29 July 2008

More Islington ghost signs

More Streetname signs

Here are some more street name signs; all different.
Row 1: St John's Way, N19, used to be St John's Road (what was the point of THAT?!); the top end of St, Pancras Way, NW1, used to be known as Kings Road; a painted sign for Southampton Road, NW5, showing the use of red paint for the postcode; Aquinas Street, SE1, shows where the lettering was once painted in black and then over-painted in white.
Row 2: Both the Willoughby Road and Rosslyn Mews signs show how substitute tiles were used for various letters (Qs for Os and number tiles for word spaces). Perhaps they just ran out of the correct letter tiles? Intriguing. For more of these see http://rodcorp.typepad.com/rodcorp/2004/07/london_street_s.html; Moxon St, High Barnet, EN5, shows that years ago there were no postcodes being used at all and one can assume that at the time this was put up it was the only Moxon Street in the general area, indeed there are only five streets by that name in Great Britain even now; one of two signs here for Bloomsbury Square, WC1, this one has a partially rusty surround and fixings but I cannot decide whether it is an old sign (maybe 1920s or 30s) or a new sign has been put into an old mounting.
Row3: Wild Court, WC2, shows two different hand-painted signs, one with 'Borough of Holborn' in a sans typeface and the other with a serif face which makes it interesting for us now but I can never fathom why back then they didn't just accurately touch-up what was there rather than paint a new design almost over the top like a dodgy shadow; a hand-painted sign in Roupell St, SE1; a lovely metal sign in Hayles street, SE11, though I now wonder if it was blue enamel and has been painted over, so I must go and have a second look; a lovely cast metal sign for Bloomsbury Square, WC1.

15 July 2008

Doorway mosaics

Here are some of the pictures I have taken of the wonderful mosaic floors that can still be found at the entrances to old pubs and shops. Modern efforts at this kind of thing aren't ever up to this standard.

More photos like these can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr

10 July 2008

Pubs with Original Names

Some pubs still use the same name that was embedded in the fabric of the original building in the form of lettering or a motif. Some of these motifs, as in the cases of the Yorkshire Grey and The Bull and Gate, are lovely.
Below is a selection of my favourites, so far...

A larger collection of my photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr

Ghost pubs – residential

There are lots of lovely old pubs that have closed down and been converted living accommodation. Pubs and bars are in decline these days probably due to the price of alcohol and the smoking ban. It’s much cheaper to buy your booze and fags at the supermarket and enjoy them at home. All rather ironic if your home is part of an old drinking establishment. There are far too many of these to take a photo of every one I see, so below is a just small selection some of which even have the old pub’s name still visible.

Row 1: An old Truman pub in Clarence Road, E5; Barnsbury Street, N1; Market Road, N7, The Lion, North Road, N7; Roman Way, N7.
Row 2: Bromley Arms, Cleveland Street, W1; Market Tavern, York Way, N7; The Tollington, Tollington Way, N7; The Rainbow, Liverpool Road, N1.
Row 3: The Falkland Arms, Falkland Road, NW5; Richmond Avenue, N1; The Montague Arms, Benwell Road, N7; The Rising Sun, Barnsbury, N1; Roman Way, N7.
Row 5: Southgate Arms, Southgate road, N1; Caledonian Road, N7; The Turks Head, Wapping, E1; The Builders Arms, St Paul’s Road, N1.

A larger collection of my photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr

Ghost pubs

Many pubs have changed identity over the years but the ones I am particularly interested in are those that have the original name embedded in the fabric of the building, either as the name itself or a motif. Sometimes they are new pubs, but quite often another type of business has moved in downstairs, or the whole building has been converted into private homes. There are thousands of examples in London alone and shown below is just a selection.
Other pubs with historic value such as The Nag's Head, Holloway Road, N7 have no visual stamp on the pub to hint at their former identities, which is a shame. The Nag's Head was once the main pub of the area and lends its name to the local shopping centre. It is shown as a destination plate on LRT buses.
During the past 20 years the pub has changed owners and names a few times. In the 1990s for a short period it was The Mustang and then O’Neill’s took it over and gave it their nasty yellow and blue livery, complete with pretend post office. Then all the pub fittings were ripped out and for a while it become a shop selling household stuff like glass coffee tables and throws. These days, despite a campaign against the idea by local residents, it's an Agora gaming centre. But there's hardly ever anyone in there so I can only speculate that very soon a new name will appear over the door.
I find it all quite sad. But hey, perhaps it will return to being a pub one day...

Shown above is a selection of these 'ghost pubs'.
The current name or use in shown brackets.
Row 1: The Frying Pan, E1 (balti restaurant); The Queen’s Head, WC1 (empty); St Martin’s Tavern, NW1 (Kaz Kreol); The Nevill, N16 (residential); The Swan, E2 (grill); The Unicorn, N1 (Papa John’s pizzas).
Row 2: The Elephant (or Elephants’ Head?), E5 (Fitzgerald’s);
The Old Farm House, NW5 (O’Reilly’s); The Green Man, N1 (Nailworld); The Prince of Wales, NW1 (Positively 4th Street);
The Half Moon, N19 (The Quays).
Row 3: Princess Beatrice, NW1 (Tommy Flynn’s); The Anchor, N1 (Polsmak restaurant); The Hare and Hounds, N1 (Albert & Pearl); The Grafton Arms (The Swimmer); The Old Parrs Head, N1 (Jigsaw); The Wheatsheaf, W1 (Langoletto restaurant).
Row 4: Crown and Castle, E2 (noodle bar); The Three Wheatsheaves, N1 (The Outback); Hoxton Distillery, N1 (The Macbeth); The Robin Hood, W3 (Connolly’s); Cock Tavern, N19 (Nambucca);
Row 5: The Norfolk Arms, N19 (Chris Stevens DIY); The Spread Eagle, E9 (The Jackdaw & Stump); The Alexandra Coffee House, N19 (locksmiths); Royal George, N1 (The Bombay Bicycle Club); The Duke of Edinburgh, NW1 (Green Light pharmacy); The Griffin (?), E5 (Hackney Building & Plumbing Supplies).
Row 6: The Tam O’Shanter, WC2 (Scotch Steak House); The Duke of Sussex, N1 (Fredericks); The Weavers Arms, N16 (newsagent); The Huntingdon, N1 (empty); The Rainbow, N1 (private home); The Intrepid Fox, W1 (empty).
Row 7: An old Truman pub, E5 (residential); The Pembury Tavern E5 (residential); The Southgate Arms, N1 (residential) ; The Montague Arms, N7 (residential); The White Hart (empty).

A larger collection of my photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr

3 July 2008

Streetnames – moulded

The one for Canterbury Road, N1, on the side of a pub in Balls Pond Road is particularly of interest because there is no road there at all these days.
Park Place on Liverpool Road and Clapton Pavement on Lower Clapton Road aren't relevant any more either.

A larger collection of my photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr

Streetnames – Re-named

For some reason street names get changed.
But sometimes the previous name is still visible on an old sign.
Shown here are a few examples.

Clockwise from top left:
New Cavendish Street, W1, was Upper Marylebone Street; Bavaria Road, N19, was Blenheim Road; Keystone Crescent, N1, was Caledonian Crescent; Eburne Road, N7, was Grafton Road; in 1880 a stretch of Lower Clapton Road, E5, was Clapton Pavement; College Cross, N1 was (something) Street. I will look into the last one and see if I can source the previous name in full.

A larger collection of my photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr

Streetnames – hand-painted

In some areas of London hand-painted street signs are regularly maintained but here’s a selection of some that have been neglected.

A larger collection of my photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr

Streetnames – metal

It’s amazing how many different types of street signage there are out there. Here is just a small selection of the ones made in metal/enamel. I am particularly interested in the really old ones that only use a London area code, such as N or E and I have been fortunate to stumble across quite a few in the Lower Clapton area that have the old NE postal region on them. NE was phased out in 1866 when it became part of the E region as shown here by Sewdley St NE right next to Millfields Road E5. It is also interesting to note the changes in punctuation on these early NE signs; some have 2 full points (perhaps signifying a colon turned 90 degrees?), others have a full point and a comma (semi-colon?) and others just a comma, yet Clifden Rd has none of the above.

A larger collection of my photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr