Archive for the ‘faded greenwich’ Category

Faded Greenwich (17)

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Here’s one I must have been passing for years and never noticed before Dazza sent me these pictures. Now, if memory serves, where Ginza/ Tsuru is now used to be an old working men’s club, which then became a general eyesore before being sold off a few years ago to be turned into my favourite Japanese restaurant (BTW it’s still the same people running it; they changed the name because a new backer came in and for some reason didn’t like ‘Ginza’ as a name…) .

Which all means the writing on this wall possibly predates the club. The letters of the first word are clear enough – AYLESBURY – but what’s the second? DALE? The first part of BAKERY? The old bit of building runs out just where it becomes interesting.

Is it an old sign? Or was the road itself once called Aylesbury Road? Checking on an old Ordnance Survey map, it was was definitely Chilver Street in 1914, and I can’t imagine that it’s an awful lot older than that anyway, judging from what architecture’s left. To my shame, I can’t remember the name of the old working men’s club there – though why it would be called Aylesbury Working Men’s Club when it’s in East Greenwich is beyond me.

Help, folks!

Faded Greenwich (16)

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I have absolutely no idea who L. Brooks was or what they did. Roger spotted this on the side of a house at the top of Devonshire Drive and I’ve done my best to make it clearer but I suspect it’s already too far gone to really tell much at all from it. Every so often if I look at it really fast, I think I can almost make out that top line but – no – it’s gone again.

One thing I love about these faded signs is that windows never seemed to be an issue for the painters – they just did their design around them, rather than making putting them above or below the obstruction to their art. Maybe they just didn’t have a long enough ladder – or a head for heights…

Faded Greenwich (11)

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Not the advertised post today, folks. I decided I wanted to find out some more information before posting, and am having difficulties doing so, so instead I bring you, courtesy of the Phantom Faded Greenwich Hunter, Roger, Number Eleven in the series…

It’s on the side of Number 35, Blackheath Road (just before it becomes Blackheath Hill, a few metres before the turning for Greenwich South Street) and, as far as I can read, it’s advertising a plumbers’ merchants. Since this is a little alley, if memory serves, I’m guessing the actual premises were down there, and they were just using the side of the house as a hoarding. Of course, I suppose the merchant himself might have lived in the house.

A lot of the houses along that part of Blackheath Road are really rather lovely – and, presumably before the A2 became quite so congested, were probably very posh indeed. I particularly like the ones with the little wrought iron balconies, though some of them really have seen better days now.

Anyone know anything about this plumber?

More On Gloucester Circus

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I don’t normally like to return to a subject as quickly as this, but Stephen had some really interesting extras to go with yesterday’s Faded Greenwich post (he also has a better pic of the sign – see above.)

He used to live at Number 21 and tells me that the naming of the whole of the oddly-shaped ovalish street as ‘Circus’ is only relatively recent. If you take a peek at this 1908 map you’ll see that only the rounded, south side was originally the Circus; the flatter, northern side, which was hastily finished with any-old buildings after the cash ran out, rather than continuing the elegant, sweeping curve of Searles’s vision, was known slightly more prosaically as Gloucester ‘Place.’

Stephen tells me his brother remembers a pediment stretching between the two sides, that said ‘Circus’, but if there was one there, it’s long since bombed to buggery in WWII, which destroyed most of the less-pretty north side and more-than-ideal of the south side too. Maybe there are some old photos knocking around. I keep meaning to try and find some pictures of bomb damage in the area.

Faded Greenwich (10)

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Actually, not so much ‘faded’ but ‘ generally unnoticed,’ there’s nothing faded about the word “Circus” carved high into the house at the entrance to Gloucester Circus – it’s still crisply clear, if you think to look up and find it.

I don’t know if it’s original to Michael Searles’s vision, but I have no reason to believe it’s not, and it’s good to see it so beautifully looked after. It’s actually wrapped around the house’s main chimney, relieving the severity of a wall full of blind windows, which must have always have been so – this was right in the middle of the Window Tax years, so they would have been created thus; it’s sort of fun to think that filled-in windows had become a valid design feature in themselves by that time, filling an otherwise blank wall.

Perhaps because of the way the circus was built, there isn’t a sister word ‘Gloucester’ on the other side, but then maybe it never was intended to be there. I guess it could just be that the buzz-word of the day, ‘circus’ was enough to persuade people they were buying into Modernity.

I’ll come to the house itself another day, but in the meantime, I’m still looking up, just in case I see another curious thing…

Faded Greenwich (9)

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Not going to be around for long, this one. Methers sent me this picture of the old sign that lurks under the sign for Vietnam in King William Street. Surely this wouldn’t be THE McDonalds? Has it really been a fast food store for years? Or was this MAcDonalds Restaurant something rather classier in days gone by? Perhaps the Greenwich equivalent of a Lyons Corner House?

Googling such a question proves hard – any old information seems to be buried underneath the American corporate giant, even if I add the “A” to the name, but maybe someone here remembers?

In the meanwhile, I don’t know what’s happening with Vietnam. It SAYS it’s being refurbished – but there’s a note in the window that slightly bothers me. It recommends, perhaps a little too warmly, the restaurant around the corner Saigon (which, actually I do quite like…) as an alternative while the place is being done up.

Of course, this could just be a friendly, generous, genuine suggestion. In fact I’m sure it is. It must be. Yes. Of course. But it just could be that Vietnam has been taken over by the other little chain that is creeping though Greenwich – the one that isn’t Inc…

I have a lot of time for Vietnam. I even liked its slightly scruffy interior. I have spent many a happy evening with pals ordering as much naughty food (for an ever-spreading Phantom) as I liked. I hope they don’t do anything too funky with it – and I pray the food stays the same….

Faded Greenwich (8)

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Charlie discovered this intriguing example of faded Charlton up by the station (which is on the right of this picture.) What’s curious about it is that although at first glance it appears to be just a sign for Barclays Bank, on closer inspection there seems to be at least one other sign either underneath or in addition to the main image.

Which got painted over first – and why didn’t the earlier one get completely removed to make the later one stand out better? It looks as though the Barclays one is the more recent – but surely they could have afforded an extra pot of paint or a scrubbing brush to get rid of the earlier one?

Whatever, it’s a fascinating thing for us now. All I can read of the image below is Lon – London, probably. I have no idea what the rest would have been. Any ideas?

Of course, below both of them is a more recent example of Faded London. I was reading a fascinating theory by Iain Sinclair recently about grafitti – that it has evolved in the way that some might argue art has. That the old wall-length murals that we used to see in the 80s and early 90s was the ‘rococo’ period of the movement, which gradually evolved to the more modern, minimal single-tags we are more likely to see today. Sinclair writes a goodly chapter about it in, if memory serves Lights Out For the Territory, and I would guess that by that theory, this work must be circa Cubism or late Impressionist…or something…

Faded Greenwich 7

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Today’s Faded Greenwich is fading before our very eyes. Lewis Coaches, who’ve been in Greenwich since 1919, have moved – albeit down the road to Charlton, though I’m suspecting that bumpy day trips in a coach, followed by a gut-retching hovercraft from Dover to Calais in back to get a few bottles of cheap plonk are not quite so high up on the agenda these days.

Nor are there regular coaches out to the country so that mums and dads can visit their evacuated children, as there used to be in WWII. Lewis were based out in Blackwall Lane in those days, but they’ve been in Denham St for about 30 years.

They started out exactly 90 years ago, when Charles Lewis came back from the Flying Squad after World War I and bought a lorry with some benches in the back. He stuck a chalk board on the side and organised different trips every weekend, and it grew from there. It was a Lewis coach that brought the triumphant Charlton team back with the FA cup in 1947. Sadly they’ve not had that honour since…

Anyone who lives in East Greenwich or who has had to battle their way to the shops on the peninsula recently, will remember the horrendous roadworks that have only just stopped. It seems to have been a mixture of gas works and a serious water-table problem – there was a pump slooshing out water on Woolwich Road for months. Denham Street was virtually impossible to get down.

This was, apparently, the final nail in the coffin of Lewis’s here – they had to move temporarily – and it seems that Charlton’s just easier (and probably cheaper to operate from now.) The buildings are up for sale.

I daresay they’re hoping to flog it off at a hot price for yet more hutches luxury flats – though looking at the inside of the place it might make a good workshop for light industry or a car mechanics.

These pictures were not taken by me – my camera is still very broken indeed. It’s the second Fuji that has died with exactly the same problem – a zoom that gets stuck half way in/out. Dazza, who lives round there and who took the pics for me, has also had a Fuji that died the same way. Fuji have offered to mend it for me – at ten pounds less than it would cost to replace it. So much for eco-dom. One thing’s for certain – my next camera will NOT be a Fuji…

Sorry – got a bit off-top there. Happy weekend…

Faded Greenwich (6)

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Prince of Orange Lane, SE10

Benedict may have left us in body, but in spirit he still haunts Greenwich almost as much as I do. He told me a few days ago about this very hidden piece of faded Greenwich, which he’d always meant to photograph but never got around to doing before moving to forn parts.

Prince of Orange Lane is a very strange little truncated street just round the back of Bellucci’s pub – which, of course, used to be the Prince of Orange before dodgy 1980s-style pub names became all the rage, even though it only got its current moniker a couple of years ago. (I’ve already forgotten its tedious 1990s/early 2000s incarnation…)

The lane would be cut off by the railway anyway, but the wooden site-gates at the end imply some sort of development being shoehorned into the two centimetres of land left between road and rail.

To be honest the lane itself isn’t very exciting – much has been altered – and when I got there to take the pic, I thought Benedict’s sign must have gone the way of all paint – until I turned around to go back – and looked up.

I’m assuming that this sign was intended to be read by train travellers – there can’t have been enough footfall round the back of a grubby old lane to make it worthwhile for locals.

For once, the wording doesn’t take much working out – “Justice’s Bread, Cakes and Pastries.” The mystery is why they painted it where the window in the middle would cut through. The obvious suggestion is that the window was added later – though it is cut very neatly around the lettering. Another possiblity is that the window had a shutter, now lost, that carried the rest of the message.
When I searched for “Justice’s Bread” I was two results short of a googlewhack – I got just three answers – which in itself is pretty rare these days. Sadly none of the three had anything to do with our Justice’s Bread. I tried “Justice’s Bread,” Greenwich, and got nothing at all. Sadly, if anyone geeky enough as I am was type that phrase in now, they still wouldn’t get that elusive GW with my one result, because it’s a three-word search.

Blimey. I can’t believe I just typed that last paragraph. Note to self: Get a life, you sad Phantom.

The downside of almost getting the aforesaid GW means that I have no information whatsoever about Justice’s Bread, even after resorting to several likely books – but, just to reassure Benedict – the sign’s still there, mate. Thanks…

Faded Greenwich (5)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Siebert Road, SE3

BoneyBoy and Paul have kindly saved me the slog up Westcombe Hill to capture this piece of Faded Greenwich – being the laziest Phantom in the world I wasn’t much looking forward to it, despite its being one of the best examples of old painted advertising I know of round here.

Shame about the satellite dish – surely it could have been placed a few centimetres higher. Makes it hard to work out the first part of the mural. I spent quite some time trying to figure out the lettering; this is the best I can do:

Plumber & Decorator
Alterations & Repairs
Sanitary Goods of Every Description
Estimates Reg(?)

(Blank) Green 087

Maybe sharper eyes than mine can work out the details…

As usual I know nothing about Mr Holmes and his plumbing and decorating business – any clues will be gratefully received, as will other examples of faded and fading Greenwich.