In 1989, Cheryl and I took a trip to England and France. Part of the trip was business and part was pleasure. We arrived in London, rented a car and headed north to Lincoln to Richardson’s UK headquarters for a couple of meetings. A lot of the journey was on the A46. Some of you may have read my earlier experience with roundabouts in the chapter “Right Hand Drive is for the Bahamians, the British, the Japanese, the Australians but not me!”. By now I had made several trips to the UK and was a great supporter of roundabouts.
We could learn a lot from them. In light to medium trafﬁc, they keep things moving very well. As my conﬁdence grew, my ability to read road signs was improving as well. One road sign that I saw at each roundabout on this trip and nowhere else was “BUDGE”. Cheryl and I discussed the word BUDGE trying to ﬁgure its exact meaning when approaching and entering a roundabout. We assumed the word “over” as in “budge over” was implied when the sign BUDGE was used. Could it mean, mingle, perhaps yield, or maybe just adjust your position to ﬁt in. After seeing the sign at every roundabout we began to take it for granted.
We arrived in Lincoln in time for dinner with John Marshall and his wife, Sheila. The evening went well and the conversation moved in the direction of the differences between the words that the Americans use vs. those by the English. We compared many words such as boot and trunk, hood and bonnet, etc. I ﬁnally added the word BUDGE. This caused quizzical looks to appear on the faces of our host and hostess. I asked what the word meant with respect to road signs. Again, totally blank stares. I told them of how we had seen the sign BUDGE at each of the roundabouts. John and Sheila began to laugh out loud. It took a minute or so for them to calm down. John then enlightened us. The sign which we assumed to be a trafﬁc direction sign was in fact the name of the company, AF Budge, that had built each of those roundabouts. No wonder John and Sheila were so amused. I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. I just hope that my interpretation of road signs will not cause me or others bodily harm.