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
FARLOW (?) & ROBERTS
???DS OF BUILDING W??
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.
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.
'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 though....it'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?