18 Feb 2015

Glasgow Ghostsigns Galore

Panorama of ghostsigns for Broome & Green, Dan Wuille, and A. Allan in Patrick Thomas Court, Glasgow
Panorama of ghostsigns for Broome & Green, Dan Wuille, and A. Allan in Patrick Thomas Court, Glasgow

I’ve been traveling a lot with work lately and was recently in Glasgow for a workshop. With a couple of hours to spare I looked up a few locations on the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive and took to the streets. Here’s what I saw…

Painted signage on shopfront for F.W. Holroyd

An abandoned gallery and picture framers, F.W. Holroyd. The company is still trading, at new premises in Dykehead Street.

Painted signage on shopfront for F.W. Holroyd

The gallery’s signage dominates this corner building on a busy junction near the city centre.

Painted signage on wall for F.W. Holroyd

Some of the signage painted on the wall, showing the year of establishment over 100 years ago.

Flaking paint on a wall where there used to be a ghostsign

This wall shows the remains of a canvass for painted signage and, in 2004, a ghostsign for Ecko Radio was clearly visible.

Graffiti and flaking paint on a wall that used to have a ghostsign for Ecko Radio

Close-up of the wall which is now host to some graffiti. Some patches of the deep red background from the Ecko sign remain.

Cracking paint from a sign for Red Hackle Whisky.

The paint on this old sign for Red Hackle Whisky is gradually cracking and falling off. (An archival photo of another location in this previous blog post.)

Cracking red paint on the word Red

Close up showing the red colour on the word red, with the white paint all around almost completely gone.

Paint cracking from an illustration of a Red Hackle Whisky bottle

What remains of a detailed illustration of the whisky bottle that once featured prominently on the sign.

Faint lettering produced with gold leaf gilding

This panel is on the goods entrance of a building and appears to have the remains of some gilded lettering.

Fading signs on a Glasgow goods entrance

Other pieces of signage flank the gilded ghostsign to the left and above. The words ‘Good Entrance’ are clearly visible on the black and white piece to the left. These smaller panel signs are quite common in Scotland.

Fading goods entrance sign

This distressed piece is on the opposite wall of the goods entrance.

Painted sign for Broom & Green above ground floor windows

The panoramic photo at the top of this post is from Patrick Thomas Court, once home to Broom & Green, fruit brokers in the 1930s.

Painted signs for Dan Wuille & Co

Also in Patrick Thomas Court is this pair of signs for Dan Wuille & Co.

Painted panel stating branches of Dan Wuille & Co

A variety of letterforms feature in this panel, showing the nationwide nature of the Dan Wuille & Co business.

Painted lettering for Dan Wuille & Co

The main branch was in Covent Garden, suggesting another Fruit & Veg connection.

List of cities with branches of Dan Wuille & Co

Here the national locations for Dan Wuille & Co are listed and it appears the Cardiff branch is still trading as a wholesale fruiterer.

Painted signs for Dan Wuille & Co and A.Allan

Adjacent to the Dan Wuille & Co signs is another for A.Allan.

Painted sign for A.Allan

Close-up of the A.Allan sign which appears to have been painted relatively recently in imitation gold on a black background.

Two fading signs for Nova above a shop door

Patrick Thomas Court is set back from Candleriggs. A little further down, at the junction with Wilson Street, are these remnants of a shop called Nova.

Fading sign for Nova above a shop door

Close-up of the Nova ghostsign on Candleriggs.

Mounted letters on a wall for Jacobean Corsetry

I also spotted a few non-painted pieces of signage and lettering walking around. These mounted letters advertise a corsetry business that stopped trading in the 1990s.

Shopfront for I.J. Mellis

Gilded glass piece for I.J. Mellis Cheesemongers, well worth stepping inside to sample the produce.

Caledonia Books shop front

This shop is packed to the rafters with all sorts of second hand books. I picked up a copy of Robert Opie’s ‘The Art of the Label‘.

Glasgow police box

And finally, I learned that Glasgow is one of the best places to see old blue police boxes, although not identical to those in Dr Who apparently. For that you have to travel to Crich Tramway village.

There’s no doubt many more signs that I didn’t get to see on this trip. Here are some past blog posts on Glasgow, and Scotland in general. Until my next visit…

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