach to let my hounds run free. When I arrived at the next stretch of beach the signs told me to keep dogs on leads. So many notices were contradicted by another nearby.

Absolutely everywhere I looked there was a sign telling me to comply in one way or another. There are literally dozens and dozens of them - everywhere. In over 60 years I have never visited anywhere that appears so overly dominated by what I can only assume to be the ruling local councillors whom I imagine to be hen-pecked do-gooders of independent means with zero understanding of human behaviour or even basic visual perspective.

Whoever it is they do your town a great disservice if they continue creating a 'big brother' atmosphere. People want to visit and look around without the feeling of being controlled and regulated at every twist and turn. Too many notices Dawlish, too many!

I am sure Dawlish must be a lovely place underneath all the vinyl and tinplate signage so how about rationalising all these signs very soon so your next season of visitors can actually see the town for its true worth and not just feel pushed away by all the rules and regulations on show?

Or is Big Brother really watching you?

58 replies to this topic
Aberdeenshire...
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1. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

Being that the signs are aimed at visitors I imagine they came about due to the behaviour of past disrespectful visitors.

Oxford, United...
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2. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

Sadly, if visitors behave in a way that is harmful to the town and its residents, then signage will be required to attempt to control this behaviour into a way that is more acceptable.

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3. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

Great post SW.

And as much as the above posters may well be right in that these signs are a 'response to' poor behaviour by (previous) visitors to the town, it is an illusion to think that people 'like that' will respond to signs.

Yet everybody else reads them and may well, like you, feel less than welcome.

It may be an idea to send your excellent observations to the local politicians (Town Council I would expect) responsible for (most of) these signs and ask them two things:

1. do they believe these signs work? What evidence do they have?

2. can they possibly come up with more creative ways to challenge some people's behaviours (carrot and stick and all that....)?

If you do, please share with us any response you may receive.

Thanks,

S W
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4. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

Thus far, two responses from people who simply blame visitors and cannot see past their own noses that the same or better effect can be achieved in a far more subtle manner. There are less signs to be found at a top secret military base!

Dawlish looks old, sad and ridiculous with so many notices. It feels oppressive for visitors. If you want visitors then try welcoming them! Forget the 'Do not do this' and the 'Do not do that' and start looking at the contradictions, confusion and general negativity it brings. I truly have never in my lifetime visited anywhere so bad in this respect. Lighten up a bit.

Whosoever is responsible for the present ghastly atmosphere is totally stuck in a rut and the town is crying out for new blood.

Only MazzardFarm so far appears to grasp the very basic understanding that signs do not stop things happening. It might well be there is a problem with certain visitors - Brixham for instance has a seagull nuisance and it is worsened by visitors feeding the 'dear little things' but you will not find a metre square sign saying "DO NOT FEED THE SEAGULLS" but instead a few, very few, well placed and discrete notices asking people to 'Please' not feed the gulls because it worsens an existing issue.

See? "Please" followed by a short explanation has led to local people being far more willing to ask visitors (nicely) to not feed gulls.

The largest sign Brixham has says "WELCOME" - a sentiment sadly lacking in Dawlish.

I don't expect councillors to pay attention to Tripadvisor and I certainly cannot be bothered to waste further time on this if the good folk of Dawlish are so downtrodden as to feel they cannot deal with the problem themselves. I will just vote with my feet as I suspect many other visitors will.

As for responses from council - of course they would have no info as to the effectiveness of the signs because that would require a sub-committee and the appointment of a chair with months of research at considerable cost to the public purse. The only question I would ask is whether someone on the council is in any way linked to the business that makes all the signs!!!

London
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5. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

If there are signs that are directly contradicting each other (i.e. about where on the beach dogs are allowed) this at least should be pointed out to the Town Council.

Also they could look at the language - for example, "Well-behaved dogs on a lead are welcome here" says it so much better than "Dogs are prohibited except on a lead".

Rutland, UK
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6. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

Why not write to the town council expressing your views? May I also suggest cutting out the hyperbole (‘dozens and dozens’, ‘blocking their view’, ‘big brother atmosphere’, ‘hen-pecked do gooders’ ‘downtrodden’ etc). Such comments diminish your argument and make it harder to see if your observations have validity.

http://www.dawlish.gov.uk/links.php

Stirling, United...
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7. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

#3 and ask 3. How much of their taxpayers'money have they spent on buying and erecting all these signs?

Hampshire, United...
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8. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

Maybe small signs did not work do they put up big ones. Maybe next comes the pooper scooper inspectors and on the spot fines and if that does not work it'll be confiscation of dogs / children or whatever. Lots of jobsworths in this neck of the woods. I should know, my parents were experts.

9. Re: Signs, signs and even more signs I noticed in Dawlish.

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