Saturday, 26 July 2014

Tired of London, tired of signs

I spotted this sign in Old Gloucester Street, in the Russell Square area of London. All London streets have a fair quota of blue plaques, and this area is no different. I love a good blue plaque, but am often disappointed that I've never heard of the person commemorated. This sign forgave me for my lack of historical knowledge and made me smile.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Yours is the one on the right

There were many fine things to photograph in Stockholm, but I chose this. Anyone fancy a Plopp?

Two for the price of one
Or maybe this is more appealing?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Ring of despair

This sign is on the upper floor of the Southwell Workhouse in Nottinghamshire. The building is run by the National Trust, and is the most complete workhouse in the country.

Most of the building has been restored to how it would have looked to its inmates when it opened in 1824, but the upper floor has been left as it was found when the Trust took over in the late 1990s. The dismal sign caught my eye – there is something of a cry for help in it. It seems to scream despair, even though it probably dates from more recent times when the room was used as offices rather than a dormitory for paupers. 

The workhouse later became an infirmary and a home for the elderly. The building was in use until the 1980s, as a hostel for the homeless and a home for single mothers.

Go if you can - it's worth a visit

Sunday, 6 July 2014

On a mission

I must have walked past this building dozens of times, but last week I happened to look up and I spotted the sign for Manchester and Salford Street Children’s Mission, so I felt moved to find out more.

This fine terracotta building was part of the Wood Street Mission, a charity founded by Alfred Alsop in 1869 (and named after the premises it moved into in 1873). The Mission aimed to relieve the misery of the poor - particularly the children of the nearby slums; it also helped convicts and tramps. It ran soup kitchens, handed out clogs and clothing, and provided breakfast, presents and entertainment at Christmas. It later went on to organise days out at the seaside, and ran holiday camps.

The charity still exists. It is still in Wood Street, and it continues to provide practical help to alleviate the effects of poverty on local children and families in Manchester and Salford. See