Adverts Painted on Walls - Ghost Signs

Not so long ago businesses and products were promoted or celebrated by advertisements painted on the sides of buildings. There aren't many of these left now and of those that remain many are very faded (which gives them the name of 'Ghost Signs'), but they do give an idea of some of the products and trades of bygone Leicester. These pictures are taken from many examples I have photographed around Leicester and, to a lesser extent, Leicestershire.
Pretty much my whole collection, plus other photos from the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland in Wigston, can now be found at Ghost Signs of Leicestershire - - where we are updating the photos every few years.
The definitive UK website is at Other examples from the UK include wall paintings around Stoke at .
Examples from the USA include Jill Livingstone's site, which includes an extract from an interview with a 'wall dog' (painter); the Philadelphia Ghost Sign Project; American Ghosts – Ghost Signs of the United States by Dr Ken Jones at; and TexasEscapes.
1Parkinsons Pills 2HC Pretty - Belting 3Black & Son Grocers 4Park Vale Bakery 5Mackeson's Stout 6Bicycle Adverts 7Co-op Stables
8Leicester Winding Company 9 Ansells Beer 10Busby Masons & Sculptors 11British Steam 12Tennants Gold Label 13Ind Coope
This is a link to a BBC story about a sign that has been restored in York -
This video is about ghost signs in Birmingham and features Tracey Thorne, who is studying them at the University of Birmingham. Tracey's Flickr page has many more examples - - and this is her website with lots more information about Birmingham's ghost signs -

This website is part of the East Midlands Oral History Archive and has been compiled by Colin Hyde. Any comments can be sent to him via the 'Contact us' button at the bottom of the page. Last updated 02/10/2017.
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