Thursday, 27 January 2011

Signs of Brick Lane

A Sunday stroll down Brick Lane is always a pleasant way of spending an autumn morning and even more pleasant when you find a few photos on your camera a few months later. Which is very handy as I haven't had much opportunity recently for Faded London jaunts recently.

The three street signs
First up is this interesting group of street signs on the corner of .... as you can see...Sclater Street. Evolution in progress as we start of with the very ornate 19th century effort (or earlier?), the more functional and visible modern street sign and what I presume is a local translation of the street name for the benefit of the local population. Although I suppose it must be a transliteration rather than a translation as I'm not sure how you'd translate 'Sclater'.
I don't know what Page & Co were specialists in but their little factory unit is still there, tucked away in a sidestreet just off the main drag
This looks like it might have been owned by the Lewis family but although there are new owners there seems to have been a continuity in the use of the store. Still a newsagent and still selling cigarettes.
Talking of the street signs in other languages, here's a reminder of a previous influx of immigrants who also settled in the Brick Lane area. CH N. Katz was a twine and string merchant, a fairly specialised area of work I'd of thought, and it seems as thought the business only closed down a few years ago.
Middlesex ,Street EC1
And finally, just at the top of Petticoat Lane the removal of an advertising hoarding - last seen advertising the Monty Python musical Spamalot - reveals the remains of a car park sign lurking beneath. Not particularly old or exciting, but it couldn't pass it by without the courtesy of a mention, especially as it's probably been recovered by now.

Having stumbled accross these pictures I think it's about time I checked to see what other gems I have tucked away in obscure folders!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The Number One Lampost in Water Lane!

Here's an interesting little item I spotted in a Kingston back street the other day. It's just behind the Bentalls complex near the river and is on Water Lane, aptly enough. As you can see it's the trunk of an old lampost and it seems to be a bit of a born survivor as over the last decade or so the whole of this area had been cleared and a range of buildings, flats and car parks had sprung up. It would appear unrecognisable to someone who lived here fifty years ago but for some reason this non-functioning lampost seems to have been left alone and would probably be the only reminder of that particular period

The box at the top is made by a company called Mazdalux which was apparently one of the brand names used by a company called British Thomson-Houston and I've spotted an interesting advert from 1945 which mentions the brand and its associations with street lighting although they were also very much involved with aircraft and airfield lighting as well.  I'm no expert in on lamposts but if pushed I'd guess that this one might date to between 1940 to 1950. It doesn't look ornately Victorian and seems a bit of a stylistic half-way house between ornamentation and functionality. As you can see in the background there are new lights down the road so the question remains as to why this one wasn't removed?

About half-way up the post are a couple of paper stickers which also intrigued me. The big number 1 is pretty obvious but it's partner underneath seems to be instructions for reporting any lamps whose lights had failed and provided the council phone number and the request to provide the street name and the lamp number.
I had harboured some thoughts that this might prove to be Kingston's number One lampost, which would be quite an honour for such a venerable old post,  but I suspect now that it might just prove to be Water Lane's number One. Not quite so prestigious, especially as there are so few competitors for the honour...   

It's a pity the phone number is missing as I'd feel it my civic duty to report the fact it's no longer working.