Friday, June 22, 2012

Frome, Somerset

Stick-ons: 1 

When I was looking at the ironmongers in Uppingham a little while ago, the remains of its Ever-Ready Batteries sign set me thinking. I have noticed these old stick-on signs on shop windows before. Perhaps two or three might make a short series. I was soon looking through my photographic files and came up with this one, specially for those of you who like to travel on two wheels: an old stick-on sign advertising Ariel motorcycles on a shop window in Frome.

Ariel was a company that began in the 19th century as a manufacturer of bicycles. they made their first motorcycle in 1902, and produced such popular machines as the Red Hunter in the 1930s. Ariel was bought up by BSA in the 1940s and BSA continued to make motorcycles with the Ariel badge until 1970, advertising them as "The Modern Motorcycle" if this sign is anything to go by. Given the bright orange and yellow colouring it's hard to believe that when I passed it a couple of years ago it must have been the for forty years or more. The style of the lettering, with its contrasting capitals and script forms, seems to hark back still further. It certainly makes a bright and striking contrast with the classical, 19th-century looking shop front, with its dentils and mouldings. A lovely find.


Unknown said...

The Ariel had a funny kind of engine...four cylinders in a square. As far as I know, it was unduplicated elsewhere. From all accounts though, the bikes rode well, and were nicely balanced, and well liked.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Thanks, Stag - interesting to have an insight into a kind of heritage that is outside my usual sphere.

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