Massive Hand Painted 1920s Signage Revealed At Demolition Site


In November 2011, I posted how demolition of a building damaged by fire had revealed a wall sealed off for decades and on which was a well preserved, hand painted advertising hoarding from 1911.  https://gregpoppleton.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/840/

Hand-Painted Waratah Motor Spirit Sign From 1911
Hand-Painted Waratah Motor Spirit Sign From 1911

That sign was vandalised, then disappeared in the new development that replaced the burnt-out building.

Rare 1911 Newtown Art Defaced By Lame Tagger
Rare 1911 Newtown Art Defaced By Lame Tagger

To the developer’s great credit, they hired a sign-writer to reproduce the historic commercial artwork in the entranceway of their new building.

Recreated 1911 Mural, 3 November 2014. A work-in-progress.
Recreated 1911 Mural, 3 November 2014. A work-in-progress.

Strolling down Sydney’s main street, George Street, now largely dug up and traffic-free as a new tramline gets put in…

George St Sydney looking south from Wynyard, Sunday 27 August 2017
George St Sydney looking south from Wynyard, Sunday 27 August 2017

I spot another revealed vintage sign from the Art Deco 1920s, again seeing the light of day as a building is demolished, and again in good condition after 90 years this time…

Peapes Department Store signage, newly revealed, and 90 years after being painted.
Peapes Department Store signage, newly revealed, and 90 years after being painted.

I particularly like the heraldic shield for this men and boys clothing department store.

While the centre is gone, the wolf inside the top of the crest suggests to me a piece of commercial whimsy – a wolf in sheep’s clothing for a store selling woollens.

Peapes was a descendant of the famous 17th century London diarist, Samuel Pepys. So Pepy’s bewigged head was stitched into the label of all tailored Peapes dandyware.

Here’s a glimpse of the storefront in the 1950s I found on Flickr-

The Hotel Plaza above Wynyard Station is long gone, too. And the old Wynyard tunnel from George Street down to the train platforms – the old tunnel where Bodgies and Widgies hung out in 1947 and hadn’t much changed over the years – is now also being rebuilt.

Oh, and the Wiki article I’ve linked Bodgies and Widgies to, referring to them as a 1950s rock’n’roll youth culture is wrong.

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