The spoils of war

Tony has sent us these pictures, which show the takeover of Ladywell by rival virtual mobile networks Lebara and Lycamobile. He says:

"These mobile operators seem to be taking over Ladywell's High Street. I suppose its a bit of cash for local retailers. But these garish blue signs are not great for a conservation area... are they?"

They are certainly unlovely brands, but convenience stores have always done this sort of thing, from sporting rival newspaper mastheads to Coke vs Pepsi - and aesthetics have never been a strong point for mini-markets. It does also underline the fact that chains retailers are not the only homogenising force on our high streets - independents are often just as formulaic.
In times of total war, there can be no neutral parties - we must all decide - are we Lebara or Lyca? Choose wisely!

21 comments:

Heather said...

Signage above shops has been something I've been thinking about a lot recently. My closest high street is Deptford which is plagued with such crass/ugly/cheap banners. So why do we not have guidelines/permissions for signs to be more sympathetic to the environment ? (Like in many countries) Also they ruin what is usually beautiful architecture/victorian buildings that get lost above! I think I might do a photo documentary on this issue.

SPPP2 said...

There are rules about signage etc in some places (no where near enough though) but they are often just ignored and councils do nothing. I don't know why UK authorities (and many in London are particularly bad) at this and value public space and buildings so badly.

Another issue is why so many of these shop owners don't give a damn about the areas they are in as their ugly frontages are a blight on often lovely buildings and streets.

BarCar said...

Lewisham actually do have a design guide for shop fronts - http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/planning/policy/Documents/ShopfrontDesignGuideSPD.pdf. It is widely ignored and rarely enforced as far as I can see.

but said...

No doubt it the advertising had been done using farrow and ball paints nobody would have complained . . .

brockley man said...

Yes painted frontage signage is far better than those cheap plastic mouldings used above shop fronts now!

marketing said...

I guess this is what the marketing maestros of these companies imagine is what will appeal to their customers.

Simple, loud, primary colours shouting we are cheaper.

They may be right, there is section of the Brockley public who need the simplest of signage for their essential needs:

Chicken dinner, betting, alcohol, payday loan.....phone credit.

Simples.

Brockley Nick said...

The kind of people who absorb and regurgitate marketing slogans like "simples"?

Tressilly said...

Be sure to include 'Christine's Pork' in your catalogue

Tressilly said...

High cost yet superior coverage. The opposite of lycamobile

Tressilly said...

That may have been intentional

Tressilly said...

Related to this the huge billboards by the bus stop are really bad from a streetscape point of view. Ladywell has a way to go yet

Simon @geddes said...

I remember the opposition from certain quarters to our new shop front when we opened our salon. I wonder if those who complained to the council have been as vociferous in voicing their objections to other signage and shop fronts - namely the aforementioned and the half banner posing as signage above the former chemists on Ladywell Road?
Just a thought.

tallpoppies said...

Some people are so insecure around here that they automatically object to anything that appears to have any sort of taste or thought applied to it that suggests it might not be for them. It has to be unchallenging and bit crap to get past these egalitarians or it will be another tall poppy in their sights. You are never very far from social snobbery and class envy on these boards. You just have to ignore it.

lord chalmondely said...

i've just got back from grouse shooting in the highlands, and i'm greeted by this awful signage, it's absolutely intolerable - the kind of thing a grouse 'sweeper' would approve of, but i don't talk to those chappies unless it's to give them a jolly good b*llocking

SPPP2 said...

Have a look on flickr at how parades of shops looked in the past in poor areas. They often still looked fantastic and the owners clearly took a lot of pride in them. Wealth had nothing to do with wanting to make your area, home, shop etc look better. Nowadays wanting to make your building look attractive is seen as a middle class aspiration - the opposite of most of the 20th century in Britain.

anonymous said...

Lewisham council almost imposed a ban on plants and flower displays around the shops at Ladywell. But don't care about how ugly business owners make their shops look with signs like this. Why can't LC ever implement anything that will make our high streets prettier instead of uglier? They are useless.

Nick said...

Questa o quella.....hmm
Lebara it is,
because as you can see:
La doner รจ mobile

headhunter said...

Lewisham BC tends not to enforce planning rules... Most of the conservation areas in Lewisham have their guidelines and rules flagrantly disregarded and unenforced... Fair enough but if the council is not going to enforce conservation areas what's the point of spending the money to set them up in the first place?

terrencetrentderby said...

Next they'll be piles of yams and Afghanis selling phonecards.

Lord Boothby said...

Time to move to Belgravia perhaps? Although it has become so nouveau riche and full of Russians and Arabs. Stay put and endure the signage, the bakerloo line coming in 50 years time which will hopefully bring a waitrose.

lord chalmondeley said...

had to sell my little pad on the boltons, area was going downhill with footballers and other oiks, i managed to buy *all* of ladywell with what someone paid me for the dogkennel, of course, all tied up in land registry and offshore accounts, but it's midly amusing to be mixing with civilians and the lithuanian nannies are getting on ok with the neighbours.

pip pip old chap

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