On Facebook, another member of the Lichfield Discovered group posted a photograph of a shop sign that had been hiding underneath a Connells Estate Agents sign on Bore Street.
What other old signs lurk beneath plastic facades?
I started to do a bit of reading about the use of signs and lettering on buildings and came across an article in the Independent, which features a self confessed font geek called Anthony Harrington. “Typefaces work well as little milestones,” he says. “They anchor a building to a time and a function, whether it’s commercial or social, and this is a heritage worth preserving”. There’s also a map and an app which aims, ‘to photographically record publicly available lettering and type throughout the capital’.
It’s an interesting idea and so I had a wander around to see what other examples I could find in the Lichfield. In October 1953, the School of Art principal Miss EM Flint declared that city was remarkably deficient in the provision of well-rendered signs and notices. Is this still true sixty years later? Anymore good examples out there?
You have to include a sign that has letters with eyebrows
I had an hour to spend in Abbots Bromley and so I grabbed my camera and went for a walk.
The theme seemed to be ‘things found on buildings’, be it wooden and painted signs, carved heads and crosses on the church, horns outside a restaurant alluding to the village’s famous tradition (the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance), or an old post box. Until I got home and did a bit of reading, I had no idea that a very famous visitor had also left her mark on one of the village’s buildings. Mary, Queen of Scots is believed to have stayed overnight at Abbots Bromley’s Manor House during what was to be her last journey. A pane of glass with the inscription ‘Maria Regina Scotiae quondam transibat istam villam 21 Septembris 1585 usque Burton’, said have been scratched by Mary with a diamond ring, was taken from the house and is now in the William Salt Library.
I’m back in Abbots Bromley for another hour next week! In the meantime, maybe I’ll look a bit deeper…