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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Old leftover signs.

I love to find left over bits of life from a time long gone. Signs from these olden days can be found everywhere if you are prepared to look for them. It's as if they've managed to escape the wrath of the sweeper upper of all things old.
This is an old railway sign. I like it because it mentions a fine of forty shillings for anyone leaving a gate open.
This old sign is from the days when horses were the main transport system in London. It instructs riders to walk their horses through the archway. The archway leads to a mews.
This sign on Spitalfields Market dates from 1887.
A sign telling the coalman where to go. I know coal is still delivered but I still think this is old as the sign is in Bloomsbury, a bit too posh now for coal deliveries.
This mile stone is near the Albert Hall. It was placed here in 1911 by Westminster council. I like the two little hands that are supposed to be pointing but they look as if they are trying to grab something.
These glass signs are in Electric Avenue, Brixton. It's a covered market and no vehicles are allowed inside now.
Below is a plaque commemorating history. It dates from 1918 and mentions how King George V met the president of the United States to discuss the future plans after the ending of the first world war. Interestingly it doesn't bother to name the US president - it was Woodrow Wilson. It was put her by the Angle-Kin Society. I searched the internet (well google did) and I could find nothing about this society.

The sign below relates to the horses that used the nearby ramps and mentions how they sometimes bolted and fell into the canal. It's near Camden Lock and although it's telling us about the history of the area I still get a feeling that it's an old sign.
This sign is made of brass and is so old it's almost worn away. It was advertising for goldsmiths J Deforges, a shop which no longer exists.
I found this on a house. Obviously in the old days doctors were not allowed to advertise. The sign says accoucheur, this is French for male obstetrician. I suppose the era this is from was a delicate age and foreign words had to be used to convey what the doctor practiced in.
Commit No Nuisance. This is an odd sign. I'm not sure what they mean by a nuisance. And anyway committing a 'nuisance' is probably against the law as it is. But I know it's old. I'd like to know what happened here that lead to this notice.
I find the sign below interesting for two reasons. It harks back to when London was the world's biggest port and the Thames was full of piers for receiving goods from all over the world. I also like the toll as it's in old money. I'm not sure if it means four pence and half a penny (fourpence ha'penny) or four shillings and sixpence (four and six). Probably 4 1/2d rather than 4 1/2s. You have to be my age to feel nostalgia for the old money (not that I miss it so I don't actually feel nostalgia but I couldn't think of another word) decimalisation meant that for the first time I could work out instantly if the change in a shop I was given was correct.
This enamel sign is very unusual because not many shops used them and this one has survived, so far. I think the shop has gone but not the sign. I'll have to go and check. It was in Covent Garden. The shop sign says that it sells elastic glue, whatever that is, and it was the sole inventor of it in 1857.
The one below is in the grounds of Guy's Hospital, Southwark. These are usually found on water tanks. It says " Mr. Guy's hospital and it's dated 1725, which makes it Georgian. 
This order below amuses me. Can you imagine a sign like this today? No, me neither. It's below a bridge on the Thames and it's next to Fishmonger Hall. 
The Zeppelin sign is on Farringdon Road. It's very matter of fact and I'm sure people died here as I know 200 people died in total in Zeppelin raids during the first war.
I like this sign as it's been left by a small company to advertise themselves. I don't think it was meant as a permanent fixture but this one has managed to hang on in there. It's in Harwood Terrace, Fulham.
This sign dates from the 1930's and it's just a simple right of way sign but it mentions The Distillers Company. So that makes it interesting as far as I am concerned.
The plate below is on a warehouse door in Wapping, near News International. It's been on the door since December 1956.
This old police sign dates from about 1867, it's very pompous and although I have quite a good command of the English language I have no idea what the Commissioner of Police is prattling on about. But at least it's survived.
This sign dates from 1931 but what makes it really interesting is the piece of wood it's screwed to. It's a piece of London's first bridge over the Thames which was built by the Romans. Which makes this simple lump of timber almost 2000 years old.  It's outside St Magnus the Martyr church which is a short walk from London Bridge.
The metal sign on the lamp post below is only still here as it's too high to take down. I have a feeling it dates from the 1960's and mentions a fine of £5 for spitting.
 This corner stone sites the location of a key for a fire ladder and dates from the second world war.
The sign below is from Waterloo Station and says the movement of barrows across the booking hall is strictly prohibited. From the style of the font I would say it's dates from 1900's.
 I saw this Guinness advert on a pub. These toucan adverts date from the 1940's and ran for a couple of decades.
That's all folks....
....But if you'd like to see more click this:









3 comments:

  1. Fascinating. Just the kind of thing I always look for!
    nb doctors could not advertise (it was not the 'done' thing) - their door plate was all they could have up. There are stories of Arthur Conan Doyle hanging out on Elm Grove Portsmouth when he started out keeping an eye out for frequent accidents so he could assist and get his name in the paper in leiu of advertising.

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  2. Thanks Elizabeth, that's the kind of stuff I love to hear about!

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  3. A liberty was an area that was independent of the law of monarch. It was controlled by private owners and often used as sanctuary by people running from the law. I think your sign on Princes Street refers to the liberty of St Martin le Grande: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_of_St_Martin%27s_le_Grand

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