Street ironmongery

I’m continuing here with more examples from my collection of manhole covers and other ironworks that we walk and drive over, often without noticing the design work that goes into producing a functional object. These are all examples from here in Ireland.

Our friend and neighbour, Robert, who is co-author of the most excellent Roaringwater Journal, alerted me to the presence of these manhole covers in Cork City. Made by Cavanagh, who make a huge variety of ironworks in Ireland, there is no clue as to what lies beneath it but who cares, it’s the most beautiful Celtic design.
These post sockets are spaced at intervals along some streets. The circular panel can be removed and a pole for a traffic sign inserted and locked into place. It seems to be an extravagant system but it gives great flexibility to Councils who can amend their urban signage without having to dig up the pavement each time. When not in use they are rather stylish.
Some are cleverly designed so that the two halves can be removed separately and the symmetrical panels can be read from either side. There is no doubt about the purpose of this one.
Another two part cover for a fire hydrant but, this time, the two halves are not symmetrical.
Others, though purposefully designed, give no clue as to which company they are used by.
This one says what it is but I have no idea what ISVI stands for….
I wonder what “slides out” in either direction? Possibly cabling of some sort?
This one could make you dizzy if you stared at it long enough!
I like the way the makers name becomes part of the non-slip design. The mystery on this one is what the small cover on the left is for? It could be a rodding eye for clearing obstructions?
This one has so much concrete around it that i’m not sure it could ever be opened.
This must have been very elegant before its pattern was worn away by years of pedestrian traffic.
I like these last three drain covers because they are so simple and have performed their duties faithfully for years and years.

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