Friday, 16 August 2013

Ghost signs from Stroud and Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Although not away on holiday for the second week of my summer break I am off work and doing a few day trips from home. Yesterday I regained my wandering mojo, with a day trip to Stroud and Nailsworth in the Cotswolds. I had driven through this area on a recent journey back from Cheltenham and had made a mental note to stop to look at the area, and in particular the industrial architecture in a bit more detail.

Our first stop was Stroud, although much of what I had wanted to see was in fact in the town before which we only drove through. I got enough of a taster from the car to want to return on foot another time. Stroud itself was an interesting town, nestling in between some fairly impressive Cotswold hills, and the town and immediate surroundings also boasting some fairly steep streets too. We took a wander down to the partially restored canal, and rummaged around in some of the antique and charity shops. This town looked as though it should have had more ghost signs than I found, but for now this small offering will have to suffice.

The first is for either for an old shop called Tailors, or was actually for a Tailors ... I suspect the latter. In a town with lots of independent shops, this chain coffee shop didn't seem to fit at all.

Ghost sign for Tailors, now a coffee shop, in Stroud, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign for Tailors, now a coffee shop, in Stroud, Gloucestershire

 This next ghost sign was on the side of the Inprint book shop. The book shop itself is fascinating enough for its shelves stacked high with old and rare books, but the tile work in the interior, presumably from it's days as a butcher's shop, and the ghost sign outside made it doubly impressive..

PRITCHARDS
DELICIOUS
Home Made
S...........

We couldn't decipher the last word but it begins with an 'S', so could possibly be Sausages or Savouries.

  Ghost sign for Pritchard's, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign for Pritchard's, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Ghost sign for Pritchard's, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign for Pritchard's, Stroud, Gloucestershire

On leaving Stroud we decided to take a different route home, going through Nailsworth. Sharing the driving, my wife was at the wheel for this stretch of the journey allowing me to take in all the disused and converted mills on the roadside. As we approach Nailsworth I caught a glimpse of a ghost sign from the corner of my eye, and insisted we stopped to go back and have a quick look. This in fact ended up not to be a quick look, but turned out to be a walk around the town and a meal. I took loads of pictures in Nailsworth of which these are a few of my favourites.

Ghost sign for The Old Stamp Office, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign for The Old Stamp Office, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
 
This merchant's building was the one we actually pulled over to see. The first two pictures are more for context than to show off the ghost signs, and aim to convey just how big this building is. What's more, if you are so inclined, this is now part of the accommodation offered by the Egypt Mill, Nailsworth.

C.W.Jones merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
C.W.Jones merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

This picture was taken from the table in the restaurant garden.
C.W.Jones merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
C.W.Jones merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Three of the four sides had ghost signs, and I suspect the fourth did as well but it had an extension bolted to it so no way to tell. Also, it seems that each side had its own ghost sign, advertising a different trade of the merchant, C.W.Jones.

... AND BUILDER'S MERCHANTS
... S TIMBER, BRICK, SANITARY ...
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

C.W.JONES COAL AND BUILDERS
MERCHANTS TRUCK LOADS
AT COLLIERY PRICES
 
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

C.W.JONES
COAL & BUILDERS 

Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
 
Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
 Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
 Ghost sign on old merchant's building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

This must count as one of the most frustrating ghost signs I've even seen. The words RAILWAY HOTEL can just about be seen, peeping out above the scaffolding, but the scaffolding ran around the perimeter of the old hotel at exactly the same height as the ghost sign, and despite approaching it from various angles, this was the best shot I could get ... definitely one to return to once the repairs have been completed.

Ghost sign for the Railway Hotel, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Ghost sign for the Railway Hotel, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Given there was a railway hotel, then it figured that there should also be a railway station somewhere, but it actually took us a while to locate. This is now a private residence, but it can be seen clearly from the nearby public road. This was the terminus on the Stonehouse to Nailsworth branch, closed to passengers in the 1940's and to freight in the 1960's. Hard to imagine that Nailsworth could have been big enough for a railway, let alone a sizeable railway hotel.

Nailsworth Railway Station, Gloucestershire
Nailsworth Railway Station, Gloucestershire

Nailsworth Railway Station, Gloucestershire
Nailsworth Railway Station, Gloucestershire

This picture shows the station building and the platform edge.

Nailsworth Railway Station, Gloucestershire
Nailsworth Railway Station, Gloucestershire

This is now almost certainly going to be my last wander before I have to return to work next week. If I'm luck I might squeeze in another at the weekend, but if it's good weather then I really should get out on my bike and burn off some more of those holiday calories.

    

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