Sign designer takes up her own stick

IT is a symbol familiar to all.A sign which has prompted many a joke, including the quip 'beware old lady pickpockets!'But today an Ipswich woman is proud to take up her walking stick, to commemorate her 30-year contribution to road safety.

IT is a symbol familiar to all.

A sign which has prompted many a joke, including the quip 'beware old lady pickpockets!'

But today an Ipswich woman is proud to take up her walking stick, to commemorate her 30-year contribution to road safety.

When Joan Paterson entered an AA competition in 1974, little did she think her design would be gracing Britain's roads for decades to come.


You may also want to watch:


Her hunched-over stick man gripping walking sticks, still warns motorists of ageing pedestrians struggling to cross the road.

Mrs Paterson, 69, of Henley Road, said: "I'm one of the stick people myself now – I'll be 70 in May."

Most Read

Although she got an art qualification from school, Mrs Paterson was no painter when she entered the competition.

The AA magazine urged readers to pen the basics of an idea for any sing not already on the roads.

Mrs Paterson said: "I couldn't think of one so I nearly chucked the thing away. But then I thought there were signs warning of little kids crossing the road, so I thought I would do one for the older kids."

Mrs Paterson's design was one of five winners, all of got a new car presented by John Surtees in a glammed-up Berkeley Square ceremony in London.

The only one of her rivals Mrs Paterson can recall, was a sign warning of juggernauts, so she is not sure if the others have stood the test of time.

She said: "I received a nice new Rover car. It was all very nice, but I didn't think much of it at the time. I suppose the car was given out in lieu of any having the royalties in the future.

"I'm flattered that my original stick-men design hasn't been altered too much. I think I'm going to have to go around putting my initials on all of them!"

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter