Sunday, 29 June 2014

Ghost signs (112): beds on Whitechapel Road

At first glance, 201 Whitechapel Road is a pleasant Victorian building but not of particular interest. However, above each first-floor window is a painted sign: Bedding, Bedsteads, Feathers, Flocks. 


The building has a long past as a clothing shop, not unusual for this area. In 1871 it was a hosiery and menswear shop; in 1982 it housed a wholesale clothing manufacturer. Today, it is a retail clothing shop again. However, our signs presumably mark a break in such usage, since woollen flock was used to stuff mattresses: combined with bedding and feathers, it suggests that the shop sold not only bedsteads but also the mattresses and pillows to go with them.

In researching this post, I came across a lovely resource: Panorama High Street East, which has photographs of the length of Whitechapel Road and beyond, combined with all sorts of information on each building. It's a lovely way to explore this stretch of the East End!

2 comments:

runner500 said...

That's lovely, well spotted!

Hels said...

I love Whitechapel Road but it has changed so much that getting information about original buildings and how they were used has been problematic. I have done excellent guided tours, but they have tended to focus on religious buildings, theatres etc. So Panorama High Street East sounds like a useful reference, thank you.

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