Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Southfields Tout

As the alighting point for the Wimbledon Tennis tournament Southfields station would be an ideal platform for any advertiser hoping to catch the eye so perhaps it's no suprise to see the remnants of a large ghost sign on the side of one of the older buildings. Quite what it's advertising though I'm not so sure and even looking at it closely doesn't help a great deal.
The obvious bit of text that is still legible is the word 'TOUT' in the middle of the wall. And that's a bit of a conundrum because as far as I'm aware a Tout is a seller of dodgy tickets or someone who pushes a certain line on a subject. Could it be the name of a defunct newspaper? Some special betting combination?  I'm not really sure....    
Looking a bit closer you can also see the word 'WORLD' (News of the World?) above Tout and you can just make out 'LAWN TENN' below it. This was obviously 'Lawn Tennis' which shows that some of the original sign has been lost. With that in mind I was looking just above the N's in Tennis and you can just make out the bottom of another letter, possibly an 'e' or a 'c'. As the roof there seems to be new I suspect there might well possibly have been another letter there as well.
All in all it's a very intriguing ghost sign but one that leaves a few questions behind it. I wonder if there are any archive photographs showing it in its prime?

Stop Press!  Thanks to a comment left by Rockin' Brian it's now clear that the sign was originally for a British tennis court construction company (despite the French name) called En Tout Cas and that a significant section of the sign has been lost over time. My guess would be that the sign had been partially covered with modern hoardings which protected the sections below. These hoardings have since been removed to reveal what's left. En Tout Cas are still in existence and have a potted history of the company on their website.  Many thanks for that Brian!


Rockin' Brian said...

En Tout Cas supply equipment for tennis courts.

Miss Rayne said...

Might it be short for Tournament?

Sebastien Ardouin said...

Hi Yelfy,
That's a lovely sign, all in colour. I posted a picture with some info about the En-Tout-Cas surface. Click here. If the direct link doesn't work, copy and paste:

All the best,


Rickshaw Challenge said...

Very lovely photos indeed.

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