Sunday, 15 December 2013

Urban Wandering around Oxford in search of ghost signs

As I have almost certainly mentioned before in previous blog posts, Oxford is one of my favourite cities alongside London. Whether it's a lazy day walking around Oxford's dreamy spires, on on the hunt for Inspector Morse and Lewis locations, it holds an enduring appeal to me. Leaving home early last Saturday morning to get into there before the shopping crowds arrived, I had parked up was breakfasting by 9am. The aim of my day out was Christmas shopping, but as when I go anywhere these days, still hugely inspired by Psychogeography I am always armed with my iPhone just in case there are ghost signs, urban decay, or other items of interest which need to be photographed. The weather was fairly grim and grey but hopefully the pictures aren't too adversely impacted by the poor light.

Ducking down a couple of side streets, away from the main streets, I headed towards the Jericho area. After only a few minutes I had bagged my first ghost sign of the day.

THE
FINEST
TURKEY
COFFEE
1/4
IN ONE POUND
CANISTERS

followed by

TRY
GEO LUMLEYS
 2/6
TEA

And if you look closely you'll see that both ghost signs are in fact doubles.
Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford
Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford

 Next up we have a slight hint of urban decay, not too much though, and I suspect if I were to return again this interesting old building will have been renovated.
Boarded up building in Jericho, Oxford
Boarded up building in Jericho, Oxford

The next three photographs are all of the same ghost sign as I was unable to chhose just one which did it justice. It was also one of those signs that no matter where I stood I cound't quite get the angle I wanted. This is another double ghost sign and there is a lot more writing there than I can decipher.

J.B.BLENDOWE 
??? GROCER
AND
CONFECTIONER
Championship(?) Prize(?) & Silver Medalists

Plus of course the HOVIS sign running both top-to-bottom, and also more feintly across the sign as well.
Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford
Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford

Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford
Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford

Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford
 Ghost sign in Jericho, Oxford

This next ghost sign is a complete mystery. Not only can I note read it at all, but also I cannot recall where I took the picture. I think it was probably Jericho but may equally have been just off the Cowley Road, which was my next stop.
Ghost sign in Oxford
Ghost sign in Oxford

Ok, so maybe mystery solved, as this next ghost sign was in the centre of Oxford as I moved between Jericho and the Cowley Road area, so that does make me think the one above was in fact in Jericho.

FRANK
BAST 

Ghost sign in Oxford
Ghost sign in Oxford

The Cowley Road section of Oxford revealed a whole different sort of ghost sign. Whereas those in Jericho had all been painted on to the brick, these ones were either painted on to plaster or on signs attached to the brickwork.

F.W.COX
SWEEPER

Ghost sign just off the Cowley Road, Oxford
Ghost sign just off the Cowley Road, Oxford

BUTLER'S
IRONMONGER 

Ghost sign just off the Cowley Road, Oxford
Ghost sign just off the Cowley Road, Oxford

My final ghost sign was also a bit of a mystery. Whilst I'm fairly sure the last word is contractors, the rest of the sign is long gone.

???
CONTRACTORS


Ghost sign just off the Cowley Road, Oxford
Ghost sign just off the Cowley Road, Oxford

So, ovearll not a bad haul, and I even managed to get some Christams shopping done as well.

    

Also, I had not started out with this intention, but the prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday included a few signs, so I thought this would do nicely for that too.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Urban Wandering around Fulham, Parsons Green and Putney Bridge

I think I managed to find time for my latest Urban Wander on what must have been the bleakest days of the year so far - grey, cold and windy, so please excuse the quality and jaunty angles of some of the pictures which follow. Actually these pictures were taken on two separate wanders, although the first wander only resulted in one picture, the first one below. This is of a shop front in the New King's Road just beyond Parsons Green tube station. The shop is in the process of being restored and I'm assuming that this old sign has recently been uncovered as part of the renovation. I'm a bit annoyed I managed to miss out half of the final letter, but I was taking this from the road and worried about the approaching bus,

Old sign in the New King's Road, London SW6
Old sign in the New King's Road, London SW6

The next set of pictures are all from my second wander around a similar area, and feature a mixture of ghost signs and abandonment. First up is a great ghost sign for Brymay Matches which I found along Lillie Road.

FOR BRITISH HOMES
BRYMAY

Ghost sign in Lillie Road, London SW6
Ghost sign in Lillie Road, London SW6

Despite the cold wind, I was inspired by this one, so kept on going, and turning into Munster Road I found another two beauties. First up is a ghost sign for Walpamur Paint spread across two wall panels. The ghost sign on the right hand side reads:

S.G.PURKISS
& CO LTD
STOCK AND
RECOMMEND
WALPAMUR
QUALITY
PAINTS

The one on the left hand side is harder to decipher but contains:

WALPAMUR
WATER PAINT
???
 ENAMEL PAINT
???
SATIN FINISH
Ghost sign in Munster Road, London SW6

Hot on the heels of the previous one, I came across another, even better one, spread across three sections of wall:

REDFERNS
RUBBER
HEELS

CHEAPEST
&
BEST
FULHAM
LEATHER

Ghost sign in Munster Road, London SW6
Ghost sign in Munster Road, London SW6

Towards the end of New King's Road I found another, which is a bit difficult to make it, but I think it says

THE
DRIVE
???
Ghost sign in New King's Road, London SW6
Ghost sign in New King's Road, London SW6

Coming out of the New King's Road and on to the Fulham High Street, I was greeted with signs of abandonment, dereliction and decay ... and if I'm not imagining things then some of the pictures below also have faded lettering in the brickwork of what I assume is an abandoned garage of some sorts.

Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London W6
Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London SW6

Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London W6
Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London SW6

Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London W6
Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London SW6

Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London W6
Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London SW6

Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London W6
Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London SW6

Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London W6
Abandoned buildings on the Fulham High Street, London SW6

Unfortunately I have not been able to find any information as to what this building, or rather set of buildings, may have been.

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