Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two church notice boards. By their rather solemn nature, these don't change very much. Take a look at the Blackhall Co.Durham sign for some delightfully weathered expert enamel work, and feast your eyes on the central panel with its wrinkled paper poster (hopefully executed by a semi-retired ticket writer, still flexing his sable brushes for old-times sake.)
The St.Teresa's Catholic Church board is from Cleveleys, Lancashire. I have to excuse the insensitive service-time alterations made using self adhesive numbers probably bought from a hardware store - these were probably applied by a well-meaning and charitable parishioner.
I have attended Mass many times at this church over the years, while visiting my seaside sister, Susan. It is a giant red-brick barn of a building probably built in the 40's or 50's, that time of very large and culturally loyal congregations. The interior is airy, contains some nice pastel painted plaster statues, is well maintained, polished and has a likeable old priest with a strong Preston accent who likes to mention Coronation Street in his homilies.


Boring Being said...

I love those brush-painted paper signs. Funny how they always look like they're in the same hand no matter where you are. These days much easier to bang out on a PC, of course - foot markers as quotes, greengrocer's apostrophes and all. *sigh*

Same with newspaper placards - until very recently, all the London Evening Standards were copies of handwritten original. The messages all had a sense of immediacy. Now they're all done on a computer, and have all the drama of an estate agents sterile description of a bungalow.

John Bagnall said...

Yes, that "one-stroke" brush style of lettering does look pretty homogenous, BB. I can only presume that young lads doing their City & Guilds Sign-Writing courses must've had that method drummed into them by repetitive practice of alphabets etc. Years ago I was introduced to such a feller and he was telling me about how he'd been learning the process of glass etching with acid to produce pub window lettering. Now there's a dead art!

And I'd completely forgotten about newspaper placards. I agree with you about their "hot off the press" immediacy. When placards were still around, leaning against the local newsagent's wall, I sometimes wondered how they'd been printed. Certainly not photo-copied, the reproduction was too appealingly fuzzy. Perhaps they were multiplied by some economical chemical transfer process
like the "banda" machines used in 1970s schools....

Boring Being said...

Recently, some proud-to-be-an-ASBO yoofs smashed the locally-famous windows of a pub in my home town. It wasn't a honeypot gem of a boozer - just an ordinary place but unchanged since the 50s. They were acid etched beauties advertising some long-gone Yorkshire brewery. Perhaps the worst thing is that they can't be replaced - acid etching is now so specialised as to prohibitivly expensive, although of course it was once so common as to be economical. Back to the placards - after work today I passed an Evening Standard seller, and next to him was a handwritten placard! On another hearting note - I've recently been noting how the London pubs owned by Tadcaster brewer Samuel Smith have been swimming against the tide of homegnity that now afflicts almost every facet of life. The brewer is refurbishing a lot of its pubs here, and believe it or not, seems to be using proper, old-fashioned craftsmen to do it. I walked past the Cittie Of Yorke last month and two old lads were restoring the sign using brushes and a lot of care. Another pub, the Angel, has been made back into three bars - odd when everyone else is knocking their premises into single rooms. Smith's also own the famous Princess Louise - which is shut until December for restoration. I can't imagine any other company taking such a hit in earnings to restore one of their branches. Apparently they are going to restore it to its Victorian heydey - and replace all the glass screens and carved partitions that have vanished over the years. It's difficult to know exactly, because the brewery is very publicity shy. They don't even have 'Samuel Smith' on the outside of their pubs - and all their pubs have a poster inside bafflingly telling you that none of their drinks are 'media advertised'. Their beer is also about a quid cheaper per pint than anywhere else, and even wierder, cheaper than a lot of places back home in Yorkshire.