Old haunts: 'Ghost sign' trail set to bring the past to life
- Credit: Google Maps
Whether they are painted on to bricks or carved in stone 'ghost signs' are a reminder of previous lives lived by people and buildings.
In Great Yarmouth the pace of change has seen all the banks along Hall Quay now repurposed, reminders of what they once were living on in lettering and the minds of those who remember.
Spotting these signs and recording the memories of those who know about the business or place they advertise is now the focus of a project that is looking for the public's help.
The Time and Tide Museum and Great Yarmouth Borough Council have paired up to create a walking trail to introduce residents and visitors to some of the ’ghost signs’ in the town centre.
‘Ghost signs’ are old shop signs and architectural features that have survived despite the use of the buildings changing.
The trail team wants people to share their memories and photographs to help create a downloadable map of historical advertising and signs across the town centre.
Some of the sites included are: Great Yarmouth General Hospital (Deneside), Arnolds Department Store (Regent Street/King Street), Slipper Baths (Stonecutters Way), Municipal Art School (Nelson Road), Regent Theatre / Cinema (Regent Road), Lacons Brewery Stores (North Quay) the Old Post Office and Telephone Exchange (Hall Quay).
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Carl Smith, council leader, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to shout about our rich, cultural heritage, that we are lucky enough to have on our doorsteps. I encourage residents to speak to their families and friends and come forward with their memories and photos so they can be shared and preserved.”
Colin Stott from Norfolk Museums said: “Ghost signs offer tantalising evidence of how the town has changed over the years, with some buildings changing use many times. Capturing people’s memories will really help us to bring these stories to life.”
Tony Calladine, of Historic England said they were an important part of our social history. He added: "This fantastic project gives an important opportunity to celebrate the town’s characters, well-loved shops and lost ways of life that enhance a sense of community and belonging.”
The trail is part of the £2.4m Great Yarmouth High Street Heritage Action Zone project.
To contribute to the project, email Yarmouth.email@example.com by the end of March. The trail is due to launch for Easter.