Lancell Road’s Mystery Ghost Sign



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At 49 Stoke Newington Church Street, junction with Lancell Road, is this fragment of a ghost sign which, despite my best efforts, has remained a mystery in terms of decyphering. It would once have extended further to the right to fill the chamfer, but this portion was left exposed and subsequently cleaned/faded while what is now visible was protected by some more recent mounted signage. Here I would like to offer up what has been worked out so far, in the hope that readers might be able to fill the gaps.

Below each of these, as with the top photo, is a link to download in high resolution as giving the original photo to work with, and below these some notes about the occupancy of the building over time.


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For an additional point of reference, the History of Stoke Newington analysis of the street directories for the address gives the following dates and businesses operating at 49 (Stoke Newington) Church Street. (Full sheet linked here.) These don’t offer any obvious insights, especially given that the business was advertising pantechnicons and convered vans, both forms of transportation. The closest fit there would be Harry Butler, antique dealer (1921) e.g. business name Butler & Gees running across the first two lines. It is possible that the sign advertised some business further down Lancell Street and served as directional signage, so that would be one further avenue of inquiry using the street directories…

  • 1876: Kent W., Grocer
  • 1885: Wilson William George, Greengrocer
  • 1890: Knights Arthur, Corn merchant
  • 1900: Wright Bors. merchants
  • 1905: Bone & Fensom, Corn merchants
  • 1910: Bone & Fensom, Corn merchants
  • 1917: Stallworthy George Edward, Poultry dealer
  • 1921: Butler Harry, Antique dealer
  • 1925: Wing Albert, Greengrocer
  • 1929: Sterling Mrs. Bessie, Children’s outfitter
  • 1937: Harrison James Cats’ meat dealer [presumably pet food, rather than a feline butcher?]
  • 1946: Harrison James Corn dealer
  • 1954: Harrison James animal food dealer
  • 1970: K. & M. Stores, fabric dealers
  • 1980: Furniture Market, secondhand furniture dealers
  • 1984: F.J.S. Gas Appliances, secondhand gas cookers
  • 1990: GreenEarth whole foods
  • 2008: Hub, Womenswear [current occupant]

As always, answers, thoughts and suggestions via the comments box below this post, or via email to sam@ghostsigns.co.uk.

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