Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Urban Wandering: Tower Hill through Southwark to Lambeth

I easily have enough photos from the weekend for another post about my urban wandering around Shoreditch, but having posted twice already this week, I think I'll save the third instalment for later. Instead I'm going to share some pictures from the latter stages of the weekend's urban wander, which took us south from Shoreditch, through Tower Hill, across the Thames to Tate Modern, and then through Southwark and Lambeth.
This first picture is of the hydraulic accumulator tower from the Midland Railway's City Goods Depot on the London and Blackwall Line. Of all the ghost signs I've seen to date, this is one of my favourites. The lettering beneath the windows reads, "CITY GOODS STATION AND BONDED STORES". There is also lettering above the windows. I've read in a couple of places that this says "LONDON MIDLAND & SCOTTISH RAILWAY" but I'm pretty sure this is not the case as I can definitely make out the word "STORE" above the two windows on the right. I think there's probably a lot more to explore along this line as it heads east, but that's for another day.
Ghost sign near Tower Gateway DLR station
Ghost sign near Tower Gateway DLR station

So, now we come to south of the river, and the next two pictures are of quite well preserved ghost sign, obscured by a tree. I managed to make out the words "INSU ...", presumably "INSURANCE", followed by "GLASS", "ACCIDENT", "MOTOR" and "ETC". However, after a bit of internet research, it would seem that someone managed to get a photo of this ghost sign when the tree was not quite so big. The full sign actually reads:

Founded 1710
Office Ltd
Plate Glass

Ghost sign in Chancel Street, London SE1
Ghost sign in Chancel Street, London SE1

Ghost sign in Chancel Street, London SE1
Ghost sign in Chancel Street, London SE1

I originally only intended to take this next photo to make sure I had a street name against which to post the last two pictures, but as I brought the camera (or rather phone) to my eye, I found that quite an interesting view came into focus. The locked grey metal gates, the light blue woodwork of the windows, with the filled railway arches and bridge in the background.

Chancel Street, London, SE1

This next picture was taken a bit further down Chancel Street and shows the doorway to what used to be the Baths and Wash House. The lettering cut into the stone is covered in years of grime but is still just about legible.

Entrance to old Baths and Wash House, Chancel Street, London SE1
Entrance to the old Baths and Wash House, Chancel Street, London SE1

No ghost signs on this next picture, I simply thought the glasses between the 2nd and 3rd floors of this building in Lower Marsh, were quite unusual interesting.
Lower Marsh, London SE1
Lower Marsh, London SE1

And for my final picture of this urban wander, we return to ghost signs. Given the proximity of the newer building to the left, this was really hard to get an even half-decent picture. A bit of research later suggests what the lettering says, and also indicates that the sign is much more visible from the passing trains.

The Pioneer Catering
Co Ltd
Luncheons &
 xxx Dinners
xxx  Prices
xxx Stout
I wonder if the words before "Stout" could have been something like "Fine Ales & Stout". The building that this ghost sign adorns was heavily boarded up, with broken windows and graffiti. I'm not sure what the future holds for it, it was some sort of college, but I hope this wonderful ghost sign survives.

Ghost sign on the side of a building in Lower Marsh, London SE1
Ghost sign on the side of a building in Lower Marsh, London SE1


So after quite a hectic week and weekend, where I think I have posted almost every day, I'm in need of a bit of a rest now. I'm working up in London for a few days again soon, so as well as posting the final batch of my Shoreditch visit, I hope to have some new wanderings to share.


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