Friday, 5 April 2013

Urban Wandering and Ghost Signs in Farnham, Surrey

Assuming you don't count the weekend, today is the last day of my week off from work. In the spirit of trying to go to as many places as I've never been before, today we drove down to Farnham in Surrey. Although it's only about an hour from where we have lived for the past 15 years, I'm pretty sure I've never been there before. Apart from the bitter coldness of the day, the first thing that struck me about Farnham was that it still felt like an actual town, with shops and people, as opposed to so many towns I've visited which seem to have given up on themselves in favour of hideous retail parks on their outskirts, leaving the town centre soul-less and run-down. The town still seems to have a large number of old buildings, with only a handful of 1950's to 1970's monstrosities between them. Plus it has several galleries worth visiting, and small but free castle.

However, for me the biggest attraction was of course the Urban Wandering, and the old buildings, passageways and ghost signs. Despite the grey weather I was quite pleased with the three I found and managed to photograph. The first is a Cocoa Mats, Matting, Rope Line & Twine Warehouse, and if you look closely you can just about make out a ghost sign beneath this ghost sign, with the word Manufacturers, slightly overlapping but behind the word Warehouse.

Ghost sign in Farnham, Surrey
Ghost sign in Farnham, Surrey

This next ghost sign is for Farnham UDC Open Air Swimming Baths, which became derelict after its closure in 1981 and was converted into a garden.

Ghost sign in Farnham, Surrey
Ghost sign for Farnham UDC Open Air Swimming Baths

The final of my three ghost signs from Farnham is for Sampson Sampson, a Licensed Maltster. A maltster was involved in the stages of making beer before the brewmaster took over, and would select and prepare the ingredients to malt.
Ghost sign for SimpsonSampson Licensed Maltster, Farnham, Surrey
Ghost sign for Sampson Sampson Licensed Maltster, Farnham, Surrey

So, whilst I've had a great week off, with chances to Urban Wander in both London and Manchester, as well as Farnham, it will soon be time to head back to the daily grind. But hopefully as the evenings get lighter (and warmer ... please !!) I'll be able to get out and about after work on the few days each week when I'm up in London.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for blogging the "Cocoa mats" sign. I had to Google this because the "steam punk" sign above the now "Bill's" cafe looked too contrived. I was surprised that a similar sign was here before. What is a shame is that the original has been completely obliterated, and over-painted in a new and "perfect" modern font, the kerning adjusted.
    Perhaps not quite the same as over-painting the Mona Lisa to correct faults, but the sign now looks like a marketing tool, not an original.
    Anyhow, what was the date of the original?


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