This sign will be familiar to Manchester folk – it’s on Princess Street in Manchester, just across from the Town Hall on Albert Square. The company was established in Aberdeen in 1836, with the catchy name of the North of Scotland Fire and Life Assurance Company. It was renamed the Northern Assurance Company in 1848, and is now part of Aviva. This Flemish style building dates from 1902. The company’s website claims there was a “curse of the Northern” - the architects of its early 20th century buildings in Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle apparently all died shortly after completing the buildings. Let’s hope they had life insurance.