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Above is my 2007 photo of the Brymay/John Bull palimpsest on Quernmore Road in Haringey. At the time, in addition to wondering who John Bull was, I said I needed to go back in the winter when the tree would be less obstructive. I did […]

Quernmore Road Signs & Ghostsigns Cluster



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This popular London ghostsign is located at the Kings Cross end of Gray’s Inn Road, with the photo above from Jennifer Pedler and the History of Advertising Trust. A couple of years ago I gave a talk at Middlesex University where one of the students, […]

Scales, Weights & Weighing Machines in London’s Kings Cross



Spitalfields Life has published a series of pieces documenting East End shop fronts, in support of the campaign against the forthcoming rise in business rates across the area. I have picked one photo from each piece and would encourage a proper browse of all of […]

East End Shops from Spitalfields Life


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This ghostsign on Stoke Newington High Street comes at about the halfway point of my walking tour through the area. It is a palimpsest which has been well researched by Sébastien Ardouin. I recently took a couple of close-up photos, one of which has added […]

John Hawkins, Steeles & Chaney Signs


This very faint ghostsign on Snowfields in Bermondsey is close to the start of my Bankside Ghostsigns Walk. It may not be around much longer if the building is lost to demolition, or another goes up in front of it as part of the redevelopment […]

William Walker & Sons, Tanners, Curriers




I am conducting a small investigation into the ghostsigns of Islington and am appealing for help from readers of this blog. The map below (view full screen) will form the basis for this, in the context of the following notes. Recently while going through old […]

Painted Advertisements in Islington: Part 1


Dr Ken Jones has been doing an incredible job documenting the ghostsigns of America via his American Ghosts project. Not only does this involve detailed photographic documentation (see previous post on his process), but also pinning ghostsigns onto an ever-growing map. This now pinpoints thousands […]

Ken Jones’ Butte Palimpsests



Painted sign in English on a Paris wall saying 'Do not loiter in garage, or bother mechanics. Please use facilities of waiting room' 4
I heard about this ghostsign in Paris via an email from Ralph Adam. It caught my attention for the use of English language on an historic sign in France and reminded me of the British Legion sign in Ypres, Belgium. It was then photographed by […]

NOTICE: An English Language Ghostsign in Paris


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When did old painted signs on walls become known as ‘ghost’ signs, and who coined the phrase? These questions crop up often in my discussions with others, and on my tours, and I always have to hold my hand up and say I didn’t invent […]

Tracing the Origins of ‘Ghost’ Signs


Fading painted sign on a wall advertising Daren Bread 1
‘Ask for Daren Bread’ was once the simple slogan on this ghostsign on Avignon Road, London, SE4. The above image was taken by Lisa Edwards in 2007, sourced here in the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive. The site was likely a former bakery, sourcing […]

When Daren Became Hovis: A Bizarre Ghostsigns ‘Restoration’




Advertising & Public Memory is the first scholarly book focused on ghostsigns. It was a labour of love across much of 2015, work that included editing others’ work, as well as contributing to some of the writing inside, notably an attempt to answer the question […]

Advertising & Public Memory: Social, Cultural and Historical Perspectives on ...


Philip Marriage recently sent me this photo of these perpendicular palimpsests at the junction of Brick Lane and Princelet Street. He was trying to work out what they say. This followed his question about the location of another Spitalfields ghostsign which followers on Twitter and […]

Spitalfields Ghostsigns from Philip Marriage