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Peterboat and Doublet sign - Fish Street Hill Peterboat and Doublet sign - Fish Street Hill

Plaque (lost): Peterboat and Doublet sign - Fish Street Hill

Our picture comes from Bitish Pathe. Spitalfields Life have a very good photo of this sign in situ along with a small plaque reading "original sign 1668" and the website states that the sign is now in the Museum of London.

June 2014 via Facebook, Peter Berthoud of Discovering London, confirms that the sign is in safe-keeping, at the Museum of London Docklands.  That is great news, but sadly he also confirms that the Fish Street Hill building is due for imminent demolition.  So this memorial is not technically ‘lost’ but it sure ain’t where it once was, and never will be again, so we will leave this page as it is.  And we won’t take the opportunity to bang on about how, with so much of London being rebuilt, all at the same time, we are losing the architectural variety which makes London such a visual treat.

Site: Peterboat and Doublet sign - Fish Street Hill (1 memorial)

EC3, Fish Street Hill, 46, TM Lewin

Having published the Samuel Tull & Co peterboat and doublet in Fenchurch Street we were interested when our colleague, Jamie Davis, found a record of another peterboat and doublet sign outside 46 Fish Street Hill now (2014) occupied by TM Lewin.  It was there in 1936 according to British Pathe (at the start of the film) but it’s not there anymore; the building is, and the fluted corbel is, but not the sign.  This is probably the same item referenced in the National Archive entry for a photograph of an item on Fish Street Hill: “General view of sign of Peterboat and Doublet, said to have been on a shop front on old London Bridge, 1930 – 1950”. We take the date to be the date of the photo (not, obviously, the date the sign was on London Bridge).

Following an air raid the Montreal Gazette, of 20 February 1941 reports: “When I dashed into the twine and fishing tackle shop in Fish Hill and asked breathlessly, ‘Was the Peterboat and Doublet burnt?’ {he replied} ‘no, no, it’s all right – at least it’s in the cellar.’  So this lovely, quaint, carved wooden shop sign of St Peter sitting in a boat facing both ways, that once adorned a shop on old London Bridge, hasn’t shared the fate of the Guildhall treasures.”

Samuel Tull is listed as having a shop in Fish Street Hill, which surely must have been the one with this sign.  And his business was started in about 1740.  If the sign was truly originally on a shop on London Bridge that it seems highly possible that that was Tull's shop and that, when those buildings were all removed in about 1760, he took the sign and re-erected on his new premises in Fish Street Hill.  And when, many years later, his company had new premises built in Fenchurch Street in 1880 they remembered this sign and had the image incorporated into the design of the frontage.  If the date 1668 (from the Spitalfields Life photo) has validity then the sign had a life before Tull got hold of it.  That photo shows it to be finely carved and undamaged which is pretty remarkable.

The post-air raid report and Spitalfields Life leave us hopeful that this lovely sign has survived somewhere, either at the Guildhall or at the Museum of London. Has anyone seen it?

April 2014 we visited to photograph the building but that whole side of the road was behind hoardings and it's not even certain the building still exists.  So for our picture we've resorted to Google Streetview (June 2012).

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Peterboat and Doublet sign - Fish Street Hill

Information Subjects commemorated

Samuel Tull & Co

From Some Notes on the Ward of Aldgate (1904) "Messrs. SAMUEL TULL & Co.,...

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