Skelton Ghostsign – Thubrons Wine and Spirits

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Would anyone like to have a go at deciphering this one ? Paint has stayed on the sandstone parts but completely gone from the bricks (or they could be a later replacement)
Ghostsign Skelton
I think it says “Wines and Spirits” at the bottom with the initials “W. A.”

Dave Walsh has discovered there was a Wine and Spirits merchant called “James Thompson Wood” living at this house in the 1901 census.

Bill Danby has come up with the following which certainly seems to fit sign.

From an immediate search of my website, the Parish Rate book of 1913 shows that the premises 5-7 High St were still occupied by James T Wood and owned by James Thompson. Rates were 13s 5d [about 67p] The Directory for 1937 shows that the shop was still a wine and spirit merchant, but now occupied by William Thubron.
In the 1940’s it was still Thubron’s and I would say the bottom half of the remaining letters look more like THUBRON than Wood or Dowson as suggested on your webpages.
I can personally vouch for the existence of this shop, as when I was aged about 9 in 1949, I went carol singing with my mate Maurice Ward. With the amazing 7 shillings earnings for sacred songs, we bought a bottle of port at Thubron’s and downed it between us and therefore had our very first hangovers. Did not stop us boozing though.
From memory Thubrons also had a shop in Manless Terrace, Skelton Green.
I cannot say when the businesses ceased to trade.

7 thoughts on “Skelton Ghostsign – Thubrons Wine and Spirits

  1. See it every day as a near neighbour but never been able to decipher it. Oddly enough, the removal of an old Evening Gazette sign at the Park Newsagents 60 yards up the road has come down, exposing a painted ghost sign for the ‘Lending Library’ which dates back before local council branch libraries became common (and also shows that the newsagents business goes back many years)

  2. A bit more. The Skelton History Website cut and paste below) shows that the Dowson shop (s) were at the other end of the High Street altogether. Not sure if this invalidates the theory, though

    The only Skelton tradespeople known to date with the name Dowson ran a Clothiers, Drapers shop at 149 High St and a Grocers at 153 High St. These are recorded in the 1901 census when the owners were Thomas Dowson age 39, born Rosedale Abbey and his wife Eliza,age 40, born Eston, N Yorks. Their son Gordon eventually took these over. They had two others in North Skelton at 27 and 28 Vaughan St, which appear in a trade directory of 1937. The two High St premises are either side of the entrance to Robinson St. After the Second War number 149 became an Electricity Showroom. It can be seen as such first right on the photograph here. Today it is occupied by a Solicitor.

  3. A good way of spending an idle afternoon, and an issue solved I feel. The 1901 census shows 5-7 High Street, Skelton, (pretty sure these are the same premises) were occupied by a Mr James Wood, described as a ‘wine and spirit dealer’, his wife Anne and Daughter Esther. He was 57 at the time so he could have inherited it from a ‘W.A.” father.

  4. Good work, I think its No.5.
    A couple of record i’ve found call him “James Thompson Wood”

    I can’t make out that specifically but an awful lot is missing, as there are traces on both the corner stones in the bricks.

    I think there are probably a couple of overlapping signs too.

  5. The Thubron reference may be correct. The only caveat I have is that I don’t know when gable end painted signs died out. I would have thought that this may have been around the turn of the century but I willingly admit ignorance.

    Perhaps the main thing to say is to just say again ‘Maurice Ward RIP’. A man known ironically as the ‘man of few words’ (and anyone who knew him knows what I mean) was a Skelton institution as was Brother Frank who followed only weeks later. As said elsewhere, condolences to Nancy who kept the Skelton shop keeping tradition alive………

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