Wednesday, 17 December 2014

An Urban Wander around Westbourne Grove, London W2

With time enough for a short lunch break one day last week, and still very much inspired by Psychogeography, I paid a visit to some familiar ground and, as always seems to be the case, found a few new things which caught my eye. Starting at the Beany Green café in Sheldon Square, where they make one of the best Flat White coffees I've had, I headed off towards the Westbourne Grove area.

Beany Green Café, Sheldon Square, Paddington, London W2
Beany Green Café, Sheldon Square, Paddington, London W2

First up was this quaint, little mews, Bott's Mews, not far off the Westbourne Grove itself.

Bott's Mews, London W2
Bott's Mews, London W2

At the far end of this mews there are paths leading off both left and right. I have walked along the paths before but for some inexplicable reason never seem to have noticed the actual mews before. Maybe because I've never looked at it from this direction before. 

Bott's Mews, London W2
Bott's Mews, London W2

Bott's Mews, London W2
Bott's Mews, London W2

As I drifted along Artesian Road, I caught sight of an old and new sign for Courtnell Street. It wasn't until I had crossed the road and lined up the picture, that I realised that in addition to the ghost sign of the road name, there was also a ghost sign in the glass of the windows too.

ORDERS PROMPTLY DISPATCHED

Ok, so the last word is missing so I have guessed that maybe that's what it would have once said.

Ghost sign in Courtnell Road, London W2
Ghost sign in Courtnell Road, London W2

On the other side of the building was more writing,

WINES BEERS

Ghost sign in Courtnell Road, London W2
Ghost sign in Courtnell Road, London W2

This next ghost sign is in Powis Mews. I have previously walked along this mews and spotted a ghost sign at the other end, but this was the first time I'd seen this one. This is harder to read than its counterpart at the other end of the mews, but is also for

LEVERWTT & FRYE

Ghost sign in Powis Mews, London W2
Ghost sign in Powis Mews, London W2

No shortage of restaurants, pubs and cafés in this part of around London. Most of them I have never been into, including these two, but they both look good from the outside.

Wildflower Café, Chepstow Road, London W2
Wildflower Café, Chepstow Road, London W2

The Tin Shed, All Saints Road, London W2
The Tin Shed, All Saints Road, London W2

Pub sign, Westbourne Park Road, London W2
Pub sign, Westbourne Park Road, London W2

Possibly the world's most technically sophisticated toilet which seems to have its own built-in telephone exchange.

Toilet-cum-telephone exchange, Bishop's Bridge Road, London W2
Toilet-cum-telephone exchange, Bishop's Bridge Road, London W2

Initially I just thought this was a ghost sign for Alexander Street itself, but beneath that there's also an even older ghost sign for what the road was previously called.

SUTHERLAND
TERRACE

Ghost signs, Alexander Street, London W2
Ghost signs, Alexander Street, London W2

Westbourne Park Passage, London W2
Westbourne Park Passage, London W2

I also noticed quite a few old cars dotted around the streets of W2 and W11. The Citroen is my favourite.

Morris Minor, London W2
Morris Minor, London W2

Old Citroen, London W2
Old Citroen, London W2

Old Volvo, London W11

    

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Ghost Signs from Asheville, North Carolina

As it becomes more and more difficult to get outside in the light during the week, I am resorting back to my summer holiday snaps for today's blog post. Although it seems like a distant memory now, we had three wonderful weeks on holiday in the US back in July/August this year. This particular photo set is from an Urban Wander around Asheville, North Carolina, which like many of the towns we visited seemed to be full of ghost signs.

BLUE RIDGE SAVINGS
BANK

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

SOUTHERN FURNITURE Co

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Great ghost sign but I can only make out the word

DELICIOUS

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Two ghost signs here. The first is easy to read but the second one is a mystery to me.

FRESH UP WITH 7 UP

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

It's been a while since I've seen a Woolworth's here in the UK since their mass closure a few years ago. It seems as though in the US it may still be a going concern, but I've called it a ghost sign here. 

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

One of the easier to read ghost signs.

DELICIOUS AND REFRESHING
DRINK
COCA-COLA

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

AUTO ACCESSORIES

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA


ASHEVILLE SUPPLY & FOUNDRY CO

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Here's the same building with a better view of the ghost sign on the side.

ASHEVILLE
SUPPLY & FOUNDRY
MACHINERY
PIPE & FITTINGS
BELTING
VALVES
ETC

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Another hard to read ghost sign, but on the left-hand side I can just make out the words

? HARDWARE
MANTELS GRATES

and on the right-hand side I can see

WINDOWS

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

A better view of the fabulous truck outside Pack's Tavern.

Old truck, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Old truck, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

I thought this said painting initially but a closer inspection revealed that it says

PRINTING

not sure about the top right-hand side though.

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

? AND RECTOR
FURNITURE, STOVES
TRUNKS & ?

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

ASHEVILLE FISH CO
ESTABLISHED
1894
AGENTS FOR
CAPE FISH CO
BOSTON, MASS

Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Ghost sign, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

And finally after a long day wandering around the city, it was time for dinner. Possibly one of the best quesadillas I've ever eaten.

Quesadillas, Salsa Restaurant, Asheville, North Carolina, USA


    

That's all for today folks. I hope to be able to write a couple more blog posts this side of Christmas, but if I don't then a Happy Christmas and New Year to anyone reading this.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A short wander around Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, London

Only a brief post today, but hopefully the few pictures make up for the lack in quantity. I had the opportunity to venture south of the river last week, and actually quite far south, to a part of London where I'm pretty sure I've never been to before, Forest Hill, The purpose of the visit was to go to the Horniman Museum, but I did manage to find a little time for some wandering.

As we left the Overground train station, I caught sight of a couple of ghost signs, but alas they would have to wait for another day. What particularly struck me about this part of London was the sheer abundance of parks and other green spaces. These three pictures are all taken in Horniman Gardens, looking back towards London.

View from Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, London
View from Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, London

View from Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, London
View from Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, London

Bandstand, Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, London
Bandstand, Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, London

We did walk down through the gardens into Dulwich, but as you can see from the last photo the day was beginning to close, so unfortunately no pictures of that part of the wander. Another time perhaps.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

An Urban Wander from Shoreditch to Islington, London

With the evenings firmly in the grip of winter darkness, it's very difficult to manage to do any urban wandering after work, but fortunately this week I had some time on my hands during daylight hours. For this particular Urban Wander, I have returned to one of my favourite haunts, Shoreditch, from where I drifted northwards until I hit the Regents Canal. The whole of Shoreditch and surrounding area is home to a wide range of ever-changing street art. Here are just a couple of examples that I'd either not seen previously, or not photographed before.

Street Art, Shoreditch, London N1
Street Art, Shoreditch, London N1

Street Art, Shoreditch, London N1
Street Art, Shoreditch, London N1

I'm not quite sure what this fabulous old building is used for now, but pretty sure it's no longer the Haggerston Branch of the Shoreditch Library.

Former library, Shoreditch, London N1
Former library, Shoreditch, London N1

This ghost sign is not as old as many I've seen in this area, but I like it all the same.I can make out some of the writing, but not all of it.

Medallion
Homes

? Borders Limited
? Orford Road
Walthamstow

Ghost sign, Hoxton, London N1
Ghost sign, Mill Row, Hoxton, London N1

Now we come to the part of the wander where I turned my attentions to the Regents Canal, walking from Kingsland Road to Islington. The first thing that struck me about this canal was how busy the towpath was. I really had to pick my timing to get some of these pictures to avoid the passing pedestrians and cyclists. Secondly, I had stumbled across a district in London that was new to me, De Beauvoir. I only really saw it from the canal, and like so many other places I only scratched the surface, so have made a mental note to return.

Thomas Briggs Factory, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Thomas Briggs Factory, De Beauvoir Town, London N1

This ghost sign on the former Rosemary Works building, or rather two separate ghost signs, is across the canal from the Thomas Briggs factory above. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to decypher any of the words.

Rosemary Works, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Rosemary Works, De Beauvoir Town, London N1

Rosemary Works, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Rosemary Works, De Beauvoir Town, London N1

Back to the Thomas Briggs factory once more, which seemed to have something interesting on every facade.

Thomas Briggs Factory, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Thomas Briggs Factory, De Beauvoir Town, London N1

Thomas Briggs Factory, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Thomas Briggs Factory, de Beauvoir Town, London N1

Thomas Briggs Factory, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Thomas Briggs Factory, De Beauvoir Town, London N1

Thomas Briggs Factory, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Thomas Briggs Factory, De Beauvoir Town, London N1

Thomas Briggs Factory, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Thomas Briggs Factory, De Beauvoir Town, London N1 

Conscious that I was running out of time, I made my way quickly along the canal towpath towards a chimney tower I could see in the distance. Initially I thought this was the one on the Diespeker building that I'd been to before, but was pleased to discover this was in fact another one at Eagle Wharf. Unfortunately the weather was rather overcast and I'm sure this tower would look much better with a blue sky background. Next time maybe.

Eagle Wharf, de Beauvoir Town, London N1
Eagle Wharf, de Beauvoir Town, London N1

So this next chimney tower is the one on the former Diespeker marble works.

Diespeker Wharf, Islington, London
Diespeker Wharf, Islington, London

Having now run out of time, as I left the towpath near Islington, the sun had finally managed to burn through the early morning mist, allowing me to get at least one photo with a blue sky. This is an abandoned pub, just off the canal in Islington.

Abandoned pub, Islington, London
Abandoned pub, Islington, London

    

Saturday, 15 November 2014

An Urban Wander around Paddington and Edgware Road, London

Still very much inspired by the world of Psychogeography, my Urban Wanders around London continue as and when I can find time, and if the weather allows. This week I only managed a brief drift around the Paddington and Edgware Road areas. The gray skies were not filling me with optimism but I was pleased with my haul for the day.

Most of the Paddington Basin area has now been redeveloped, leaving few traces of its past, but there are a few reminders of its more industrial past here and there.

Old canal side buildings, Paddington Basin, London
Old canal side buildings, Paddington Basin, London

Old canal side buildings, Paddington Basin, London
Old canal side buildings, Paddington Basin, London

Heading west from Paddington, across the Regents canal, I crossed the Edgware Road and made my way down Church Street with its various Friday market stalls. I had walked down this road before but, as often happens, I spotted things I'd never seen before, like this piece of street art.

Street art, Church Street, London NW8
Street art, Church Street, London NW8

These next two photos show the changing times of the street. The first picture shows the former Duke of York pub, now a Halal food restaurant, but still preserving the original pub sign.

Old pub sign, Church Street, London NW8
Old pub sign, Church Street, London NW8

Further down Church Street I spotted this old sign for a sweet shop, appropriately perhaps now sitting above a vintage shop.

Old shop sign, Church Street, London NW8
Old shop sign, Church Street, London NW8

    

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