Ghost Signs

September 2022 - March 2023

Ghost Signs was a public art project that explored Bedford’s heritage through street art.

Ghost Signs was a public art project that explored Bedford’s heritage through street art. We commissioned Emmylou Shine, Keith Hopewell, Sara Hodgkins and Amy Wormald to each a mural that would celebrate key events in Bedford’s history. This project showcases Bedford’s black history and airship history through the medium of street art. 

Ghost signs are old hand-painted advertising signs that have been painted onto buildings. At the end of the 19th century, before the invention of billboards and modern forms of advertisement, businesses employed artists to paint their logos onto their shop buildings. Two centuries later, some of these ghost signs still exist and can still be seen in Bedford today! Scroll right to find out more about each Ghost Sign.

Future of Flight

Artist Emmylou Shine worked with King’s Oak Primary school’s year 5 students to co-create “The Story of Flight”. Students who worked on the mural told us that they feel so proud every time they walk past the mural. Emmylou’s artwork can be seen at the top of King’s Oak Primary school.

Reimagine the Sky

Our second Ghost Sign was painted by artist Keith Hopewell. Located on the High Street at Bedford Learning Centre, Keith’s mural – “Re-imagine the Sky” – pays homage to Bedford’s aviation industry and imagines what air travel might look like in the future.

Cardington Sheds

What is big, green and looms over the horizon? The Cardington Sheds! Artist Amy Wormald paid homage to the architecturally sublime Cardington sheds. This ghost sign is located on Mill Street in Bedford.

Jo Clough

Sarah Hodgkins mural tells the story of Jo Clough. Joseph (Jo) Clough was London’s first black bus driver and later became a bus driver and taxi driver in Bedford. This mural is located at Bedford Bus Station.

This project was funded by Bedford Borough Council and Bedford BID