Tracey Thorne - History Painted on the Walls ; Birmingham's Ghost Signs. Remnants of old hand-painted signs, known as 'ghost signs', can be found across Birmingham, with the earliest dating back to the 19th Century. They provide a visual census of local businesses operating or products sold from these premises. Through them we can unravel stories about Birmingham's past and understand how Birmingham has changed over time. Several years ago Tracey Thorne began documenting Birmingham's ghost signs and will be showing examples to illustrate how they connect to our city's history and what they tell us about life in Birmingham. The talk will also provide an opportunity to explore some interesting questions that the research raises about how we protect our city's heritage: should we preserve them or let them fade?