Painted Signs on Walls
As literacy improved in the 19th century more use was made of advertising and one common practice from the 1850's through to the 1960's was to paint the shops sign on one wall. These painted signs usually advertised the shops or the goods on sale at the shops on who's walls they were painted.
The signage shown below was painted on the gable end of a row of shops close by a market, the business offered ready-made clothing but also alterations to produce a better fit. The sign was in poor condition and I only had time for a quick photo, this has been cleaned up to produce the illustration however the writing in the bottom right was too faint to read (a return visit may resolve this, if it has not been painted over).
Old end-wall sign on a tailors
Painted signage was also seen on road over bridges (usually advertising national brands of tyre) and some quite large and colourful examples were painted on the sides of buildings prior to the introduction of the paper poster and the hoarding or 'billboard' to carry them.
The sign below is on the gable end of a building, high up and difficult to see from the road, however there was a railway bridge here up to the 1990s and the sign would have been at eye level and clearly visible to passengers on the line. The sign is now faded and has been retouched for the purposes of illustration.
Bike shop sign
By the 1960's these painted signs were increasingly rare, largely replaced by wooden 'billboards' bearing pasted on paper adverts, but two local bicycle shops still had adverts for Sun and Raleigh bikes painted on the end walls in the 1980's and a local hardware shop had a pleasantly elaborate sign painted sign on its end wall into the 1990's (Potts est 1886 - We sell the tools your neighbour likes to borrow). I make a lot of use of printed brick papers and when these are hard to find I make my own, this also allows me to add the painted-on signs fairly easily. I photographed a section of wall and scanned this into the computer. I then blurred the image to give me a vague approximation of the shading. I then made up a 'brickwork' grid of white lines and added this over the blurred image. Given a good quality colour printer it would be possible to print out the sheet but in N the lines are too fine for home printing. I print the page out on a black and white laser printer and give it a wash with water colour paint (burnt sienna and burnt ochre mixed in varying quantities). Set it aside to dry and then lay it between two sheets of brown paper and iron it flat (the laser 'toner' will melt as you do this, the brown paper is essential to prevent the toner sticking to the iron and to stop it being smeared over the paper.
If making signs for walls I have to print the thing out to scale. I like Pressworks DTP from GST, its cheap and allows me to accurately print to a set size. The older versions (often seen on Magazine cover disks) included a 'whole pixel scaling' option that I find makes for a better result when working with fine detail, I believe this feature may have been dropped from more recent versions. I make up the wall as above in my 'paint' program and then add the 'signage' in white over the top. Care is then required to avoid getting the water colour into the white areas but I find the results acceptable.
Johnson wax imported into UK during WW1, uk production started 1922 (Pledge introduced in late 1950's?).
Harpic 1920 (made from nitre cake waste in ex WD armaments factories).
Lux Flakes 1921,
Brillo Pads 1928,
Lux Liquid 1959,
Beechams Liver Pills 1860's at St Helens Lancs (slogan 'Worth a Guinea a Box')
Andrews Liver Salts 1900 (very popular by 1920's).
Nivea Cream 1911,
Vicks vapo-rub in early 20th century
Aspro was imported from Australia from 1917, British factory opened in 1927 at Slough (first use of bubble-pack (American invention, made of paper) in 1920's). 1950's slogan 'Aspro smashes colds and flu, it's GOT something'.
Elastoplast factory in Hull opened in 1928.
Paper hankies 'Celluwipes' late 1920's,
Atora founded in 1893 first suet making factory in Openshaw, Manchester, manufacturing ready shredded suet - one of the first 'convenience' food products available. It was the largest factory of its kind in the world. Between 1893 and the early part of World War II Atora suet was transported around the country in colourfully painted wagons bearing the Atora name and pulled by six pairs of Hereford bullocks. It was known to be one of the best publicity stunts carried out by a British firm in its time - long before 'the marketing concept' was officially discovered. The Manchester Atora factory became part of RHM in 1963, and in 1974 production was moved to Greatham, Hartlepool, in Cleveland.
Birds Custard powder was invented by Alfred Bird in 1837 because his wife was allergic to eggs, the traditional thickening agent for custard. Bird’s uses cornflour mixed with milk to form its thick custardy sauce. The famous ‘Three Bird’ logo was introduced in 1929. By 1843, Alfred Bird and Sons Ltd was also producing the newly invented baking powder and, by 1895, blancmange and jelly powders, plus egg substitute too. The brand arrived in Britain around 1900 and World War I saw Bird’s Custard supplied to British troops overseas.
Brown & Poulson Cornflour 1854 .
Bovril was developed by a Scot in Canada in 1874 and arrived in Britain in 1884. Slogans 'It must be BOVRIL' (1909) 'Soon puts a man on his feet' (1915 and 1920's).
Birdseye deep frozen foods appeared in America in 1924 but it was some years before they arrived in Britain, the seagull logo with birdseye across the wings was in use just after the second world war.
Cerebos - See Saxa Salt below
Chivers Jam started in Ireland in 1873, they soon diversified into marmalade, closely followed by the first clear dessert jelly in 1889. The brand was successful and later extended into lemonade, mincemeat, custard powder and Christmas puddings.
Coleman's Mustard 1830 (the bulls head logo dates from 1855),
Daddies sauce appeared in 1912.
Fish Fingers 1955,
Fray Bentos Corned Beef dates from 1899 when a company called Anglo began making corned beef in in the middle of cattle country in Uruguay, taking the make from a local town called Fray Bentos. By 1950 it was a staple of the British diet (more recently Fray Bentos has diversified into soups, meatballs and even tinned fruit)
Fyffes bananas 1880's in early 1900's Elders Fyffes introduced refrigerated ships, Fyffes was the first branded fruit in the world, the blue label was introduced 1929 slogan' Bananas, The All Food Fruit'.
>Gales Honey introduced in 1919.
Hartley's Jam - Hartley’s was a grocers founded by William Pickles Hartley in Lancashire. One day in 1871 a consignment of jam didn’t show up, so William made his own. By 1885 Hartley’s was so successful that when they came to build a new factory at Aintree, they built a village to go with it.
Homepride Flour was a brand adopted by Spillars millers in the 1920s. They launched their 'cook in sauce' range in 1974.
HP Sauce appeared in the end of the nineteenth century but was not widely advertised until the twentieth. In 1924 HP sauce became a public company, they acquired Lea and Perrins in 1930 and in 1967 the business was bought by Imperial Tobacco which subsequently changed its name to Imperial Foods Ltd
Heinz ketchup was introduced in America in 1876 by which time the company was already using the slogan '57 Varieties'.
Jeys Fluid - John Jeyes business patented a disinfectant fluid in 1877 which is still marketed today as Jeyes Fluid. Jeyes was granted the Royal Warrant in 1896 and is still a proud supplier to the Royal Household.
Lyons Cakes - Lyons opened its first teashop in 1894 in Piccadilly, London. By 1940 there were 250 throughout the country. In the 1950s, Lyons Bakery began marketing attractively packaged cakes for sale through grocery outlets, and in 1976 built the largest cake bakery in the world - still operating today.
McDougall's Self Raising Flour dates back to a 'yeast substitute' first produced in 1864 the 'self-raising' flour came later and revolutionised home baking.
Ovaltine 1909 (developed in 1904 in Switzerland where it is called Ovalmaltine).
Oxo appeared in 1899 (before that date it was sold under another name). OXO was also one of the first brands to advertise on TV, with icons such as Sooty, housewife 'Katie', Dennis Waterman and Lynda Bellingham working to publicise the product.
Paxo was invented in 1901 by John Crampton, a butcher from Eccles in Manchester, who wanted to make Sunday lunches more exciting. It was a slow start, because stuffing is mainly served with poultry, which was a luxury at the time, but as the price of chickens dropped in the 1950s and 60s, Paxo's popularity took off.
Robertsons Golden Shred marmalade started in Scotland as a kitchen produced product in the 1860s, it was being properly marketed by the in the 1880's and this was followed by Silver Shred a few years later, business spread to whole of UK by 1900. The Golly logo was introduced just before WW1. Today Golden Shred remains the world’s biggest marmalade, with annual sales topping £13 million, Robertson’s share of the market by value is (as of 2008) 24%.
Rombouts arrived from Holland in 1964. The company was established in 1896 and developed the individual coffee filter in 1958. In 2008 it began selling its own branded 'fairtrade' range of coffees.
Roses Marmalade dates back to the 1930s.
Sarsons Vinegar was created in 1794 by Thomas Sarson, it's the nation's number-one vinegar, with a distinctive flavour from specially brewed malt barley.
Saxa Salt - The Cerebos salt company was founded in 1884 in Newcastle. Their core brand “Saxa” was launched in 1907.
Smash (instant mashed potato) introduced in the mid 1960s
Spam was first produced in America in 1937 but did not arrive in Britain until about 1939.
Sunpat Peanut butter arrived in the 1960s. Peanut butter was developed by a St. Louis physician in 1890 as a nutritious, easy-to-eat food, peanut butter reached UK stores in the 1930s, with Sun-Pat arriving in the 60s.
Virol (an 'enriched' syrup for making something like 'beef tea') in use by the 1920's and widely advertised using enamel signs. Lasted into the later 1930's.
Walls pies and sausages 1850's, ice cream early 1920's, same company.
Tate & Lyle merged in 1921 the Mr Cube logo came in 1949, Lyles Golden Syrup still has only Lyles name on it with the Lion logo
Mackintosh's Celebrated Toffee 1890's,
Quality Street 1936 (Put your shop in Quality Street by putting Quality Street in your shop) merged with Rowntrees 1969
Rowntrees formed 1860's, pastilles and gums 1870's, Table Jellies 1901, Black Magic 1933, Chocolate Crisp (later renamed Kit Kat) Aero, Dairy Box mid 1930's, smarties 1937, Polo 1948 After Eight 1962. Rowntree Mackintosh merged with Nestle in 1988.
Wrigleys spearmint gum and jucy fruit 1893,
Fisherman's Friends 1870's but only sold outside Fleetwood from 1963
Smiths crisps 1910 (first such product to use pre-printed packets) In 1920 the slogan was 'They are delicious to eat, They are cheap'. The most popular brand in the UK until the 1990's.
PK ('Packed tight-Kept right') first UK production 1927 the logo is a small chap with a three pointed 'jesters' hat in black but with flesh face and red jesters boots.
Mars Bars 1932,
Milky Way 1935,
Jacobs Ireland 1850's, cream cracker later 1880's UK mainland factory opened 1914. Slogan 'Ask for the Best - Jacob & Co cream crackers'
McVities Digestives were patented in 1926 - These were the first 'digestive' biscuit, the name was derived from its high content of baking soda as an aid to food digestion.
McVitie's Homewheat Chocolate Digestive (now simply known as McVitie's Chocolate Digestive) in 1925.
Penguin was first produced in 1932 by William McDonald, a biscuit manufacturer in Glasgow, and became a McVitie's brand when McDonald joined with McVitie's and Price, MacFarlane Lang & Co and Crawford to form United Biscuits in 1946. One of the first biscuits to be advertised by name rather than company brand.
Jaffa Cakes 1940's (made by McVitie's)
Hobnobs (made by McVitie's) first launched in 1985 and a milk chocolate variant followed in 1987
Turog bread 1903.
Wonderloaf (sliced) 1937. The first pre-sliced loaf had appeared in Britain in 1930 but I believe this was the first 'national' brand.
Hovis flour 1880's. The bread was baked locally in bakers and the once common 'Hovis and Teas' tea rooms. Noted for staying fresh as it had a high oil content.
The Mothers made its first appearance in the north in 1936 and became a national brand in 1956. Originally sold wrapped in wax paper, it progressed with technology to introduce the now-familiar plastic bread bag, although Mothers Pride Scottish Plain can still be bought in wax-wrapped bags. The familiar tartan wrapping of the much-loved Scottish Mothers Pride Plain loaf is an officially recognised tartan. Mothers Pride tartan was registered with the Tartan Society on June 1st 1996 and is used on the packaging of the range of Mothers Pride Scottish bread and bakery products.
Spillers Flour by 1840's this company was already big.
McDougals Self Raising Flour (the first of its type) 1860's
Homepride Flour 1924 but only widely promoted after 1960.
Schweppes Tonic water (the first on the market) 1840.
Coca Cola dates from 1886 but the wasp-waisted bottle was only introduced in 1913.
Carlsberg Lager Beers have been imported from Denmark into the British Isles since about 1900
Tea & Coffee
Twining's Tea 18th century, oldest tea co in UK.
Ty-Phoo Tipps 1844.
Brooke Bond 1869 by 1890's business was wholesale to grocers.He added the word Bond to the name to imply quality. BB 'Dividend' tea 1935, PG Tips later 1930's, cards introduced 1954 chimps from 1956. Brook Bond merged with a firm called Liebig in 1968 to form Brook Bond Oxo.
Maxwell House Coffee 1890's (USA).
Nescafe instant coffee 1937 (this was the first successful instant coffee, the first to appear on the market were developed in the USA in 1867 but the idea did not catch on at the time).
Horlicks 1873 USA as 'Malted Milk' intro UK 1890's, UK factory 1908, Horlicks name intro 1932 along with slogans featuring the term 'night starvation'
Scotts Porage Oats 1880's but only advertised as such after 1914 when the word Porage was added to differentiate it from other brands (by which time the entire manufacturting process was automated and advertising featured the slogan 'untouched by human hand').
Breakfast cereals generally were developed in America in the 1890's, they arrived in Britain in about 1900.
'Force' a cereal that was very popular in Britain in the 1930's, featured the Sunny Jim character on the box and advertising.
Rice Crispies 1928.
Tools and Equipment Rawlplugs 1919
Tannoy loudspeakers 1928
Raleigh cycles 1888,
Sun Cycles XXXX,
Addis tooth brushes 1830's, bone handles replaced by plastic in 1920's the Wisdom cranked handle brush 1938.
Silver Cross prams 1877 slogan 1950's 'The worlds most exclusive baby coach'
HMV was the trade name for the Gramophone Company from 1899 but was only registered as a trademark in 1911. In 1932 HMV and Columbia merged to form EMI but the HMV and Columbia brands remained in use for advertising.
Ever Ready originally torches imported from USA from 1901, British battery factory set up 1903.
Belling Electrical Appliances 1912,
Pyrex UK production started 1921, colourware in 1952 opalware 1954.
Uhu glue 1932 (the first synthetic resin bonded glue).
The Hoover Electric Cleaner Co built a factory in Britain in 1932.
Swan Brand electric kettles 1935.
Tupperware 1945 in USA arrived in UK 1960
Shoes and Socks
Start-rite children's shoes 1920's ads featured two twins walking up a long straight tree-lined road.
Scholl footwear intro UK about WW1.
Pretty polly brand name 1926 , company expanded when nylon introduced in 1946.
Express Daries 1871 (1st country 'creamary' on LSWR line in Wiltshire.
Cow & Gate 1880's as a dairy company but by 1910 mainly known for baby foods based on dried milk. Absorbed
Spillers Pet Foods 1855 (company was already a big flour miller), became Ranks and Spillers in XXXX, bought by Dalgety Animal Feeds in the late 1980's
R & W Paul Limited incorporated 1893 .
Pauls & Whites Ltd formed by merger of R & W Paul merge with White Tomkins & Courage in 1964.
Silcocks Aniumal Feeds of Hull, taken over by Lever Bothers in XXXX to become Silcock Lever Feeds
BOCM (British Oil & Cake Mills) formed by a merger of several firms in 1899 operating in ten seed-crushing mills (all rail connected). BOCM & Silcock Lever Feeds merged to form BOCM Silcock Ltd. in 1969 but the plain BOCM logo remained in use.
Other firms in this area in the early 1980's included Dalgety Agriculture, J Bibby Agriculture and Nitrovit. In the later 1980's several smaller firms were absorbed by either BOCM or Pauls including Marsdens (Lancashire), Burgess Feeds (Yorkshire), Sheldon Jones (Somerset), Cobbledicks (Devon) and Tucks (Norfolk). During this period Ranks and Spillers was bought by Dalgety and Nitrovit was bought by Bibbys.
Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd. (APCM) was formed by a merger of several smaller companies in 1900. The individual trade names were retained to maintain the good will of consumers. In 1912 the majority of the remaining manufacturers agreed to combine to form a group called The British Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd. (BPCM)
In 1920 a new organisation was formed, the Cement Marketing Company Ltd. who's sole purpose was the disposal of the products of A.P.C.M and B.P.C.M. It was the formation of the CMC which saw the introduction of the Blue Circle logo and up to the 1950's (possibly later) the letters CMC were printed inside the circle on the logo. All cement produced by the two companies (APCM and BPCM) was sold under the Blue Circle Cement brand.
By the mid 1980's three large groups dominated the cement industry, the largest was Blue Circle accounting for over half the total production. Tunnel, Ribblesdale and Ketton were all part of Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) but continued trading under their respective brand names and the third player was the still independent Rugby Cement.
Parades and Demonstrations
May queen celebrations up until 1970's.
Rag week (shrove Tuesday being rag day) involved students collecting for charity and generally having a bit of a party, the practice began in the 1890's, by 1900 fancy dress was common. The 'rag mag', a paper booklet of jokes and cartoons was sold and 'stunts' were performed to advertise the week (one lot of mountaineering enthusiasts 'mountaineered' along the pavements, driving pitons between the flags and fully 'roped up', when I was at college we all dressed as Romans and went out with assorted buckets, kiddie's potties etc collecting money). This, as someone remarked, was when innocence was still legal. In the later 1980s selfish pretentiousness (formerly associated with the more insecure elements in the 'middle classes' and the subject of much derision in the general population) became increasingly accepted into main stream culture and the rag weeks petered out in mid 1990's.
1890's to 1918 Suffragettes (the term was coined by the Daily Mail in 1909), women householders were then given the vote but smaller demonstrations continued until 1928 when all women received the vote.
1930's Communists & Fascists (the latter favoured a 'uniform' of black shirt with no jacket), held rallies and demonstrations in the streets of the larger towns, often this lead to fighting in the streets. After World War Two both political systems were seen as undesirable, and although adherents to both continued to gather for meetings there were relatively few mass marches.
1920's & 30's 'pageants' were popular and often featured street parades with bands and people wearing their 'Sunday best' clothes, at the front of the parade, and interspersed along it, would be people carrying banners. These were very orderly events and required no policing.
The Army used to march through the streets to the railway station up until the 1950's, after which they travelled in motor vehicles.
Anti-War demonstrations have been a feature of British life since the end of the First World War. On at 11am on November 11th (Armistice day) a minutes silence was held to commemorate the dead in the First World War, I can remember in the 1950s buses would stop, the driver would get out and remove his uniform cap and stand silently for the minute. By the 1970s motorists generally felt that their journey to the shops was of more importance than a few million dead people and, other than at organised events, the silence was not observed. During the mornings it was normal for a band to lead groups of ex-forces personnel, all wearing a red poppy in their jacket lapel button hole, and their medals, to the local memorial, where the vicar would make a speech and the silence would be observed. This practice seems to have died away since the end of the 1960s. From the end of the 1950 to the early 1970's CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, commonly known as 'ban the bomb') staged a number of marches, usually associated with military establishments. From the later 1970s these tended to be related to specific aspects of nuclear weapons, such as the American deployment of 'cruise missiles' at their British bases.
In the North West (and possibly elsewhere) there were annual holidays known as 'wakes', the word was originally 'walks' as these days were set aside for members of religious organisations to march through the streets with their banners. Over the years various trades guilds and groups such as the Masons adopted the 'wake' and later the trades unions. By the time the railways were up and running the tradition was to group all the wakes into a single week (known logically enough as Wakes Week) although each town had a separate date for their event. During these periods the mills and factories would close down, allowing the people to take a holiday, often taking the train to a nearby resort. The people who owned the bigger mills and factories also often owned large houses in these resort towns and these were converted into hotels offering 'special rates' for their employees and bringing in a tidy income for their owners. Meanwhile back in the town there were still a number of the processions although the town itself would be unusually quiet during these periods, with most of the shops closed and the streets empty of traffic.