Until recently at least (and maybe still today) these signs were used by way of targeting households and individuals for unscrupulous purposes by members of the travelling fraternity.....allegedly!cool, thanks for that Dave
Quoted from that link:
In my early childhood, gypsies were quite a common sight on Barlow Fell. From here they visited the houses in Barlow to do business in their various ways. High Spen also had them infrequently. As boys we watched them and studied them (with envy) and eventually I picked up the Romany language. Romanies were true gypsies unlike the Diddicoys who were of mixed origins and were never to be trusted. Left are some of the signs left after a gypsy had visited the village. These signs were made with twigs or with chalk.
So, does anyone know anyone that still uses signs like these or something different?
I have a copy of that that I picked up ages ago.J.G.Cone in his book "make and do the woodcraft way" (my bible when I was a child) lists what he calls Hobo signs including "food given here", "sleeping shelter here", and (the one I like) "no grub without work". But the book was published in 1940.
He also lists pages of "picture writing" signs but it's hard to tell which he just made up and which are genuinely used by any body.
Yeh, agreed, but as a seven or eight year old I found it facinating and my bedroom looked more like his cabin then anything elseI have a copy of that that I picked up ages ago.
Interesting little book ranging from the useful to the clever but pointless?
Some good ideas for scout leader types though.
Hi,Hi, looking through some old books and found this
It goes on to say : his sign are never obtrusive - a twig stuck in the grass verge by the roadside, a small heap of sand or gravel at the crossroad, a leaf spiked on a barbed wire fence, only the practised eye will see the sign and read the message.