Monday, 28 March 2016

A doorway to the past

In the heart of Manchester’s Chinatown, near the Chinese Arch, number 55 Faulkner Street offers a concentration of ghost signs and a doorway that looks like it leads straight back to Victorian times. Reflecting Manchester’s leading role in the textiles industry, the signs on this building offer worsteds, woollens and handkerchiefs.

This handsome warehouse was built by architects Clegg & Knowles in 1870. Clegg & Knowles helped shape the face of modern Manchester, designing good looking warehouses in Peter Street, Portland Street, Spring Gardens, Fountain Street and Albert Square, as well as this gem in Faulkner Street.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Fancy a Turkish bath?

Well, you won’t get one, despite the tempting sign. Usually too covered in trampling feet to be photographed, I was pleased to find this ghost sign deserted one evening and so I was able to take a quick foot-free picture.

The sign is on the pavement in Russell Square London. The baths, part of the Imperial Hotel, were opened in 1913 and considered very fine, though not fine enough to escape demolition in the 1960s.

Monday, 14 March 2016

18 Woburn Square

The number sign on this door is so pretty that it caught my eye. It’s in Woburn Square in Bloomsbury, London. Named after the Duke of Bedford’s family seat – Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire – the houses in the square were built between 1829 and 1847 and are now mostly occupied by University College London. Number 18 houses the Social Science Research Unit. There’s still a small garden in the centre of the square. To my delight, I discovered that Camden Council have run a project documenting the doors of Bloomsbury, including those in Woburn Square – worth a look for some fabulous Georgian gems.