Summer 2010


Bile Beans: Balm Road, Leeds
Photographer: Richard Turner

In my speech at the HAT archive launch I said that I felt it would be just the start of an ongoing documentation of hand painted advertising of old. Sure enough, the archive and associated publicity surrounding its opening have led to many new contributors getting in touch with new and interesting material.  There have also been new photos coming forward from photographers whose work helped to get things started in the first place.

In total I have worked through 100 new signs and these have now been added to the HAT online galleries bringing the total number in the collection up to 700. If you are keen to see just those new additions from the last few months then visit the online archive and use the search function (left hand side, low down) to find images tagged with Summer2010.

Here are some that I have taken a shine to or that are noteworthy for some reason, starting with the one above which adds to the existing well known Bile Beans sign from York. A third Bile Bean sign is here.


S.E. & A. Ridley: Bridge Street, Bridgnorth
Photographer: Keith Tomes

Behind the tree it says ‘the oldest firm of seedsmen in Great Britain’, quite a claim and giving some sense of the history associated with the company and the sign.

Peto Scott: Clayton Road, Bradford
Photographer: Richard Turner

You’ve got to hand it to the copywriter on this one for coming up with the line ‘Really worth looking in to’ for an advertisement for a TV.

Oscars Watch and Clock Service Centre
Oscars: Salisbury Road, London
Photographer: Anonymous

The paint on this looks very fresh and it gives a sense of how the signs would once have looked when they were first painted. People often question the inclusion of these more recent signs in the collection but one day they too will be faded and ghostly and it will be interesting to have photos like this to compare with what it looks like in 25-50 years’ time.


English Fancy Bazaar: The Old High Street, Folkestone
Photographer: Paul & Karen Rennie

I’ve written about this one before as it is the only ghostsigns I’ve heard of that is located inside a building. Read about it here.

Beechams Pills hand painted gable ends in Shotton
Beechams Pills: Salisbury Street, Shotton
Photographer: Anonymous

This is part of a series and is noteworthy for the use of multiple gable ends in one location. They were all designed to be visible from the railway line.


Asylum: Gay’s Hill, Bath
Photographer: Keith Roberts

Of it’s time no doubt, I’ll say no more…


Everybody’s: Bishopton Lane, Stockton-on-Tees
Photographer: Brian Stubley

Long before Flickr, Facebook and the like, Everybody magazine was leading the way in social media by encouraging readers to share its contents.


Cigarettes: Chocolates & Confectionery, Worcester Road, Great Malvern
Photographer: Keith Tomes

Simple, beautiful type-driven signage at its best. Lovely!


J. Hepworth & Sons: Hepworth’s Arcade, Hull
Photographer: Anonymous

Another classic piece of signwriting, the question is what was once located in the white space right in the middle?

Visit the archive and search for Summer2010 to see more of the 100 new additions. If you would like to send through any of your own material then simply follow the steps outlined on the ‘Getting Involved’ page.

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