Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Criterion, Westminster Gazette, and Gillette, Stoke Newington

While some in government are thinking of banning two for one offers, today I offer you a three for one. Three signs on one wall, a real bargain!

The most visible ad nowadays, which includes a drawing of a match box, is for

I haven't been able to find anything about Criterion, other than a few ads published between the 1920s and the 1950s for Criterion Cigars, and a couple of mentions of a Criterion Cigar factory in New Haven, Conn. Nothing though about Criterion Matches. If anyone knows anything about it, I'd be most grateful if you could leave a comment. Thanks!

Another ad easy to spot is the one for the
Gazette [*]
... The News

*: part of the word, painted in a slightly whiter colour, appears between the letters of "Criterion"

The Westminster Gazette was a highbrow Liberal newspaper. Founded by George Newness with staff who had resigned from the Pall Mall Gazette (a formerly Liberal paper, which had turned Conservative), it was first published on January 31, 1893. Its first editor, E. T. Cook left for the Daily News in 1895. His place was taken by J. A. Spender, who retained his position until the Westminster Gazette became a morning publication in 1921. It was under Spender that it became a heavyweight Liberal paper bridging the gaps that existed between the different factions of the Liberal Party. To enliven its green pages, it relied on the caricatures and political cartoons of Francis Carruthers Gould, the witty satires of the late Victorian and Edwardian society of Hector Hugh Munro (aka Saki), as well as on the poems and prose of many emerging and confirmed writers. In spite of a circulation of 20,000 copies and advertisement revenues of £40,000 a year, the Westminster Gazette was making a loss and in 1908 Newness sold it to a Liberal syndicate in a deal pushed by the Liberal whips. This didn't alter the situation though, and the paper continued to be published at a loss. In 1921 Spender was replaced as editor by J. B. Hobman. In 1928 the Westminster Gazette merged with the Daily News.
The location of this sign is not surprising at all. At the time Stoke Newington was a Liberal stronghold and the Westminster Gazette would have been competing with other Liberal newspapers to increase its readership among local residents.

Finally, the third ad painted on this wall was for
British Made
Razor & Blades

This is one of several examples where signs for Criterion and Gillette have been painted on the same wall. It looks as if the two companies used the same kind of blue for the background.

Location: Stoke Newington Church Street / Picture taken on: 01/04/2008

No comments: