While researching the old painted advertisements of Islington I was contacted by Leo Hornak, a journalist at the BBC. He wanted to record a piece about ghost signs (coming soon), and had grown up in a house with one on the outside. It turned out to be one of those featured in Harvey’s 1999 survey, and part of my Islington research brief. When I met with Leo we concluded our interview with a visit to the sign’s host building on Alwyne Lane, still home to his parents.
The following text is from the listing in Harvey’s survey. It is odd that he appears to have been unable to see the full text of the sign which is quite visible now e.g. the R of Mather, and the final two lines ‘Plumber, Gas Hot Water Fitter / Sanitary Work A Speciality’.
7 Alwyne Villas (N1.) (on side of building in Alwyne Lane)
JOHN C. MATHE …
BUILDER & DECORATOR
This advertises the entrance to the yard of John C. Mather & Son, builders, whose office was at 38 Northampton St N1 c.1906-1941.
Angelo was very happy to hear the history the sign that adorns his building, and has always valued it and the local history it conveys.