Sign Of Old Times

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love old signs, be they advertising, notices or building names. I love the surprise connection with the past as you look up and notice fading paint or decaying letters put in place all those years ago.

I went for a walk today to take a photo of this sign. It’s on the side of an old milkbar that’s now an op shop. Up until recently there was no fence so I thought I’d better get this snap before the new owners decide they would prefer a nice white wall and another piece of history is covered over.

So, here it is. The Tarax sign in Challis St, Newport.


9 Replies to “Sign Of Old Times”

  1. I’d like to suggest you take your camera into Spencer st station loos and get a pic of that sign on the wall, but I’d be afraid of what the blokes in the loos would do to you if they saw you with the camera!

  2. RE: HMV, I wonder nowadays how many people know what HMV actually stands for, and why the picture of the dog listening to the gramophone.

  3. Yesterday as I was driving from Shepparton to Heathcote I went past Colbinabbin, and I noticed on the side of an old shop now a private house there was a sign which said “Cohn’s Lemonade” (a popular soft drink in the 60s and 70s, whatever happened to Cohn’s?). Also I remember as a kid going past Yea on the way to Lake Eildon there was a shop above it there it had a big picture of the HMV Nipper the Dog and his gramophone (obviously it was a TV shop, they used to make TVs, record players, radios and the like, but not any more, when you think HMV today you think of the record shops in the city), it was huge! But when I went there last year for the first time in years I discovered it was painted over. In Windsor there was another HMV sign in a former TV shop, it was gone a couple of years ago, perhaps it should be heritage listed! And in Wangaratta there is a Yoo-hoo (a short lived chocolate milk drink) sign from the 1970s on the factory where they used to make it (it is now a brick factory), I took a photo of it last time I passed through there on the way to the Yackandandah Folk Festival. More examples of faded advertising signs can be found at (this is a USA site).

  4. There’s a great one I noticed in King Street. That is, I’ve seen it from a few floors up in an adjacent building – I don’t know if it’s visible from the street. “Melbourne Steamship Company”, it says. Must get a pic of it sometime.

  5. I do love those occasional brushes with the past just when you least expect them. You can see a number of old signs which live on despite the incursions of new signage and updated facades here in Smith Street. The almost transparent, weather beaten, old images give real character to the buildings. Tim Parks writes a great piece in one of his books of essays (can’t remember which one) which talks about ghosts and whether or not they are real. He describes the experience of ‘seeing’ something like an old, familiar sign embedded in the layers behind current signs as being akin to seeing a ghost. A bit the same as when occasionally you can ‘see’ the face of someone you know in the facial expression or characteristics of someone else – sometimes I swear I can see my grandmother’s face in my mother when she uses particular expressions. And it is almost like you have seen a ghost – just for a fleeting moment. It’s actually kind of nice.

  6. fantastic….
    i just stare at signs like this one and am entranced…cant explain the feeling exactly…have started collecting recently and taking photos of old signage…better hurry before the mother f’s rip it all down. thanks for the picture and brightening my day. dennis.cheers.

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