Tuesday 15 December 2009

Ghost signs (30): Alpha Road pre-visited

One of the best ghost signs I've found in Deptford is the Brymay advertisement in Alpha Road. I was fascinated to find from mickmct's 1986 image that it's actually looking better today than it did then. A nice illustration of the positive role of billboards, however annoying they can be for obscuring these signs!


Marmoset said...

Interesting to see how a coating of soot has disappeared - I wonder if that's just cleaner air - smokeless fuels, fewer exhaust emissions.

Having seen this sign close up, at the bottom of it to the right there appears to be another sign that's not visible on the photos which seems to say ''Bond signs'' - I've had a quick search for this company but I found nothing.

On the subject of ''hoarding preservation'' there's a ghost sign on the Woolwich Road (on the side wall of a tool-hire company) that has only recently become exposed again from under the advertisement. The Greenwich Phantom has a photo as part of a ''faded Greenwich'' occasional series.

CarolineLD said...

Yes, I was struck by the disappearance of soot. Maybe it has been cleaned at some point - but if so, it was done gently enough for the sign to survive intact. Well, aside from the dismal graffiti.

I think the sign at the botttom says 'Boro', an agency who even advertised themselves on Wandsworth Road - they seem to have been a major agent for wall space and were based in Long Acre.

I know the Woolwich Road sign you mean - I photographed it a while back but hadn't got nearly as far as you and the other Phantom commenters at deciphering it!

Mick McT said...

Just a quick comment on the photograph before anyone reads too much into the disappearing soot...I took it back in 1986/87. I can't remember the camera used but it was most likely a Canon EV1 which I never did manage to master properly so the gods alone know what the speed and exposure settings were. The photo was printed on Kodak paper and then kept in a pile with other prints until I scanned it recently and posted it on Flickr. Given all that, I suspect the murkiness of the original may have as much to do with the quality of the photo as with the quality of the air!

Mick McT

CarolineLD said...

Thanks for the extra info, Mick, but having peered carefully at both photos I think you're being a little hard on yourself - the soot was definitely at least partly to blame!

It's also fascinating to see that the traces of where the billboard was are still visible today.