Prankster adds mythical places to road signs around Didcot
What do Narnia, Gotham City, Neverland and Middle Earth have in common? They're all surprisingly accessible from the Oxfordshire town of Didcot.
Didcot's previous claims to fame have been somewhat humble. It grew up as a railway town on Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Western Railway (GWR), and now hosts a GWR museum. The Williams Formula One team called Didcot its home until it moved to a new facility at Grove in 1995. There's also the UK's largest particle accelerator nearby.
But thanks to one wag, the town – once dubbed Britain's "most normal town" – is now in the neighbourhood of several fictional places.
An unknown prankster, described as "a hooded man in his twenties", has modified local road signs on the A4130 road to direct drivers to unusual destinations like Emerald City (apparently in the direction of Sutton Courtenay) and Middle Earth, near Wallingford.
The joker in question has gone to great lengths to replicate the exact font – Transport Heavy – that's standard on UK road signs, lending an air of authenticity to these alternate routes.
Although it's met with some disapproval from the local council, which described the sign modifications as "vandalism" and a "distraction for drivers", Didcot's mayor, Jackie Billington, saw the lighter side.
She commented: "Someone has obviously gone to a lot of trouble. My favourite is the sign for Narnia, it's quite fitting that there's still a lot of snow around. It is fun and quirky and gets people talking about the town again," although noted that the new lettering would need to be removed at some point.