H.C. Atkinson, builders merchants are no more. Well they probably haven’t been up to much for a while judging by the state of their building. Clearly they were once prosperous but I doubt if they imagined that the sign would last longer than the business. The buildings three loading doors and the ornate pulley bracket are testament to there previous sucess.
Signs for forgotten businesses, be they carved into the building’s fabric or simply painted on a brick wall are part of the history of a city. They tell of economic success and failure, changing life styles and the nomadic nature of supply and demand. They can be fascinating. Often described as ghost signs the phenomenon is well supported on the web.
Another area that I have been able to find out less about, probably because I have no idea how to frame it as a search term, is something we come across occasionally. It’s the scars or traces of a buildings interiors left when the adjacent building has been removed. I have passed the example below many times over the last few years but I finally stopped to get a closer look the other day. The doors, unlike those in the example above were intended to lead out onto floors in the now missing building. A bit like the old road runner cartoons you can just imagine someone stepping through the door, pausing, and then falling once they realised that they were standing on thin air.
Another example is pictured below, the scars of the old staircases and traces of the hallway paint are left exposed. All that’s missing is a stencil of a confused Dalek on one of the Landings. We will keep our eye out for other examples of this vertical archeology and post any of interest.