We’ve all seen them, clinging to the sides of buildings like fading relics of a bygone age. Many of these hand-painted ads still survive, but are quickly disappearing, as weathering and property development overtake them. For the last year a nationwide effort has been under way to archive these ’ghost signs’.
Among them, bread and bakers dominate, and notably Hovis, alongside one-time competitors Daren, Golden Harvest and Whitton’s. "These brands aimed to build awareness through locally trusted outlets, with bakers offering their customer base and the space for advertising. In return, flour companies footed the bill for painting the sign," says organiser Sam Roberts.
"Some exist on old bakery sites," adds Sara Reid, marketing manager of project sponsor Rank Hovis. "We feel that this collection is priceless as it harks back to a simpler era of communication and branding."