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Ghostsigns of Islington: bygone brands and businesses

January 28 @ 11:00 - 13:00

Remnants of bygone advertising, for bygone brands and businesses, are still visible today, clinging to the walls above our busy streets. These old signs are now commonly referred to as ‘ghostsigns’ and most of the ones we’ll look at on this walk will be the hand-painted variety, as per the example I’ve created for this header image which is an adaptation of one of the signs you’ll see on the tour.

This hand-crafted and labour-intensive form of advertising might seem strange to us today, with our large-format printing, lightboxes and interactive screens, but 100 years ago hand-painted signs like this were commonplace; the buildings that bore them barely visible beneath a patchwork of signage for branded products, well-known shops and local tradesmen.

On this walking tour you will see many surviving signs and at each stop you’ll hear fascinating and intriguing stories about the businesses, people or products behind the ads; from vets to vegans, rubber to metal and cars to chemists. I will also point out other types of non-painted ‘ghostsigns’ along the way.