London’s Best Ghost Sign (And a New Book Cover)

Below you will find the official announcement of the result of our tongue-in-cheek twitter competition to identify the best ghost sign from the book. But first a short announcement regarding our fundraising on the book.

Exclusive kickstarter-only cover for Ghost Signs: A London Story

New Exclusive Kickstarter Cover

We are now in the closing stages of our kickstarter campaign. On Monday we will formally announce that there is going to be a second cover option (pictured) if we reach £30,000 in fundraising by the deadline of 4pm on Thursday. This is going to be exclusive to kickstarter backers who will be given the choice between this and the regular cover.

Winner: Peterkin Custard, Corner of St John’s Hill and Sangora Road, SW11 (Photo: Roy Reed)

Peterkin Crowned London’s Best Ghost Sign

The people have spoken, and this ghost sign for Peterkin Custard on St John’s Hill, Battersea, has been officially declared London’s best. It claimed the title after six gruelling rounds of knockout competition on Twitter, narrowly beating Bloom’s Pianos on Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, in the final.

Runner-Up: Bloom’s Pianos Kingsland Road, E2 (Photo: Roy Reed)
Third Place: Meggezones/Nettle’s Noyna Road, SW17 (Photo: Roy Reed)

Third place went to Meggezones on Noyna Road, Tooting, and over 5,000 votes were cast across the online event. I hosted the tournament as a bit of fun in the context of Ghost Signs: A London Story, published by Isola Press in November.

64 entrants were shortlisted for the competition from the 250 fading painted wall signs whose stories are told in the 320-page book.

The path to victory in the ‘ghost signs world cup’

My official organiser comment,

“It’s  a worthy winner and I bet the signwriter that painted it in 1920s would be proud to know it went on to great things. It advertised a range of products made at the Battersea Mills, and the company was once run by Joseph Arthur Rank, later of Rank Films fame. The sign is included on Wandsworth Council’s local heritage list, and so this charming Dutch boy in baggy trousers and clogs should keep on walking for years to come.”

Sam Roberts, tournament organiser

“These signs from yesteryear may be fading a little but they certainly add a  colourful touch to many neighbourhoods. This book features some of the  best surviving examples and gives an interesting insight into the shopping habits of our parents, grandparents and beyond. Hopefully it will encourage people to keep a lookout for these historical gems.”

The Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Richard Field

This post first appeared on my Patreon. For those that subscribe there I’ve included some bonus content from the book in the form of the stories of the runner-up and third place signs.

Signing Off

I’ll be back on Monday with a regular post. Please continue to share details of the kickstarter campaign with friends and family. It, and the exclusive rewards available, ends at 4pm (UK) on Thursday.