21 Feb 2024

(Ambu)lances, Navigation Road, York

Annie Greenhouse sent me this ghost sign for Lances on Navigation Road in York, but I couldn’t find anything for a business by that name. The History of Advertising Trust record included the full address alongside the photo, but nothing about the nature of the organisation that was once based there.

Fading remains of a painted sign on a brick wall. Only a partial fragment remains, which consistes of large white block letters set on a black background reading "Lances". A tiny part of the letter 'U' is visible to the left of this, with the wall beyond removed, along with the rest of the letters to complete the word "Ambulances".
Lances on Navigation Road in York, North Yorkshire. Photo: Annie Greenhouse.

Fortunately, Lisa at York Stories had done the hard work, figuring out that part of the wall to the left has been lost, and the full sign once read “Ambulances”. (I’ve previously cited Lisa’s work in the context of York’s famous, and repainted, Bile Beans ghost sign.)

These fragments, detective work, and the resulting stories are one of the things that most fascinates me about ghost signs. That said, I’ve not been able to find anything more about the former ambulance depot, and its dates of operation…


Navigation Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 [Streetview]

Subscribe to my newsletter for news, events and projects from the world of ghost signs. I curate the newsletter roughly monthly and welcome submissions.