22 February 2023

Players Cigarettes Ghostsign near Shepherd's Bush Green

Isn't it strange how you can walk or drive up and down a road for decades, even go on many hunts for old signage and the like, yet never notice a something as big as this? Made worse when looking at retrospective Google streetview and finding out that this has always been visible. Doh! 

Perhaps it was always a dull day when I was sleuthing there in the past. I dunno. However, in this case, I do think the painted advertisement above Winkworths, has become a bit clearer of late, perhaps due to layers of grime having been gradually eroded by rain. Or, as I suspect by the evidence of recent repointing on this east-facing wall, perhaps it was given a clean before the application of new cement.

The advert is for packets of Player's Navy Cut Cigarettes 'Medium' created in 1945 and available until 1989. Local residents could have bought this brand of cigs at the tobacconist shop at the other end of this terrace where it meets Godolphin Road and then purchased throat lozenges from the chemist shop below the sign!

I've enhanced one of my images using Photoshop (above) and it helps us to understand how the sign might have looked when it was first painted, echoing the colours on the packets. Two sizes of packs are advertised: 10 for 6d (sixpence) and/or 20 for 11d, as shown top left and bottom right respectively. In the early days they also made packs of five!

This is the second time I have found something impressive, yet previously unnoticed, in Uxbridge Road recently (see here for a sign in Acton Vale). I've also found some others in the area which need some sleuthing so I will share those soon. 

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Thanks, Jane