A short time ago, I wrote a piece for the fine Manx website Gef about Ghost Signs. If you’re not familiar with the phrase, here’s a link to the article, which will elucidate further.
Although I don’t have the same zealous thirst for discovering remnants of the past on buildings that some do, I will occasionally have my eye caught by striking details. Sometimes, they’re a bit more subtle than half of the purple and gold sign of my favourite childhood toy shop materialising in a busy street.
For example, I’ve no idea how many dozens – hundreds? – of times I’d been in Market Place in Peel before I noticed this ancient, androgynous little face staring out from the remains of the ruined St Peter’s Church.
How long has it sat there, serving sightless stone side-eye realness on all the comings and goings and repavings of Market Place?
Back in the 1950s, the main body of the church was ravaged by fire, then mostly pulled down on safety grounds. Little Stone Face just kept gazing outwards, with barely a scorch mark to record the trauma.
So while it might sound a wee bit like one of those twee-yet-bossy Live Laugh Love posters, (and while it may not sound the best course of action for a myopic person living in a town with a lot of dogs), I’m going to try looking upwards more often. Phantom toyshops, fern-fringed apostles – there’s a deliciously random collection of attention-grabbers above the humdrum business of the ground floor.