Ghostsigns of Mildura, on the Edge of the Outback

Painted sign for Mildura
Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh

Stuart Walsh got in touch from Mildura, on the edge of the Australian Outback, following the ghostsigns feature in the Guardian. What he sent me really caught my eye and he has kindly let me share some of his photos here on the blog.

Painted sign for Heleys Drinks
Heleys Drinks, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh

Here’s a little of what he told me about the city, the signs, and the man that painted them.

We have a large number of beautiful hand painted signs, mostly advertising dried fruits and citrus. These were typically created by an old fella called “Moose” McGowen who can now be found busking, playing trumpet on the main drag. I’ve been photographing his work along with old vintage signage around town for years. This area has stagnated economically for decades and, as such, many of the signs are still in use, or the business gone and the premises never used again, so there’s old signage everywhere out here.

Painted sign for the Murray Valley Citrus Marketing Board
Murray Valley Citrus Marketing Board, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh

Stuart adds that, ‘people out here think I’m mad taking an interest in the old faded old signs’. I beg to differ based on the evidence of those here and in Stuart’s wider collection of Mildura ghostsigns and historic signage on Flickr. Thanks for sharing them with me and keep on hunting!

Painted oranges on a wall
Oranges, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh
Painted sign for Cottee's General Foods
Cottee’s General Foods, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh
Painted sign for quality meat
Quality Meat, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh
Painted sign for Salvation Army, Family Store
Salvation Army, Family Store, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh
Painted sign with Lemons
Lemons, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh
Painted sign saying 'Self-Service'
Self-Service, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh
Painted sign for Sunnycliffs Store
Sunnycliffs Store, Mildura, photographed by Stuart Walsh