Larkspur Restoration by Brian the Brush 3


Faded sign on a wall for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Richard Turner / History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive

This is the second of a series of three posts on current ghostsigns restorations in the UK, following last week’s piece on the Palladium Cinema sign in Morecambe. (See this

This sign for Larkspur Soft Drinks is on King Street in Drighlington, West Yorkshire. The building it is positioned on was once home to Scott’s Pop who had a sign on the wall prior to the space advertising this 1970s lemonade brand. Larkspur was apparently an attempt by the dairies to compete with supermarkets by offering delivery of soft drinks by milkmen. The bottle featured a polar bear on the label and the slogan, ‘a billion bubbles a bottle’. By 1985 it had been absorbed into the much larger Mandora company, making it a short-lived player in the soft drinks market.

This sign appeared in the late 1970s, which is relatively recent in the wider realm of ghostsigns. It was therefore produced at a time when billboards would have dominated large-scale outdoor advertising. However, in the context of using a building that they owned, opting for a painted sign is understandable due to the longevity that it offered versus printed formats.

A couple of years ago (via this photo on Flickr) I learned of plans by Drighlington Parish Council to have the sign repainted. Then, back in May, a comment on the History of Advertising Trust site alerted me to the fact that the job was done. The Parish Council commissioned it, and Brian the Brush carried out the work. See what you think…

Work in progress on restoration for painted wall sign for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Brian the Brush

Cleaning and whitewashing the wall.

Work in progress on restoration for painted wall sign for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Brian the Brush

Putting down the border.

Work in progress on restoration for painted wall sign for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Andrew John Crawford

Brian taking a break for a photo opportunity.

Work in progress on restoration for painted wall sign for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Andrew John Crawford

Bubbles at the ready for their filling in.

Restored painted sign on a wall for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Brian the Brush

The finished sign. The photo-obscuring traffic light remains though!

Restored painted sign on a wall for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Brian the Brush

Alternative angle of the completed sign.

Restored painted sign on a wall for Larkspur Drinks

Photo: Brian the Brush

The slogan brought back to life.

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