Famous film houses

Famous film houses

Houses in films have always fascinated me. Especially the likes of Home Alone, because of all those wonderful Christmas decorations, and the huge rooms.

And of course the history behind the House in Enfield from The Conjuring II. One of the most famous cases of paranormal activity in the world. So weird.

I’ve put together a list of some of the most famous film houses for you to browse through. Are there any missing?

Home Alone

Home Alone, the timeless classic bringing joy to people young and old since 1990. Who could forget the mischievous Kevin McCallister in his heroic quest to protect the home he loves.

The house from the film was re-created in a high school sports hall, but was based on a beautiful property in Winnetka, Illinois.

Would you believe that the house the film was based on sold for $1.58million?

Famous film houses - The Home Alone House
The Home Alone House
Father of the bride

I love this film, but I haven’t seen the original (1950) I’m sorry to say. I used to watch it over and over again, because every little girl dreams about her wedding right?

Two very similar houses were used in the film, one for the front view and one for the side-on and back for the basketball scenes.

For $1,998,000 it can be yours.

The Father of the Bride House
The Father of the Bride House
The Great Gatsby.

$100 million anyone? The house from the film was inspired by a mansion situated in Long Islands, Kings point. It comes equipped with a wine tasting room.

Baz Luhrmann grew up around ballroom dancing. So there is no wonder his films turned out the way they did?

Favourite? Got to be Moulin Rouge.

The Great Gatsby House
The Great Gatsby House
BeetleJuice

Tim Burton at his finest.

The house in Betlejuice, I’m sad to say, doesn’t really exist. The house was built especially for the movie. I would so buy it if it existed.

This film, being as successful as it was, landed Burton with the role as director on Batman.

By the way, Beetlejuice turns 30 next year. Jus’ sayin’.

BeetleJuice
BeetleJuice
Meet me in St Louis

Oh! Judy Garland, my absolute favourite of all things movies and music.

With my high starched-collar and my high-topped shoes 
And my hair piled high upon my head
I went to lose a jolly hour on the trolley
And lost my heart instead.

The replica Kensington Avenue was built by MGM especially for this movie. Today though, it doesn’t exist. The movie was based on Sally Benson’s (maiden name Smith) life, who lived on Kensington Avenue. The original house was demolished in 1994, but others of similar architecture still exist today.

Meet Me in St Louise House
Meet Me in St Louise House
The Conjuring II

Enfield, North London. A little bit closer to home. The film is based on a true story about a girl who was allegedly possessed by a spirit and wreaked havoc for the family living in a house in Enfield. The house is owned by someone else today, but as part of the release of the conjuring II, the girls revisited the house along with Lorraine Walling who was 90 years old.#

The House from The Conjuring II
The House from The Conjuring II
Forrest Gump

So, the good news is. There was a house. The bad news is, it was built and taken down very quickly and only for the film. It wasn’t even in Alabama.

I feel cheated.

Despite all that, the film was the best. Tom Hanks is incredible.

Forrest Gump House
Forrest Gump House
Mrs Doubtfire

IT’S REAL! AND IT’S FOR SALE! I can’t imagine many people have a hefty $1.35million in their bank account, but if they did…

The property was built in 1893 and featured in the 1994 film with Robin Williams and Sally Field.

A brilliant comedy, fun for the whole family.

If you haven’t seen it, please vacate this blog post and watch it immediately.

Mrs Doubtfire House
Mrs Doubtfire House
Sleepless in Seattle

One of my favourite films. And who could forget the beautiful house boat on Lake Union. The film centres on a little boy trying to find a new wife for his widowed father. I won’t say anymore. Just watch it. It’s a proper tear jerker.

The House boat is one of around 500 left, and is the most iconic property in Seattle.

Sleepless in Seattle House Boat
Sleepless in Seattle House Boat
Edward Scissorhands

The castle was a small scale model propped up on a stand. No CGI, no special effects just a model on a stand. Just goes to show how far technology has come doesn’t it? Incredible.

This film can be thanked for creating the famous relationship between Johnny Depp and Burton. This was Depp’s debut, the rest is history as they say.

Edward Scissor Hands Castle
Edward Scissor Hands Castle
Jumanji

Every 90’s kids childhood in one film.

Again the house was a construct. Built and taken down fairly quickly especially for the film.

It was a great film though! Such creativity. Someone tried to recreate something similar. Zathura a fairly recent film of the same kind. Creepy board game causing problems except this time it was more sci-fi. Sorry, slight fail.

Jumanji House
Jumanji House
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I was never allowed to watch this, and in all honesty I have only seen bits of it here and there. But The soundtrack is brilliant. And Tim Curry, what an absolute legend.

Oakley court in Windsor was the property which featured in this film and Dracula. It is a hotel now. And it is absolutely stunning, still. It was converted into a hotel in 1979 and recently played host to a number of Olympic athletes for the 2012 games.

The Rocky Horror Show House
The Rocky Horror Show House
Psycho

Another fake. But it doesn’t really matter. The film was brilliant, the set was brilliant and Alfred Hitchcock, need I say more.

The House from Psycho
The House from Psycho
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

OK, so technically not a movie. But I wanted to mention this house for one reason! This quote which involves breaking the fourth wall.

Having listened to his cousins gloat about how rich they are, Will delivers this one liner, whilst directing the camera upward.

Yeah we rich. If we so rich why we can’t afford no ceiling?

Fresh Prince House
Fresh Prince House
Harry Potter

Home of the cupboard under the stairs, Privet Drive plays a huge part in the HP franchise. But where was it? Or was it another fake?

Nope! It does exist. In Berkshire. It’s a pretty little property, where the legend of Harry Potter began all those years ago.

Harry Potter House
Harry Potter House
Nightmare on Elm Street

1984 seems a long way away doesn’t it. 33 years since this film was released.

The house that exists today is miles away from what it used to be. Having been bought and renovated in 2008, you’d think it was a joke. It’s absolutely stunning.

The house was built in 1919, but despite the film being set in Ohio, the house is actually in L.A.

Nightmare on Elm Street House
Nightmare on Elm Street House
Notting Hill

Rhys Ifans and Hugh Grant make the perfect duo in this film. I’ll always remember that scene where Ifans is walking around the flat in flippers and a scuba mask full of smoke. Classic.

Westbourne Park road is where the little blue door flat lives. A rundown bedsit in the film, when in reality, it’s a desirable £1.3million property. The door was even auctioned off for charity.

Notting Hill Apartment
Notting Hill Apartment
Shrek

Had to include Shrek’s swamp.

“I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder”

In the middle of nowhere, away from civilisation lives Shrek, all alone. And that was the way he liked it until all the fairy-tale creatures of the land were sent there by the evil Lord Farquad.

And thus, the Shrek quadrilogy was born.

Shrek Swamp
Shrek Swamp
Harry Potter

Yes, another. But the Weasley house had to get a mention somewhere.

The Weasley house was a fabrication from the brilliant mind of J.K Rowling, influenced by the Devon town of Ottery. I’d have a Weasley house in a heartbeat.

But it never did make sense to me how they could be so poor having magical powers.

Weasley Burrow
Weasley Burrow
The Sound of Music

The Von Trapp family home was depicted using 3 locations. The Mozarteum Music Academy for the intimidating gates awaiting Maria as she makes her way to the family. The Schloss Leopoldsteron (which is now a hotel) and of course, a set in Hollywood.

This musical masterpiece, (likely the most popular ever) won the hearts of many, but unfortunately was not loved as much by the country in which it was set. Salzburg, Austria.

House from the Sound of Music
House from the Sound of Music

Gardening activities for kids

Gardening activities for kids: How to encourage your kids to enjoy gardening

Gardening activities for kids. Finding ways to entertain the kids can seem like an arduous task, especially when they’re bored. So, why not encourage them to help out in the garden. You can have a great time, and get your garden sorted.

From my experience, kids, especially the little ones are always wanting to help mum and dad where they can. It’s a shame that doesn’t last through the teen years. Ha!

So make the most of it, get them involved and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Gardening activities for kids - Memories
Memories

Here are a few gardening activities for kids, to help get them out into the fresh air.

#1 Exploration

Let them get messy.

Dress them in some old clothes and an old pair of shoes and let them explore their surroundings. Hands, feet, and noses will all get dirty, but that’s OK because it’s all about discovery. The look on their faces when they find a frog in the pond (supervision at all times around water), or bees on the bushes will be priceless.

Sensory play is an important part of their development. So don’t get too mad if they decide they want to lick their fingers after digging around in the soil. I wouldn’t necessarily encourage it, but it’s all about discovery, it’s all about having a bit of fun.

If you want to be really cool, find a magnifying glass and a couple of old trays and inspect all the bugs and leaves, and stones and anything else that sparks their imagination.

#2 Creativity

Gardening activities for kids - Recycled Bottle Owl
Recycled Bottle Owl

You can make the garden a place of invention and creativity, without the need to go out and spend money.

I’m sure most people have a recycling bin, a cupboard full of old pots and pans that needs a bit of a clear out. Perhaps you have some old pieces of wood and bricks hanging around. These would make fantastic bug hotels.

Gardening activities for kids - Curious Squirrel
Curious Squirrel

If you live in quite a rural area, chances are you’ll have plenty of visitors. Hedgehogs, bugs, squirrels, birds, perhaps even foxes. Give them a place to go. You could even set up a camera at night, to see if they come. Now that would be cool.

#3 Friendly competition

Gardening activities for kids - Basket of Vegetables
Basket of Vegetables

Who can grow the biggest tomato? Kids are competitive, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if they are learning new things in doing so.

Ask them to plant something, and make it a priority that they look after their creation, but make it fun. That’s the important thing. Watering, sunlight, re-potting. A good old science lesson and they will learn a little bit of responsibility.

#4 Shopping

There are loads of mini, kid-friendly gardening products available, pretty much everywhere you go, especially in the summer months, things like gloves, forks, trowels, watering cans, pots, trugs, crates and plant markers.

Gardening activities for kids - The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden

Encourage your little ones to shop with you, allow them to pick the seeds, help carry the pots and let them choose their favourite colour gardening gloves.

They might even learn some maths on their way around. This is also another way of encouraging responsibility.

#5 what will be will be

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.

Don’t expect perfection. Things will get messy, things will most likely get broken and chances are your door handles will have muddy hand prints on them, and your clean floor footprints by the time you’re finished.

These can all be cleaned, so don’t panic. Enjoy the experience. They definitely will.

Gardening activities for kids: The benefits of encouraging your kids into the garden

So, I’ve mentioned a few ways of getting your kids into the garden. But do you know how good it is for them?

Fresh air is great, and sometimes we don’t get enough of it. Gardening is a great way of combating that. There are a number of benefits to getting the kids out there too.

It can be a good way to promote healthy eating. Growing your own fruit and veg without using chemicals teaches the about the importance of organic food and of course, it teaches them about keeping the environment clean and safe for wildlife.

It gives them the head start they need in the world of science too, even in its simplest form.

Family time is important too, and what better way to spend quality time with each other than getting really muddy.

Patience and responsibility can also be found in the garden. Waiting for their veg to grow and giving it exactly what it needs is a way of teaching them that time is a friend.

And for me the most important thing, is helping them learn to love nature.

Gardening activities for kids: Safety in the garden

Gardening activities for kids - Caution Water
Caution Water

Now, I hate to put a downer on things. But as with EVERYTHING there are things to be careful of. Most of it is common sense, in fact ALL of it is common sense.

Always supervise the kids when they are using tools. It’s so easy to slip. The same with water, never leave kids alone around water, accidents do happen unfortunately.

Make sure you dress them for the weather. Sun cream and hats if it’s warm. Coats and scarves if it’s cold.

Keep your gates and fences secure, especially if you live near a road. And lastly, make sure tools and chemicals are kept locked away securely out of the reach of the little ones.

 

 

Beautiful personalised house sign

Beautiful personalised house sign

The great thing about having a beautiful personalised house sign, is that no matter where you put it. The beauty never fades.

We wanted to illustrate that, while also having a bit of fun.

Take a look at what we’ve done, with this collection of images.

#1

We all love a good tree. And what could make a tree look even more beautiful than it already is? A brass house sign perhaps?

I wish I had a tree.

Beautiful personalised house signs - Brandy Brook
Brandy Brook

#2

I love lighthouses. There is just something about them isn’t there? I reckon we could’ve fitted hundreds on this. But sometimes, just 1 slate house sign is best. It’s the simpler things in life.

Lighthouse
Lighthouse

#3

Everyone loves a windmill.

Did you know… People who build or fix windmills are called millwrights? I’d hate to be mill-wrong about this. But having conducted some research, I think I’m definitely millwright.

Mill Lodge
Mill Lodge

#4

This is so cute. A little fairy house, with a mossy garden and a painted aluminium sign.
Imagine waking up one morning and finding out you’d been shrunk. That would be weird. None of your clothes would fit. And how would you get to work? I reckon it would be a good excuse for a day off, don’t you?

Sycamore
Sycamore

#5

They work anywhere. That’s the beauty of it. Whether your house is white, black, pink, purple, blue or green. You can make it your own with almost anything you like. And don’t forget your letter box.

Beautiful personalised house signs - Snowdrop
Snowdrop

#6

I love a weird house. And you don’t get more weird than this! Isn’t it gorgeous though! Just shows that a house sign can be made to fit.

Acrylic is great, because you can do just about anything with it. It’s a great material to work with.

Pink Cottage
Pink Cottage

#7

This is my favourite. If my front door looked like this. I’d feel like I’d just stepped out of a fantasy novel. Wonderful. And the aluminium complements the feel of it too.

Eden court
Eden court

#8

Now I couldn’t write a post like this without a gingerbread house could I?

Do you know the muffin man? He lives on Drury lane.

Oh him? Oh yes, we go way back. He was the bread man back then.

beautiful personalised house sign - Ginger bread house
Ginger bread house

So, what do you think?
Could one of these beautiful house signs complement your home too?

Choosing a house sign

Choosing a house sign.

Choosing a house sign - Decision Making
Decision Making

Choosing a house sign that perfectly matches your home can seem like a difficult task. Should it be brass, slate, acrylic? Should it be round, square or elongated?

Where do you start?

To help make this decision a little bit easier, we’ve put together a few questions to ask yourself before you go ahead and buy.

Firstly, you need to decide where it’s going to go.

This probably seems like a silly question, because of course it’s going outside your front door.

HOWEVER, you really need to nip out and have a good look at where you want it to sit. This will give you a good idea about sizing, and whether it needs to stand out behind a beautifully colourful hanging basket.

Make sure you check your surroundings too, if you can see the sea, there may be some materials that aren’t suitable because salt can cause tarnishing.

If you live on one end of a narrow road or have a super long drive, you might need one to go on a wall on the end. You know, to help the postman find his way.

So location, location, location. It does matter. Have a good think, take all the time you need.

Next.

So you’ve decided where you want it. You now need to go back outside, take a tape measure, a bit of paper and a pen. Measure the space.

Choosing a house sign - Tape Measure
Tape Measure

Go on, go now. I’ll wait here.

Don’t forget to measure width, and height.

Our house signs all have dimensions in the descriptions. Both in centimetres and inches, so don’t worry about which one to use.

Once you’ve measured you’ll have an even better idea of what you need and what will actually fit.

The next thing.

What do you want your house sign to say? Not literally, but metaphorically. How would you describe yourself?

The words that come into my head to describe me (and indeed everyone elses head too) are loud, weird and quirky, so naturally a huge, round, multicoloured acrylic house sign would suit me down to the ground (I like to make a statement).

If you want your house sign to shout tradition and class, a brass or aluminium house sign might suit you best. If you want charm and sophistication, a smooth slate house sign.

It’s not all black and white though, you know what you like. You are the artist.

What type of house do you live in?   

Here’s a table full of different types of houses and what has been bought for them in the past. Have a look and see what you think.

Style of home Style of sign (click for more info)
Farm house Brass bridge
Country manor Brass oval or rectangle
Suburban bungalow Ceramic with motif
Country cottage Rustic slate
Georgian house Portland Stone
Detached estate home Ceramic or polished slate
Terrace cottage Polished slate or brass number
Modern apartment Coloured acrylic
Victorian semi Aluminium or polished slate
Timber framed Wooden or slate
Super modern Acrylic or stainless steel or copper
Park homes Ceramic
Holiday home Ceramic or slate
Colonial Slate or aluminium
Barn conversion Brass
Coach house Painted aluminium bridge
Medieval Hall or castle Stone
Lighthouse Ceramic
Mews Slate or ceramic
Log cabin Wooden
Collection of House Signs
Collection of House Signs

Lastly.

What is your gut saying?

Always go with your gut, if you like something at first glance, chances are that one is the one for you. Take into account all of the above, and you’ll definitely have what you need.

If you’re still not sure, have a good browse, and perhaps take a look at our previous blog post about the science of colour, which looks at why we like what we like.

If you’re torn between a couple, get a household survey going, ask the kids which one they like, make it a family decision. You could even ask them to draw something and then match it to one from our range. You’ll get the gist of the shape and a design from that. And it will be a lot more personal too.

 

So, which one will you choose?

Decisions
Decisions

Home decorating ideas on a budget

Home decorating ideas on a budget
8 ways to add wow factor to a room.

We’re always trying to come up with ideas to liven up our homes, I know I am. But are there any home decorating ideas that we can use that keep to a small budget? I’ve put together a list of things that I think work well, and create a decent living space.

Enjoy.

#1 Fabulous feature wall

Home decorating ideas on a budget - Fabulous feature wall
Fabulous feature wall

First things first. You need to decide which wall is going to be your feature wall. Choose the one that your eye is automatically drawn to when you enter the room, the focal point. It could be the one that has the mantelpiece on it, the one with the TV, or the one that provides a backdrop to your comfy sofa. Whatever the way. Make sure it’s right.

Feature walls tend to work best in rooms with not much going on. So avoid using them in rooms that are overcrowded with stuff, you don’t want to overdo it.

So, what do you do with it?

You can’t go wrong with paint (well….). It’s cheap, it’s easy and can be very effective providing you’ve picked the right colour. I took on a feature wall project, and went bright green. This was a mistake. Do not do this.

In hindsight, if I had thought about it a little bit more and dressed the room properly, it would have looked OK. But it doesn’t, and I can’t be bothered re painting. I’ve covered it in photo’s to try and hide it a bit.

So, be as bold as you like (I did) but make sure you have the right furniture to decorate around it with, make sure that whatever colour you choose works. There is no point in being bold for the hell of it. You can do a lot more with less.

How about some wallpaper? How about some textured wallpaper? Personally, I don’t do wall paper. It’s a right faff and once it’s on, it’s on. And it’s a pain in the rear to remove.

I’m aware there are easy fit ranges around nowadays, but yeah.

I’ve seen some amazing wallpaper, a friend of mine purchased some that felt like velvet with floral patterns. That was nice. When I lived with my parents, my room had this awesome pink and silver wallpaper that looked funky! We used textured paint on 3 of the walls, and painted the radiators metallic purple. BOLD is an understatement.

Do what feels right, if wallpaper is your cup of tea, then go for it. If you’re like me and change your mind fairly often, go with paint.

#2 Fancy frames and fool proof fun

Home decorating ideas on a budget - Mismatched Frames by Merelize
Mismatched Frames

Go into any shop with a home décor aisle and they are FILLED with absolutely loads of quirky frames, and unique pieces that are made to make your rooms stand out. LED arrows, vintage posters, traditional frames and all sorts. You can get them for next to nothing and they will definitely make a difference to the overall feel of your room.

I love the idea of taking loads of random mismatched frame styles, and clustering them together on a boldly coloured wall. If you’re into shabby chic styles, you could even re-paint the frames to suit whatever colour you have on your walls.

You can do a lot with very little when it comes to frames. For example, just putting your family photos in plain white or black has a great effect on a room. Especially if you have a brightly coloured feature wall that needs filling.

So frames. It’s a yes from me. Be adventurous, and forget symmetry.

#3 Cushions, clocks and quirky chaos

Round Slate Funky Clock
Round Slate Funky Clock

Probably could have just called this section ‘Accessories’. But I like a good line of alliteration.

So, you’ve sorted your feature wall, and added all your photo frames and what not. Where to next?

How about some decorative cushions? If you’re unsure about colour etc., take a look at our previous post about the science of colour. There’s a section in there about what colours to use and where. Very handy.

The options are endless when it comes to cushions. Go for plain coloured to match the colour of your walls, or opt for some stylish patterns to make a statement. Why not mix and match and have a variety? Or how about a couple of personalised ones to add to the family feel?

Time flies when you’re having fun. Clocks are a great way to fill up empty space. At HNP we have some beautiful slate clocks that would go fabulously in any room with a blue/grey colour scheme. Make them work for you. You know what you like, so you decide.

#4 Luxurious lighting

Lighting
Lighting

The options for lighting are endless, but I suppose it depends on the room you’re doing up, and what you’re trying to convey. Are you going modern or vintage? Colour or monochrome? Or are you like me and just want to be able to see what the flippin’ ‘eck you’re doing without stubbing you’re little toe? If you answered yes to all those questions. I’ve got the solutions.

If you want to add just a simple touch of ‘something´ to your room a basic lampshade will do the trick. There are so many places that sell them fairly cheaply and they can do wonders. I recently bought some coloured ones from a well-known retailer, on sale at £3.49 each, they’re brilliant. They match my colour scheme perfectly, literally couldn’t get any closer to the colour.

If you’re a bit fancier, lots of retailers sell ‘faux’ chandelier, or ‘chandelier effect’ lamp shades. They look great, but it’s worth shopping around to find the best quality for the best price.

The other thing that is quite popular at the moment is vintage camera style lamps. They stand on 3 legs and have really lovely vintage effect light bulbs (you can change these). They look fantastic, and you can get them relatively cheaply from a number of high street stores.

#5 Mirror, mirror on the wall maximise the light in my hall

Mirror Reflection
Mirror Reflection

Mirrors are great at reflecting things (shock horror) so use them to your advantage not only to make your room brighter, but they are also useful for making your rooms look bigger.

There are some absolutely beautiful mirrors out there, whether you prefer plain or elaborate designs. Shop around, see what’s out there, and use them to your advantage.

#6 Clever clip-board art

Rose clipboard
Rose clipboard

I saw this idea on theordinarylovely.com and absolutely loved it. Using clipboards, as a decoration. Rachel (Author of theordinarylovely.com) suggests it for a kid’s bedroom. But why not use it somewhere else too? Find some of your favourite comics, patterned wallpaper, paint even, and make it work. Hang 2 or 3 vertically and line up 2 or 3 of these alongside each other for great feature wall decorations.

Or as my colleague said ‘why not just hang the poster up?’ *Pfft* Well, that would be too easy wouldn’t it? We’re all about quirkiness and adventure ‘ere.

#7 Repaint, recycle, rejuvenate

Vintage Furniture
Vintage Furniture

A lot of us have pieces of furniture which have sentimental value, but unfortunately look awful because of their age, or because of how they’ve been used over the years.

But still, you want to keep it, because well, its part of the family isn’t it?

I’ve a solution, well it’s not mine, but everybody is doing it.

Shabby Chic. Sand down the wood and get the paint out! Give it that lease of life it so desperately needs. Or go one further, paint every drawer a different colour, and the shell a different colour again. Ooooooh Yes! Go wild with the paint brush.

Or, just be sensible and ignore every word I just said.

Seriously though, get your creative hat on. I would recommend planning before doing anything too drastic. Do a bit of research too, see what everyone else is doing.

#8 I didn’t choose the rug life, the rug life chose me

Cat on a rug
Cat on a rug

I love rugs! I have an absolutely huge rug in my living room which is still too small. You can make a huge statement, especially if you pick one that completely contrasts everything in that room.

If you shop around, you’ll find a bargain, guaranteed. There are places out there, including charity shops that will have some second hand ones in really decent condition.

 

The science and psychology of colours

Choosing colours for your home  – The science and psychology of colours

Introduction

Here at HNP, each of us has our favourite type of house sign, so it would be natural to feel a little bit fussy when choosing colours for your home. Our customer service team as a collective prefer the pastel coloured aluminium house signs. Our marketing team prefer the brightly coloured acrylics, and management tend towards the glossy, black, brass house signs.

We are intrigued as to why colour preference differs from person to person so as a result, we want to conduct some research.

The science of colour dates back to around 460bc and possibly before. This article will examine where it started and how one philosophers’ theory paved a way for research which is still undertaken today.

We will look at Hippocrates, Carl Jung and Sir Isaac Newton and their contributions to the science of colour.

For a broader understanding of colour, we will look at colour systems and where they are used. What colour combinations work best referring to the colour wheel, and different colour codes used in today’s technology. Also of course, how colour applies to us here at The House Nameplate Company.

The psychology of colour.

Choosing colours for your home  Psychology Jack Moreh
Psychology

We often associate colour with feelings. For example, if I say ‘red’ you might think of love, danger, passion or blood. If I say ‘yellow’ you might think of sunshine, flowers, happiness or energy.

But why is this?

What is it that sparks these associations inside our minds?

Ancient Greece – The theory of temperament

To understand this concept, first of all we must travel back to 460 BC and shake hands with the father of Western medicine, Hippocrates.
Hippocrates developed the theory of temperament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The behaviour of humans according to Hippocrates was determined by the volume of each of four fluids that exist within the human body.

  • Yellow bile – Choleric (bad tempered and irritable)
  • Black bile – Melancholic (sad and depressed)
  • Red blood – Sanguine (optimistic and positive)
  • Green Phlegm – Phlegmatic (calm and unemotional)

Each of these represented a number of personality traits as highlighted above.

Hippocrates believed that a perfect balance of all four fluids meant a person was healthy. The predominance of one of these fluids meant a person was diseased. He believed that determined the temperament of a person. I.e. The predominance of yellow bile meant a person was likely bad tempered and irritable (choleric). Subsequently Hippocrates theory was deemed incorrect but it paved a way for new research.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung, a 20th century psychologist built on Hippocrates theory of temperament and further developed the idea using four colours. Each colour, like Hippocrates fluids, has a set of characteristics.

  • Cool blue – analytical, objective, detached, unbiased
  • Earth green – calm, tranquil, soothing, still
  • Sunshine yellow – cheerful, spirited, uplifting, enthusiastic
  • Fiery red – bold, assertive, decisive, positive
Jungs colour personalities
Jungs colour personalities

You may read those and think.

Well actually, I am a mix of two, three or all of those.

Carl Jung understood this and believed that everyone displays all of these at some point. Generally one of the four would be more dominant than the rest depending on the situation.

So he further developed this theory and added two attitudes.

Introvert versus Extravert

Jung wrote about attitude types first, in his text Psychological types (1921).

According to Jung, an attitude is a person’s tendency to act in a certain way.

He defines two attitude types:

  • Introversion – shy, withdrawn, quiet, unsociable
  • Extraversion – outgoing, sociable, lively, unreserved

Two very different forces that oppose and complement each other respectively.

Quite often they are represented by the yin and yang symbol. Each half sits comfortably in the other, but their colours (black and white) are direct opposites.

Jung writes that people with these attitude types often react differently to situations based on their most developed function, which leads on to the four functions.

  • Thinking
  • Feeling
  • Sensation
  • Intuition

Each of these four functions are very different. The thinker will use intellect and rationality to make their way through life.

The feeler, would use their heart rather than their head to evaluate. On the basis of whether it feels right or wrong, pleasant or unpleasant.

A person with a developed sensation function would make decisions based on the senses (touch, taste, sight, sound, smell)

A person with a developed intuition function would act on their gut, subconsciously telling them what is required of them.

The science of colour

Science
Science

To understand the science behind colour, we must first ask the question ‘What is colour?’

Newton’s Rainbow

In the early 1600’s Sir Isaac Newton conducted a number of experiments which used sunlight and prisms. The results of these experiments proved that clear white light was made up of seven colours.

Newton’s discovery created a path for others to follow in an attempt to find out the answer to the question ‘what is colour?’

The seven colours:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet
Spectrum
Spectrum

These colours exist on what we call the colour spectrum which consists of colours visible to the human eye.

There are however, colours beyond the spectrum which are invisible to the human eye. You may have heard of infrared and ultra violet.

Infrared

Infrared is a measure of, or can be a measure of heat from an object. We can’t see infrared, but can use a special camera which detects heat, and converts that heat into an electronic signal. That signal is transferred and processed into a thermal image. This allows us to make temperature calculations, like you may have seen during a weather forecast.

Police helicopters also use infrared cameras to detect heat when eyes on the ground can no longer see the subject they are pursuing.

Ultraviolet

We can only see the effects of ultraviolet light (UV). Things that contain phosphorus are stimulated by UV.

UV light produces invisible photons, and when these photons hit the phosphorous particles they give off visible light.

Ultraviolet light is a conversion. Invisible light hits objects containing phosphorous and they become fluorescent when hit by UV and as a result, we see the light that is reflected from an object.

Additive versus Subtractive

When you take pigments of the three primary colours (red, green and blue) and mix them together, you get a black coloured solution. This is because pigments mix in a colour subtractive way. Because of absorption (light has been absorbed rather than reflected) colour is subtracted out of the overall effect.

An artist physically mixing paint in a studio is an example of subtractive colour, as is printing (we’ll come to this later). Whereas additive colour occurs in electronic devices.

If I were to project red, green and blue light on to a surface, it would appear white. By changing the intensity of these three colours we could create any colour in existence. Potentially.

Red, green and blue are called additive primaries. These three colours are the only colours the human eye can see. Everything else is an illusion.

If we were to add together two pure additive primaries, for example, red and blue, we would get a subtractive primary of magenta.

Equally if we were to add together two subtractive primaries, we would get one additive primary colour.

Digital devices

Choosing colours for your home  - Digital image by Jack Moreh
Digital

Televisions, phones, tablets and computers all use the additive colour system. Starting with darkness, adding red, green and blue light to create the whole spectrum.

Electronic devices replicate the eyes’ response to additive primaries to create an illusion of colour.

For example, a computer blends intensities of red, green and blue light in every pixel. Pixels are so small that the eye thinks it’s seeing all these different colours.

Printing

Printing
Printing

Printers work using the subtractive colour system. Printers work with reflected light because they transfer colour on to a surface. For this to happen they use the opposing subtractive primaries. Cyan, magenta and yellow.

  • Cyan directly opposes red
  • Magenta directly opposes green
  • Yellow directly opposes blue

When the subtractive primary colours are put on white paper (a reflective surface) each colour either completely absorbs or subtracts it’s opposite from the white light. This controls the amount of red, green and blue light that is reflected from the white.

Subtractive colour printing uses one extra colour; ‘K’ or black. Black is added to create four colour printing (CMYK).

Cyan + magenta + yellow = brown

Cyan + magenta + yellow + black = black

Black is neutralising and adds density to shadows. There is a problem with the transition from monitor to printer though. A monitor will show us true colour (16million of them) but a printer isn’t capable of producing such a high volume of colours, so as a result the colour quality differs between paper and screen.

Therefore, additive colour systems use light, and exist in the digital world. They take a black surface and gradually add white.

Subtractive colour systems involve pigments, and exist when you are physically mixing colours, starting with white and gradually adding black.

Colour Systems

RGB

The RGB colour system is a system that represents the colours from a computer screen. Red, green and blue can be mixed to create any colour in the spectrum by altering the intensities. The intensities of red, green and blue range from 0 to 100%.

Each colour has 256 levels and each level is defined by the decimal numbers between 0 – 255. Multiplying 256 by 3 gives you the number of available colours which is 16,777,216.

RGB CMYK
RGB CMYK

CMYK

  • C = cyan
  • M = magenta
  • Y = yellow
  • K = black

The CMYK system works by combining primary pigments and is used for printed colour displays. Colour and pigments are different in that colour is energy radiated by a luminous object. Pigment represents energy which is not absorbed.

When you see cyan on paper, it appears this colour because it absorbs most of the energy except in that colour section of the spectrum. It appears cyan because that light is reflected.

Hexadecimal colour codes

Hexadecimal codes represent red, green and blue. A computer screen creates colour by combining red, green and blue light. 100% of each makes white and 0% of each creates black.

A hexadecimal code is represented using 6 digits, which make up 3, 2-digit codes. Each 2-digit code represents a shade of red, green or blue.

#000100 = Zero red, creating the darkest possible shade of green

#010101 = Zero blue, all are equal creating the darkest possible grey

#000000 = black

#FFFFFF = white. Why?

Hexadecimal codes make it possible to represent 256 colours using only 2 digits. Instead of counting 1 through 10 the hexadecimal system counts 1 through 9 and then A through F then 10.

11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 , 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 20

21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 30 and so on.

This system makes FF the highest possible ‘number’. Which is why white is represented by #FFFFFF.

#FF0000 = Pure red

#00FF00 = Pure green

#0000FF = Pure blue

Hexadecimal
Hexadecimal

The Pantone matching system

The pantone colour system allows you to use colours that can’t be achieved by using CMYK, and is understood by most printers. Pantone colours are determined by a number and a suffix (letter).

Number = Colour

Letter = Type of surface

The system is a standardised colour system which allows collaborating companies to match colour without the need to have direct contact with one another. Pantone offer books that show you what colours will look like printed on different surfaces, which also makes it easier for collaborating companies to colour match.

Choosing colours for your home  - Pantone
Pantone

Colour combinations

For an artist, an illustrator, a graphic designer or anyone using colour to create effect, it’s important to know what colour combinations work well together and which ones won’t.

There are 6 main colour combinations.

  • Monochromatic – Monochromatic colouring uses only one colour and is best used for single subjects. The effect it usually creates is atmospheric and striking.
    Monochromatic wheel
    Monochromatic wheel
  • Analogous – The colours are usually adjacent on the colour wheel. Displays using this effect are usually easy on the eyes, are peaceful and comfortable and are usually seen in nature.
    Analogous wheel
    Analogous wheel
  • Triadic – The colours used for this effect are usually distanced equally from each other on the colour wheel. They are usually used for cartoons and un-real scenes, and can be bright and punchy to look at.
    Triadic wheel
    Triadic wheel
  • Complementary – These colours oppose each other on the colour wheel. This combination is very popular. It is usually visually pleasing and involves using the weaker colour more than the stronger colour.
    The science and psychology of colours - Complementary wheel
    Complementary wheel
  • Split complementary – This combination is similar to the complementary colour effect, except it takes one of the opposing colours and moves over one step on the colour wheel, ‘splitting’ the opposing colour.
    The science and psychology of colours  - Split complementary wheel
    Split complementary wheel
  • Tetratic – Sometimes called double complementary. This combination takes the complementary effect using 2 colours and splits to create 4. When lined up, you could draw a rectangle on the colour wheel, connecting each colour.
    Choosing colours for your home   - Tetratic wheel
    Tetratic wheel

This is a basic understanding of colour combinations, but as an artist you will be inclined to experiment with colour and create masterpieces based on your perception of what looks good.

Summary

Going back to the original point of why different people prefer different colours and styles, the psychology behind colour has proven to be the most helpful in trying to find that out. It would seem that people are drawn to colours that match their personalities with regards to association. I.e. purple is my favourite colour, which is associated with independence, calm, creativity and ambition.

Without going into too much depth, those traits associated with purple do in fact correspond to some aspects of my life. If you were to look into your favourite colour, and the traits associated with that colour, you may find that your personality matches too.

Psychology

It would seem that there was some truth in what Hippocrates was trying to convey through his theory of temperament. Despite the fact that the theory was disproved, as a result of his research, he did help towards further development for psychologists such as Jung.

Jung’s theory of temperament relies on finding out whether a person is an introvert or an extravert and which of the four functions is most developed within a person.

Jung was able to take the basis of the theory and adapt it by helping us realise that people don’t fall into one colour category, but the traits that exist in one of the colour categories will stand out in each person.

Science

Newton discovered the colour spectrum and led the way to research which questioned colour and how it worked. We found out that colours either side of red and violet on the spectrum are invisible to the human eye but can be detected using special technology.

The additive colour system goes hand in hand with the RGB colour system which exists in digital technology, mixing light at different intensities to create the whole spectrum of colour (over 16 million different colours).

The subtractive colour system is used in printing on reflective surfaces, and uses the theory about energy absorption, reflection and CMYK. CMYK is a combination of primary pigments which create colours based on absorption and reflection.

Systems

Hexadecimal codes are fairly simple to use once you understand that each code represents a different shade of red, green or blue.

Pantone colour matching system makes it easy for businesses collaborating to achieve the same colours across the board.

And what colour combination you use for a display is based on what you are trying to achieve through that display.

Colour at HNP

Finally, at the House Nameplate company we offer personalisation on all of our house signs and numbers. You can become the designer and create exactly what you want using our personalisation tool.

Take the acrylic house signs for example. We offer a wide range of colours for background and text and you can choose what looks best. Personally I like the complementary effect, i.e. Yellow and purple or orange and blue because they stand out and make a statement.

You might prefer monochromatic colouring, whereby you have a clear background with just your house name or number. You could go even further and make every letter or number a different colour and adopt Newton’s rainbow effect. The options are there to be creative, all you have to do is click personalise.

 

 

References

X-rite (2017) Additive versus subtractive models: Available from http://blog.xrite.com/additive-subtractive-color-models/ . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Ford. J (2013) Colour systems. Available from: http://worqx.com/color/color_systems.htm . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Art Therapy, (2017) Colour psychology: the emotional effect of colours: Available from: http://www.arttherapyblog.com/online/color-psychology-psychologica-effects-of-colors/#.WbJWUbKGPZ4 . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/habits-not-hacks/201408/color-psychology-how-colors-influence-the-mind . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Grumman Bender. R (2013) How colour affects our mood. Available from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/how-color-affects-our-moo_n_1114790.html . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Treehouse, (2009) How colour communicates meaning. Available from: http://blog.teamtreehouse.com/how-colour-communicates-meaning . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Art Therapy, (2017) Colour meanings and symbolisms. Available from: http://www.arttherapyblog.com/online/color-meanings-symbolism/#.WbKU_bKGPZ4 . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Psychologia (2017) Four Temperaments: Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric, and Melancholic Personality Types.  Available from: http://psychologia.co/four-temperaments/ . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Psychologia (2017) Jungs personality types: The model of Typology: Available from: http://psychologia.co/jung-personality-types/ . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Luna, A (2012) The four humors: The ancient origins of personality testing: Available from: https://lonerwolf.com/the-four-humors/ . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Roy. G (2017) Jung’s theory of introvert and extravert personalities. Available from: https://fractalenlightenment.com/31622/life/jungs-theory-of-introvert-and-extrovert-personalities . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Kazlev. A (2004) The four Ego Functions: Available from: http://www.kheper.net/topics/Jung/typology.html . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Oxford university press (2017) colour: Available from: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/colour . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Diamond. S (2012) Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: Jung’s Typology, Eudaemonology, and the Elusive Art of Happiness: Available from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/201205/essential-secrets-psychotherapy-jungs-typology-eudaemonology-and-the-elusive . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Smithsonian libraries, (2017) Newtons rainbow. Available from: http://library.si.edu/exhibition/color-in-a-new-light/science . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Flir (2017) How does an IR camera work? Available from: http://www.flir.com/corporate/display/?id=41523 . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Purch (2017) What is infrared? Available from: https://www.livescience.com/50260-infrared-radiation.html . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Lee, D (2012) How UV light works. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps80qZbbdbM . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

TechTarget (2017) RGB (Red, green and blue). Available from: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/RGB-red-green-and-blue . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Morton. L (2017) Colour systems – RGB & CMYK. Available from: https://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/color-systems-rgb-and-cmyk . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

TechTarget, (2017) CMYK, (cyan, magenta, yellow, key). Available from: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/CMYK-cyan-magenta-yellow-key . [Electronically accessed 13 September, 2017.]

Learn Welsh with the House Nameplate Company

Learn Welsh with the House Nameplate Company Helpful Welsh Phrases
Helpful Welsh Phrases

Learn Welsh with the House Nameplate Company

When you’re out and about in Wales, especially in the far North, you may find that you need to use a few key Welsh words and phrases to help you out a bit. You don’t want to be walking around with a dictionary in your pocket either, so learning a few helpful phrases will be beneficial to you before you head out into the wild wild Welsh.

Even if you’ve decided you just want to learn Welsh, perhaps because you’ve moved over here to live and think it might be useful, our handy guide will be perfect for you.

For your convenience, we’ve added the Welsh word and its proper spelling (yes I know), the English translation and of course the phonetic pronunciation to help get your head around it.

Some are more simple than others, give it a go it’s not as bad as it looks.

The phrases

Hello – Helo – Hello

Goodbye – Hwyl fawr – who ill fower

Good morning – Bore da – Boh reh dah

Good evening – Noswaith da – Noss why th dah

How are you? – S’mae? – S’my

Great thank you – Iawn diolch – Yown dee olck

What’s your name? – beth ydy dy enw di? – beth uh dee duh enoo dee

Please – Os gwelwch yn dda – oss goo el wck un th ah

Thank you – Diolch – dee olck

You’re welcome – Croeso – Croy so

Excuse me – Esgusodwch fi – Es gis odd ooch fee

I’m sorry – Mae’n ddrwg gen i – Mine ddroog gen ee

I don’t understand – Dwi ddim yn deall – Do ee thim un day athl

I can’t speak Welsh – Alla i ddim siarad Cymraeg – Athla ee thim see are add Cymraeg

Do you Speak English? – Ydych chi’n siarad Cymraeg? – Udd ick keen see are add Say sneg?

Where is the toilet? – Ble mae’r toiled? – Bleh myre toilet 

These are just a few simple phrases that will be useful when you’re out and about in Wales. There will be more, keep an eye out for our future posts full of Welsh phrases that will be helpful to you.

Funky acrylic house numbers and signs

Funky acrylic house numbers and signs

Apparently they’re called complementary colours not clashing. So I’ve been wrong since, forever. I had always thought that colours opposite each other on the colour wheel were clashing. Turns out they look awesome with each other. Like they do in these funky acrylic house numbers and signs that are unique and contemporary, perfect for those of you who want to make an impact on your home.

Orange and Grey

The orange and grey works brilliantly, the cooling effect of the grey decreases the intensity of the orange giving the perfect balance.

Acrylic orange and grey
Acrylic orange and grey

Cream and Maroon

Makes me think of rhubarb and custard sweets. These two colours are brill together! And I especially love the number inside the circle.

Acrylic Cream and Maroon
Acrylic Cream and Maroon

Two-tone blue

Blue is a great colour, it’s on the cooling side of the colour wheel. This would look great on a home near the seaside where relaxation is the end goal.

Acrylic two-tone blue
Acrylic two-tone blue

Red and Green

Now, I would never put red and green together, except maybe at Christmas. But this REALLY works. It’s quirky, it’s bright, and it’s visually appealing. Why wouldn’t you want this house number for your home?

Acrylic Red and Green
Acrylic Red and Green

Personalised Acrylic House Signs

Our acrylic house signs can all be personalised to your hearts content. So If you want to unleash the designer inside of you. You can do just that. See below for a brief example of what you can do, I’ve used clashing colours – I mean complimentary colours for these because I just love them! You can do almost anything and If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the website, just give us a shout and we will do our best to help you create your perfect house sign.

Funky Street
Funky Street

A little bit of science…

Colour, is a wonderful thing. And the science behind colour is pretty interesting.

I’m not going into the deepest darkest depths of space and time on this,(that will come in a later post).  But it is really interesting to know a bit about these things isn’t it?

I mentioned before about complementary colours, and after a bit of research I found out a little bit more.

Colours opposite each other, we already know are called complementary. They get this name because when they are shined together on the same spot they look white.

The colour appears white but unlike sunlight it does not contain all the colours of the spectrum, only the two colours shined together in the same spot i.e Blue and Yellow or red and green.

So there’s a bit about complementary colours. Look out for the follow up post about ‘The science of colour.’

Sand blasting and powder coating in Wrexham

Sand blasting and powder coating in Wrexham

Here at HNP we predominantly design and create beautiful house signs. But on occasion we get requests that we just can’t refuse.

Take a look at our latest bespoke project, brought into us by a lovely gentleman who goes by the name of ‘Big Al.’

He brought us this beautifully cut, heavy, steel dragon that he tells us he found in his garage.

Sand blasting and powder coating in Wrexham Original Dragon
Original Dragon

We were delighted to be asked to sand blast, powder coat and paint such a beautiful piece, because we were taken aback by the detail.

We could see that someone had gone to great lengths to create an absolute gem of a piece.

The team couldn’t wait to get started.

Sand Blasting

First of all, Darren got the dragon into the fire breathing sand blaster (It doesn’t really blast fire, I just wanted to get fire breathing in here somewhere).

The sand blaster was used to clean down the dragon to bare metal, this makes it easier to work with when it comes to powder coating.

Sand blasting and powder coating in Wrexham - Sand Blasted Dragon
Sand Blasted Dragon

How the Sand blaster works

Sand blasting works by firing very fine sand particles through an air powered pressure gun at a surface (usually metal) that needs cleaning down to bare material. It is also used to engrave.

At HNP we have 2 sand blasters.

Neil and Mustafa (2 of our skilled craftsmen) were calling one of them the ‘red’  sand blaster. I was laughed at when I asked why it was called the ‘red’ sand blaster. To which they replied “because that’s what colour it is”

Forgive me lads, for thinking that maybe, just maybe, there might have been some fancy, magic red sand or something.

*pfft*

The red sand blaster is used for extremely delicate material such as glass, it is much finer and I’m told is more like a powder. This makes it more difficult to break the glass with the pressure of the sand blaster.

We also have a blue sand blaster. Because that’s what colour it is. The sand is thicker and can cut through stronger materials i.e granite and slate for a beautiful engraved effect.

Powder Coating

Simon with his ‘metal’ skills (I tried to make a joke, I failed miserably) was awesome with the powder coating.

Powder coated Dragon Sand blasting and powder coating in Wrexham
Powder coated Dragon

How powder coating works

The powder coating process is brilliant and very science-y. It’s put through a process called Electrostatic Spray Deposition (ESD).

First the product is heated to 200 degrees C in a huge oven.

Once this is done it gets taken out and hung on a metal bar that has an earth cable running through it.

When he’s ready, Simon arms himself with the powder coating gun, like a powder coating jedi, which is used to spray the product with the powder coating solution.

The powder coater finishes the circuit and the product acts as a magnet, the solution is drawn to the surface and sticks, forming a smooth black surface.

The product gets a couple of even coats, back and front to ensure maximum coverage.

Once all this is done, the product is put back in the oven and baked at 220 degrees C for around 10 minutes. Once it has cooled it is ready for the next step.

Painting

For all of our metal products here at HNP, we use enamel paint to get a solid, glossy finish.

So, finally the paint is sprayed on to give it a perfectly smooth, even finish with a stunning shine.

The paint takes a week to dry because it is so thick and hard wearing, it’s placed on a frame of shelves where it can dry naturally and cannot get damaged.

A stunning Welsh Dragon

When we presented this gorgeous dragon to its owner. He responded with one word.

“Wow”

Sand blasting and powder coating in Wrexham - Red Dragon Painted
Red Dragon Painted

And that is a response we love! Because we know that we’ve done a good job as a result.

I can see why. Just look at it! I personally was made up with this, I think it is absolutely wonderful.

He then proceeded to say…

“Can I stroke it?”

Of course, it’s yours sir.

But you can see what I’m getting at. He loved it, he was impressed, he was bewildered by that stunning red, glossy finish, as were we.

What else can we do?

So, as you have seen here, we are able to sand blast and powder coat a Welsh Dragon in the space of a week.

What else can we do?

Having had a chat with Simon, Neil and Mustafa they came to the conclusion that the biggest item we could sand blast would probably be a bike frame.

So if you need sand blasting and powder coating in Wrexham, give us a call or send us a message and tell us what you need, if we can help, we will.

5 of the most famous steam engines in the UK

5 of the most famous steam engines in the UK

I hate to admit it, but I fancy myself a bit of a locomotive enthusiast. Not by choice though, well I suppose it was a choice. Kind of a forced choice to be fair.

I tried for years to get my other half dis-interested in trains but to no avail. We have a bit of a saying, we train wives.

‘You can take the boy out of the train, but you can’t take trains out of the boy’

It truly is a sad story, of endless railway visits and ‘I’ve fired that’ (put coal on it) and blocking the aisle in Smiths because someone is trying to find photos of himself.

I mean, once upon a time a train was a train, now I know their numbers, where they were built, the number of the shed where they’re kept, what stock they pulled ‘back in the day’.

It’s madness.

We have another saying which is pretty apt for this situation.

‘If you can’t beat them, join them.’

Wahey, so here I am. Writing to you, about trains. *Sigh*

I sound really negative, but it’s actually really exciting. Getting to ride on the footplate (the bit where the whistle is) whenever I want. Managing to pull the whistle, and I have even ridden with Jools Holland up to the shed in Llangollen. My hero.

And then there’s the nitty gritty crap, like cleaning the things. If you’ve seen the size of these majestic beasts you’ll understand why I tend to disappear when it happens. Although, a couple of years ago I had a great time with the hose pipe. Safe to say we were all drenched, had a great time.

I’d much prefer to ride the footplate though.

Trains at the House Nameplate Company?

Where do steam trains come into the House Nameplate Company then? I hear you ask.

Well, every locomotive has at least 1 brass number plate, and most of them have 3.

2 numbers and a name.

Just so happens, we makes those here.

This blog post though, is to give you a bit of an education about the UK’s most famous locomotives. You will have heard of at least 2 of these. If you haven’t then you’ve probably got a half decent social life.

*Guffaw*

It really is exciting. How many of you can say you’ve pulled the whistle of a 100 tonne steam locomotive?

Because I can!

Right, lets get to it.

#1 Flying Scotsman

Probably the most famous British Steam Locomotive in the UK at the moment. It’s recently had a huge overhaul, and has been running on the main-line, so people were really excited about it.

The Flying Scotsman is one of 5 of the most famous steam engines in the UK. Image by Joseph Wellsteed
The Flying Scotsman By Joseph Wellsteed

Fact File.

  • Built in Doncaster for the LNER (London and North Eastern Railway) 1923
  • Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley
  • Top speed of 100mph
  • Weighs 97 tonnes
  • Carries 9 tonnes of coal in the tender
  • Carries 5000 gallons of water

Cool right? Big numbers for a big loco.

#2 Mallard

Mallard broke the land speed record of 126mph in 1938. A very beautiful steam engine painted in Blue, part of the A4 class where 6 are currently in restored condition. I had the privilege of seeing the 6 A4 class locomotives during their reunion at Shildon. It was a magnificent sight to see, and it was absolutely jam packed with people.

Mallard at Shildon Image by Iain Ross
Mallard at Shildon

Fact File.

  • Set the speed record for a steam locomotive of 126mph in 1938
  • Built in Doncaster for LNER 1938
  • Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley
  • Weighs 165 tonnes
  • Carried 9 tonnes of coal
  • Carries 5000 gallons of water

#3 The Stephenson Rocket

A very early Steam Locomotive which brought together a number of revolutionary innovations to be the most advanced steam locomotive of its day. Probably the most famous example of a developing design of steam locomotive by Stephenson.

The Stephenson Rocket Image by Iain Ross
The Stephenson Rocket

Fact File

  • Top speed of 28mph
  • Designed by George Stephenson
  • Built in 1829 in Newcastle upon Tyne for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway
  • Weighs 4 tonnes

 #4 Thomas the Tank engine

He had to be in here, I couldn’t possibly write a post about trains and NOT include Thomas the Tank engine could I? The little Blue B….. as he is known by enthusiasts far and wide. But he brings in a lot of tourism to a lot of railways, but some would say that the popularity is dwindling.

Thomas the Tank by Jeff Albiston
Thomas the Tank by Jeff Albiston

Fact File

  • A fictional Steam Locomotive from the Railway Series by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry
  • Origins of the E2 class designed by Lawson Billington
  • Narrated by Ringo Star
  • Blue engine with No 1 on the side
  • Scary face that gives me nightmares

#5 Last but definitely not least Hogwarts Express.

What would I be if I didn’t include this absolute gem? Hogwarts Express as most people know it, but we train buffs know it as ‘Olton Hall’. I got to stand on the footplate of this beautiful piece of machinery at the National Railway Museum in York. And as a HUGE H.P fan, I got a massive buzz from it.

Hogwarts Express
Hogwarts Express

Fact File

  • Hogwarts Express; Also knows as ‘Olton Hall’
  • Designed by Charles Collett
  • Built in Swindon in 1937
  • Weighs 75 tonnes
  • Carries 4000 gallons of water

So there you have it, some absolutely pointless trivia about the most famous steam trains in the UK. You never know when it might come up in a pub quiz.

So if you are decorating a bedroom for a child that likes trains, get yourself onto our website and purchase a stunning brass nameplate. ‘Hogwarts Express’ I can see it now!

Or if you are a Steam Engine enthusiast who wants a replica name plate, give us a call, we can do that too.