My second urban wander of the day was out to Shoreditch. This has been on the “to do” list for a while now so I was quite excited at finally being able to make it. There were so many interesting buildings and railway bridges in various states of disrepair, that I could have taken 100’s of photos. Instead however I decided, for this visit anyway, to focus on ghost signs, of which there were an abundance.
Well, actually the first one is not a ghost sign in the true sense of the phrase, i.e. it is not a painted sign which now only has feint lettering visible, but this is a rusting sign of a disused car park and petrol station on Curtain Street. The car park sign boasts the Meyers Bros Parking System which is a US based car parking company founded in 1964. The car park still exists but the petrol station is long gone and has been replaced, like so many, by a hand car wash.
Next we have a real ghost sign, also on Curtain Street. The only lettering I can make out is “NET FACTOR” but looking at the right justification of the lettering against the lighter background, I would assume that there was either some sort of logo, or perhaps more letters on the left.
Unlike other places I’ve been and taken photos, I felt a bit conspicuous in some areas of Shoreditch, so I don’t actually remember where the next ghost sign was. There was an even better one on the front of the building, but that would have really been too much in the faces of the people standing directly beneath it, so I had to settle for the “R.HOLLINGTON” one on the side of the building instead.
The next three are all of the same company, W.A.Hudson Ltd., Furnishing Brassfounders, and again just off Curtain Road. When I was taking the first photo I didn't realise that it was partially obscured by a branch from a nearby tree, which slightly spoilt what would otherwise have been a great shot.
No branhces in the way of the next two photos though.
Of the three photos I took of the ghost signs of W.A.Hudson Ltd., this is my favourite. I particularly like the striking contrast of the blue woodwork against the brickwork. It's unfortunately a little grainy (as after all I was only using a mobile phone) and it's a shame about the glare from the windows in the top two doors. And interestingly, a very similar picture graces the cover of a book called Behind the Veneer: South Shoreditch - The Furniture Trade and Its Buildings: The South Shoreditch Furniture Trade and Its Buildings.
My penultimate photo is of a ghost sign unlike any other I’ve seen before. This is a very thin and very tall sign, “POULTON & NICHOLSON” written top to bottom. It looks like there may have been a sign to the left of this at some stage given the difference in brick colours.
By the time I found my final ghost sign it was beginning to get dark, so unfortunately the quality of this last picture is not that good. However it was such a great ghost sign I felt obligated to share it. The advertisement if for Gillette blades, and it runs not only across the wall of the building but also out on to the chimney breast as well. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to revisit in better light in the not too distant future, and if I’m honest I’m pretty sure I only scraped the surface of Shoreditch, so there’s plenty more scope for a return visit.