Ludlow, Shropshire

Called "England's finest market town" by many (in our view nearby Bridgnorth runs it close), Ludlow boasts a large marketplace in High Street – still used for thriving markets – and a fine castle, both set high on a hill. So many buildings (nearly 500 are of listed status) and streets bear plaques of information about their history. Approaching the High Street from King Street one sees a piece of trade lettering high up on a hipped gable:
'SMITH A CO'
It looks at first glance as if the letters are picked out in light coloured brick against the red, but the 'S' and particularly the slightly wonky ampersand show that this is probably hand-painted. We have not been able to find out anything about this company.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 1

Also in King Street, at number 15, we find the clothing shop Mistral which occupies premises once belonging to a shop called 'MAYPOLE' as displayed in a decorative ceramic mosaic doorstep. Maypole grocers (the shop still boasts preserved tiles inside) once traded from here. One online reviewer comments: "Remember them well in the 60s: supermarkets under the Lipton banner. They had meat counters for the first time & some of my friends at Dewhurst left & worked for them & were fast tracked to Area managers, They didn't have centralised buying in those days & were buying from the same suppliers as ourselves & with the cost of packaging & no small goods made in-house, They could only compete on convenience & cleanliness,
But as they upped their game, supermarkets won the day."

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 2
The Buttercross stands at the junction of King Street, High Street and Broad Street. Just a few doors down the hill of Broad Street on the left, there is an old shop which still has its gold lettering on what must have been the inner front door to the premises. Some parts are obscured by the shelving unit.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 4   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 5
'BED QUILTS
BLANKETS
SHEETINGS
BED TICKS
OIL[?]INGS
TABLE COVERS
CURTAINS
TABLE LINEN
FLANNELS
G[?]'

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 6   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 7
Upper Galdeford their is a plaque:
'ADVERTISER BUILDINGS.
ERECTED BY
W.F. MARKS,
A.D 1914.'

W. F. Marks was proprietor of the Ludlow Advertiser in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the building was presumably originally built as the newspaper's offices. Now rather mundane fast food businesses.
The railway came to the town in 1853 when Ludlow Railway Station was connected to the Shrewsbury and Hereford line. Many new buildings were built by the station to service the railway as well as other developments which made use of the easy access to markets which the railway offered. The most obvious – and much lettered – of these today is Marston's Mill (as seen from Tesco's car park).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 9
'MARSTON BROTHERS [twice]
MILLERS ... CORN ... & SEED ... MERCHANTS'
Ludlow Foyer provides accommodation and training for homeless young people in the Ludlow area. Marston's Mill, a long disused grain store and well-known Ludlow landmark has been totally refurbished. New floors were inserted below the roofs, which necessitated cutting through the Victorian roof trusses and inserting new steel structures without affecting the external appearance of the building.

In the long perimeter road called The Linney there is a sign with characters in deep relief (and a little higgledy-piggledy in alignment) on a house wall:
'COOPER & BLUCK'S
NAIL
MANUFACTORY
1854'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ludlow 8
The date numerals are particularly appealing.
See also Bridgnorth (includes the Severn Valley Railway) and Ironbridge.


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