Above: Tiled sign in Tintern Street, Brixton.
You might expect the tiled sign, which is still in good condition after being on a wall for something like 80 to 100 years, to be on display in the Forest Hill area. You might even suppose that the sign is on the wall of the original site of the brewery. On both counts you would be wrong. Of all places, this attractive sign is on a wall in a side street off the north side of Acre Lane, in Brixton.
Why the sign is there is not entirely clear. The tiles are on the wall of a terrace of small shops in Tintern Street. The most likely explanation is that the adjacent shop, which is now a hairdressers, was once an off-licence and that it sold the Forest Hill Beers.
Above: Two pictures showing details from the panel.
The original brewery was at 61 Perry Vale, a short distance south of the entrance to the down-platform of Forest Hill Station. The premises were acquired by Whitbread & Co Ltd in 1929 who closed the brewery and sold the land to United Dairies a few years later. No evidence for the brewery remains today because the site is part of a block of flats surrounded by grass.
No other similar tiled advert for the Forest Hill Brewery is known to exist in London which means that this sign is the last reminder of local brewing to survive. Being in Brixton, the sign is a ‘long way from home’ but it adds interest to the street and, all things considered, it is surprising to find it with no marks or scratches on it. Due to the bombing in the Second World War it could have suffered from shrapnel but, amazingly, there is no sign of that either.