Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Freshwater, Isle of Wight - "Faded London On Tour" 2010

A quick weekend away near Freshwater on the Isle of Wight provided a couple of ghost signs from the immediate area. Being pushed for time  (OK, the whole set was me grabbing a couple of snaps whilst visiting the local supermarket ),  I decided to concentrate on the signs rather than general items of interest. This was mainly because I'd have a better chance of spotting them when passing in the car rather than any sort of value-judgement coming into play but I can't really claim to have identified anything really spectacular, mainly trade names above shops. The most frustrating part though was spotting a couple of good ones in Newport the island capital and not having the time to stop and photograph them!

Newport IoW -  The one I did get. Moorman & Sons Upholsterers were mentioned in the London Gazette of January 7th 1898 so they've certainly been around for a bit. Sadly it looks as though at least one of the 'Son's' was a casualty of the First World War as the local memorial records that
Arthur MOORMAN - Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Moorman, of 48, Orchard St., Newport, Isle of Wight, died whilst on active service with the Isle of Wight Rifles in Egypt 15 Oct 1916. An In Memoriam notice appeared from his parents in the Isle of Wight County Press on 13 Oct 1917.
Freshwater IoW - "Cycles must not be left in the passage..." To be honest it didn't look to be the most inviting place to leave a cycle and you can only wonder if it was a sudden spate of cycle abandonment that caused the local council to finally lose its collective patience. I doubt it's been a problem for a while anyway.

Freshwater IoW - 'Twymans' The lettering on this one is quite modern and could have been painted any time from the 70s onward. It's a bit messy although you can see that there was originally a portrait underneath the lettering and what looks like some tents or houses underneath that. The very bottom of the wall has some new painting for 'Fend Pad'. Obviously its quite a complicated bit of signage and it would be interesting to see a photo of it in its heyday. The Twyman family seem to have been involved in both the building trade and funeral business in Freshwater so judging from the buildings at the bottom of the picture I'd guess this one is more to the building side of things.
Freshwater IoW - This is one of those frustrating signs where only sitting on the roof of the neighbouring building would give you a chance of getting a decent picture.  It's also a bit patchy but seems to read "Meader - Fruiterer, Florist, Greengrocer, Pork Butcher and Sausage Maker" which covers pretty much all the bases.
Freshwater IoW - And finally... a sign completely obliterated that is starting to re-emerge as the paint fails to stick to the old lettering beneath. Hours of patient cross-eyed staring at this particular sign produced the legend   "A. Rutland, Ladies & Gents Hairdresser".

Considering that Freshwater is something of a 'blink and you'd miss it' sort of place I'd say that four signs wasn't a bad haul (well five actually, but as the fifth was totally illegible I didn't bother posting it). Newport definitely has more gems tucked away but that's the way of a flying visit - you're always left ruing the missed ones!


Monsieur Boivin said...

Very interesting!

Paul Nixon said...

A little more on Arthur Moorman:

Born in Newport, enlisted in Newport late October or early November 1915. Served with C Coy, 1/8th Hants; almost certainly died as a result of sickness or accident.

Soldiers Died in The Great War
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
My own data

Riotstar said...

My ancestor Henry Meader owned and ran that shop. I knew the sign was still visible 32 years ago, imagine my delight when I saw it for myself two months ago!

P. TWYMAN said...

The sign advertising "Twymans" on the wall was done by my Grandfather Edward Moorman Twyman some time in the late 50's and originally showed a state of the art bungalow in a sort of idealised 1950's drawing style. I may have a better photo somewhere but it was quite a stunning bit of wall art in it's time. Great to see it on the web. Shame about all the other signs all over it now. Twymans the builders became only funeral directors in about 1972 and the sign was allowed to erode away.

Anonymous said...

It would be great to book Isle of Wight Holidays if you are going in groups. They have a very nice accommodation and affordable too. Their cottages are located near the touring places.