18 Feb 2017

William Walker & Sons, Tanners, Curriers

This very faint ghost sign on Snowfields in Bermondsey is close to the start of my Bankside Ghostsigns Walk. It may not be around much longer if the building is lost to demolition, or another goes up in front of it as part of the redevelopment of the area around it.

Fading painted wall sign for W.Walker & Sons
W.Walker & Sons, Snowfields, London, by Roy Reed

Roy Reed shared this photo and some excellent work he has done in deciphering the text that is barely visible on this whitewashed sign. It advertises William Walker & Sons, a leather firm from Rose Hill in Bolton Lancashire. It is no surprise to find a business of this type in this area, in close proximity to the Leathermarket and all the trading that occurred there. Similarly, its origins in Lancashire situate it close to what was once the regional powerhouse of the British textiles industry.

W.Walker & Sons deciphering by Roy Reed
W.Walker & Sons deciphering by Roy Reed

[Update] James P Deans comments here that ‘the missing word is “Dainty”‘

W.Walker & Sons deciphering by Roy Reed

[Update] James P Dean has identified more words on the above portion of the sign as follows:

First Missing line = SUPERLEATHER

—– = SOLE [i.e. Chromesole]


Then there’s a line I can’t make out

Final Line = CURRIED

W.Walker & Sons deciphering by Roy Reed and James P Dean

Using the name of the firm, and the Dri-ped branding, Roy was also able to track down some vintage press advertising for the company. If anyone has any other details regarding the business and their one-time presence in Bermondsey then please add to the comments below, or get in touch via email.

Dri-ped Soled Footwear, 1925.
Dri-ped Soled Footwear
William Walker & Sons Quality Leather

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