Sunday, 17 November 2013

Urban Wandering: an early morning drift around Southwark, London SE1

Having seen that the forecast for the morning was crisp and clear, and given that my modest hotel room afforded a magnificent view over the Shard, I set my alarm for 6:40am to catch the sunrise. The photos I took from the hotel window are all a bit grainy through the combination of iPhone, dirty hotel room window and my unsteady hand, but I was still quite pleased with them.

Early morning view of the Shard, London
Early morning view of the Shard, London, SE1

Early morning view of the Shard, London
Early morning view of the Shard, London, SE1

I have wandered through some parts of Southwark before, but by no means all of it, so I headed off in a random direction and was soon rewarded with a raft of photo opportunities. This first sign made me chuckle, which is no mean feat at just after 7am. 

COMMIT NO NUISANCE

So I hurried on in case my camera shutter was too noisy for the neighbourhood.

Old sign in Southwark, London SE1
Old sign in Southwark, London SE1

This next sign looks quite new but there was no evidence of a tin-box maker anywhere in the vicinity so I assume this is just a well maintained, or maybe preserved sign.

G.WALLIN & Co. Ltd.
TIN-BOX MAKERS
GLOBE St. WORKS 

Old sign in Globe Street, Southwark, London SE1
Old sign in Globe Street, Southwark, London SE1

No ghost signs or old signs in this next picture, but a beautiful old building nevertheless, with its old windows and old lift arm still intact.
Old building, Cole Street, Southwark, London SE1
Old building, Cole Street, Southwark, London SE1

The final picture on this short by pleasant urban wander took me to Tabard Street where I came across this old building with no less than four distinct, but connected and related old signs.

HARDING & SONS
HARDWARE MERCHANTS
TIN PLATE WORKERS
JAPANNERS

Being new to the term Japanners a quick bit of internet research shows it to be the European imitation of Asian laquerwork.

Old sign in Tabard Street, Southwark, London SE1
Old sign in Tabard Street, Southwark, London SE1


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Urban Wandering: Baron's Court and Fulham, London W6

Having thought I was running out of places to explore during my lunchtime wanders, I decided to head off in the same direction as my very first wander in this area as I was sure there was plenty more exploration to be undertaken in that area ... I was not mistaken.

After walking past the beautifully preserved exterior of Baron's Court tube station, I headed across Margravine Cemetery (aka Hammersmith Cemetery) in the general direction of Fulham. The station exterior itself is huge, but the majority of it is now, and perhaps always was, occupied by small shops and cafes. Purists amongst you may argue that the EXIT sign is not actually a ghost sign, but given that I am fairly sure this is no longer a conventional exit (maybe it's an emergency one) then I'm happy to classify it as one.

Baron's Court underground station, London
Baron's Court underground station, London W6

Exiting the cemetery I walked down through a housing estate and on to Greyhound Road. I spotted this old advertising sign on a shop. If Guinness Time was 12:03 then I'd missed it by half an hour, although in reality I suspect this clock has been stuck at that time for a while now ... still, at least it's right twice a day.

 Old advertising sign and clock for "Guinness Time", Greyhound Road, Fulham, London
 Old advertising sign and clock for "Guinness Time", Greyhound Road, Fulham, London W6

The clock face on the other side of the sign had lost its hands completely, suggesting that either no time is Guinness time, or conversely any time is Guinness time.

 Old advertising sign and clock for "Guinness Time", Greyhound Road, Fulham, London
 Old advertising sign and clock for "Guinness Time", Greyhound Road, Fulham, London W6

Further along Greyhound Road was this beauty. If you look closely it's actually a double ghost sign. In the foreground we have

BUILDERS & DECORATORS
PHONE FUL 2350
1a  J.PREEN & Co.  1a 

but beneath that I can just make out

F.C. EARLES & SONS

Ghost sign in Greyhound Road, Fulham, London W6
Ghost sign in Tasso Road, Fulham, London W6

My list of areas to explore further is growing by the week, but based on what I managed to see in the short time I had for this particular wander, I feel compelled to promote this one to the top of the list and return again soon.

    

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A wander around the Essex coastline (part 3 of 3) - Burnham on Crouch

The final part of our brief jaunt around the Essex coastline took us to Burnham on Crouch, on the windiest day of the year, although fortunately not quite comparable to the storms of 1987 as many had feared. First and foremost in our minds was breakfast, as it was already mid morning and we had not eaten. We found a basic but excellent cafe on the coastal promenade, and arrived with minutes to spare before they called last orders for breakfast. Feeling pleasantly full and warm we set off to explore the town and its immediate area. The coastline was spectacular in a way that I had not expected it to be. I'm not sure these two photos I selected form the tens I took quite do it justice.

Burnham on Crouch, Essex
Burnham on Crouch, Essex

Burnham on Crouch, Essex
Burnham on Crouch, Essex

After not thinking I'd see any ghost signs here, I stumbled across three as we made our way back to the car to start our long journey back home to West Berkshire. The first ghost sign is for  

SWEETING'S DIRECT FISH SUPPLIES

The sign looks very well preserved, or perhaps restored, but the pristine doorway suggests that this is now a residential dwelling. Maybe I'm wrong (and in fact I hope I am) but it seemed hard to believe that fish would now be sold from this particular location.
Ghost sign in Burnham on Crouch, Essex
Ghost sign in Burnham on Crouch, Essex

These next two ghost signs were on adjacent shops. The first is for

CROUCH BAKERY

which now seems to be a travel agent of some sort.
Ghost sign in Burnham on Crouch, Essex
Ghost sign in Burnham on Crouch, Essex

The second has the words

STANDARD TEA WAREHOUSE

nearing the apex of the roof. I did have a quick walk down the alleyway between these two buildings but couldn't find anything more.

Ghost sign in Burnham on Crouch, Essex
Ghost sign in Burnham on Crouch, Essex

So, my first real visit to Essex finally came to an end. We shall definitely be returning.

If you missed the first two instalments then you can catch these at part one (Maldon) and part two (Mersea).

Tune in next time for a more rural wander around Goring and Streatley.


Monday, 4 November 2013

A wander around the Essex coastline (part 2 of 3) - Mersea

The second post in my series of three from the Essex coastline features Mersea. This day started out very grey and wet, but was livened up by a fantastic breakfast of drop pancakes and bacon, washed down with fresh orange juice and extra strong coffee, in the Art Café in West Mersea, after which the sun came out, allowing us to embark on a dry but windy walk.

Boat off West Mersea, Essex
Boat off West Mersea, Essex

Beautiful colours on this small boat, tied up on the beach as we continued our wander around the coast.

Painted boat on Mersea, Essex
Painted boat on Mersea, Essex

As we walked around the coast we saw boats of all shapes and sizes, with some appearing marooned in the grasslands but all with elevated gangways, suggesting that at high tide they are actually in the water and only accessible by means of these walkways.

House boats on Mersea, Essex
House boats on Mersea, Essex

Despite being low tide, these boats are most definitely in the water.

Jetty on Mersea, Essex
Jetty on Mersea, Essex

As if the houses in this next picture were not perfect enough, the name of the road, City Road, grabbed my attention too as I couldn't really think of anywhere less city like.

City Road, West Mersea, Essex
City Road, West Mersea, Essex


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