Friday, 9 April 2010

Unexpected Alphabets No 12


Yesterday was a good day to be on the North Norfolk coast, what with summer-like weather and the first signs of the greening-up of the landscape. More time was spent than was good for us in Burnham Market, there being much to do in the coastal villages. More of that at another time, but I obviously couldn't resist these signs. Nothing more need be said about the fishy business at the top, and although the Hall's Distemper decorators with their plank have often been discussed in Unmitigated England, no image has thus far been forthcoming. We have talked about them as big wooden cut-outs next to railway lines, but this is the first time I'd seen them (or, tantalisingly one of them) in vitreous enamel. What a treat, an Unmitigated Tradesman and an Unmitigated House in glorious hot glass colour. I imagine the full size was too big for one sign, so a pair was made. I wonder where its companion and the other end of the plank is. I will think about it over a fishcake or four.

11 comments:

Martin H. said...

Here's one at Beamish:
www.flickr.com/photos/23689245@NO8/2340182505/

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Martin. I also think someone does a model of the decorators and their plank for 00 Gauge model railways.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Wonderful sign. A classic, especially with that house. And as for the other image: far from the sea I long for potted shrimp.

office pest said...

There's a couple on here. About 2 by 4 or 5 foot it seems, all in one piece I reckon.

http://www.advertisingantiques.co.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=946

Martin H. said...

Peter, you are absolutely right about the models. There's one made by Wills for sale on ebay at the moment for 99p! As against which, you'd have to pay about £300 for a genuine 1931 "Modelled Miniatures" (precursor of Dinky Toys) '0' scale one in good nick. Lead figures and cardboard sign, and no, I don't have one!

Philip Wilkinson said...

By the way: Browsing in Notes form Overground, a book I often browse in, I notice that the author, Roger Green, says that as a boy he was especially fond of big ads plonked down in open country: "I viewed as equally exciting white horses cut out of hillsides and white men cut out of hardboard, striding across fields, shouldering a ladder bearing the legend: Hall's Distemper."

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Philip, that's a great reference (and excellent book).

Volie2 said...

'Notes form Overground' by Roger Green? Is that the correct title? I have tried both Abebooks and Amazon without success.

Circe said...

Beatiful images- can feel the warming of the weather.Reminds one it's time to get out and about.Thanks! Hope things are well your way.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Volie2: You need to search for Notes from Overground by Tiresias. The author used this pseudonym on the cover and title page for reasons which will become clear when you read the book. You should be able to find it on Abe this way.

Volie2 said...

Thank you for that, Philip. You are quite correct. It is available on Abebooks. I shall buy it and try it.