Monday, 31 December 2007

Miscellaneous Wimbledon Ghosts

Well these are really scraping the barrel but they should go in for the sake of completeness. Not so much ghost signs as signs that have died and turned to dust! I think the only way I could find out what they originally said was to look through some archive photographs, but keep you eyes open for them next time you're in Wimbledon.

Hartfield Road, Wimbledon
Not the best quality picture sadly but I snapped this one whilst waiting in traffic. Although it seems to have a later 'To Let' sign painted on it, closer inspection shows it to be originally refering to Cars, Trucks and Services, amongst others. It was a tiny yard though, so presumably not a big business.

The Broadway A close look at this one (click on the image) shows that the lettering on the top has an -ish near the end and 5? Broadway between the windows.Whatever was advertised either side of the windows cost 2/-. As it is in such a prominent position I have hopes of eventually finding a photograph to show exactly what was being advertised on this one.

The Broadway This particular sign is the most obscure and difficult to photograph of all so far. As you can see it is well above the street and hidden by the roofs of lower buildings. It's just opposite the Centre Court Shopping Centre and above and to the right of the first sign. It seems to read 'Boots' but whether that's the chemist or a shoe shop I couldn't say. I'd like to get up there for a closer look though...

Behind the Broadway This was painted on the side of a small workshop and must have been the original company that owned it. All I can make out is the Co. at the end!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

A Tour Along Haydons, Durnsford and Merton Road

Merton Road
Although I went looking for ghost signs (see below) there were quite a few odds and ends that caught my eye on the way, including this Art Deco-ish wall sign at the back of a garage. The photo doesn't do it full justice as the gold on green was very iridescent and quite catching. I wonder who the United Service Transport Co. Ltd were and what happened to them?

Merton Road - Southfields
As you can see this building was obviously created for some business - Hotel maybe or an insurance business or something?
Merton Road
I thought this office building looked quite ornate so I wasn't too suprised to see this on the roof. Obviously a pub in an earlier life.
Round the corner was an attractive couple of capitals with some intriguing faces.
Merton Road - Southfields
There's an interesting parade of shops at Southfields that had a range of intriguing features. This one has a half oil-container stuck on the wall which was (I believe, but I'll have to check) the traditional shop-sign of oil merchants. I'd seen another like this near Waterloo the other day, so was pleased to spot this one.
Another of the shops had these elaborate thistle capitals. I recall a high street grocers called David Grieg's from the '60's whose emblem was a thistle, usually displayed as a mosaic on the floor. Could this originally have been one of their shops?
This shop front wasn't in the best state of repair but it had revealed the original gold-painted sign for Hammett's. As the gold spread over the inlay area I was wondering if it was then fronted with a mirror or something to tidy it up
Then on the same parade yet another shop fronted with oil containers. Obviously some cut-throat High street competition for the Southfields oil market going on here!

Merton Road - Side Street
Just tucked down a side street by a couple of other interesting deco buildings was this superb (no other word for it) tile fronted factory. Now exclusive flats of course I would hazard a guesss that this might have been a flour mill, breakfast cereal or biscuit factory. The Drainpipe's ha a 'FF' monogram so this might give a clue
"Nourish & Flourish!" is a great motto and I wonder if the Flour-ish might be a pun if it was a flour mill.
The towers at each end were quite attractive too - reminded me of the old Wembley Stadium for some reason. Are the metal toppings the old company symbol or do they have any other significance I wonder?
Here's a view of the site in its (almost) entirety. Does anyone have any knowledge about this building? If you do please leave a comment as I'd be intrigued to know more. (See the comment posted below for details about the history of this interesting building)
Durnsford Road
Just a little bit of mosaic that caught my eye. mainly because the colours were obviously to tie in with the shop next door...
...which was obviously a butchers, although now long since closed. Peering though the curtains I could see that the whole shop was covered in attractive light blue tiles.
Haydons Road
Another ex-pub, but with an impressive crest, despite loosing some of the ornamentation.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Ghost Signs - Haydons Road & Durnsford Road

I picked these signs up in a fairly small area around Plough Lane (map here).

Haydons Road
This first one might not be a big advertisement, but it is certainly painted on and it is certainly faded! It was above a parade of shops near Effra Road

Merton Road
This is my mystery of the day. It was obviously a big sign at one time, but was probably already faded when the houses were built up against it in the '30's(?). It looks a bit like an 'O' at the top although I prefer to think of it as the bowl of a wine-glass. You can just make out an 'E' or 'F' in the bottom right corner.
Haydons Road - Queens Road junction
It was a lucky traffic diversion that put me onto the ghost sign below. It's on the junction with Queens Road but you can only see it on the approach to Haydons Road - 'Fenners Grocery & Oil Stores. All Household Requisites'
Haydons Road
Just by the railway bridge there is a small Post Office that was once presumably an Off Licence. From some angles the black paint wipes it entirely but catch the sun just right and you can see the 'Wines & Spirits' sign underneath

UPDATE: 29-01-08 Gilbert Road
I've just been sent a picture of a Liptons Tea sign that was painted on the side of a building and subsequently obscured by later'50's housing, by the look of it. Thanks to Mick Adams for the photos!

UPDATE: 7th April 2008 Merton High Street/Hotham Road
A large but fairly plain 'Benson & Hedges' sign on the side of an old sweetshop tobacconist. Painted over, but only with one coat I it seems.