4 Jul 2007

Peterkin Mystery

Peterkin Custard Ghostsign

This classic sign for Peterkin’s Custard, Self-Raising Flour and Corn Flour can be seen on St John’s Hill near Clapham Junction Station. See a bigger picture here. The sign was first brought to my attention by Nicola via the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising.  She was interested in the company and what happened to the Peterkin brand. Embarking on some research I found very little but did go to see the sign and take a photo myself.

Rank Film Gong Image

Today I decided to do some more digging and came across an interesting connection. The Peterkin Mill was run by Joseph Arthur Rank. His later exploits in the British film industry earned him much more fame then his milling activities, which eventually failed, forcing him to return to work for his father who was also a miller. He then went on to found what is now the Rank Group Plc, characterised by the man striking the gong at the start of Rank films. That man was once boxer Billy “Bombardier” Wells and those familiar with the ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ coughing scandal will know that this fact was the basis of the £1m question.

The full story of Rank’s life can be found here including the mention of the Peterkin brand.

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