As it turns out, I'm not the only one and the internet seems to be full of people not being able to find out much information about old Avia watches they've acquired! Some snippets of information that were floating around seem to suggest that the company had its roots in 1830, but then doesn't seem to have been registered as a brand until 1910. It was a London company and it's quality seems to have been thought of as being pretty good, at least up to the advent of quartz watches when it seemed to tail off somewhat. The company was bought by an American business in 2001 and still has a presence mainly providing inexpensive watches to department stores.
It looks as though this sign may have been put up during the company's heyday in the 1950's although interestingly 'guaranteed Swiss watch' doesn't necessarily mean that the whole watch was of Swiss manufacture. It could be that certain elements of the movement were assembled and checked in Switzerland but that the majority of the watch was made elsewhere, as described in this article. Nice advertisement though.
Having finished the Colombian lunch (huge portions, two courses, lovely flavours £7ish) I thought I'd have a little stroll before heading off home. Then a couple of other items caught my eye.
Of course it's the clock tower and the bold fascia lettering that really do it for me on this building and with a frontage like that you just knew that there would be some information around about it somewhere on the internet. As it turned out I didn't have to look very far because, in a very heart-warming sort of way, not only does Walton Lodge still have the same sort of business on the premises, it actually has the same company in it, which was a bit of a surprise!
Atlantic Road: I recall there being a David Greig shop in Battersea when I was young and being taken every Saturday for a bit of shopping. Quite a pleasant type of place if I recall correctly - a large thistle mosaic in the middle of the floor and counters around the sides with a single payment box in the corner. It was a sort of dairy cum grocers I think, the sort of place to go for a nice bit of cheddar and some ham wrapped up in greaseproof paper. Although much earlier than my own memories, there's a nice wartime photo of a David Greig store on Flickr.
Brixton Road: Just beside the Ritzy Cinema is a ghost sign whose picture pops up with great regularity around the world of the blog. Bovril (in a Quite Interesting sort of way) was named after Vril a magical foodstuff in a book called The Coming Race, combined with the first part of bovine, hence Bo(vine) Vril. That little snippet of knowledge is courtesy of a dissertation I did on Utopian and Dystopian Literature of the 19th century and I'm very pleased that my copious research has finally come in useful!
(Coma y Punto was the Colombian Cafe, and I'm happy to recommend it to anyone looking for something slightly different and value for money!)