Thursday, March 27, 2014

More on the latest Armadale uncovering: a sign painting company, a sports depot, Donald Bradman and a heritage soap sign

Thank to the excellent online sleuthing of a few good folk, a few more details have emerged of the Armadale uncoverings  I posted about yesterday.

Firstly, the butter menthol sign underneath the Persil sign has the signature of Edgar Hook signs:

It's an old sign, certainly pre-1950s, given that it was already covered by a building in this Stonnington Council photo I posted yesterday:

Today, signwriter extraordinaire Tony Mead did some looking up of Edgar Hook Signs. Funnily enough, the company turns up on my Lewis & Skinner site as a job...maybe a sub-contract?

Both companies were in South Melbourne in 1955 (the date of the job above), so they are likely to have had some interaction. And both had been around for a while as established companies.

Tony also found a PDF from Heritage Victoria describing the heritage protection given to a large and well-kept Velvet Soap sign in Kyneton, regional Victoria, painted by... Edgar Hook:

This find is also notable to me because it's the first time I've heard of a local ghost sign being given any kind of heritage protection. It might even offer possibilities for the protection of other signs, thereby possibly avoiding the kind of fate of so many great signs, including my favourite Bushell's Tea sign recently.

The next lot of interesting detail has emerged in regard to the Pennants signs below the Allens and Persil signs, which features a painting of a cricketer (click to expand):

Thanks to a Facebook callout yesterday, Kristy (who's an expert online sleuth) has been on the hunt for more details. Turns out Pennants made bats, balls, gloves and other cricket stuff.

The 'Palmer's' refers to Palmer's Sports Depot in Malvern (also called Central Sports Depot), further west on High Street in Malvern (it's likely that this wall was an ad for that business). Palmer seemed to have knack for marketing - he's mentioned a lot in the newspapers, from 1921 onwards, in articles, sponsorships and ads: 

Interestingly, the legendary cricketer Donald Bradman had a sponsorship deal with Palmer's Sports Depot in 1932:

So - and given that the Pennant/Palmer's signs are definitely pre-1940s since the photo above is from the 1940s, and those bits of the wall were definitely covered - it's quite possible that the faded painting of the cricketer on the Armadale wall is of the Don himself.

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