Campaign launched to save rediscovered ‘ghost sign’

Revealed: the Foxton's Garage sign. Photograph: Mark Cousins
1 Jun 2019 @ 12.42 pm
| History

No one would contemplate destroying the Bile Beans sign; it is now a much-cherished York landmark.

Now another wall sign from the city’s past has been rediscovered – and a campaign has begun to save it for posterity too.

Demolition work on Piccadilly has revealed the Foxton’s Garage sign, previously covered up by buildings including the NCP car park.

Mark Cousins saw the sign and immediately thought it should be saved.

‘Clifton Moor of its day’

Foxton’s Garage pictured in the late 1930s. Photograph: Explore York Libraries and Archives
The site is being cleared to make way for a 143-bedroom hotel and a six-storey apartment block. He has started a petition calling on the developers.

“It is often that things are revealed in York that people knew nothing about or had forgotten about, Mark told YorkMix. He added:

  • The sign caught my eye as I walked back down Piccadilly towards Parliament Street.

    I don’t know anything about Foxton’s but I think that the sign has as valid a reason to be preserved as the much-celebrated Bile Beans sign on Lord Mayor’s Walk, which has been well looked-after, or the badly-faded brewery one on the gable-end of a property on Heslington Road.

    People worked there who lived in York, and many York people have bought their cars there or at Polar Ford, which I do remember being on that site. Piccadilly was, after all, the Clifton Moor of its day!

This is an artist’s impression of the hotel and apartment block
The demolition work is to make way for a new Hampton by Hilton hotel and an apartment block.

This development was given the go-ahead in March despite concerns by Historic England of its visual impact when viewed from Clifford’s Tower.