Writing’s not on the wall for hotel - it’s on the roof

One of the turrets of the Sefton Hotel, Douglas, with names on the roof slates

One of the turrets of the Sefton Hotel, Douglas, with names on the roof slates

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Workmen at St Thomas’s Church on Finch Road are getting a rare aerial view of Douglas from their scaffolding platform on the church’s roof.

From their elevated position, there’s a fine and rarely seen panorama along the promenade and across the sweep of Douglas bay towards the vacant Summerland site.

The Sefton Hotel, and it's landmark turrets

The Sefton Hotel, and it's landmark turrets

In fact, the scaffolding gives a unique view across the tops of adjoining buildings, looking down on the roofs of nearby boarding houses showing a vista of redundant solar panels, dislodged slates and vegetation-filled guttering.

From unexpectedly bright orange roof tiles to an abandoned claw hammer lodged precariously on top of a dormer window, all are completely invisible from ground level.

And it was probably this relative anonymity that spurred four people to inscribe their names in white lettering on the slates of one of Douglas’s best known hotels.

Hidden from view at ground level, the writing is not even readily visible from the roof of the church, positioned, as it is at the back of two of the hotel’s turrets.

The names have clearly been there for a while and, although rather weathered, appear to read: ‘C Hunter, E Brew and T...’. One additional name, which appears to be D Cowin, is just visible on the further, or more northerly turret.

The image shown was picked up by Isle of Man Newspapers photographer Mike Wade, almost by accident as he used a tele-photo lens to capture images of the surrounding buildings in Douglas.

This, of course, raises the question as to the identity of the mysterious scribes who have signed the roof of the hotel for posterity.

A spokeswoman for the Sefton Group told Isle of Man Newspapers on Tuesday that the hotel’s head of maintenance was aware of the grafitti and that it had been done by roofers many years ago.

If any readers know the story behind the intriguing aerial autographs, contact Isle of Man Newspapers’ newsdesk by calling 695697.

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