November 11, 2016


You're bound to have seen them, but you've probably not taken too much notice of them. They can be found all over most towns and many villages. They are advertisements for trades and businesses long gone. They're known as ghost signs - and they offer a glimpse into the past.

Let's start with this one from the corner of Market Place in Cirencester. With a bit of effort you can see it says Scotland House Frank Jones The Popular Clothier
There's also at least one '& Co' and something that looks like it ends with ...nson  and a VERY faint extra 'ouse', which I assume was an earlier rendering of House.

Here's a fine example from the harbourside in Ipswich. Fison's were well known as an agricultural chemicals company and they started life in this Suffolk town.

This one is near the River Trent by Sawley, Nottinghamshire. It's a bit of a pleasure spot these days and from what you can decipher on this wall that's been the case for a while. Thomas someone (I can't make out a second name) offered boats for hire, accommodation, teas and mineral waters.

One of my favourites. It could only be in one town. Wholesale jet merchants were a feature of Whitby, where the rare black gemstone appears in the local rocks. You'll find this one close by the swing bridge.

And here's another beauty from round the back of the East Riding Museum in Hull. It's a lovely slice of the town's history. Among the words you can just make out are "Hull River Craft Owners"  "Steam Tug Owners" and there's a wool merchant in there somewhere.

This post was for Five on Friday run by Amy at Love Made My Home. Sadly, Amy has 'stuff' to deal with and Five has been suspended temporarily.


  1. I've always liked these ghosts... and often look for them. Some were still working in my childhood, some are very old, before 2ndWW...
    You can link up your post with Tanya's Friday
    there are not so much blogger than by Amy, but it's a nice friendly family. And I'm sure, you would like Tom's photostories too

    Have a nice weekend

  2. I love looking for old signs, particularly when on a train journey, but did not realise they were called ghosts before. It's perfect really as they are the lingering essence of a time gone by.

  3. I also never heard the term "ghost signs" before but it seems pretty obvious now, I love it! There are so many of these around my city, especially giant, fading fonts on larger brick buildings. So interesting.

  4. I love ghosts. We have a wonderful one in st helier from an old record shop called Foot's. It has the original His Majesties voice with the old fashioned record player. I always look for ghosts when I'm on my travels. B x


Leave your mark for future historians.