The other day I thought it was about time that I had a jaunt in Archie down to Bath. We travelled along the A46 - one of my favourite routes, which winds its way through the countryside and the town of Nailsworth and the hamlet of Petty France. Jane Austen fans will recognise Petty France as the place in Northanger Abbey where its heroine Catherine Morland is driven to with the Tilney family.
I love Bath and have been visiting it since I was a child, so I'm pretty familiar with the city centre; however, I can still be surprised by finding a little bit of 'secret Bath' just by looking up at the buildings. This is one sign I spotted just a couple of streets away from the main shopping area of Milsom Street and what I call a bit of 'secret Bath':
Although its been heavily over-painted and worn away over the decades, you can just about make out the words 'Milkmaid'. After a quick search on the net I found that the sign was for 'Milkmaid' condensed milk, which is still being produced in India.
So after finding this sign by accident, I thought I'd have a look around for more and decided to walk down the length of Walcot Street, past the trendy shops into the less 'touristy' stretch of the street. This was where I found the painted sign above the shop front of 'Happy Daze' - what used to be known as a 'head shop':
What tickled my fancy was the ironic relationship between the vintage tobacconist sign and the t-shirts with weed printed on them in the shop window!
A noticeable indicator of the current economic downturn was the number of empty shops to let. I came across this former sewing machine shop with some sorry looking sewing machines displayed (left?) in the windows.
Don't they look sad? I wish now that I had pushed a note through the letterbox with my phone number offering to give them a good home!