M4's Energy Makes A Come Back

Iconic Lucozade advert lights up after six year absence

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Following a six year campaign, Lucozade proudly announced its iconic ‘Replaces Lost Energy' neon sign will once again welcome commuters to the Capital.

Originally erected in 1954 and located on the M4 flyover in Brentford, for many the advert signified arrival in London and was one of the UKs first examples of “kinetic sculpture”. Removed in 2004, the sign has been in a local museum ever since.

Now an exact replica of the original will be installed a mere 200 metres from its initial site, with its first switch on for six years scheduled for the evening of Monday 15th February. The new sign will feature the same iconic Lucozade bottle, the company slogan from the 1950s and a date, time & temperature panel, just like the original.

Ken Livingstone, London Mayor at the time of the original sign’s removal, commented, “Hounslow is a testament to how local people can group together for important local issues and use their collective power to save what is important to the community. There are a multitude of well loved landmarks that make Londoners proud of being part of the city”.

Architectural expert James Woudhuysen added, “Kinetic sculptures have really moved on from the 1950s and have become an integral part of cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong. The Lucozade sign is a historic piece of art which illustrates how over a period of time such things become synonymous to an area and are eventually integrated into the local community”.

A rare example of Modernist Art in advertising when it was erected in the 1950s, the sign went on to become an unlikely London landmark and was said to reflect the energy of the era, following the Festival of Britain (1951) and the Queen’s Coronation (1953).

Such was its popularity as a local landmark that the building's owner, GlaxoSmithKline, kept the sign illuminated long after the building – known as the Lucozade annex – stopped being used. In 2004 the building was marked for demolition and GSK had no choice but to take the sign down, making national newspaper headlines in the process.

For the past six years the original sign, removed in a state of complete disrepair, has been housed at the Gunnersbury Museum where parts of it have featured in displays documenting the history of Hounslow.

February 16, 2010