20 June 2022

Homepride Wallpapers ghostsign, Walworth Road, SE17

Every time I pass this Homepride Wallpapers ghostsign at 214 Walworth Road it brings a smile to my face because it takes me back in time to the 1970s when many lads wore shirts featuring a repeated pattern of little bowler-hatted Homepride Flour men. I had hoped to be able to link to a pic of a vintage shirt here but I can find nothing available, so if you've still got one of these gems, it's now clearly a collectors' piece. I did find this TV ad though – graded grains make finer flour!

To me, this painted sign conjures up mental images of walls covered in the same Homepride flour men. But where in your home would you paste it? In the kitchen, I suppose, near the larder, and surely only on one feature wall. Sounds like a ridiculous idea, but back in the day, young men who probably couldn't boil eggs, wore those shirts!

Ah, but this ghostsign pre-dates the flour. This is 'homepride' as in a pride in one's home. In the 1930s the shop at No.214 was home to Globe Art, wall paper manufacturers and the 1939 directory shows that the company had quite a few outlets in South London:

I have not as yet ascertained which of these address was the actual manufactory (tho I suspect it was most likely the Tower Bridge address where Haddon Hall now sits) but it is amusing to notice that the phone code for the Walworth Rd location and the Peckham High St shop used to be 'Rodney' as in Del Boy etc – I wonder if John Sullivan knew that when he wrote the sitcom...?

Wall coverings inspired by the Trotters' flat in Only Fools and Horses are suggested here!

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Thanks, Jane