Forest Hill Brick Relief under The Signal

New discussion starting with a post split from: [Poll] Forest Hill Mural - Choose a Design (Round 1) - #26

I don’t know if this is the right thread, but could we draw on themes from the existing mural, that haven’t been mentioned so far in discussions about design? I am referring to the wall in front of the Signal pub. Perhaps mural isn’t a correct description, is ‘brick relief’ better? [OED “A method of moulding, carving, or stamping in which the design stands out from the surface, to a greater (high relief) or lesser (low relief) extent.”] There is a plaque next to the relief with a brief history of Forest Hill - the canal, the pneumatic railway etc. Actually the brick is a great piece of work, a unique town centre feature, but could do with some cleaning and perhaps minor restoration.

It’s a shame that our elected representatives allow rubbish to sit every day in front of the wall, and that the pavement is in a disgusting state and needs pressure washing.


Here is an image of the brick relief, curtesy of google street view.


Never registered that section of wall, but walk under the bridge and still think thats the best place for painted sign.
But hey any enhancement is worth considering in addition to sign maybe crowd funding or perhaps if Horniman walrus is a feature of painted sign they would be able to donate some funds for advertising.

Here are more detailed pictures of the wall.

there are three natural stone panels fixed into the wall, each has a different local focus:

  1. Brief Local History - general

  1. Transport (canal, railway, trams etc)

  1. People and Personalities (Famous and important Forest Hill people)

All three stone panels need some refurbishment - the writing has faded.

And here below are three pictures of this neglected treasure itself


It’s a really remarkable bit of local character, that wall - and so neglected :frowning:

What we need to clean this (and the wall under the railway, for the new mural), is a mobile jet wash.

I have a jet washer but it relies on a running input of water and mains power. Perhaps the council anti-graffiti team could let us borrow their gear?

I don’t think jet washing them would be a good idea, unless done by someone who knows that they are doing. I have decorative relief brick panels at the front of my house and they needed specialist cleaning and restoration. Any damaged brick or grouting could be powdery and soft, and blasting it with a jet washer could make it worse.

Who owns the wall?


I appreciate your good intentions Chris, but the brick might need specialist attention, and the lettering may need new infilling of the white and gold lettering. I don’t think you should should risk power washing without advice. Maybe a curator from the Horniman could advise.

This is an important part of local history in a public space in the town centre - this is a core responsibility of the local authority.


@RachaelDunlop, @DevonishForester good points, both. I’ll stay away with my jet wash :slight_smile:


Also looks as if there is an issue with water penetration from above which seems to be coming out of the wall. I suspect they will continue to deteriorate if that is not addressed…

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IMHO this is a wonderful idea.

Maybe not for the planned Forest Hill sign mural, but as @anon5422159 has pointed out, there’s no reason why we can’t have other murals around FH.

An artist in hand is worth two in the maybe column, IMO.


I’ve contacted the artist to see if he has any idea about cleaning and conservation.

Here is a picture from when the wall was newer. The colour quite different, even though it’s only 18 years old, made for the Millenium Celebrations.


Timely… I only mentioned to the OH recently that I have only just recently noticed this and we’ve been living in FH for 2.5 years now…

Some parts of this are barely legible now.