Designs for Ludlow’s new pub, the Blood Bay, published – they look good

The Son of Saxon, the company behind the Dog Hangs Well and the Ludlow Ledger, has published more details of its plans for 13 High Street (17/03922/LBC). The pub sign is a work of art in the style of mid-nineteenth century animal painter John Frederick Herring Snr. It features a blood bay Grand National winner owned by a 1930s Ludlow mayor and bookmaker. The rest of the treatment of the exterior is suitably traditional, boasting “noted ales”, along with pale, best and mild.

John Frederick Herring Snr was himself a painter of inn signs. Employed as a night coach driver, he became known as the “artist coachman”. Appreciated by customers, he began painting hunters and racehorses for the gentry. The Ludlow pub sign of a blood bay horse will be painted by Ashford Carbonell artist, Jonathan Adams. It will celebrate the 1932 Grand National winner ‘Forbra’ owned by Ludlow mayor, William Parsonage. It will depict horse and jockey Tim Hamey on Whitcliffe looking over Ludlow. He will be wearing Parsonage’s colours of blue, white, grey and red. The sign will not be illuminated.

Herring Snr’s painting of the 1844 Grand National winner
‘Discount’ is used to illustrate the look and style of the Blood Bay sign.

The designs look good to me. Saxon has not adopted the dour grey that many retailers currently favour for facias and I am pleased that we are getting a design that is local and distinctive. One of the threats to the character of our town centre is the spread of clone shops that look like they could be on any high street in the country. The plans for the Blood Bay are firmly rooted in local history. The project will return a neglected historic building back into use, at the same time restoring and respecting the historic fabric of the building.

Shropshire Council’s conservation team has supported the application.

The Market Street sign