Motorways, Bridges, Graffiti and Peas?

The M25 basks in the daily blast-furnace of London weather, a ribbon of miserable blacktop encrusted with tin boxes containing automatons shuttling endlessly to and fro of whatever workaday duties require their presence. Great Britain’s premier orbital highway is, in so many ways, a very humdrum place to be.
Apart from when you’re passing Gerrards Cross, travelling clockwise. You’ll pass under this bridge which is pretty much the ONLY thing on the M25 that can come close to putting a smile on your face. Even if you’re stuck under it, for hours, again, because of a lorry fire. This work of a very determined graffiti artist has developed and endured over time.
It all started with Peas.

See, told you. PEAS, written clear and bold in something close to PORSCHE font and spacing.
The internet is heavy with public discussion of the famous “Peas” bridge, yet the threads are so diverse I’ve never managed to get a proper explanation.
Is PEAS an acronym? Some kind of renegade urban collective, and this their tag? This bridge is PEAS domain? Or is it simply recognition and celebration of the humble spherical plateside accompaniment to Fish ‘n Chips? It stood there, rendered in white, baffling and bewildering motorists for years until somebody expanded the theme, either enhancing or ruining the original sentiment depending on your perspective.
“Give PEAS a chance”
Similar font, but looking far more rushed in execution. The graffiti now stood individually as a tangible statement, but was shorn of the crazed inscrutability that once was.
PEAS remains the best piece of graffiti I’ve ever seen.
What’s been your favourite roadside daubing?
(First image snapped by my co-pilot, second image courtesy of a Google search for “M25 PEAS”)

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  1. Citric Avatar

    Across from the local library, crudely scrawled on a warehouse, was the phrase “Dick in my Ass.” This was eventually painted over, but soon after it was replaced, with “Dick dans mon Ane.”
    It’s been painted over again, I’m excited to see what language the graffiti artists pick next.

    1. Maymar Avatar
      Dan Aykroyd strikes again!

  2. Alff Avatar

    On a stretch of road near my childhood home stood a tall and very spindly dead tree. About 2/3 up the trunk was a handpainted sign reading, “BUTTHAIR”. I don’t know if by intent or coincidence, but the word was a fair description of the tree itself, with its broken and denuded limbs poking out at odd angles. It stood there for decades, until the land became too valuable for such frivolity.

  3. Batshitbox Avatar

    The Winganon Space Capsule. When a cement truck crashed and the cement hardened, they towed the truck away and left the mixer. Hilarity has ensued since 1959.

    1. David Avatar

      Great. Now I can’t get the “I Dream of Jeannie” theme song out of my head for some reason…

      1. David Avatar

        … And this is why. A few seconds from the opening sequence.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      1. Poor Bill Posters…
      2. Anarchy’s built-in problem…

  4. mzszsm Avatar

    My hunch is that diehard Clooney fans keep stealing two letters off of the porte-cochère of the hospital emergency room and so for public safety they borrow the E and R from this sign here:

    View post on

  5. Tanshanomi Avatar

    If you stand at the eastern edge of the steel portion of the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, then lean waaay out past the railing, you will see written on the side of a seemingly inaccessible girder, “Free Cuddles,” with an arrow pointing under the bridge, where a huge stone wall ends high above the locks. How anybody could get there to spray paint it on is a mystery. How anybody could imagine offering “free cuddles” to strangers under there is beyond me, even if that’s the sort of thing you’re into.

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      It’s really “Free Cuddles!”, but they ran out of paint before accomplishing the exclamation.
      Cuddles has been trapped under that bridge for years.

  6. dead_elvis Avatar

    Found this just north of Joshua Tree, CA, on a round-the-country motorcycle ride in 2008.

  7. P161911 Avatar

    One of the best uses of three pieces of black electrical tape.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Reminds me of the popular “Mother Tucker’s” (no lie) Restaurant that opened in my home town when I was in Junior High. That sign suffered indignity after indignity, up until the name change.

    2. gerberbaby Avatar

      Whats futile is their inability to spell UTILITY

  8. karonetwentyc Avatar

    Having driven under that exact bridge many times many years ago, I’m glad to see that the sentiment remains. Or, at least, that there are remains of the sentiment.