The Friday photo this week provides a tiny glimpse of the past through this old hand painted sign which has been revealed as part of the Midland Metro Extension on Stephenson Street in Birmingham City Centre. The sign is a great example of a hand painted sign on wood. This would have been typical of those found on buildings during Victorian times in Birmingham. The sign is at the rear of the Waterstones (New Street) store in the grade II listed former Midland Bank Building, built in 1867. The rear extension was part of a later extension added in 1875. The building is included as part of the Colmore Row Conservation area.
Some of the first part of the sign is still missing so it is hard to make out. The lettering that is visible is ” & Son Railway & Steamship Passenger Agents”. It has been suggested that this maybe Henry Gaze & Son who were a popular Victorian travel agents.
The new work to make way for the tram includes taking back Waterstones rear shop facade which will provide pedestrian access around the corner. A Waterstones sign will then once again hide this lovely old sign until it emerges again sometime in the future.