Friday, 5 October 2007

Wall Painted Advertisements - 'Ghost Signs'

Another in an ever-expanding collection collection of generic items, this one is for all those chipped, painted-over, weather-beaten adverts that still call our attention to long departed shops or goods. Is there a technical name for such things? Wall painted advertisements isn't exactly snappy... (Update: Thanks to the link posted in the comment section I now know that there are others out there fascinated by the charm and romance of old painted signs so I am happy to refer to them in future as 'Ghost Signs' and to post up the links to the sites mentioned.)

Sutton High Street I love this one, no, I really do. I've been looking at it for years and eventually stopped off to take a picture whilst on my way to the dentist. Made the whole trip worthwhile!
Wimbledon Broadway SW19 Wall Painting? What wall painting? Well you can paint it out but the Bovril message still gets through! Click on the image and you should be able to make out the words beneath the paint
Lacey Road, SW15 An expensive area these days, but it must be comforting to know that the simple house you paid a small fortune for used to be a shaving salon
Wimbledon Broadway SW19 This site shows a succession of usage over the years, the most recent of which seems to be True-Form, a fairly cheap and cheerful shoe retailer (I used to have a Saturday job at the Putney branch). Obviously a good site as it's still in use today

12 comments:

Sompting Don said...

Hello Fleydon. You may find this site mildly interesting, although it is about american wall signage.
Livinggoldpress.com

Sompting Don

Yelfy said...

Whoa...brilliant link! Now I know I'm not alone and there are others out there just like me (Albeit in this case American but I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before I find a few others). Also a very apt term of reference both for the art itself and its practitioners - 'Ghost Signs' and 'Wall-dogs' - which is starting to sound like a technical vocabulary! Following the chain of links takes you to some wonderful rural barns so not am I going to adopt the vocabulary but I'm going to start up a links page as well. Many thanks!

Sompting Don said...

Fleydon, no danger of you being alone. Check this out brickads a UK blog including stuff from 'dear ol' London Town'. Found it via this site flickr Should keep you quite for a while ;-)

Yelfy said...

My flabber is now well and truly ghasted.... That is an excellent site and a brilliant video, but I must admit to mixed reactions. I feel a bit like a self-taught painter whose come face to face with some of the great masters for the first time with a touch of the 'we are not worthy''s chucked in for good measure. They are stunning signs though and it looks as though the guy has been on the case for a few years and has made a bit of a project of it...luckily my interests are a bit more wide ranging otherwise I'd feel like hanging up the camera!

Sompting Don said...

Sorry mate, didn't mean to pee on your parade.
It does appear to have taken him many years to get his site to where it is. It is also obvious that it is by no means his own work. As such his site lacks a certain something, that personal touch that conveys a warmth and passion for the subject. His site is cold and matter of fact, a good source for you to use as a reference, but lacks the feeling for history and people of the time, that your site stirs in the reader.
Yes there is a certain naivety here but that gives a friendly feeling that we can learn together, it's intimate in comparison to his site.
Every subject has many books written about it but there is always room for one more if it adds to our knowledge and is written with passion. I'm sure he will soon be keeping a watchful eye on here.
Please don't give up, after all, the first book is rarely the best. Good luck and sorry again.

Sam Roberts said...

It's Sam at www.ghostsigns.co.uk here. Just cam across your blog which is great. I've always debated whether to broaden my scope into mosaid signs, chisselled brickworks etc but the old painted ones are enough for me.

I've been interested in them for a couple of years now but only really got 'serious' since summer 2006. My aim is eventually to make a book of some description, perhaps some of your photos could feature too?

Really like your site too, I'll link to it from mine today.

Keep snapping!
Sam

PS. Unless otherwise stated all the work is my own.

Jane said...

Loving all this. I notice most of this is South london. I am equally obsessed with all the wonderful old architectural and hand-painted wall signs around town and I have quite a stash of photos of similar images in North London if anyone's interested. I too would love to put together a book (or two) and, as I'm a graphic designer, the artwork for it would be a doodle!

Jane

Sam Roberts said...

Hi Jane,
Please get in touch via email. I'm on ghostsigns at gmail dot com
Best wishes,
Sam
http://www.ghostsigns.co.uk

Yelfy said...

Hi Jane

Thanks for the kind words - glad you find something of interest. With regard to your photo's, well Sam's your man! If you haven't come across his site yet I'd urge you to have a look - really interesting stuff. I believe Sam is in the process of putting together a book and as his area is mainly north of the river I'm sure he'd be more than interested (of course he would, he's already replied!)
All the best
Yelfy

Jane said...

Sam, sorry, I'd already seen your website but found it easier to leave my comments on this one! I have just spent some time looking through your site again and, I may be totally stupid, but I cannot see how to contact you directly on there. I have opened a blog and when I get time I will add some images.

Sam Roberts said...

Hi Jane,

I don't like to overtly put my email address online as it tends to lead to a lot of spam coming my way. Please try to decode the following:

ghostsigns at gmail dot com

Hope that works and look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Sam

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I must go to find Veglio's now... my imagination runs riot.