‘Ghost Signs Conference’ by Jan Graham

We are very excited to host an online conference on Ghost Signs!

Coordinators Jan Graham and Merryn Kerrigan have invited speakers from across Britain and Ireland to share insights and experiences of the faded historic hand painted signs and wall murals found in their cities. We’ll delve into case studies of ghost signs from Glasgow, Birmingham, Dublin and London, and attendees will have the chance to ask everything they ever wanted to know about ghost signs.

We’ll consider the enduring appeal of old commercial signage, while excavating some of the social histories surrounding their making. During the free evening, online conference, we’ll also exchange and compare perspectives around the preservation and conservation of ghost signs, during our all guest panel-discussion.

Photographer: Gordon Baird

Invited Speakers Include:

5pm-5.40pm: Silvia Scopa, Community Engagement Officer for the Glasgow City Heritage Trust and founder of the Ghost Signs of Glasgow project. Silvia is an Archaeology graduate with a post graduate Masters in Museum Studies, and a major interest in social history. After living in Italy and Spain, she moved to Glasgow eight years ago. Before working at the Glasgow City Heritage Trust she spent four years at the National Trust for Scotland.

5.45pm-6.25pm: Emma Clarke has been photographing old signs & tracking Dublin’s changing streetscapes for over a decade. She started the site dublinghostsigns.com in 2013. The site features Dublin’s traditional hand-painted signs, as well as signs for businesses which no longer operate. 


7pm-7.40pm: Tracey Thorne, a Birmingham artist who spent six years walking, exploring and photographing the streets of Birmingham to record the city’s disappearing hand-painted advertising signs. Her work provides a document to the craft of the sign-painting that once dominant in the city, and offers an alternative way of navigating the streets to reveal the stories behind some of city’s buildings.

7.45pm-8.25pm: Sam Roberts, the Director of Ghostsigns.co.uk and Better Letters. In addition to numerous published articles on ghost signs, Sam authored and published Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie about street signs in Cambodia and is co-editor of Advertising and Public Memory: Social, Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Ghost Signs. He curated the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive, and has led the Ghostsigns Walking Tours in London for over four years.

8.35pm-9pm: Panel Discussion. The conference will be followed by a panel discussion on ghost signs with the invited speakers from London, Dublin, Birmingham and Glasgow.

To register for this event go to:


*Ticketing for this event is free and covers the whole conference.

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