Cambridge

We are sure that there are many examples of historic lettering in this most historic county town and university city, but this one deserves to be featured here:
181 Gwydir Street
'DALE'S BREWERY'

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge Dales Brewery 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge Dales Brewery periodEarly 20th century image
Gwydir Street, Cambridge is the location – a short walk from the railway ststion – of Dale's Brewery, which from the image found on Facebook (above) is today about half the size it used to be – the photograph taken in raking sunlight was probably taken in the early 20th century. The curious metalwork top on the tower features not only the word 'DALES' (no possessive apostrophe, although it appears elsewhere), but also a large, two handled trophy supported on curving arms. Period advertisements show that a similar yellow-painted trophy bearing the words 'GOLD CUP' are followed by a scroll reading 'CHAMPION' to describe the beers available from the Dale's.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge Dales Brewery 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge Dales Brewery 4Colour images 2018
The company was founded by Frederick Dale behind the public house The British Queen, Histon Road, Cambridge in 1898 and the Gwydir Street brewery was built in 1902. The brewery was acquired by Whitbread & Co. Ltd in 1954 and brewing ceased in 1958.

In fact there had been a brewery on the site since the street was laid out and built in the 1860s expansion of the city. However, it changed hands several times and by 1889 the original Victian buildings were converted to stables. The new brewery was quite an impressive structure, at least compared with many other Cambridge breweries. There was a large three storey block fronting the street with an archway leading to the brewery yard, plus other buildings. The large wrought iron letters around the roof of the main building are still a feature of the street today. The water supply for the brewery, as with many in Cambridge, came from boreholes into the Lower Green sand, 180 feet below the city, which provided an excellent brewing liquor.

In 1911 the brewery won a gold cup for beer of the “highest purity and excellence” at the Brewers International Exhibition. In celebration the 7ft high copper replica of the cup was placed on the brewery building and remained a landmark for many years. It was removed in February 1961. The success of the business and excellence of its products resulted in supplying beer to some of the Cambridge Colleges and to the Cambridge Boat Race crews. In 1929 Frederick Dale and his son, Lt Colonel Guy Frederick Dale, became the company chairman until the firm was taken over by Whitbreads, the brewery soon to be used as a bottling plant. The site was used as a store and depot until it was sold to the Cambridge City Council in 1966 where the archway, office and back tower with the Champion Gold Medal where demolished.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge Dales Brewery 3
Well-designed and stylish the wrought iron lettering advertised the brewery and marked its location from afar. It is in such good condition, one could be forgiven for suspecting that the signs were a relatively recent creation in 'retro/vintage' style.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge Dales Brewery 5
The former brewery building is opposite the David Parr House once lived in by the decorative painter who used his house interior as his canvas. This gem in found inside a modest terraced house and is available for the public to view by appointment only (www.davidparrhouse.org). David Parr worked as a principle painter for F. R. Leach and Sons – a Cambridge firm founded in 1862 who worked with some of the best known architects, designers and painters of the day such as William Morris, George Bodley and Charles Kempe.

21 St Andrews Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 12023 image
'EMMANUEL ... THE CHALICE'
In medieval times this property, long called ‘The Chalice’, was the property of Corpus Christi College. It was sold and then given to Emmanuel College (founded in 1584) by Dr Harvey in that year. Other nearby houses were purchased by Emmanuel at the beginning of the 17th century from a prominent Cambridge citizen called Wolfe. In 1616 the property was occupied by a seller of aquae vitae, strong distilled alcohol. (Information from Capturing Cambridge)

The Hobson, Downing Place, St Andrews Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 32023 image
'POLICE'
This is a 'boutique hotel' housed in a listed former police station, itself a Victorian redevelopment of a site owned by Elizabethan philanthropist Thomas Hobson. The famous phrase 'Hobson's choice' can be traced back to a Cambridge carrier who operated a livery stable delivering mail and providing transport to and from London in the early 17th century. Thomas Hobson, who was born in 1545, recognised that his best horses were in most demand and that they were also the most overworked. He therefore devised a strict rotation system, only allowing customers to rent the next horse in line. He rose to being a public benefactor and Hobson's Conduit, now on Lensfield Road in Cambridge, the Conduit Head structure stands over Hobson's Brook – commemorating the artificial watercourse that provided much-needed clean drinking water for the townspeople. (Information from Historic England)
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge Hobson's Conduit

University Arms Hotel, 52-42 Regent Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 42023 images
'UNIVERSITY ARMS HOTEL'
It bills itself as 'Cambridge's leading Luxury Hotel since 1834'. Revamped in 2018 this city centre hotel offers 192 rooms with Edwardian style furnishings. The origins go back to 1833 when a coaching inn built called the New Greyhound. By 1891 there was a range of stables containing several coaching horses and a large coach yard. Until the beginning of World War I there were two full time coachmen; regular clients were the High Sheriff and those who wanted to get from the railway station around town. It was around this time that name changed to the University Arms Hotel. 1935: Police guarded the closed gates of the University Arms Hotel while Sir Oswald Mosley was at a dinner organised by the University Fascist Society. Outside, a meeting organised by the University Socialist Society was held on Parker’s Piece with speeches by John Comford, Maurice Comford and Maurice Dobb. Then a torchlight procession by 200 undergraduates shouting anti-Fascist slogans such as ‘We want Mosley dead or alive’ and singing ‘The Internationale’ marched to Peas Hill where more speeches were made before a Proctor arrived and they dispersed. Parker's Piece is a 25 acre flat and roughly square green common located close to the hotel and the present bar and bistro, accessed through the arcade, takes its name from that feature. (Information mainly  from Capturing Cambridge)

44 and 44A Hills Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 5
Originally a dairy, the buildings on 44 and 44A Hills Road were bought by the Bull family in 1925 and have remained in their possession for almost 100 years. They have had a variety of uses over the years, including a sandwich shop and, recently, an artisan bakery/coffee shop. The buildings still bear the original Bull’s Dairies trade sign on each face of the projecting upper storey. The signs have been repainted in recent years (always a contentious practice).
'BULLS
DAIRIES
for PURE cream
JERSEY MILK
Supplied'
Within the two cream/white cartouches, the layout of the illustration of the bull's head and accompanying text varies; the grammar doesn't quite read correctly (one for the pedants).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 6

The Leys School, Trumpington Road (the A1134)
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 7
H.M. KING GEORGE THE FIFTHS GATEWAY'
The Leys was founded in 1875, a time when a large number of schools were founded, especially by the churches. Whilst there were already several leading schools providing an education for the sons of Ministers, Methodists were asking for schools for the sons of lay members. Following several visits by a committe of the Methodist Conference to Cambridge, a twenty-acre site was discovered for sale: The Leys Estate. The Reverend Doctor W.F. Moulton, Secretary of the committee, was asked to become Headmaster of the new school, and The Leys formally opened its doors in 1875 with sixteen boys from English Methodist families. Within two years this number had grown to 100 pupils.
George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert, 1865-1936) succeeded his father Edward VII  in 1910; he was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 1910 until his death in 1936. He must have visited the school to be commemorated in such grand style by this impressive gateway.


23 Trumpington Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 8
'OUTPATIENTS'
Browns Cambridge is housed in the historic old 19th century Addenbrooke’s Hospital, now lovingly converted into a bright, airy and modern brasserie and bar, with a delightful outdoor courtyard. The modern Addenbrookes Hospital is in Hills Road to the south of Cambridge.

28-30 Trumpington Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 10
'G. PECK
& SON
[LTD]
DISPENSING
CHEMISTS
EST 1851'
The ampersand is particularly flamboyant and the tiny 'LTD' has not been gilded. George Peck (1827-1909) set up as a chemist in Trumpington Street, in his home town of Cambridge, in 1851. Three of his eleven children followed in his footsteps by becoming pharmacists. Ernest Saville Peck, the eldest, assumed the reins on his father’s retirement in 1904. The large bronze shield above the corner door is topped by a pestle and mortar, symbols of the apothecary, but is missing one of the acanthus leaf decorations. (Information from Building our past)

Tennis Court Road, sundial
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cambridge 11
This modernist sundial with its projecting silver gnomon and numerals incised into the wall's surface is close to Tennis Court Terrace off of which is the entrance to Pembroke College Master's Lodge. This dial is on the wall of Foundress Court and was designed by Eric Parry Architects and built in 1997. It won a commendation from the British Sundial Society. The helpful graph lower right shows that in February sundials are about 15 minutes slow of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The shadow of the ball (halfway down the gnomon) indicates the season, falling on the upper or lower curves at the solstices, and the straight centre line at the equinoxes. (Information from Geograph)



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