31 December 2016

Follow the Light Trail at Kew Gardens 2016

Colourful loveliness.

Kew Gardens Christmas Lights Trail 2016
I especially loved the fields of colour-changing musical little balls on sticks, the large white lilies and some of the older trees such as Turner's Oak benefitting from some good lighting (second pic bottom row).
We went there on 29th Dec which if you recall was a really cold evening. Though a bonus was that the sprinkling of frost on the grass made another reflective panel for the colourful lights. See more pics here.
Here's a link to my last visit in 2013 which on reflection I think was a  more magical experience – I don't recall there being a small funfair or so many booths along the trail selling things such mulled wine, honey mead, marshmallows and gingerbread. Oh well, that's progress for you.
Nevertheless; it's a joy.
There are only two days left to see this though it looks to be fully booked so make a note in your diary for next year.
As we walked back towards the station we noticed Jack Frost had been busy making some amazing patterns on some of the cars. I haven't seen the like of that since the on my bedroom windows when I was a child.

Jack Frost woz ere

30 December 2016

A ghostsign above The Old Dairy

Here we go again... how come I have only recently been spotting ghostsigns that must have been there for decades?!
Considering I usually stop to admire the Old Dairy building, you think I would have noticed before last month that there is a faded sign above it to the right on Crouch Hill (originally part of Stroud Green Road).

The big name at the top looks to end in ROW and the word AGENTS is evident.
As usual, any ideas and information always welcome

21 December 2016

Yellow foam people – street art in Hornsey Road – by Kit (?)

Updated 27th Dec 2016 – see last paragraph

Over the past few weeks a community of devilish little foam men has been appearing around the junction of Grenville Road and Hornsey Road, London N19.

I first noticed these characterful people made from pipe lagging two weeks ago but it wasn't until yesterday that I had a chance to take some photos.
I think they are marvellous – they have so much personality. When I was taking these pics no one else in the busy street was paying them any attention. What is wrong with people?!
A couple of the original ones have already gone and others have been damaged such as the second one on the bottom row which in the first week was walking down the post and then last week he was doing some kind of circus pose (one limb having become unattached. Now he's legless and looks like he is clinging on for dear life!
Some have a Christmas theme – note the santa hats. One is hanging from a scaffold firing what looks like a ray gun or it might be spray paint – he has two canisters on his back and more in his thigh pockets. Another little foam fella is sat above the burned out shop lighting a cigarette with his face covered in soot.  The group of three angels/sprites is amazing and reminds me of the sprites in Midsummer Night's Dream.
I have no idea who made these artworks. Someone is evidently busy  at night time scaling ladders armed with cable ties. I have googled and come up with nothing. I went into the upholsterer's on the corner of Grenville Road but the girl at the desk didn't have a clue about the artworks and neither did she seem to care much and those three fabulous angels are right outside her window! I am now wondering if Deti's Deli Cafe might be involved seeing as one of the yellow fellas is walking down the wall following arrows to there.
Hmmm... This needs more investigation. I will keep returning to this junction to see if more little yellow men appear and will post pics and updates here.
Whoever is doing this, I salute you. Thanks for brightening up the world with street art that does not deface or damage anything.

On Christmas Eve I noticed the name Kit at the foot of the smoking man – see pic to the right. Perhaps this has been there for ages and I missed it before. 
I asked the man who runs the convenience store below if he knew who Kit was and he says he thinks it's a customer who uses the shop.
I have an idea that Kit the creator lives above the shops near the carpet store... am I right?  Do tell.... ;-)

13 December 2016

Beans Express Carriers Ghostsign on City Road

This post has been updated
How long have I been walking and bussing past this and not noticed it?! I only spotted it in November when hunting for signs to use for my Angel Islington card. Has it been covered up or has it been there hidden in plain sight all this time?

I doubt the wording "BEANS EXPRESS CARRIERS" is about beans in the green or baked sense; perhaps this was a company called Beans who were offering an efficient courier/delivery service.
Look closely and see that EXPRESS is written twice here hinting that the sign has been repainted at least once. Also the smaller EXPRESS wording and CARRIERS are rendered in a different style to the larger BEANS EXPRESS; thay have drop shadows on a darker panel which may suggest that this part of the sign is a later addition, perhaps for a different company whose name has faded away over time.
Any further ideas and feedback welcome.
Lots more cards here

7 December 2016

Ideas about a tiled doorway at The Hot Wok, 265 Caledonian Road, N1

You are probably already aware that I like to find nice old tiles or mosaics especially with the original company name embedded within them. Here is a link to a particularly good collection I put together earlier this year.
This post is about a tiled doorway in Caledonian Road

The lovely green and cream tiles in this particular entrance are approx 100 years old and are in stark contrast to the fast food outlet that these days occupies the ground floor here.
The mosaic doorway has been as good as vandalised by subsequent owners; the first word having been obliterated, but in a half-arsed way. Surely it would have been easier just to have covered the whole thing?!
I know that a while back this shop was a butcher's but I am pretty sure this was not the primary owner.
I have been looking at this today trying to work out what name could have been on the top line. It's clearly a short name of only four or five letters ending in "ts".... but where is the possessive apostrophe? Surely a family name as in Evan's Stores or similar would make better sense?
But hold the front page!  I may be onto something here!!
I was just about to ask for ideas but just as I wrote the above and studied the shape of the first letter I had a "Eureka!" moment...
I believe it starts with a "B" and so it's very possible that this could be an old Boot's the Chemist Store.
See below for ref of Boots old logo and signage; it's a strong possibility. But I was wrong. That's not a B, it's an F – I subsequently looked further into this and found out it was a Frost's grocery store

As well as photos of old ghostsigns I also old tins which include the ones shown here illustrating how Boots changed adapted their logo using 'Chemists' or 'Drug Co Ltd' within the underscore.
Hmmm... I'm now thinking the shop doorway name doesn't have an underscore under the first word and I might be totally wrong here.
What do you think? Could it be a Boots Store? Do you have other ideas or, better still, some facts... please do get in touch.

I have a collection of other mosaic obliterations. I will collect them together and save them for another day. UPDATE: It's a Frosts store... Frosts was a small chain of grocery shops

5 December 2016

A Wooden Cover Plate in Tollington Park

Strolling along Tollington Park, a lovely road in N4, last week I happened across a large rectangular cover plate within the pavement that was, and still is, wooden on its uppermost face. I have never seen such a thing before.
I thought at first this was the secondary layer; the metal and concrete lid having been removed but, no, on close inspection it can be seen that the wood is flush with the pavement.
Walking further along the pavement, that's sidewalk to my readers in the States ;-), I noticed that it was the same dimensions at the old BT ones that have the pebble-dashed tops, see above bottom right.
So, this means underneath that eroded wooden top with holes in it there are wires and all sorts of circuit doobreys for telephones.
Is this OK?
I assume so, seeing as the wood appears to have been exposed to the elements for quite some time already.
Hmmm... pondering...