Tim's One Photograph a Day

A Ghost Sign in Caversham.

Prospect House Ghost Sign.

Ghost Sign: Prospect House, Caversham.

Prospect House, Caversham.

This is something which I find fascinating! A Ghost Sign is simply “an old hand-painted advertising sign that has been preserved on a building for an extended period of time. The sign may be kept for its nostalgic appeal, or simply indifference by the owner.”*

I spotted this one whilst checking Google Streetview for a restaurant we were planning on going to. Always worth checking when in a new area, as it gives you a good idea of where you are going.

I therefore decided this was going to be the subject of today’s photograph. Rather than take the full kit, I opted for the pocket “snappy” camera, as this is better than the phone. I was not disappointed. This is a remarkably well preserved example.

Prospect House, Caversham.

Prospect House as Turner’s Family Butcher.

Even more remarkably, when we sat down in the restaurant, above my head I noticed a photograph of exactly the same building from when this Ghost Sign was current. So today, we have not one photograph, but two. The saying is “every picture tells a story” – but this time, “it takes two”.

Searching the internet for Turner’s Family Butchers of Caversham reveals nothing. From the photographs, though, it appears that they were noted for their Malt Bread. Why they also sold Corn, Hay and Straw is not clear. However, they clearly sold pet food (in the window it advertises “Spratt’s Patent Dog Cakes” and “Spratt’s Patent Puppy ……” (the last word is unclear). This is also what the “Meal Offal Etc” is – Spratt’s pet food itself being based on this. In fact, this could be a whole blog on it’s own. If you are interested in knowing more (and it is a fascinating read), then take a look at www.gracesguide.co.uk/Spratt’s_Patent.

Which just goes to show. It’s amazing what you can learn by just taking “One Photograph a Day”.

* see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_sign

Photograph Details

  • Taken: 11 Feb 2017
  • Camera: Canon PowerShot A580
  • Lens: Canon PowerShot A580 5.8-23.2mm 1:2.6-5.5
  • Focal Length 8mm
  • F/3.2
  • 1/60 Sec
  • ISO 200

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