A look at Margate’s ‘ghost signs’ with Back and Fill festival

Signwriter Andrew Hudson will lead a walk in Margate

There’s a chance to walk with some of Margate’s ghosts as part of the Back and Fill festival this weekend – but not the haunting type.

Signwriter Andrew Hudson, whose Hermetic Sign Company has made a big contribution to Margate’s streets in recent years, is leading a walk that will take in the town’s ‘ghost signs’ – faded adverts on walls and old shop signs.

Andrew will talk about the history and evolution of typefaces and their practical usage, and give some insight into the techniques and processes of signwriting and letter-making. And, as old shops and lost businesses are uncovered, there will be a little bit of Margate history, too.

Andrew’s work can be seen at Lovely’s, Cliffs and Quo Vadis on Northdown Road, and The Greedy Cow, Margate Bookshop, and Eucalyptus in the Old Town. He has recently painted a new sign for Harbour Books in Whitstable. Some of his work will be included in the walk.

The walk takes place on Saturday (October 24) at 2pm. It has very limited numbers, because Back and Fill is a Covid-safe event, so it will be shared online as it happens. Follow Marine Studios, Margate on social media to find out more.

For further information about Back and Fill, a series of seaside festivals around the UK happening in the half term holiday, visit www.backandfill.uk


  1. Much as I love local history, I find that top photo particularly sad: a (let’s face it) glorified junk shop with a sign they couldn’t be bothered to alter, a graffiti-covered wall, and a closed former shop with a painted over sign.

  2. Not as sad as the fate of the old Isle of Thanet Gazette building, in Union Row, Margate.

    It boasted magnificent etched lettering along the side of the premises, reading The Gazette Printing Works. Isle of Thanet Gazette Estd 1870.

    Now the journalists have long gone and the sign is painted over.

    In its place someone has tacked on the two words PRINT WORKS, poorly spaced and with a gratuitous full stop.

    I assume it’s another enterprise showing us it is cool, cutting edge, creative or whatever the current buzzword is.

    • Suggest you revisit said print works, thy have merely highlight PRINT WORKS from the original text, the rest of which is very visible, to pick out their new name !

      • Thank you for explanation. I didn’t pick that up from the photo I was shown. Still reckon the original sign looked so much better!

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