Hand-painted speed limit signs and tracing roots

I love these colourful, hand-painted road signs, designed to help protect young children from speeding traffic.

Child's speed limit sign

We found them exploring Ebnat-Kappel, a hillside community in the canton of St Gallen, Switzerland, which has old family connections for my sweetheart.

Norina speed limit sign

The signs didn’t look at all out of place – members of this artistic community are happy to dress their windows with cascading flowers and their gardens with folk art.

Cascading flowers

Looking across the unspoiled valley, we tried to imagine what it would have been like to live here a few centuries ago, before modern transport links and Wi-Fi connections.

Hillside view of Ebnat Kappel

Do you have an urge to visit the homes of your ancestors so you can imagine their way of life? Or are you content to have roots where you were born, or where you’re making your home?

12 Replies to “Hand-painted speed limit signs and tracing roots”

  1. So nice to see your blog and the signs. They remind me so of a the sixties in Denmark. People were beginning to have cars and accidents happened. One private man started to create wooden red hearts with a sentence on like “Put down the speed”, and many others. I know they are objects of collectors now.

    1. Thanks for sharing the story – it does sound very similar. The signs were in different gardens but I’d guess they have been painted by the same hand.

  2. I would like to see where my ancestors lived in Canada and France. I know enough about the places to feel that somehow I carry some comfort of association within me already – hope that doesn’t sound too strange.

  3. I have a Swiss friend who just spent a month in Amish country exploring her roots. Knowing her and hearing her stories of home, these signs do not surprise me. They are so fun aren’t they? The flower filled window boxes just stunning. Xx

  4. There is a tradition of beautiful painted signs of what are being grown in farm fields here in Monterey country, where i live. This reminds me to photograph some and post 🙂 too. Love the flowers image as well !

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