Thursday, December 10, 2015

A few on the run in Sydney

Today I took a lightning five-hour visit to central Sydney for work. But even in that short time, a few ghost signs reared their heads.

I snapped the first one in the city near Wynyard station on the way to our meeting.

The other three were taken by colleague Dale from the train back to the airport (Dale had the better phone camera):


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hiding away in the Melbourne CBD

It's been a little while since I've been able to post some sign pics - and there are plenty to post. So might as well get started. Here are a few I took yesterday that popped up unexpectedly when I was walking through the Melbourne CBD's south-west, around Highlander Lane:


Further down, there was this, on Rutherglen House - one of the city's original residences (1842), and host of a colourful recent life:

The sign says (something) House - but obviously not when it was called 'Rutherglen':

Then around the corner, the entrance to the old sewerage works:

Up above: not a ghost sign but a fascinating late Victorian urban sanitation innovation - 5-storey urinals at the back of the Rialto Centre. Ironically, one of the state-of the-then-art building's first tenants was the Metropolitan Board of Works, who ran the city's sewerage system. More here:

And lastly, to finish off, a sign I'd previously missed on Elizabeth Street:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A brilliant renovated Mobil servo in Kongwak, Gippsland - and a few others

Today we went to the Sunday market in Kongwak, South Gippsland, a tiny farming town in the green hills south of Korumburra. We saw a couple of signs there (see below), but as we went up the main road, I was blown away by this brilliant renovated Mobil service station:

This was exciting. It's the first time I've encountered a 1950s Mobil servo in such pristine condition, especially since the Lewis & Skinner signwriting documents I found (see: record the painting of many of similar servos, eg:

There's very little on this property that I've been able to find online - except for a mention in Trove from 1956.  Interesting though that there still seem to be a lot of Chapmans in Kongwak.

Here are the other signs I snapped from the area:

This looks like it might have been the former sugar mill. The next ones are from the former general store that now hosts the market:

 ...and here's one great old shop I snapped in Korumburra, on the way back to Melbourne:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I spy....two more Robur Tea signs

This week's been a good week for Robur.

Firstly, I did a fun talk on Saturday for the City of Port Phillip/ Melbourne University ghost sign project:

That talk focused on Robur Tea.

And in the few days since then, I've spied two more Robur signs, tucked away on first-floor side walls in Brunswick and Yarraville:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Second cocoa-related uncovering for the day

Following on from the last post, here's another uncovering from today. This Nestle sign is just near the Brighton Beach train station. Thanks to the good folks at the Brighton Historical Society for alerting me to it:

Brilliant Lewis & Skinner cocoa sign uncovering in Caulfield

Big thanks to Rob Gray for alerting me to this uncovering on Glenhuntly Road in Caulfield. It's for Bensdorp's Cocoa, a brand that is still going. It looks like it's from the 1920s or 1930s, judging by the cobalt blue and type face - but it's hard to tell. There are a few containers around with a similar type, such as the one on this page, described as being "1900-1930":

Still, the most exciting thing for me is that it was painted by the Lewis & Skinner, whose company records I found three years ago (see:

Here are some of the pics I took today, in the late winter light:

From the street

From the back

And here's an example of a tin with a vaguely similar typeface:


Friday, August 21, 2015

A little ghost sign controversy

Yours truly weighs in this week on the issue of repainting signs with the mayor of Port Adelaide in the local paper....

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bird spotting in North well as other creatures

Yesterday I was booked into an Indigenous walk along Merri Creek, which was cancelled at the last minute.

So instead I reacquainted myself with the uber-gentrified streets of one-was-working-class North Fitzroy...and found a few beauties.

On the way to the walk, I had seen a round mark on a wall - here's what it looked like close up. It looks like it's a sign for the Rosella brand of jams, whose factory can be found in Richmond:

A few streets down were two lovingly restored buildings on the same block, each with its own sign:

 Plus also spied a few other faint traces here and there, as well as rephotographed two old Robur favourites - one that seems to have revealed extra layers as it has aged, and another whose remaining traces have been further covered with posters:

This old laneway factory has a "partial demolition" sign on it.

Down another laneway

Nearly gone...


Nearly gone 2...

And here are the Robur signs: