Spalding joiner Joseph made his mark back in 1888

Practice manager Emma Scott beside Joseph's newly uncovered signature.
Practice manager Emma Scott beside Joseph's newly uncovered signature.
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The signature of a 19th century carpenter and joiner has been uncovered for the first time in nearly 130 years.

Joseph Twelvetrees made his mark on an internal wall of a building at the corner of Victoria Street and Station Street, Spalding, now occupied by Ernvale House Dentistry.

A postcard from 1905 showing the piano and furniture shop  - now Ernvale Dentistry - on the far right.

A postcard from 1905 showing the piano and furniture shop - now Ernvale Dentistry - on the far right.

The business is being refurbished room by room and Joseph’s signature – dated September 16, 1888 – was behind a cabinet and a strip of wood fixed to the wall in a room now used by hygienist Erika Ayres.

Practice manager Emma Scott hit the history trail, delving into census records and found that J Twelvetrees had the first name Joseph, worked as a carpenter and joiner and lived in St Thomas’s Road, Spalding.

She also discovered Joseph was born in 1838 but hasn’t yet found out when he died.

Emma said: “The signature looks as though it was written in charcoal or some form of black ink.”

The signature looks as though it was written in charcoal or some form of black ink.

Practice manager Emma Scott

Ernvale House Dentistry is owned by Andre Bergh and plans are being made to preserve Joseph’s signature – perhaps behind glass – so that today’s and future generations of patients can see it when they visit.

Even before the signature was found by Graham Hicks, who is refurbishing the property, Emma had been looking into the history of the building and believes Joseph’s name may have been written as the building was being constructed.

In the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century, the building was a piano and furniture dealers run by Alfred Cole, and had a large sign facing Station Street. Later it was occupied by dentist Albert McDonald and false teeth maker Walter Forman – Walter also had a practice in Spilsby.

• If you have information about Joseph Twelvetrees – or he was one of your ancestors – please call our newsroom on 01775 765413.