The Southbourne Cliffs was a pub that I lived very close to for a few years in my twenties and frequented from time to time without ever stepping up to becoming a full-blown “regular”. A few years back the pub closed and was torn down.
Last year I saw the original pub sign for The Cliffs in it’s new home – hanging upon the wall in a lovely barbers shop in Southbourne that we were working on. The barber shop owner had happened upon it at a car-boot sale and managed to obtain it for a reasonable price, thinking it would sit perfectly amongst the vintage stylings of his new shop. It did.
Last weekend, while leafing through a book about pub signs by Paul Corballis that lives under my dad’s coffee table, I happened upon this photo of the very same pub sign in its infancy, being worked upon by staff at Brewery Artists, a subsidiary of Whitbread brewery:
I couldn’t find the date for the photo although, going by the beards, perhaps the seventies. But I loved seeing these two photos together – the pristine new sign with glossed frame being painted under close professional scrutiny; against the later version with its scuffed frame and still-bright but blemished and time-worn featured image, now taking it’s rightful place as something of value, an antique.