In the same week which the odious Daily Express began their 'Save our pub signs' campaign I have taken notice that the local has devised a new hanging sign, replacing it comfortable but time-worn incumbent. The Inn Sign Society tells us, and I have no reason to disbelieve them, that the original pub signs were inspired by the Roman practice of displaying ivy leaves outside of their taverns and in some form pictorial signs have remained in Britain ever since. A solid tradition, and one worth preserving.
So far as memory serves, the Fox and Hounds is the only pub in Houston to display such a sign. The Houston Inn lends its name to no obvious pictorial representation, but uses an image of the building as its logo. The Cross Keys displays its logo on a gable-end showing, unsurprisingly, the crossed keys of St Peter, harking back to Houston's original name of Kilpeter and the dedication of its local church.
I will, however, miss the delightful and slightly anachronistic 'Good food, real ales, fully licensed' notice which used to dangle below. Still, it appears very well if simply painted - my only worry is that my ostensibly poor photography has failed to do justice to the vivid colours and contrasting tones of the original. Kindly note the cheerful Master of Foxhounds in pursuit, baring the appearance of a man who is no stranger to a pie, a pint of ale and possibly a glass of port at lunch-time.