Wednesday, 21 May 2008

More Coalholes

Like Joey getting his own spin-off from 'Friends', I think that coal holes probably deserve their own pages. Hope it's more successful than 'Joey' was though...

Coldharbour Lane, Brixton - Wilson & Co, Harrison Street, London
A bit battered and worn but it is by a producer new to me
Clapham Common South Another Hayward Brothers coal-hole, this one is a celebrated 'self-locking plate' and is interesting because it includes the fixing instructions to the outer ring!
Garratt Lane - H.C. Davis & Co. Clapham & Camberwell: Economy, Efficiency, Durability
This one confirms my suspicions regarding the similar coal hole found in Putney the other day that was badly worn. It's an interesting design with a very functional feel to it.Clapham Park Road This interesting design was tucked away in the entrance to a shop and has alternate holes and glass sections to let in a bit of light. Some of the glass has been broken, some of the holes filled in, but it's an unusual design nontheless. Sadly I can't make out the manufacturer as that section has been worn down.Garratt Lane SW19 Plain and simple. Worn well though...Hayward Brothers 197 & 199 Union Street Borough Larger than most, this coal hole is situated outside a n office building near Stockwell tube.Merton High Street SW19 These two coalholes were the only ones left in a long row of Victorian shops, presumably because at some time they had been set in concrete and it was too much effort for modern pavers to dig it up! The first one is quite plain and utilitarian...... but the second is an interesting mix of shapes and inset glass marbles (most of which have been broken and filled. Quite attractive though.

Sad Signs and Old Adverts

The message may have faded but the sign struggles on... More delapidated adverts or instructions either out of date or ignored...

Mitcham Road, Tooting
Stuck onto ceramic tiles but long since painted over, Marvo Distemper bravely advertises a long since defunct product (Distemper was a paint made from whiting and glue and a bit of a nightmare if you need to decorate over it due to its powdery nature).
Wandsworth Road, Battersea The shop may have shut, but the electrical appliances linger on...
Baker Street Underground Station
The merest tantalising glimpse of the old signage that lies beneath! Garratt Lane, Wandsworth
Not much chance of spotting this Chemist on a dark winters night!
Old Town, Clapham Common
What is it about Chemists? This one is in slightly better condition, but has still not worked in years.Erpingham Road & Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15.
These two signs must date back to the 70's I would imagine. Mackeson is a milk stout flavoured with lactose, the sweet element found in milk (hence the milk churn symbol) and is about as unfashionable a drink as it is possible to be at the moment. Whitbread Pale Ale is still around in bottles though.

Morden Road, Morden SM4
I think the scouts might have given up on making money by recyclingMitcham Town Centre
Home to vast herds of wild horses that continually make a nuisance of themselves on footpaths.
Roehampton High Street: Derelict health food restaurant signage on a derelict health food restaurantLower Richmond Road, Putney SW15
The neon tube may have long since given up the ghost but the shop still sells bikes. London Road, Morden SM4
Now a martial arts centre, the memory of a slightly seedier past lives on.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Ghost Signs of Clapham - Part 2

These signs were all spotted in and around Lavender Hill and Clapham Common

Lavender Hill & Hafer Road: I spotted this one driving up Lavender Hill. A great old sign that seems to advertise the National News and the Sunday Evening Telegram - not papers that immediately spring to mind!
Broadhinton Road: Just making my way down from Clapham Old Town to Wandsworth Road when I looked over my shoulder to see this fine old tradesmans advert on the side of a residential building - presumably owned by Mr Jenkins himself at some point.

Wandsworth Road: This is a frustrating relic all round! Tricky to get a decent picture and even trickier to make out what it once said. You can make out the odd word or letter here and there (if you click on it to see it a bit closer) but nothing really coherent

Lambourn Road: Two for the price of one here, although the second one is hard to spot unless you click on the picture. Redfern is the obvious sign here, but if you look at the base of the car advert there is some colourful lettering that seems to say "Made in......". Looks as though the colours spill out to the left of the advert too.
Update: After trying to find out what Redfern made I discovered these photos by Rolyatam on Flickr. S/he must have been passing whilst they were installing the new boards and managed to photograph the now covered, and quite spectacular, wall-signs. The top one actually says 'Made in Block Rubber' and the bottom one has a lively Chelsea Pensioner. Great stuff!
Wandsworth Road: Not as old as some but definitely fading away. No longer selling antiques but fast becoming one!

Cedars Road: What a great place this is! Originally an old stable block around a central courtyard the many layers of signage bear witness to the changing face of London transport. From the buying and selling horses, hiring out Broughams and other carriages, repairing travellers wagons they moved on to special occasions such as weddings and then, as the horses started to disappear, onto the new motor car. What were stables became garages and finally the home of the Cedars Motor Engineering Company. The garages are now mews-style homes but they've had the good sense not to over-paint the front of the building. I couldn't fit the frontage in one -shot so I've gone for a montage effect instead.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Brixton & Stockwell Ghost Signs

These few ghost signs were the result of a quick spin round the Brixton area that comprised of getting the tube to Stockwell, walking down Stockwell Road into Brixton and then up Acre Lane to pick the tube up again at Clapham Common. Lots of interesting bits and pieces which will feature here and there and the heart of Brixton looks promising and worth another trip. These three ghost signs will do for starters though.

Stockwell Road A colourful if slightly basic sign for two publications, the 'Picture Post' and the 'John Bull' magazine. Slightly obscured by some trees but still quite an eye-catcher.

The bottom of the John Bull sign has been removed but you can just see the outlines from a slightly different angle.
Electric Lane I came across this one tucked down a small road off of Electric Avenue in Brixton. Some of the walls also had very faded and flaking text but were covered by white vans so not really readable. Worth checking back on though.
Acre Lane "For all household commodities" Almost gone now, this one is still just about readable.

Monday, 12 May 2008

More Putney Coalholes

Bit of a rich vein of form in the Lower Richmond Road, Putney, but as these were all outside shops it's not surprising that many of them have been worn smooth over the decades. There must have been large numbers of manufacturers as many of them have local South London addresses. I'm not aware of any listings of manufacturers and I expect the easiest way of finding out about the companies involved would be through old trade directories.

Lower Richmond Road, Unknown manufacturer Take this one for example. Nice shape but not a hope of identifying who made it.

Lower Richmond Road, H. J. Shearn, 30 High Street, Putney
You can't really get more local than this example which would have been purchased about a quarter of a mile away

Lower Richmond Road, Hayward Brothers, 187 & 189 Union Street, Boro.
Similar design to the one above, but without the holes. Quite good condition though.

Lower Richmond Road, W.H. Stevens, 383 Brixton Road, SW
Apart from decorative purposes the coal holes needed engraved surfaces to prevent people slipping on them in the wet. This one should still do the job.

Lower Richmond Road, Unknown manufacturer
This one on the other hand has lost most of its surface and one of its glass lenses. I think you can just make out what looks like 'brothers' in the top right corner though.

Lower Richmond Road, M.C. Davis & Co.
It could be my imagination but I think I can make out 'Clapham' and 'Camberwell' around the edges. Could be a figment of my imagination though.
I must say that I'm finding these coal-holes intriguing. As there doesn't seem to be much on the web regarding manufacturers I'm tempted to start my own listing to see how many different
suppliers there are and if there's any logic to distribution. For example you'd expect a row of houses to have coal holes from the same supplier but this often does not seem to be the case.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Putney Ghost Sign

Lower Richmond Road/ Ruvigny Gardens, SW15
The area around the Lower Richmond Road was Putney's historic poorer quarter - small cottages pushed up against the river. These days, of course, being near the river is all important so the character has changed somewhat over the years. Here's a good example, what used to be a shop offering 'everything for the woodworker' has morphed into a design and decor Mecca!