A man described his horror as he walked past a historic storefront in Bath today (Tuesday May 11), to see it repainted.
Eric Porter, 27, was traveling on London Road when he saw the decorator approach the building with his paint roller. As a professional writer Eric said it was like “seeing a dodo being killed” in front of him.
“I turned around between Starsky and Hutch when I saw the guy climbing a ladder painting him. This is what you call a palimpsest, where several signs have been written on top of each other.
“You have a couple of different names in this space and that in itself is pretty special. It could be a bit of Bath history forever and it’s a nail in the coffin for the writing as a whole – c ‘is already a dying profession, “he said.
The lettering of “J Bucknall” is flanked by “novelty” and “tobacco”, with the word “library” written above the door. The section above the lintel had been repainted by the time Eric reached the store.
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This was what the sign above 19 Walcot buildings looked like (Image: Google)
According to Ghost Signs of Bath, a book by Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott, the “library” part of the panel at 19 Walcot Buildings may be over 150 years old.
The book explains how Henry Naphtali Hyams opened a bookstore and library there around 1855, which later became a newsagent, stationery and toy dealer under Mrs. Lucy May in the 20th century.
Eric posted videos and photos of the storefront on his Instagram Story, encouraging others to join him in contacting the building owner, Vertex Investment Group.
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Following a flood of messages, the developers responded to explain that there had been confusion.
A company spokesperson said: “We are extremely grateful that the local community was able to report this to us so quickly this morning via social media. We were therefore able to immediately arrest the entrepreneur.
The paint on the ‘library’ sign has now been removed (Image: Vertex Investment Group)
“There was no plan to paint these signs and conservationists were shocked when it was brought to our attention.
“We don’t know how an already warned decorating contractor could make such a fundamental mistake and we will investigate further. Since it was picked up so quickly, the paint was easily removed without damaging the historic signage.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-11 13:38:44