11 Feb 2012

Record Breaking Roofad

Captain Morgan Roofad at Ninian Park Cardiff

I’ve been sitting on this for such a long time that I almost completely forgot about it. In fact, Mark sent me details of it back in June 2009 so hands up for my complete slackness on that front!

It is another example of a ‘roofad‘ but one with significant exposure, being situated on top of a stand at Cardiff’s former Ninian Park stadium. Noteworthy visitors who may have been influenced by Captain Morgan’s claim to be “the right rum for today’s taste” included the pope and Real Madrid.

This story on the BBC gives an account of the sign’s history before it was painted over in 2001, including one the signpainters discussing the techniques used to produce it. These included a cavalier attitude to health and safety and the use of a sweeping brush to lay down the big blocks of colour.

This post by the urban75 blog gives some additional information including the original agreement signed by Captain Morgan’s parent company, the Canadian House of Segram. They paid £300 per year for a three year lease in 1960 and then proceeded to get 41 years’ of value from the creation. The BBC piece claims that this makes it “the longest-standing advert on a stadium roof in the football league”, another Ghostsigns World Record

Here’s an archive image of a game in action with the sign in the background. The stadium is now no more, having been demolished to make way for a new ground so this is a firm RIP of the ‘roofad’ form.

Captain Morgan Roofad at Ninian Park archive photo
Photo: BBC

While on the subject of ‘roofads’ here are a few more I received following my original post on the subject.

Sign painted onto the roof of the former Kings Head pub in Clapton
Photo: Duncan Rimmer

This one from Duncan is on a former pub in Clapton, London.  It has suffered the same fate at the Captain Morgan’s sign, the host building was demolished in 2005 (more here). He also added the following (February 2010), another footballing connection to the roofad form:

“Brentford Football Club have had some huge signs on the roof of their stands. They have also had Atari and KLM and now it’s Qatar Airlines. It’s on the flightpath to Heathrow. This photo is a bit hazy but you can make out the signs.”

Finally is this lovely photo [Link expired] from Barbara which is from Whistable in Kent (thank Cathy for the tip off). Not only does it feature a roofad but also some slightly amateur looking hand painted signs on the adjacent buildings.

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