29 Oct 2011

Love Local Landmarks and the Hackney Society

To protect or not to protect?

As I’ve discussed before, my interest in Ghostsigns started in my home borough of Hackney in London. The concentration of specimens in Stoke Newington intrigued me and I had to learn more about them. I was soon finding and photographing great examples not only in Hackney but across the capital and occasionally further afield.

My flirtation with efforts to protect Ghostsigns in some legal sense only lasted briefly and I reflected on my change in outlook around the time the archive launched. (I more recently wrote about efforts to repaint signs as a form of preservation.)

However, unbeknown to me, a handful of signs have been added to a proposed list for local listings in Hackney. The project is called ‘Love Local Landmarks’ and is being run by the Hackney Society in response to a small grant from English Heritage. I was a approached by one of the team for information about the triple palimpsest at the top of this post and so I asked which others, in addition to this, were being put forward for consideration.

There is currently a list of six locations, shown below, but I believe there are many fantastic examples missing, even further below. What signs would you add? I’ve tried to limit my additions to those which are more or less preserved in a complete state and/or which appear to have some historical significance. It is probably too late to be included in this round of the project but the Love Local Landmarks initiative will be an interesting test case to see if support for Ghostsign preservation is forthcoming from English Heritage.

Proposed: the one that started it all for me.

Proposed: The closest friend of the Fount Pens sign

Proposed: The one time post office

Proposed: Apparently they film Dragon’s Den in this building…

Proposed: The impressive Blooms Pianos

And now for some that I would nominate if I was doing this project…

Not proposed: More pianos, this time from Boyd on Shacklewell Lane

Not proposed: In hiding on Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington

Not proposed: John Brown’s neighbour on the other side of Cazenove Road

Not proposed: Still in Stoke Newington, this one on Northwold Road, Clapton end

Not proposed: The other end of Northwold Road is the place for all your tradesman requirements

Not proposed: Back on Stoke Newington Church Street, never forget your Purse King!

Not proposed: Cakebread Robey off Stoke Newington High Street and one of the best palimpsests around

Not proposed: Over on Mare Street, not sure why but this one always made me think of Only Fools & Horses

Photo: Jane’s London

Not proposed: Would need to check if this part of Shepperton Road is Hackney or Islington (N1 postcode) but if it’s Hackney then it’s a must [Photo: Jane’s London]

Photo: Fin Fahey

Not proposed: Very tough to photograph this one on John Campbell Road [Photo: Fin Fahey]

Not proposed: Recently revealed on Stoke Newington Church Street, maybe not complete but very well preserved and with some beautiful lettering.

So, that’s it. Six in, and eleven that I would add. I’ll update once the project is complete and the website is launched.

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