Time for rethink over colours

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 December 2007 | UPDATED: 15:53 09 June 2010

Three weeks ago, Liz Hamling sparked off another round of discussion about the town s colour scheme, which she described as grotty pale blue .

Three weeks ago, Liz Hamling sparked off another round of discussion about the town's colour scheme, which she described as "grotty pale blue".

The following week John Wokersien, our town clerk, responded. He pointed out the corporate colour scheme was chosen by a specially convened working party. He also explained the colours were based on the theme, 'light blue from the sea and sky, ochre for the Triassic cliffs'.

Unfortunately, few people remember this. What matters now is how it looks and the fact that many of us believe the light blue spoils the appearance of our town.

We think this because lamp posts, waste bins and surveillance cameras are things that we need for their functionality not for their good looks. When we look around, we want to see our beautiful surroundings not have our eyes drawn to brightly painted street furniture.

Another consideration that appears to have been overlooked is the need for legibility on signs in the town. Anyone with poor sight must find it difficult to read the dark letters on a light blue background that we currently use on our finger posts.

Even more difficult is the lettering on our controversial 'Welcome to Exmouth' signs featured on the town council website. Here, the ochre lettering on a flecked blue background is very difficult to read from a moving vehicle.

So what is the answer? It is that street furniture should be painted in dark colours, for example black, dark green or dark blue. These colours are not only more effective in merging with shadows, but also do not look so grubby when spattered with rain and dust. Expert advice should be sought to ensure that lettering can be easily read whichever colour scheme is chosen.

Liz Hamling joins a long list of complainants about the colour scheme and indeed you published an earlier letter of mine in May 2005.

I cannot remember seeing a complaint about the street furniture elsewhere in East Devon and yet these criticisms of Exmouth's colour scheme have always gone unheeded. Do none of our councillors feel as we do?

Perhaps, though, there is now a glimmer of hope. We are at a crossroads as our council has promised to give our town centre a long-awaited facelift. Is it possible that, during any refurbishment, the street furniture could at last be assigned to the shadows instead of remaining a blot on our townscape?

Geoff Morris,

9 Trinfield Avenue,


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