During these strange Covid19 lockdown times, London Shoes has clearly had to curtail its weekly jaunts out to the ‘Smoke’ for obvious reasons. Fortunately ‘Shoes’ has still been able to continue posting material regularly on to its website–facebook & twitter portals, by utilising material in storage, but not yet published.
This specific article is a typical example of material that has been gathered-up along the way whilst ‘Shoes’ has been on-the-road covering off other topics – and this particular blog is actually a ‘Part 2’ feature of a subject matter that was first published way back in March 2017, just a few weeks into the roll-out of my London Shoes initiative.
So – this posting is the 2nd London Shoes feature on the topic of “London’s Ghost Signs”.
What is a ‘ghost sign’ I hear you ask?
‘Ghost sign’ is a term given to old advertising signs or pictures or slogans that have been painted to on exterior walls of buildings, to promote a brand, product or company.
This method of advertising has actually been around for centuries – but only really came into prominence, especially in Britain and Europe, from the late 1800’s – and from thereon it remained a popular mode of advertising right up until the early 1960’s.
The more prolific and brash style of painted adverts originated from the USA at the end of the 19th Century where the sign-writers were known as ‘Wall Dogs’.
These huge advertising murals were artistically coloured with leaded paint, and that’s probably the reason why some of them have lasted reasonably clearly to this very day.
At one time these ‘paintings’ could be seen emblazoned everywhere on the exterior walls of commercial buildings throughout London & the rest of Britain – and were a testament to the artistic skills of the sign-writers of the day.
It’s amazing to think that, against all odds’ some of these magnificent works of street-art, are still around today, having survived wars, decades of re-development, massive social changes and have been bombarded with all kinds of weather and pollution – and those that remain in place today continue to provide a sort of historical street-art, cultural backdrop to the hustle & bustle of everyday life.
In most cases (but surprisingly not all) these ‘ghost signs’ have ‘outlived’ the products and companies that they originally advertised.
It might surprise you to know that there is a massive global interest in ‘Ghost Signs’ – a bit geeky I know, but there are clubs, societies, magazines, blogs, vlogs produced all over the world, particularly in the USA, UK, France & Australia – discovering them, logging them, photographing them, filming them, constructing ‘walking tours’ to view them and then discussing them, is an extremely popular ‘hobby’ for thousands of ‘Ghostie’ enthusiasts worldwide.
So – for this 2nd ‘Ghost Sign’ article, London Shoes has collated photos of a number of additional ghost signs its stumbled upon whilst on-the -road since it published its fist article on the topic 3 years ago – and have also added a little narrative on the history of some of the ‘signs’.
London Shoes will continue to capture and collate photos of any more ghosts signs it stumbles upon, as and when the current ‘restrictions’ allow non-essential travel – but in the meantime I hope you enjoyed this little article, and its accompanying photos.
See below, the full summary of photos accompanying this ‘London’s Ghost Signs’-Pt 2 blog