Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Ghost signs (59): Bile Beans

No visit to York (for me, at least) could be complete without seeing this ghost sign, just outside the Monkbar gate. It was restored some time ago, a sign of its local popularity.

Bile beans were sold in many guises over the years. In 1899, they promised to cure the flu, cirrhosis of the liver and blackheads; in the 1950s they were advertised as laxatives; but this advert is much more discreet. It promises to keep users 'healthy, bright-eyed & slim': surely more tempting, as well! However, we're doomed to stay dull-eyed and plump as Bile Beans haven't been on sale since the mid-1980s.


Sam Roberts said...

This one has relatively recently enjoyed a fresh lick of paint.

SilverTiger said...

I remember seeing the adverts for Bile Beans as a kid though we never actually bought any. In my mind they was associated with products like Andrews Liver Salts and Eno's Fruit Salts - which we did use.

The name does sound rather disgusting when you think about it but I suppose its familiarity prevented it from being rejected out of hand for that reason.

CarolineLD said...

Thank you for the link, Sam. SilverTiger, it is an extraordinary name! I can't imagine ever using something called that, but apparently my grandfather used to take them.

TravelGirl said...

i took the same photo about 8 years ago, and would like to take it a few more times in different lighting conditions.

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