Written in Stone

Walking past Newtons College in The Close, I noticed two lots of graffiti on the same building. One lot is spraypainted (I think) and looks like a name (it’s not the best penmanship ;)), the other consists of initials and a date of 1920. You can see these both below in the gallery.

I have no problem with the second one, in fact I enjoy finding a name or something else carved into stone. I do however have a problem with the first one. Why I am ok with PE leaving his or her mark in 1920 but not the graffiti artist in 2011?

Slightly different, but still maybe relevant, there was a recent story about Sex Pistols graffiti being historically and archaeologically important.

I’m still trying to work through my thoughts on this whole area. In the meantime, if anyone has any thoughts, or opinions of their own, please get in touch 🙂

 Edit 6/12/2011

Off on a bit of a tangent, a couple of stories about graffiti with a story! Thanks to Mark from Tamworth Time Hikes for letting me know about this one in Sheffield, which in turn reminded me of this one in Hagley, Worcestershire. Not at all to do with Lichfield, but of interest on the theme of graffiti I hope you’ll agree. Anyone know of any more?

 A bit later on 6/12/2011….some of my photos of graffiti…..

The Kenilworth photo reminds of going there as a little girl and noticing this kind of graffiti for the first time.  I temporarily abandoned my quest for portcullises, drawbridges and moats (which always disappointed by not being filled with water anyway) and played ‘Who can find the oldest graffiti?’. I remember seeing a date in the 1700s and realising that I was just one of the latest in a long, long line of people who had been there. I suppose, in a way those people, rightly or wrongly, became a part of the history of that building themselves. There are loads of photographs of this kind of graffiti around, there’s a whole flickr group here. I wonder if this kind of immortality was their aim or if it was more a case that they got fed up of looking for portcullises, and it gave them something to do?It seems some of our old vandals seemed happy to be easily identified, like Mr Joel Churchill at Kenilworth.  Perhaps it was an acceptable thing to do at the time?

Edit 9/12/2011

Another bit of Lichfield graffiti from the excellent Beacon Street Blog here.