Monday, 29 April 2013

Urban Wandering: a return visit to Shoreditch, London EC2 (part 1)

With some unexpected time on our hands this weekend because of cancellations to the kids' normal weekend sporting events, we went up to London for the day, primarily to visit a couple of exhibitions, Schwitters in Britain at Tate Britain and Lichtenstein at Tate Modern, but needless to say we also managed to get some, fairly serious, urban wandering.

After spending an hour or so in the first exhibition at Tate Britain, we headed off towards Shoreditch. The luck of the tubes meant that we couldn't quite get to Liverpool Street which was my planned starting point, so we travelled to Whitechapel instead and headed over to Shoreditch from there.

One of the first sights that greeted us was this magnificent chimney, with the ghost sign "TRUMANS" written vertically. Unbelievably the sky was a glorious blue behind us, but unfortunately a dull grey in front. What was slightly odd about this ghost sign was that the "S" of "TRUMANS" is in a different colour and almost unreadable.

Ghost sign on a chimney in Shoreditch, London EC2
 Ghost sign on a chimney in Shoreditch, London EC2

Those of you who read the post on my previous Urban Wander around Shoreditch will have seen this ghost sign before ... well, actually that's not quite true, you will only have seen the lower part of it. Approaching this building from the other direction I realised that there was also lettering between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building, so instead of just "NET FACTOR" we now have "BUTLER" followed by "NET FACTOR", and after some further research on the internet, there's a suggestion that the latter may in fact be "CABINET FACTOR".
Ghost sign in Shoredtich, London EC2.
Ghost sign in Shoredtich, London EC2.

These next pictures are a series of  three ghost signs, all on the same building in Garden Lane. Each ghost sign has different words, and the ability to decipher each one gets worse as I walked down the street. The first one seems to read, "C.W.Waters Entrance No 72 Great Eastern St" followed by a hand pointing to the left.

Ghost sign in Garden Walk, Shoreditch, London EC2
Ghost sign in Garden Walk, Shoreditch, London EC2

On the second ghost sign I can just about make out (or rather guess) the words:

?
Electric 
?
Goods ?
Empties
Entrance

The word "Electric" is a complete guess but given that I can definitely make out the letters "lect" and that there was an electricity sub station around the corner, I think this is a reasonable guess. And as for "Empties", well, I'm struggling to think of another word ending in "pties".

Ghost sign in Garden Walk, Shoreditch, London EC2
Ghost sign in Garden Walk, Shoreditch, London EC2

On closer inspection, the third one may in fact be the same as the second one, as I think I can just about make out pties" and "Entrance" again.

Ghost sign in Garden Walk, Shoreditch, London EC2
Ghost sign in Garden Walk, Shoreditch, London EC2

This next picture probably does not meet the dictionary definition (if there is one) for a ghost sign, but it's old, battered, and clearly used to say something. Again it's in the Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch, and is a parking restriction of some sort.
Battered, car parking sign in Shoreditch, London EC2
Battered, car parking sign in Shoreditch, London EC2

This next picture definitely looked better in real life and is in fact quite hard to read on the photo. It's actually a metal sign as opposed to a sign painted on to the brickwork, and reads "CABINET BENCHES".
Old (ghost) sign on Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, London EC2
Old (ghost) sign on Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, London EC2

Ghost sign on Commercial Street, Shoreditch, London EC2
Ghost sign on Commercial Street, Shoreditch, London EC2

I did take more pictures of Shoreditch, and also at other places in this urban wander, so will include those in a subsequent blog post, or two.

    

2 comments:

  1. Now you have me curious about this place Shoreditch and will have to google it! Very interesting photos! A great day to be out and about!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, yes, definitely an interesting place to visit. Probably most well known these days for Brick Lane, but that was so packed we opted to explore some more off the beaten track areas. Lots of old buildings (some restored, some derelict), ghost signs, and more recently galleries.

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