Ghost Signs and Visual Dyslexia in south Birmingham

O.R. Wilson Butcher is one of the latest ghost signs to be revealed recently on Stratford Road in Sparkhill. The sign was nearly perfectly preserved hidden behind a large billboard for many years. Now that this traditional form of advertising is being replaced by online and social media advertisement, the sign of O.R. Wilson Butcher has been given a new lease of life.

...and just around the corner from the above ghost sign, on Formans Road also in Sparkhill, another ghost sign has recently been revealed. Love them or hate them, but the large-scale billboards had a positive effect on preserving many hand-painted signs from the elements. There are quite a few Twining's Tea ghost signs to be found around Birmingham these days.

Further along Stratford Road heading into town, another beautiful ghost sign can be found which tells of a business dealing in fine furs. The sign has been preserved so well as it had been painted onto a north-facing wall. 

...and yet a bit further down Stratford Road this beauty can be found. The sign is located right above Azad's Grocery Story. 

Staying in Sparkhill, just opposite the road from the Twinings ghost sign on Formans Road, this fading sign can be seen, which used to offer cash for cars.

Zam Zam is/was a textile and fabric shop located also on Stratford Road in Sparkhill. The sign's letters have seemingly fallen down and once the first 'E' will have fallen down, it will advertise a very different kind of business.

In Stirchley St. Andrews Methodist Church has become a classic example of what dyslexia looks and feels like in the mind of a dyslexic person.

And finally another ghost sign, this time in Kings Heath, which I have walked passed many times, without actually noticing. The sign which is located on the back of the building that currently houses Argos on Grange Road, tells of a former bedding business.


Reclaim Photography Festival 2017

I recently entered the following four photographs from the series Visual Dyslexia into the exciting Reclaim Photography Festival 2017

A Ghost In Town
Ghostsigns are hand-lettered signs of advertisement, which are often covered and perfectly preserved by newer signs and revealed when those newer signs are being removed. Now in a more derelict area of the city, the revealed ghost sign records a former place and business, which would have been located in the heart of the city at its time.

Come Along In
The inviting sign of a former business in Stirchley, which tells of a welcoming, now derelict place, which would have brought locals together in the past.

Paradise Lost
This image perfectly records the impact and reality of Birmingham as an ever-changing city landscape. As old buildings are being torn down and replaced by new and shiny structures, city dwellers are being moved and communities are broken up.
In this case, the strap lines of optimistic town planners create an ironic juxtaposition and contrast against the reality of city living, poverty and social degradation.

No Ball Games

Some neighbours are just no fun. We are a rule-making and at times rule-breaking society. Some rules are essential, some of them have to be obeyed by law, some are appreciated and others are not. The rules in this images are clearly dividing a neighbourhood.