During a recent visit to Manchester dad returned with a most unusual image featuring a blue letter ‘H’ and two numbers.
The white backed oval sign was attached to the outside of the Barton Arcade, in the Deansgate area of the city.
Built by Corbett, Raby & Sawyer in 1871 the Victorian structure features high glass ceilings and a selection of boutique shops and services.
It is a Grade 2 listed building and was restored in the 1980’s.
Commentators have said that the influence for the building came from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
Blue and white sign
Rusting and weather beaten the blue and white sign could be an early form of fire hydrant notice according to a forum on the Secret Scotland website.
The more common sign indicating a fire hydrant is the familiar yellow sign.
Both signs feature two numbers. It is well documented that the yellow sign indicates the size of the water pipe and the distance in front of sign where the hydrant is located.
However, what is not certain is what the blue sign indicates.
Some websites report that the blue sign indicates a private hydrant location or even that the hydrant is located behind the sign and not in front of.
Maybe you know more about the history of this sign? Let me know via the comments area below.
Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester gallery
Dad also managed to get some other photographs of the building. Click for larger images.