Sign Stories

Ghost sign histories and mysteries.

Peterkin Custard Ghostsign

Peterkin Mystery

This classic sign for Peterkin’s Custard, Self-Raising Flour and Corn Flour can be seen on St John’s Hill near Clapham Junction Station. See a bigger picture here. The sign was first brought to my attention by Nicola via the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising.  She was interested in the company and what happened to …

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Whittons Bread Lincoln

Whitton’s Bread

Andrew Hughes, who is writing his dissertation on the protection of Ghost Signs, sent me this well preserved sign from Lincoln.  The bread would most probably have been made at Whitton’s Mill in nearby Whitton, perhaps an early competitor to Hovis as this sign is actually for the shop but probably paid for by Whitton’s. …

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Black Cat Cigarettes Full

Black Cat Cigarettes

One of my personal favourites, this one is on Dingley Road, EC1. It is for an old brand of cigarettes that no longer exists.  There used to be a factory located on this site but more interesting is that Greater London House in Mornington Crescent was originally built as a factory for these cigarettes by …

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BP Kings Cross Road Covered

BP (British Petrol) Revealed

This sign was partially covered for a long time but, just the other day, the modern poster was taken down revealing an old ad for British Petrol (BP) and some other ads faded behind but in a similar colour. The history of the logo indicates that this sign may well date from pre-1930.

Watneys Competition Entries

Watneys Competition

Further to the post on Watneys Wall here are a couple of pictures showing how the competition was run. Above is the sign that was displayed in bars to encourage entries for a prize of £50, and below a picture from the article in the January 1938 ‘The Poster’ showing the 40,000 entires being dealt …

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Watneys Wall poster

Watneys Wall

Yesterday I visited the History of Advertising Trust (HAT). I came across a funny old poster for Watney’s Ale.  It was a parody of the painted ad format and of painted political slogans and was done in 1938 by an advertising agency called Horrocks and Company. This picture from the October 1938 edition of ‘The …

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