Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Ghost Signs of Bath 3 (Faded London on Tour 2010 Last Knockings)

After doing a little spring-cleaning on the image front I found a few more photos from my short trip to Bath last summer and I'm feeling an obligation to finally finish the set off. It's all a bit too easy in Bath though and, after the initial rush of excitement at stumbling across so many items in such a short space I can't say I've had the same depth of interest as in those lesser, rarer items I've found locally. It's all good stuff though and worth putting up for a look.
Hot Bath Street was the location of this particular item and there's certainly a number of layers involved! It looks as though the original road sign was painted over with one or two adverts which in turn (if the marks on the walls are anything to go by) were covered up with ivy. The top, blue layer is for Nestle's Milk  but it's obviously been placed on top of other signage so I'll have to get out the magnifying glass for this one.
It's a bit difficult to see what's going on here other than the fact that the new business has tried to obliterate its predecessor. Give it another ten years and we might be able to make it out a little easier...
Another tantalising sign that is just beyond my ability to decipher. It's obviously older than the above sign and I've a sneaking suspicion that the cleaning has been a bit haphazard  as well which doesn't help matters.
It looks at first glance to read RUSH MANUFACTORY but it's pretty clear that the initial B somehow escaped the initial clean up. There's a brush seller mentioned down this road in  in 1832 , although the street number isn't indicated. "J. D. Gorley New Bond Street and Milsom Street, Bath. Brush Maker and perfumer at the Three Cups Inn Northgate Street Bath. (New Monthly Magazine 1832) but as this is number 35 there is conveniently evidence for a brush maker called John Strawbridge living here in 1852 so it's probably safe to assume he was something to do with this particular sign.



The Hobbs in in Milsom Street also has an Italian restaurant above it but was also in days long gone a library and reading room - not the first I came across in Bath. It had quite a distinguished set of readers if this extract from the Reflections of William Jay, of Bath (1859) by Cyrus Jay is to be believed "... on reaching Bath [William Jay] would devote a few minutes in looking at the London newspapers at the public library in Milson Street.  I shall never forget when once going into the hall of the library with him observing him peeping through the glass door in all directions and his suddenly taking hold of my arm exclaiming I shall not go in for I see that Dr Hawe is sitting there You have no idea how he annoyed me yesterday when I went into the library the room being filled with ladies gentlemen admirals generals and members of Parliament. No sooner had I got hold of the Times than the doctor espied me and with his stentorian voice exclaimed 'Brother Jay that was a blessed blessed meeting that we attended last night' The company thought the doctor mad and their attention was also directed to me and as I am determined not to be annoyed in a similar way for the future I shall never enter the library again whilst the doctor's there having such an aversion to any thing approaching to cant but especially before persons who know nothing about religious matters."
On the junction of Monmouth Place and Charlotte Street is this interesting garage sign. I couldn't see if the garage was still there but the sign itself is in good condition. Apparently the Cleveland Petrols brand name finally disappeared in 1973 when the garages all became Esso so at least we can see the last possible date it was painted
And finally, although not strictly speaking a ghost sign, I couldn't help but be taken with this partially revealed glass-painted shop front. I'm also pretty sure that the current owners have left it for everyone to enjoy rather than it being a case of 'repairs in progress' or some such which was my initial thought. There's an interesting photo available of the shop as it was in 1966 which shows the signage pretty much as it currently looks. Lonelyplanet also have an image similar to mine below but sadly you can see the deterioration that has taken place over time
 
W.D.Lane - Abbey Dairy The only snippet I can find about the Abbey Dairy comes as a excerpt  from the The Dairy Engineer of 1936 and sadly concerns a case of mislabelling "Bath. — Before the Justices on the 6th ult., FE Barnard, trading as F. Barnard & Son, Abbey Dairy, Bath, was fined 20s., also 17s. 6d. costs, for exposing for sale milk in bottles bearing the name and mark thereon of Norton Dairies"

So that's it for Bath. All of this and more besides in just a day or so. It makes South Wimbledon look barren in comparison...

6 comments:

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Sebastien Ardouin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastien Ardouin said...

Lovely selection from the great city of Bath.
Nestle used the site in Hot Bath Street twice. Their adverts covered one for a grocery store but I didn't manage to identify which one (more here).
The second sign is for The House of Tupra, a business that still exists.
Between the 1770s and 1860s there were several circulating libraries in Milsom Street. The one at number 43, which from 1829 was run by Eliza Williams, remained opened until 1868. Mrs Williams then moved to other premises where she kept her circulating library opened for another four or five years (more info here).
South Wimbledon may not have as many ghost signs as Bath but you have certainly proven with your posts that there is no lack of fascinating places and interesting facts about the area. I shall be looking forward to the next post!

Rickshaw Challenge said...

Beautiful photos! You have a real knack for it. Thank you for sharing them.

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