27 February 2023

Ghostsigns in Goldhawk Road, W12

Last week I wrote about a ghost sign in Uxbridge Road and said I'd find out more info about some of the others in that area.

Starting at Ravenscourt Park (western) end of Goldhawk Road, this Brymay matches sign on end of King's Parade, has seen better days. The pic to the right shows how it looked when I photographed it in 2008. There's only about half of it there now, thanks to the insertion of a multi-level extension, and what remains of the lettering is now rather faded. It makes a kind of top and tail with another Brymay sign on Shepherds Bush Green

But, not far away from there, I was extremely pleased to find that one of my favourite 'hidden' gems is still intact, albeit obscured by Melville Court and a large fir tree on the side of No.1 Cathnor Street. It is an ad for Herbert W. Dunphy, a local estate agent. It could be argued that this doesn't really qualify as a ghost sign being as his company is still trading today albeit with a slightly different name. 

The company1908 office was at 162 Goldhawk Road, and they later expanded into No.164 – see Google Streetview 2008. Today they're only at No 164 and if you look closely patches of paint there make it evident that the whole building was once covered with a painted advertisement. A modern banner affixed to the side shows the company today is 'Dunphy and Hayes'. I checked their website for more info... if you scroll down to the bottom here and read the small white text under the company logo, you'll see that they offer 'efficiant' and 'propfessional' services with 'qaulity' assurance. Oh dear! I wonder what Herbert would have made of that?!

Heading eastwards towards Shepherds Bush, there's another ghostsign, this time on the end of Goldolphin Road, on the side of No.152 Goldhawk Road. This, in the 1930s, was a colour merchant's shop, with Shaw Motors on the garden at the rear. Indeed, Dolphin Cars still trade out of that space. Try as I might, I really cannot fathom the lettering on the sign. There looks to have been at least two over-paintings, though I am sure I see 'THE' centred at the very top and 'LONDON' along the bottom edge. Ideas welcome. 

Note some gorgeous old shops on the opposite side of Godhawk Rd at 155-161, three of which retain curved window frames etc.   

And so back to Uxbridge Rd... 

Opposite the Player's cigarette ad, there is a tantalising glimpse of an ad under laters of white paint on an east-facing wall that has later been partly obscured by a building next door. With so little to go on, it's hard to ascertain whether this was a sign for a business at that location or a managed rental site. I haven't managed to decipher anything here as yet, except that there looks to be '...ES' about a third of the way down on the right edge. I wonder if this might have been an old Nestlé ad

As ever, any help or further info is always welcome. Please either use the comments facility or contact me at jane@janeslondon.com

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Thanks, Jane