Sunday, 13 June 2010

Second birthday!

Today, this blog is two years old. I'm celebrating by starting a new weekly feature: a post from the archives. I won't begin with my very first, because it was dreadful (to give you a flavour, the title was 'hello'). Instead, here's one from the following day: the first of many on ghost signs.

One of my current obsessions is with "ghost signs": advertisements which were painted on walls from the nineteenth century to the 1960s, some of which still survive. In fact, there's one more or less opposite the end of my road. A huge amount of information about these, complete with photographs, is on the amazing ghost signs blog.

Taking some photos has been on my list of things to do for a long time, but I've finally started getting on with it. And none too soon: after surviving for so many years the adverts can still disappear overnight. So I was glad to have taken this photo of S Wood & Son's Hare and Hounds Garage sign on Upper Street, N1 before the new owners painted their own name onto it. My feelings about that are mixed: on the one hand, something (albeit a faded, patchy something) has been lost. On the other, it's great to see that people still bother to paint these signs, and there has been a real effort to match the original style. Above all, this has to be infinitely better than simply whitewashing over it.

A lot has happened since that was written. Ghost Signs blog author Sam Roberts has established the wonderful ghost signs archive. As well as contributing some images to the archive, I've continued to blog about ghost signs (more here).


Hels said...

Happy 2nd birthday. Well done!

Sebastien Ardouin said...

Congratulations for all your fascinating posts (I must admit I haven't read the first one...) and all the best for the following years!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on making it to a second year - it's all fun from now on!!

I too love the ghost signs, fascinating aren't they, my imagination runs wild with images of the people who would have had to put them up.

CJ xx

CarolineLD said...

Thank you all!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, I very much enjoy reading your blog!

CarolineLD said...

Thank you!

CJ, a former sign-writer talked about painting these adverts on the One Show (on YouTube here at about 3:20). Some of the higher, harder-to-reach signs must have been terrifying.

Linda said...

What a great achievement! I've enjoyed your blog since I first discovered it, though sometimes my visits have been sporadic. I just reorganized my blog subscriptions and such, so I hope to stop by more often soon.

(Linda from Markeroni)