The people have spoken, and the ‘ghost’ sign for Peterkin Custard on St John’s Hill, Battersea, has been officially declared London’s best. It claimed the title after six gruelling rounds of knockout competition on Twitter, narrowly beating Bloom’s Pianos on Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, in the final. Third place went to Meggezones on Noyna Road, Tooting, and over 5,000 votes were cast across the online event.
The tournament was hosted by Sam Roberts, aka Mr Ghostsigns and co-author of Ghost Signs: A London Story, published by Isola Press in November. 64 entrants were shortlisted for the competition from the 250 fading painted wall signs whose stories are told in the 320-page book.
Said Sam Roberts,
“It’s a worthy winner and I bet the signwriter that painted it in 1920s would be proud to know it went on to great things. It advertised a range of products made at the Battersea Mills,
and the company was once run by Joseph Arthur Rank, later of Rank Films fame. The sign is included on Wandsworth Council's local heritage list, and so
this charming Dutch boy in baggy trousers and clogs should keep on walking for years to come.”
Said The Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Richard Field,
“These signs from yesteryear may be fading a little but they certainly add a colourful touch to many neighbourhoods. This book features some of the best surviving examples and gives an interesting insight into the shopping habits of our parents, grandparents and beyond. Hopefully it will encourage people to keep a lookout for these historical gems.”
Available via Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/q8c07vsc70in463/AACfoTMWsW6l3pTU9YukYgEfa?dl=0
- Winner: Peterkin Custard, Corner of St John's Hill and Sangora Road SW11 (Photo: Roy Reed)
- Runner-Up: Bloom's Pianos, Kingsland Road E2, adjacent to the Museum of the Home, formerly the Geffrye Museum E2
(Photo: Roy Reed)
- Third Place: Meggezones, Noyna Road SW17, corner of Upper Tooting Road (Photo: Roy Reed)
- Book Cover
The Peterkin Custard sign will appear in Sam Roberts and Roy Reed’s new book Ghost Signs: A London Story. Published by Isola Press, it will be the most comprehensive and beautiful account of ghost signs ever produced, focusing on the hand-painted relics of London’s advertising past.
Ghost Signs: A London Story was fully funded on Kickstarter in less than three days, and continued backing has seen designer Wayne Hemingway brought on board to pen an introduction, as well as more pages added to the book.
Isola Press makes award-winning combining image and text, including the most recent Rio Tape/Slide Archive: Radical Community Photography in Hackney in the 80s, about community reportage and resistance in 1980s Dalston.
The book will be published before Christmas this year.
Full info Sheet and additional images via Dropbox
Sam Roberts, Ghostsigns, 07989 409046
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Ghostsigns, on Friday 4 June, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/