Past Signs

The building at 3 St Mary’s Passage that was the showrooms of F R Leach & Sons still stands, although now it is a clothes shop. The frontage has an ‘Arts and Crafts’ feel and the metal sign hanging proud of the building harks back to a time when shops would often advertise their presence via a ‘pub like’ sign at right angles to the facade.

There were plenty of iron works in Cambridge during the 19th century where such signs could have been made, including one on Market Hill, named Headly, that was destroyed by a fire in 1846, and subsequently moved to the Eagle Foundry off Mill Road. But the original F R Leach & Sons sign (sadly no longer there, although the replacement is thoughtfully done) would most probably have been fashioned in the firm’s own metal workshop in City Road.