Iconic sign’s new home

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

PART of Brent­ford’s fa­mous il­lu­mi­nated Lu­cozade sign is back on dis­play af­ter a thor­ough restora­tion project at Gun­ners­bury Mu­seum.

The iconic Lu­cozade sign, in­stalled on the drinks brand’s fac­tory build­ing in 1953, was one of the first pieces of ki­netic or mov­ing ad­ver­tis­ing in the coun­try and grew to have a cult of ad­mi­ra­tion.

Celebri­ties in­clud­ing Jen­nifer Saun­ders, Jeremy Vine and Kirstie All­sopp have pre­vi­ously spo­ken out about the cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance of the sign, which has been re­placed twice and is now a large screen.

The Lu­cozade sign once sat proudly in Brent­ford’s Golden Mile, a once hugely in­flu­en­tial stretch of the M4, which served as a hub of in­dus­try.

It adorned the side of a new Lu­cozade fac­tory built in 1953 and was her­alded as a sign of Bri­tain’s resur­gence af­ter the Se­cond World War.

The orig­i­nal sign read ‘Lu­cozade Aids Re­cov­ery’, but this was re­placed in the 1980s with a sign read­ing ‘Lu­cozade Re­places Lost En­ergy’.

Even that sign had to be moved af­ter the for­mer own­ers Glax­oSmithK­line de­mol­ished the old Lu­cozade fac­tory. The sign was re­moved al­to­gether in 2016. Both signs de­picted an orig­i­nal de­sign glass Lu­cozade bot­tle pour­ing a bub­bling liq­uid into a wine glass. Lu­cozade’s new Ja­panese owner Sun­tory has in­vested in the restora­tion of the orig­i­nal sign, still at Gun­ners­bury Mu­seum.

Sun­tory had ap­plied to re­store the orig­i­nal sign in 2010, while it was still on dis­play, but their ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected by Houn­slow Coun­cil.

Over two weeks, the sign was dis­man­tled, cleaned and had its neon fil­a­ments re­placed with new LED lights. Each of the eight let­ters is around 3ft by 3ft in size, mak­ing it ex­tremely heavy.

The mu­seum says this is why only the let­ters are go­ing on dis­play.

The sign is on dis­play at the Gun­ners­bury Mu­seum, which has re­cently un­der­gone a £21 mil­lion restora­tion.

Cary Milne and Ju­lia Hayes, a south­west Lon­doner whose grand­fa­ther Wil­liam Hunter in­vented Lu­cozade, then known as “Glu­cozade”, vis­ited the re­stored sign at the mu­seum.

“My fam­ily and I are de­lighted that the sign has been re­stored and can once again be en­joyed by the pub­lic,” said Ju­lia. “My grand­fa­ther would be amazed to know that the brand has such a pos­i­tive place in the hearts of so many peo­ple and, be touched to hear, that even its ad­ver­tis­ing brings back nos­tal­gic mem­o­ries.”

Steven Hind, head of Lu­cozade En­ergy at Lu­cozade Ribena Sun­tory, added: “Many Lon­don­ers and vis­i­tors alike knew the Lu­cozade sign as the marker which wel­comed them to the cap­i­tal and we felt strongly about re­viv­ing such an im­por­tant piece of lo­cal his­tory, which is also in­te­gral to our brand’s 90-year her­itage.

“It was a plea­sure work­ing with the team at Gun­ners­bury Park Mu­seum, who have done a fan­tas­tic job of restor­ing the sign, and I would en­cour­age those in­ter­ested in lo­cal his­tory to visit the mu­seum and see it for them­selves.”

You can visit the mu­seum from Tues­day to Sun­day, 10am to 4.30pm, en­try is free.

Lu­cozade cre­ator Wil­liam Hunter’s grand­daugh­ters Caly and Ju­lia with the re­stored sign

The sign in its orig­i­nal place in Brent­ford near an el­e­vated sec­tion of the M4

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