Thursday 29 January 2015

Ghost signs (114): Victorian correspondence

In neighbouring Glastonbury and Wells are two signs (one not strictly a ghost sign) which remind us of the days when letters were sent by post rather than email. The first is a very faded sign above a door on the corner of St John Street and Queens Road, Wells. I've increased the contrast a little and with care, one can decipher 'Queens Cross Post Office'. XopherD on Flickr offers the information that it was renamed Broad Street Post Office in 1897, so this sign is truly venerable. 

Far more colourful, and equally evocative, is this panel advertising that the premises on Glastonbury High Street are home to 'Specialities in albums, jewel & writing cases, &c'. In fact, to one side is a bed and breakfast; to the other, a bookshop. You will have to go elsewhere for that writing case!

The arms at the bottom belong to the town corporation; its motto, 'floreat Ecclesia Anglicana' ('may the Anglican church flourish') fits rather oddly with contemporary Glastonbury. In fact, the arms were not formally granted, although they've been in use since the eighteenth century.


Ralph Hancock said...

The thing that looks like a coat of arms at the bottom of the second picture is odd. There is a bishop's mitre on the shield, and the motto is Floreat ecclesia Anglica, 'Long live the English Church.' As far as I know, the Church of England doesn't have a coat of arms. Is this image the response of some proud Low Church Anglican to the series of defections of High Churchmen to Rome after Newman jumped ship in 1845?

CarolineLD said...

It's actually the coat of arms and motto for the town of Glastonbury - I should have mentioned that in the text. It wasn't formally granted and has become controversial, unsurprisingly for a town not associated with Anglican conformity!