Sunday 19 August 2018

Ghost signs (135): Market Lavington

A large Wiltshire village, Market Lavington's points of interest include the church, wonderful Village Museum full of local history ... and this ghost sign.

A rather nice scroll remains clear, but the lettering is more tricky, not least because this is a palimpsest of, I think, four advertisements. Words I've been able to decipher included NOTED, HOUSE,  BOOT & SHOE, WAREHOUSE, VALUE, and BOOTS. Even the scroll has been extended at the bottom.

Happily, the museum's blog has some of the answer. In 1993, the parapet collapsed - and a photo of the damage shows that only the uppermost sign was then visible, reading 'The house that value built'. Another photo shows the wording in 1913: 'The noted boot & shoe warehouse - Lavington and Salisbury' (also visible in another post). The building was then Walton's department store.

Two mysteries solved! However, at least two signs remain to be deciphered - one which has 'VALUE' in block letters straight across, and another which has the curls and flourishes just visible today and which was probably the oldest. So, not a complete solution - but as consolation, there are more (and more legible) old signs to be seen in the Village Museum.

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