Due to the nature of our work redeveloping dilapidated urban sites in London and the south east, we occasionally discover some fascinating local history located on the land we’re working on. This is certainly the case with our Bensham Lane site – home to two dilapidated commercial buildings in West Croydon.
On this site we discovered an old neon sign for ‘Barnacle Works’ – a factory that previously operated there manufacturing car tax discs.
The name came about because of the suction method used to affix the discs to the car windscreens – as you can see in this old advert, “it sticks like a barnacle”.
Rather than discard such an important piece of history, we decided to make use of it, by commissioning A1 Designs to transform and modernise it into a new neon sign for the Regent office. It was quite a challenge to get the sign off the building (which the building contractors kindly did for us), into the office and then find the right people to restore it to its current state, but it was definitely worth it.
We’re thrilled at the finished result and to have a piece of local history with a link to one of our projects soon to be in pride of place on the wall. It’s sure to provide a great talking point for visitors to our office for years to come!