Inner city Birmingham


Location: 177 High Street, Digbeth


Description: Sign advertised the availability of a cafe run by initially Andrew Garibaldi from around 1925 and then later trade directories list a Rosina Garibaldi  until circa 1969. 


Sign: The sign is visible on the east facing wall of the building painted horizontally with black lettering the word CAFE. A manacle symbol was painted underneath the lettering pointing the way to the entrance which isn't visible today concealed under black tiling. 


Background: Birmingham City Council planning photograph taken in 1969 available in the Library of Birmingham Archives shows the sign in full with manicule visible click here to view


Clarke's Melox Marvels

Location: 225-224 High Street, Digbeth 


Description: Re-painted advertisement for Melox Marvels a brand of dog biscuits produced by W. G. Clarkes & Sons. 


Sign: Re-painted advertisement copy of original painted on a cream background with burgundy lettering left side CLARKE'S MELOX MARVELS THE HEALTHY DOG BISCUIT and left side CLARKE'S PULBIS DOG FOOD A MELOX PRODUCT. 


Background: Grade II listed building original sign painted above a shop evidence of several layers of the same sign from old photographs. W. G. Clarke's & Sons were purveyors of dog and game food based in Limehouse, London who began making their patent dog food circa 1850, later known as  W. G. Clarke's & Sons (1929). 

Clayton Brass Founders Ltd

Location: 17-23 Grosvenor Street West


Description: Rectangle sign advertising the name of the former occupants  Clayton Brass Founders Ltd who trade directories place there from circa 1962.  


Sign: Faded lettering painted in black on a cream background appears out of focus due to the presence of an earlier sign which overtime is becoming more visible as the top layer wears off. Top layer reads CLAYTON BRASS FOUNDERS LTD underneath part of the companies telephone number is legible 021 643 2426.  


Background:  Grade II listed building former New Union Mill built circa 1810 when it was Mill Street later the street was re-named Grosvenor Street West. Further down a contemporary sign fixed over the coach entrance shows that the building was re-named as the Old Union Mill. 

F. P Thornton & Co Ltd

Location: 111 Fazeley Street, Digbeth 


Description: One of two advertising signs on the building for the former business of F.P. Thornton Ltd who were weight manufacturers traded from around 1944 to 1976. 


Sign: Sign advertising the name of the business painted in white F.P. THORNTON LTD and further along under the zig zag roof it advertises the nature of the business WEIGHT MACHINE MANUFACTURERS. 


Background: F.P Thornton's main offices were on Jenner's Street in Wolverhampton  and later opened the Fazeley Works where they manufactured many of their leading brand weight machines such as Viking scales. The former works are designated as a Locally listed building. 

GWR Cattle Station

Location: Bordesley Viaduct, Adderley Street


Description: Directional sign denoting the way up Upper Trinity Street to the cattle station which once formed part of Bordesley Railway Station which opened circa 1855.  


Sign: White lettering painted on the upper parapet  wall on the viaduct reads  BORDESLEY CATTLE STATION G.W.R a painted manicule is just visible next to the letter C on the left side. 


Background: G.W. R is abbreviation for Great Western Railway who operated the line between Birmingham and Oxford. Bordesley Station complex covered large area with passenger services, goods and cattle yards. A similar ghost sign is partially visible at the top of Upper Trinity Street a few hundred yards from the entrance to the cattle yard. 

News Tatler Theatre

Location: Electric Cinema, 47-49 Station Street  


Description: Advertisement found at the rear of the building were it backs on to Hinkley Street. The cinema re-opened in 1937  as the News Tatler Theatre. 


Sign: The original sign spread across the rear painted in black lettering reads NEWS TATLER THEATRE. A faded white rabbit is just visible in the top right of the building an illustration for cartoons once shown at the cinema. 


Background: The cinema was built circa 1909 and then re-built in an arts deco style by Joseph Cohen who re-opened it as the News Tatler Theatre in 1937. It later became the Jacey and today is one of Britain's oldest independent cinemas

M.A. Lloyd & Sons Ltd

Location: 44-47 Princip Street, Birmingham 


Description:  Two hand-painted signs on M.A Lloyd & Sons former works number 47 denoting stationery and sundries services offered by the firm.  


Sign: Sign on the first floor frieze black lettering reads PRESSWORK sign on the second floor frieze reads STATIONER & SUNDRIES.


Background: M.A Lloyd were first listed at 47 Princip street circa 1888 as hardware manufacturers by 1894 they are listed as providing stationer and sundries to the empire.  The company later expanded  occupying 47-44 and continued to diversified its manufacturing trade during the war years this included making hurricane lamps, cannon shells. All buildings are Grade II listed building.