Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Walk on the wild side

This sign made me smile – it’s the inverted commas that amuse me. What are they meant to convey, I wonder? Just how wild was this fish? Caged or house trained? Absolutely raging or just a bit irritated? Naturally, to comedy lovers of a certain age (me), a sign like this will trigger Gerald the Gorilla jokes from Not the Nine O’clock News (“Wild? I was livid!”).

The sign was outside the Easy Fish Company in Heaton Moor, Stockport (http://www.theeasyfishco.com/). It’s a rather wonderful shop, even for a vegetarian (me again, hence my ignorance of fishy adjectives). It doesn’t just sell fish - the cheese counter is great, the bread good and the Christmas goodies last year were mouth watering. Obviously I’m hoping for a whole series of signs – Cross carp? Mad monkfish? Cheesed off cheddar? Well, you get the picture.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

It’s all just vandalism, or is it?

I took this a few years ago in Anglesey. It was on the door of a works lock-up at the (completely fabulous) Parys slate mine. I thought it was rather lovely, and worth bringing out again in the light of Banksy’s recent New York sales stunts. Is it art or is it vandalism? Do you know what you like? Discuss.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Mourning orders promptly executed

This is a great ghost sign in Stockport market for Emersons tailors – amazing to think you could get an order made up in eight hours. I’m glad it’s survived the recent restoration to the area.

For those of you who think Stockport is all Primark and chavs, visit the market and think again. It’s been going over 750 years. It’s got a great museum based around an ancient staircase (yes it really is interesting), a museum telling the history of the town, and if you’re lucky you might just find the dungeons open. There’s a pretty Victorian covered market, a rather wonderful cheese hall, and the growing number of vintage shops will satisfy those with an eye for a bargain.

Just a couple of streets away, visit the truly fab art deco tea rooms at the Plaza – one of England’s hidden treasures. You could also delight yourself with a visit to the World War Two air raid shelters and the Hat Museum if you still have the energy.

By all means enjoy Primark and chav spotting, too.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Let that be a warning to you

Fantastic old sign in Ambrosden Avenue, Westminster, London (on a building which I believe may be the Archibishop’s House). I love how long it is – and how specific. Chalking OR writing – so, ok to paint a picture then? And the boast about the telephone is wonderfully superior and final, almost as if it’s invoking batman or a bit of black magic.  

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Floating Bridge Road

Floating Bridge Road, Southampton
I couldn’t resist this sign as it brought back memories. The words themselves sound improbable and make me smile, though it seems wrong somehow that it’s such a shiny new sign on such a neat brick wall. I loved going on the creaky old floating bridge when I was a child. It meant treats in Woolston, the flea pit cinema and fish and chips. The floating bridge crossed the River Itchen from Southampton to Woolston from 1836-1977. It was replaced by an impressive high, curving toll bridge – more efficient, but not as much fun. A painting of the floating bridge by LS Lowry is in the excellent Southampton City Art Gallery – a fantastic small collection with imaginative displays, always worth a visit. Not far from Floating Bridge Road is Canute Road, where (probably) King Canute tried to turn back the tide to teach his yes men a lesson.