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The Dunlop Rubber Company, Birmingham ; The Road Safety Town Plan, c1955 | by mikeyashworth
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The Dunlop Rubber Company, Birmingham ; The Road Safety Town Plan, c1955

This lovely ephemeral item, issued by the Dunlop Rubber Company in assocaition with the Royal Society for the Preventio of Accidents, appears here through the kindness of a good pal, Doug Rose, who has scanned and stiched it together. It was intended as a school teaching aid with one side as a display poster full of safety hints and tips, including many cycling details, and the other as an aide-mémoire for teachers to use in class.


The main chart is very detailed and has lots of useful advice! I love the fact that tram tracks, and their tricky nature for some cyclists, are still shown and the borders contain what was then the UK's standard road sign designs a few years before they were replaced by the new Worboys Committee inspired designs by Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinnear. There's also an explanation of the UK's road number system that still holds strong a century after its introduction.


Dunlop stated here that their generosity, allied to the campaigning work of ROSPA, was due to their interests in both road vehicles and cycling - mostly through tyres and inner tubes. At the time the company's main headquarters and works in the UK was at Fort Dunlop in Birmingham. This massive site, developed in the latter years of the First World War and into the 1920s, was one of the world's largest tyre production plants until a combination of imports and declining home markets (with the closures of many UK car manufacturing plans) saw Dunlop close down from the 1990s onwards. The imposing building survives having been re-purposed.

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Uploaded on October 16, 2020