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.”