Argyle Street mystery sign

Note: due to a complaint, images have been removed from this web page.

Many people notice this circular ghost sign as they queue to turn into the top of Argyle Street from Woodbridge Road. Quite a few get in touch with this website to tell us about it...
February 2014: the cement rendering on the end wall largely dropped off. What lies underneath?
The only obvious shape on the brickwork is a blue 'O' to the right. The close-ups suggest that it might be a 'Q' as there is a clear tail at lower centre. No other lettering is visible (so far).
What on earth can it be advertising?
There is a buckle to the left and the strap with its hole reinforcements and it seems to have a kind of serpentine double-hook on the end. Painted quite realistically, the hook to the left projects out and its head drops down; it still bear some gold paint. There are little projections about two-thirds of the way up these shapes. The sign painter has given the shapes shadows to suggest three-dimensionality.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: A.E. Blasby art
Artist's impression of the sign (from anonymous donor).

We are grateful to several people who reported this odd sign to us. For example, Nigel wrote:
"I was driving down Woodbridge Road the other morning and I noticed that on the corner of Argyle Street the side rendering [has been] removed revealing what looks like a large blue circle painted directly onto the brickwork. I couldn’t make out if there was any lettering as I was in the car and couldn’t get a good enough look. I thought I’d better let you know before it gets covered up again!... I see the page is up now. Very intriguing! It reminds me of something but I can't think what... Anyway, thanks for one of the best sites on the web."

[UPDATE 12.3.2014: "I've just remembered what the Argyle Street circle reminds me of:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: A.E. Blasby garter
It's the Order of the Garter - I have no idea how it would be significant to an end of terrace house/shop in Ipswich though! Cheers, Nigel"] Extraordinary...

[UPDATE 12.1.2015: the weathering of this sign now reveals white lettering in a decorative font, curving over the upper part of the blue 'Garter'. These letters spell out:
Sanitary Work
a Speciality
estimates free'
Researches suggest that A.E. Blasby & Son Ltd were incorporated 11.11.1948 and the company was dissolved 13.8.1996; the company carried out general construction and civil engineering.]

We are told that a timber yard once occupied the area in front of this wall, currently a car parking area for Argyle Street School. Presumably this yard belonged to A.E. Blasby & Son Ltd, which would explain the sign.

N.B. this garter motif crops up again on a Great Eastern Railway armorial on the interior wall of St Mary-at-Stoke Church.


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