Attached to a wall in Dame Lane, just off Dublin’s South Great George’s Street, is a man’s head and neck. He has been there for almost 40 years. His happiness depends on he state of his scalp: when he sports a full head of hair, he beams. When he is bald, his smile is replaced by a frown. His emotions and hairiness change every few seconds: smile, frown; smile, frown. Shaped by glass tubes, filled with neon gas and dependent on a complicated system of transformers, timers and electric wires, his glowing face has endeared him to Dubliners for years.
In short, a large part of the sign needs to be remade – a painstaking operation, and, at a cost of Â£5,000, prohibitively expensive for the management of the clinic. Missing the luminous sight of the Why go Bald man and his ever-changing moods, members of the Twentieth Century Trust (an organisation dedicated to saving modern Irish heritage) approached the director of the Universal Clinic, Ann Goldsmith, to plead for the sign’s life. The great show of affection for the sign, as with the response to the demolition of Archer’s Garage, emphasises that “heritage” has a far broader meaning than might be presumed.
It looks great, I saw it last night on my way home….. brilliantly illuminated….
I see that the signage for the old Douglas shop on Camden Street [where Eddie Rockets is now] has been removed in the last few weeks and relaced with a 7Up billboard. The signage was cool xhrome lettering with neon inserts and site on the gable of a setback on the building.
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Archiseek is the personal project of Paul Clerkin, and online since 1996. The site receives no funding or sponsorship, and is very much a labour of love.