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ISS Membership
Membership is open to all those with an interest in inn signs, pub names and local history.

The Inn Sign Society is run by members for their own enjoyment, and we hope that this website may interest you in becoming a member! If so, apply now by using the downloadable membership application form >>>.

Annual Subscription Fees
£15 Sterling (UK only)
Pro Rata fees From 1 December £12  From 1 March £8
From 1 June £5 (plus forthcoming year’s fee) = £20


£20 Sterling (Rest of the World) paid at or to a British bank
(Membership Applications from overseas are only accepted on a full year basis)
All renewable on 1 Sept each year



Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Inn Sign Society?
The Society exists to provide a forum for those interested in the fascinating study of inn signs and pub names. Many such names have links with events from the past plus personalities of national and local importance. If the Inn Sign Society doesn't bother, perhaps no-one else will. See Society Aims
Do you arrange meetings that I can attend?
The West Midlands-based regional group meets quarterly and members travel from as far as Shropshire and Wiltshire to attend the Saturday lunchtime get together.
Where is the Annual General Meeting held?
The AGM is held at a different venue each year.
Details are announced on the website and in the Society journal.
Do any of your members give talks to local clubs?
They most certainly do! Click here for the list of currently-registered speakers. If no speaker is listed in your area, please Contact the Secretary
What do you mean by local distinctiveness?
An organisation named Common Ground was set up in the 1980s. It champions the principle of local distinctiveness - what unites us, and what sets us apart.
'Local' implies neighbourhood or parish. 'Distinctiveness' is about particularity. It is evident in the buildings and land shapes, the brooks and birds, trees and cheeses, places of worship and pieces of literature. The ephemeral and invisible are important too: customs, dialects, names, celebrations, recipes, spoken history, myths, legends and symbols. The humble country inn and its sign are both essential features of local distinctiveness.
How many pubs are there?
Probably less than 50 thousand now, but this figure is decreasing by about 1.5% each year.
How many have pub signs?
Impossible to say, but certainly enough to sustain the keen interest of our members.
What is the most common pub name?
There are over 500 pubs named the Red Lion, which makes it the most popular choice.
To read about the origin of some of these, see Pub names
What is the difference between a pub and an inn?
Precious little today. In the past, there were significant differences in legal and licensing classifications. Start reading about the origins - beginning with hospices - on this page Inn Signs
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