crossroads with hanging tree

You’ve probably never heard of Frank Blackmore, but I bet you’ve cursed his blight on our roads!

Blackmore worked for the Ministry of Transport in the 1960s and he’s the twit who invented the mini roundabout; though why it’s called a roundabout I’ll never know as the only thing that can go round it is a bicycle.

I think he must have had a brother-in-law in the concrete business as these annoying little lumps popped up everywhere.


mini roundabout

They even sprung up in Europe and other countries.

We fought in two World Wars to help to liberate Europe. Can you imagine trying to manoeuver a tank round a mini roundabout?



Crossroads worked perfectly well for hundreds of years, and they are far more attractive. And they’re more civilised without everyone trying to cross them at the same time. Sometimes you’d get a couple of cars waiting to pull out at once, with flashing headlights and a gently waving hand, meaning After you. No, after you!

But it’s usually obvious who has right of way, eg an A road has priority over a B road.

Hermes and Hecate from Greek mythology had shrines and offerings placed at crossroads. And in the 11th Century, Mercury and Odin were honoured at crossroads.

Criminals and suicides were buried at crossroads as they weren’t allowed to buried in a church. This went on until 1823 when it was abolished.

Trees were often used a gibbets to hang criminals who were left there to be a warning to passers-by to abide by the

The Romans, and probably people right up to modern times, believed that if you drew a circle at a crossroads you could summon the Devil.

Robert Johnson, the blues singer, apparently disappeared for a couple of days, and when he returned, he claimed to have sold his soul to the Devil at a crossroads in exchange for guitar lessons.

He then wrote his famous song I went down to the Crossroads.



Photo taken in Baptist Town, Mississippi trip

Another one

This is Black Spider Dumpling, Sold it to the Devil.

What a wonderful name!

So when you approach a mini-roundabout, think that you’re possibly driving over a lot of buried bodies.

And if you want to summon the Devil, possibly for guitar lessons, go and kneel in the middle of the hideous lump.

But watch out for approaching lorries, or you might meet him a lot earlier than you intended!



A man came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. Then he saw identical twins sitting on a gate.

They were well-known because one of them always told the truth and one always told lies. But no-one could tell them apart.

Which question should the man ask them both to find out which way to go?


Answer; he’d ask, Which way will your brother tell me to go?

Both twins will point in the same direction and then he should take the opposite road.