In June 2008 a friend alerted me to the unveiling of some lovely old hand-painted shop signs on 136 Grays Inn Road. The shop was being renovated and the plain wooden fascias that had been in place for decades had been removed to reveal some lovely lettering showing that in an earlier life the shop had been home to an electrical components retailer (see below, top left and top middle).
Later that same year I took some more photos when all the signs were more visible. Crackled paint, drop shadows. Lovely.
We hoped that these old signs would continue to be visible in the future but they were covered up again. I think they were initially covered with more boards. I think the site became a cafe. (Peter, please correct me here if I am wrong please!)
Two months ago I was in Grays Inn Road again. I stopped in my tracks when I saw what it looks like now – the shop is up for sale/rent, having spent a while as a hairdressers. White gloss has been applied straight over the top of the lovely old lettering and, at certain angles, the words can be seen ghosting through the paint. The bottom right image shows the 'components/switchgear' panel.
Is this progress?
I am sad. Very sad. :-(