Hastings

This painted wall advertisement on 35 Croft Road has clearly been preserved during the painting of the surrounding render although, thankfully, not retouched in any way:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hastings T. Noakes advert 12019 image courtesy David Gaylard
'T. NOAKES
PLUMBER
PAINTER
& GLAZIER.
WRITING GRAINING
AND
GILDING.
ESTIMATES GIVEN'

This ghost sign on the projecting wall on a rising hill out of the town clearly caught the eye of passers-by. The quality of the signwriting  is striking with a combination of fonts and curving baselines. Working from the top, the first two lines appear to have been painted over, perhaps when the business changed hands after the retirement of T. Noakes. Weathering has partially revealed the lettering. The rather utilitarian roles of lines two, three and four ('Plumber Painter & Glazier.') are terminated by a full stop, perhaps to separate from the more up-market services: 'Writing Graining and Gilding.' – the latter written in decorative capitals with larger caps ('W' and 'G').

Incidentally, a book from 1873 bears the typically over-long title: The Painters' & Grainers' Handbook : A Complete Illustrated Guide to Painting, Graining, Distempering, Sign-writing, Gilding, and Glass Embossing with Instructions for Using the Patent Graining Rollers, also Specimens of Alphabets With numerous useful Receipts [sic] for Painters and Decorators. So the 'Writing' part  must refer to signwriting – one must assume that this sign was executed by Mr Noakes himself. 'Graining' is a technique of imposing an artificial wood-grain finish to a painted surface. Paint effects and finishes were once again in demand in the 1980s and 90s with a whole range of new materials and tools.

Apart from the flourishes surrounding these last three services, one must also note the vestigial drop-shadow which has been subtly added to every character/word on the sign. Unobtrusive, but giving a touch of class.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hastings T. Noakes advert 2A view of Croft Road



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