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Wall-painted Adverts (Ghost Signs)

  Banbury wall-painted adverts
  Shop fronts and their side walls and gables offered a wonderful canvas on which to advertise one's wares. Adverts were painted onto the brickwork or rendered surface. As the sign faded it was repainted or a new sign was painted over the top. This would also happen when a change of ownership occurred. This practice has largely been abandoned, although some new examples do occur and some older signs been repainted.

  Adverts may name the business or the service offered within.

  Some examples listed the range of services available or goods for sale.

  Wall space may also be sold to a supplier or manufacturer who would pay a fee to have an advert displayed.

  Amongst the signs remaining many offer glimpses of our past including a number related to the days of horse-drawn travel.

  As signs are no longer maintained the paint peels and they gradually fade away and with it a record of our past. This has lead them being referred to as ghost signs in some quarters. Signs are also lost to demolition, alterations to buildings and by being obscured by new developments.

  If signs have been regularly over-painted with new designs they can be difficult to decipher.


Related Links

  Ipswich Historic Lettering A website devoted to historic public lettering in Ipswich - and beyond

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