Advertisements painted by hand directly onto the brickwork of buildings were once a common sight in cities, towns and villages across the country. The rise of printed billboards soon led to their decline but many still survive, often faded, clinging to the walls that host them. These ‘Ghostsigns’ provide a window into the past and evidence of the craftsmanship that once went into their production. However, they are disappearing fast, often due to weathering but also as a result of property development and demolition.
This U.K. archive originated by Sam Roberts features 600 signs showcasing old time products hand painted by craftsmen. They don't make them like that any more.
http://www.hatads.org.uk/hat/newsitem.php?A=287&C=14 - via Londonist