Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Butlin's holiday camps, Brixton

Below Brixton's famous Bovril ghost sign is a fragment of a sign for Butlin's holiday camps. It is far less special than the one in Birmingham (the post also includes some information about the company) but is, as far as I am aware, the only one in London.

The typeface is characteristic of Butlin's adverts from the 1950s and 1960s but the blue colour for "Butlin's" makes it unusual. Indeed in the vast majority of cases the name was written in red (the very colour of the jackets worn by entertainers and stewards). The website of the Daily Telegraph has another rare example of an advert from the 1950s in which blue was used.

Even though most of the second line has disappeared, the last letters make it easy to tell what was written there. However the final line is a bit of a mystery.

Holiday Camps
... ...ber

Location: Windrush Square

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Bovril, Brixton

Here is a large ghost sign many Londoners will be familiar with: Bovril in Brixton.

Four years separate the photos above from the one below. The sign itself hasn't changed but Windrush Square is now far less green. Shame really.

The ghost sign for the meat extract developed by John Lawson Johnston in the 1870s isn't the only one on this wall but more about this second sign tomorrow.

Location: Windrush Square

Monday, 14 April 2014

Kina Lilet and Vichy Célestins, Pouillac

The wall of this house, next to the former N10 trunk road in France, was painted on many occasions. Nowadays the only ghost signs clearly legible are those for two very different kinds of drinks.

The first one, on the left, is for Kina Lilet. For some information about the history of this fortified wine, check the post about the Kina Lilet ghost sign in Saint-Aubin-de-Blaye.


On the right is a ghost sign for Vichy Célestins. For some information about this mineral water, check the post about the Vichy Célestins ghost sign, also in Saint-Aubin-de-Blaye.


Unfortunately I haven't managed to identify the ghost sign that covered the central part of the wall.

Location: former N10, Pouillac, Charente-Maritime

Friday, 11 April 2014

Valentine, Montlieu-la-Garde

When the colours of this ghost sign for the Valentine brand of paint were still vivid, few people travelling southwards along the N10 trunk road through Montlieu-la-Garde would have missed it.

For a brief history of Valentine paint, please see the earlier post about the Valentine ghost sign in Saintes.

The sign writer cleverly positioned the painter to the right of the window, making it look as if he were painting the only area that was not white yet.

Les belles

The painter was originally created by Charles Loupot in the 1920s. Even if his design was later modified, he remained the symbol of Valentine until the 1980s.

Underneath the ghost sign are the names of the two companies that managed successively this advertising space. The original one was the COFRAP. The second company, , which could be reached by calling TRO 15 57, was the AGPP (for Agence Générale de Presse et de Publicité). TRO stood for Trocadéro, a telephone exchange in Paris.

TRO. 15.57.

Location: Avenue de la République, Montlieu-la-Garde, Charente-Maritime

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Suze, Montlieu-la-Garde

The Suze ghost sign with its characteristic yellow background is a great French classic. For some information about this aperitif whose distinctive taste comes from the gentian roots used in its preparation, check the post about the Suze sign in Saintes.

Originally this sign would have been seen every day by hundreds (and thousands during the holiday exodus) of people driving south on the former Nationale 10, the main road between Paris, Bordeaux and the Spanish border. Many would even have had time to look at it for what would have seemed ages. Indeed Montlieu-la-Garde was notorious for its endless traffic jams caused by the traffic lights at the junction with the Départementale 730 a couple of hundred metres further south. Nowadays a bypass avoids the small town and its many ghost signs.


This Suze sign was certainly painted over an earlier sign. To the left of Suze is the logo of the advertising company that managed the space on this wall.

Location: Avenue de la République, Montlieu-la-Garde, Charente-Maritime

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Daren, Stepney

Painted on one of the Georgian houses that line the northern end of Stepney Green is this well-known restored ghost sign for Daren. For some information about this particular brand of bread, which was Hovis's main competitor in London between the last decades of the 19th century and the mid-20th century, check the post about the Daren ghost sign in Stoke Newington.

The design of this Daren sign is very different from the ones in Camberwell and Vauxhall.

There was a bakery at this address between the late 19th century and the late 1970s at least. According to directories published between 1895 and 1921 this was Frederick Kemp's bakery. However by 1923 it belonged to Samuel Weinbaum. Finally in the early 1970s, the baker was one A. Lewis. By then the Daren sign had disappeared underneath one for Hovis as shown on a picture taken in 1976. This would have been in line with Ranks Ltd's decision to drop the Daren brand in the 1960s or early 1970s and to concentrate on its more successful Hovis brand. However all traces of the sign for Hovis were removed when the Daren sign was restored.

Location: Stepney Green

Monday, 7 April 2014

Fish Bar, Maida Vale

In the shadow of Ernö Goldfinger's Trellick Tower is this modest ghost sign for a fish bar.

It is strange that only the upper part of this ghost sign has been painted over.

Location: Fermoy Road