Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ye olde shopfronte!

If this shop had been open for business, I'd probably have passed it by, with just a stray thought about how sturdy and long-lasting those old enamel-on-blue boards (that's how I always think of them, even if they are just painted, like this one is) are. I am sure this board is also of quite an age, not just because of the font; the spelling, too, reflects an era where it was common to write the name as 'Singaraveloo' rather than the 'Singaravelu' spelling that has been in more common use for the past 60 years or so.

The closed shop, however, had another very interesting point-of-purchase material on its door. Yes, I'm talking about that black-brown-white sheet of metal nailed to the door. WJ Bush & Co. was a firm founded by William John Bush in 1851 and is supposed to be England's first large scale manufacturer of flavours and essences. Given the spread of the British empire, WJ Bush & Co had a large distribution network and was also acting as an agent for similar products, most likely with a view to offer a complete range of flavours, essences, brewing chemicals, essential oils, food colouring, perfumes and the like, all centered around food processing. Given that WJ Bush & Co merged with two other companies to create Bush Boake Allen in 1966 (the company was sold to International Flavors and Fragrances in 2000), that metal sheet is over 40 years old.

It is fascinating to imagine this shopfront being much the same for the last 40 years and more, oblivious to the changes around it as it continues to supply 'aerated water requisites' and other items needed to make soda water!


Hobbes said...

Brilliant !! Fascinating .. Where do you get all this info from ??


Shantaram said...

@ Hobbes: Guess I've been around for quite a while ;)

Hobbes said...

Ha ha .. good one ..