25 Mar 2017

Quernmore Road Signs & Ghostsigns Cluster

Brymay/John Bull palimpsest, Quernmore Road, London

Above is my 2007 photo of the Brymay/John Bull palimpsest on Quernmore Road in Haringey. At the time, in addition to wondering who John Bull was, I said I needed to go back in the winter when the tree would be less obstructive. I did so a couple of weeks ago, as part of my hunt for the old painted signs of Islington. As you can see from the photo below, the sign is still largely obscured, and now a locked door blocks access to the space in front of it. However, continuing up Quernmore Road yielded a cluster of new discoveries…

Brymay/John Bull palimpsest, Quernmore Road, London, 2017
Stevens & Steeds ghostsign, and carved fascia board, Quernmore Road, London

Directly opposite the palimpsest is another fading wall sign advertising Stevens & Steeds, a former grocers, again positioned for visibility from the train line. While this was there back in 2007 when I first visited, there are now the remains of a carved fascia present on the front of what is now a dry cleaners. This would once have been covered by a (likely gilded) glass piece, hence the rough edges around the letters which would not have been visible.

Stevens & Steeds carved fascia board, Quernmore Road, London

Looking closely, the ampersand in the middle has been redone recently, simply gilded on instead of being carved like the rest of the sign.

Stevens & Steeds repainted ampersand

My eyes glanced downwards, and there in the window of the shop was the original ampersand, presumably salvaged after being damaged during the removal of whatever modern signage was covering this fascia board.

Stevens & Steeds missing ampersand

Finally, back over on the other side of the road is this fascia board for L.A. Gower, Fruiterer and Greengrocer. This looks like it has been retouched, or was covered relatively quickly after being originally painted.

L.A. Gower, Fruiterer, Greengrocer, painted fascia, Quernmore Road, London

I haven’t done any local historical research into any of these signs/ghostsigns but would be interested to hear from anyone that knows anything about them. For a relatively innocuous little street, Quernmore Road is now a cluster of signs and ghostsigns, well worth a visit with easy access from Harringay station.

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