Sunday, March 2, 2014

A few from Kew...and Balwyn and Surrey Hills

A couple of weeks ago, I took the bike for a jaunt around the leafy surrounds of Kew, Balwyn and Surrey Hills. Tomorrow I'm giving a talk on ghost signs at the University of the Third Age in Kew, and I wanted to see what I could find. Also, in June I'm talking to the Surrey Hills Ephemera Society (what a good name) and so I checked out that suburb too - plus Balwyn in between.

As expected, there wasn't a lot to see compared to the parts of town that used to be poorer, and that so saw less repainting. But I did find a few - here they are:

This fomer Briquettes dispensing shed is on the site of the bridge over a former railway line that has since been turned into a linear park:

The coin-operated dispensing system
And the rest in Kew/Balwyn:

Had to take this one from the middle of a busy intersection

Only remaining remnant

Layers of stylists' signs

Largely disused suburban shopping strip (and following).

Saw this dry cleaning firm pop up a couple of times - see below

Pick of the day - layers of signs on Union Road in Mont Albert. The sign superimposed on the Braemar heating sign is a Mobilgas one. Exciting for me since Lewis & Skinner had the contract for much of the Vacuum Oil Company's signs.

Not a ghost sign technically, but a brilliant old-school milk bar in Balwyn.
...and down the road, another milk bar straddling eras.
Union Road, Surrey Hills - it's still there, across the road from the superb Lewis & Skinner uncovering of 2012 (see:

This is what the site of the 2012 Surrey Hills ghost sign cluster looks like now: hidden for another few decades.

...and in the same Surrey Hills stretch: adorning the old theatre that's currently being stripped and transformed.
The next lot are from the cute little shopping strip adjoining the railway station in Mont Albert:

The old sign in Chatham, stuck to the window of the still-running milk bar


  1. I'm going to claim the 1056 no. next to the hair stylist.
    I did that one during the second half of my apprenticeship at Omega Signs in Box Hill. That would date it as about 1982.
    I remember the client was really fussy and wanted 3 coats on everything. The "helpful" hair dresser kept telling her that "his" signwriter put 5 coats on his window sign.

    1. It still looks pristine so you must have done a good job! Actually I thought it was much older, given the style :)