Monday, 12 October 2009

An Unusual Borough 'Ghost' And A Couple Of Others.

We went for lunch up at Borough Market this week so of course I took along the camera, just in case. As it turned out I spotted an intriguing ghost sign and few other odds and ends. Lunch and photos...lovely!
Southwark Street, Borough SE1
Most 'Ghost Signs' that are spotted tend to be painted on brick walls and the sides of buildings. It's not quite as usual to come across one painted on wood - not least because of its unfortunate tendency to rot away over time - so I was really pleased to spot this one the other day. It's unusual on several counts; firstly it's on wood; secondly it's very tall and thin and thirdly because of it's position under a railway line.

It seems to have been made as a specific infill between two other buildings, although it's not clear what's behind it, and my guess would be that it has been covered up until fairly recently. There's a central wooden batten that looks a lot newer and the fact that there's not much graffiti also suggest it hasn't been exposed for too long.

I couldn't fit it all in so had to make do with three separate sections:

The top section reads
FR?? & DEL??
All very mysterious. I assume they must have had a yard close by and this site provided a handy bit of free advertising.

The Hop Exchange, Southwark Street SE1
This little bit of advertising was a bit more expensive I'd assume... This is the magnificent entrance to the Hop Exchange and the relief shows the cutting and bagging of strings of hops. I like the hairy 'Green Men' too which gives the whole scene a definite pagan feel.
Southwark Street SE1
The Menier Chocolate Factory not only has a very attractive front door, but also two ghost door numbers who seem to have survived by being hidden under a brass plate or something similar

Park Street SE1
An unusual and very sturdy bootscraper this one and one of a pair outside a couple of attractive old town houses. Big enough for a small child to stand on I'd reckon. Sadly I didn't have a small child with me so couldn't try out my theory.
Union Street
'Mint & Gospel' - excellent name! Actually the fact it refers to the Shaftsbury Society means that this plaque dates from after 1914, the date the Society was founded. Before that it had been known as the Ragged School Union and this had been one of their London Schools. It seems that the establishment of the Education Act of 1870 meant these charitable institutions no-longer were the sole providers of education for the destitute young and as their role slowly diminished it seems that the Shaftesbury Society eventually evolved into the YMCA. The building itself is dated 1909 so the plaque must be a few years younger, possibly being added five or six years later. Nice reminder though.
Here's the proof then, the foundation stone dated 1909. There's a nice photo of Lord Mayor Treloar in the National Portrait Gallery and as he founded
the Treloar Trust, a charity supporting the UK’s leading specialist centre providing education, independence training and opportunities for young people with physical disabilities.
I'm sure he was more than happy to be associated with this particular venture!
There are some interesting snippets on him on the Treloar Family web page- apparently he was known as "The Children's Lord Mayor", (which is not a bad appellation) as well as this photo
Redcross Way SE1
We're not finished with the old Ragged School yet! If you go down the side of it you can see two strange creatures baying at the moon on the very top of the rear wall. My poor little camera was at maximum zoom and you can just make out that they appear to be a Dragon and a Gryphon
I assume these are references to a heraldic design - possibly the City of London, given that the Mayor laid the stone - but it seems their coat of arms consists of two Dragons. Dragon and a Gryphon look familiar's not Camberwell either.
Newcomen Street, SE1
This is a detail from a house that seems to have gone overboard on the decorative detail. In fact every window on the first three floors (and there were about eleven of them) each had two different heads decorating it. The ony plain windows were those of the servants quarters up in the loft! Very nice details though and I was wondering if there was a theme to it all that was above me...
Near Borough Tube Station
I do like a nice pediment and lets be honest, how often do you see one with a cheeky weasle peering over the top? Actually he could be an otter, fox cub or stoat but it's not helped by having a few chips of the old block.
And finally, from the same area, an intriguing set of symbols. Too boring to be decorative, they must have some significant meaning. Any thoughts?


Paul Nixon said...

As a recent subscriber to your Faded London, let me first congratulate you on a fascinating blog. Living in India, your photos and reports remind me again of some of the things I miss about London in particular and England in general.

Regarding this post, I wonder whether the name of the advertiser begins with an H rather than an F. I did some Google searches on possible combinations of the names but came up with nothing. I did notice though, that there is a Redcross Street / Way forum and somebody there may be add to shed light on your faded advertiser.

Keep up the good work.

Dan said...

Just as an aside, I noticed a lovely clear one yesterday which is only temporarily visible now the corner of Charing Cross Road and Oxford St has been demolished - if you stand outside the Dominion and look diagonally across the junction towards Oxford Street and upwards, there's an advert for a cafe established in 1840 something or other. I only had my phone and it's rubbish camera, so didn't manage to get a shot.

Sebastien Ardouin said...

Hi Yelfi. Thanks again for sharing your discoveries with us. Borough Market and the streets around burst with atmosphere and are full of little quirky things too few notice. Let's hope the demolition of part of the market will not go ahead.
On a completely different topic, you posted about a year ago an old picture of Putney Bridge with a triumphal archway. Well, I was in Putney earlier and found at Oxfam a copy of "William Field's Photographs of Putney", a book published by the Wandworth Historical Society in 1997. The very picture you posted was there, with the following legend: "The arch erected at the bottom of Putney High Street to celebrate the freeing of the bridge from toll in June 1880. The church clock shows 9.15; probably it is Sunday morning. 'Velkommen' is Danish: the ceremony was performed by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and his wife, Princess Alexandra, who was Danish."
Can't wait for your next post!

Yelfy said...

Hi Sebastien - That was a fortuitous find of yours! I wonder if that might account for the Princess Alexandra pub in Wimbledon as well, or whether that was named for some entirely different reason? I'm enjoying your blog by the way - keep up the good work!

Sebastien Ardouin said...

Thanks Yelfy. Apparently the Princess Alexandra in Wimbledon opened in 1876. Maybe she visited the town that year, while her husband was touring India with his friends.. I quite like the cheeky pub sign, which shows Alexandra looking at a theatre play from her box, while in the background Edward is chatting up one of his countless mistresses. Lillie Langtry maybe?
Where are you taking us next?