7 September 2012

'Williams Homemade Pie & Eel Shop' sign is finally revealed again on Holloway Road

I have had my eye on this particular shop sign for years...
Though it's not Edwardian, gold leaf or 3D it's still hand-painted and well worth preserving as a reminder of a more recent age when pie and eel shops could be found all over London. Only a few of these establishments are still open these days.
A while back I reported that many old shop signs along the Holloway Road are being preserved as shopkeepers/owners are being encouraged to keep hold of any signage they might find when renovating. Sadly a couple of signs in the area that did make brief appearances (see here and here) did not stay visible for long and I hope they not have just been painted over, or filled in as happened to a relief sign in Finsbury Park.
A few years ago a clever protective etched perspex/glass sign (above left) was put across the 'Williams Homemade Pie & Eel Shop' sign such that during the day the modern sign was visible with lights and in the evening the old lettering could still be seen when the shop was closed. Very clever and similar to the sign at No. 109.
Last year all of this was covered up completely when two subsequent companies moved in and just pasted their company names straight over the top.
Then some of it became visible (above middle), and finally, last week (above right) I noticed that Miss Desire had finally peeled off her layers and revealed the red underneath. As you can see the clear protective plate has now also been removed.
I will keep an eye on it and see what transpires.

This parade in which Williams sits has always been of interest to me. It's one of the oldest stretches in Holloway Road and I used to be fascinated and amused how it colourful and multi-cultural these buildings had become over time.
Then in 2009 (middle pic above) the scaffolding went up and some idiot saw fit to sand blast the No.211-3. As you can see from the right hand image the bricks are now looking way too new, having had their outer coatings removed by heavy-handed cleaning, and dodgy patches of un-matched pointing can be seen between the courses. I think the faded colours looked OK as they were. This clean up job makes it look like a pastiche of buildings further up the street where the unpainted bricks on other buildings of this kind have taken on a nice dirty grey/brown over the years.
No.215 has also been tarted up and given a coat of magnolia paint. It looks marginally better than next door but I do miss that crazy Columbian blue and red, though for some reason the yellow at the top has been retained.
See here for comparisons of the old and new:

9 comments:

Sam Roberts said...

What a brilliant reveal, I agree they should keep it in tact.

Ben said...

Reports on twitter that the Piebury Corner stall that operates on Arsenal match days are taking it over.

Plus see this photo of the shop from 1979:
https://twitter.com/BlackScarfAFC/status/246319892914118656/photo/1/large

Jane said...

Great photo!!! Areyou saying it's gonna close, or be changed under new management?

Anonymous said...

I am excited to find out more about what has happened to this shop. My family used to own it and I used to work there on Saturday's in the 1970's. Do you have any information please? Thanks!

Jane said...

I understand the new owners are also linked to the old ones. See my subsequent post here: http://www.janeslondon.com/2012/10/update-on-holloway-pie-eel-shop.html
It's now been painted with a new sign: Piebury Corner... see their Facebook page for more info and some great archive images: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Piebury-Corner-Fan-Page/281966908483754

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Jane said...

The pie shop has been up and running for a while now. Considering my championing of the place I'd rather hoped to have been invited or notified about the opening but no, I just noticed it was open when i passed one day. And i still haven;t tried the pies, though I hear they are good!

Roger Williams said...

215 used to be Atkins Chemists, owned and run by my wife's father.

Jane said...

That's great! Do you have pictures to link to online?