To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? That is the question in station poser

The Kent coastal town of Greatstone-on-Sea, near New Romney, is spelt like that – with hyphens. Unless you are the Southern Railway, in which case there are no hyphens. Unless it’s on the tickets. Then there are.

Best of both worlds: The Kent coastal station of Greatstone-on-Sea with its hyphenated running-in board and on the nearby lamppost, a non-hyphenated station target sign. Inset: A Greatstone on Sea target sign in greater detail.

The recent sale of a SR target sign for the station, which went for £2400 at an auction in Chippenham, made me wonder because the sign had no hyphens, in contrast to the atlas, Bradshaw’s Guide, all other reference material, and even the Southern Railway itself on its tickets.

My curiosity aroused, research led me to a photograph that showed a hyphenless target on the station, beside which was a running-in board with them.

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