Monday, August 13, 2018

Poole, Dorset

Carter’s Cavalcade (2): Hunting the hart

‘Now we’re going to go into Halford’s,’ said Jo, leading our surprised group* into a building which was the scene of what seemed to be the last stages of a closing-down sale: the shop is one of those branches of Halford’s that is to cease trading. Diverting our gaze away from the cut-price car accessories, Jo pointed up the stairs, and this panel is what we saw.

It is the work of Tony Morris for Carter’s of Poole. The White Hart Hotel commissioned the sign in the 1960s and when the hotel closed, Halford’s took over the building. Later they moved, and took the finely drawn ceramic stag with them, displaying him in their High Street premises, where he has been delighting people buying car batteries, windscreen wiper blades, and adjustable spanners ever since. For now, though, we were taking advantage of the last chance to see this rare tiled species, staring at us (is he apprehensive, defiant, or just vigilant?) from atop his pedestal. We were assured that the Hart would remain in position when Halford’s move out. One hopes that the new tenants of the building will display this striking piece of ceramic art with pride.

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* We were on a guided walk. See the previous post for details.

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Update, November 2019 I am told that the new tenant of the building has boarded over this sign. How sad that a fascinating and rather beautiful bit of Poole’s heritage should be concealed in this way.


Jo Amey said...

I have some sad news in that the new tenants of this building, Mountain Warehouse, have completely panelled over the White Hart. I went in there today, 13th Nov 2019.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Jo: Very sorry to learn this, but thanks for letting me know.