Thursday, 12 December 2013

Lovely London Things #4

ISN’T it lovely when someone has the imagination to preserve an old shop sign?

Anglo Persian Carpet Co, South Kensington tube station

Especially when the current function of the shop is completely at odds with the old sign.

Palmers exotic pet shop, which sold Talking Parrots and Monkeys; Parkway, Camden
In operation since 1918, they once sold a cat to Winston Churchill, and two Abyssinian kittens to Charlie Chaplin.
It's now a coffee shop.

Schram and Scheddle, Upper St, Islington
I OFTEN pass these two vintage shops during my working week in Islington, and always admired the old ‘Schram and Scheddle’ sign.

Gift shop owner, Stan Westwood, unearthed the painted-over shop sign in 1978 when he established his shop, Preposterous Presents, which remained at the 262 Upper Street location for over 30 years.
It took Westwood, some time to think of the name ‘Preposterous Presents’, an homage to the fact that the first 3 letters of ‘Schram’ were the same as the first 3 letters of ‘Scheddle’.
Intriguingly, Westwood also found a strange package hidden in a loft at the rear of the shop. Addressed to the man of the house, the package contained a letter from Middlesex Lunatic Asylum, informing him that his wife was being detained in the asylum, along with a card with visiting times written on it. And hidden in another bag was a cut throat razor.

He reveals the rest of the story here, if you'd like to read it.
I was delighted to discover that Michael Rosen has recorded a short poem called ‘Schram and Scheddle' - how utterly random!

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