A Real Ghost Sign

Ghosts! Believe in them or not – that doesn’t interest me. What interests me is things re-appearing from the past. If haunting is bad, then the signs I look for certainly don’t haunt me, but they do fascinate me.

Take a former shop in a neighbouring village. Up until the 1950s a Mr Godfrey had the shop and had his name painted in big letters on the side of the shop. Before that, Mr Walton had it and he, too, had his name painted on the shop. Going back into Victorian times, Mr Draper had the shop. Guess what, he too had his name painted on the shop. It is Mr Draper that has recently returned.

Let’s look at the paintwork there was in 1973.


At that time the ghost of Mr Walton was returning as the newest paint, that of Mr Godfrey, was worn away by the ravages of time and weather. Mr Godfrey was still clearly there, but his base paint that covered the old sign had been less hard wearing allowing us to know that Mr Walton had a bakery and supply store and another branch to his business elsewhere.

I took a photo of the sign in the run up to Christmas in 2013. And this is what we see this time.


We have just about said farewell to Mr Walton, swept into oblivion by those sands of time. But the ghost of Mr Draper has burst through – albeit still beneath that tough paint used by Mr Godfrey.

You need patience to witness such changes and that’s where I’ll say to those hasty travellers who flit hither and thither in search of something, ‘you miss a lot’. But each to their own taste but never for one moment allow yourself to believe that your way is the best way, let alone the only way. We are all different and different life styles suit different personalities. Now I can enjoy a bit of travel and I do think it can help to make sense of our own way of life. But I also love the fact that I can return to a spot forty years on and see the changes.

Who knows, I might find my photos of lichen growing sometime. Now there’s something to look forward to!


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