Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Eames, outfitter, Reigate

I came across this ghost sign while passing through Reigate at the end of a walk through the North Downs and Greensand hills, from Mickleham to Redhill. The sun was going down and the conditions were not ideal for a good picture. I guess I'll go back one day to take some more pictures of this pleasant town.

Although not much is known about W. R. Eames, outfitter, hosier and hatter, he has left a few traces. Indeed an advertisement printed in 1905 proclaimed:
If you are wanting right good value in
Boys', Youths' and Gentlemen's Outfitting,
W. R. Eames, the Reigate Outfitter,
can serve you well.
Price is right. Value is right.
Selection of stocks of best makers only.
W. R. Eames, General outfitter,
Market Place, Reigate

A picture taken around 1906 shows him or one of his assistants standing proudly by the entrance of his shop (the picture is roughly half way down the page. More pictures and the advertisement are further down the same page). I haven't found when Eames closed down but another photo taken in 1923/24 shows that his name still adorned the tiles between the first and second floors. However by 1929 the premises housed La Trobe's general store, which was previously located on the opposite side of the square. Strangely enough on a picture of La Trobe's from the 1970s (guessing from the clothes of the people), Eames's sign is far less visible than it is at present. Maybe the La Trobes had that part of the façade painted but with time that coat of paint peeled off, revealing once more the name and job of the previous owner.

Eames, Outfitter.

Location: Market Place, Reigate, Surrey / Picture taken on: 20/03/2011

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