In October, we announced the renewal of AGL’s sponsorship of the Skipping Girl sign, which will provide for the ongoing maintenance and repair of “Little Audrey”. The Skipping Girl sign, a 1970 version of the 1936 original, is of social and historical importance to the state of Victoria The Skipping Girl sign was classified by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in 2001, and added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2006.
The Skipping Girl sign was constructed to advertise the “Skipping Girl” brand vinegar, first established in the 1900s, is by far the best known and will loved animated neon sign in Melbourne. Though a 1970 reproduction, it is a near replica of the 1936 original, which was a landmark early animated sign, and one that gained instant popularity that continued throughout its life. With its giant sized figure of a little girl joyously skipping rope, it is a prominent landmark on a major approach into the city, and has brought delight to generations of Melburnians.
The public appeal of the sign was so great that when the vinegar works moved in 1968, and the building was demolished and the sign removed, the public outcry resulted in a campaign to save “Little Audrey”. This culminated in a reproduction being built and sited on another nearby factory, which was inaugurated on 13 September 1970.
Even as a 1970 reproduction, the Skipping Girl is unique. It is one of the few neon sky-signs remaining in Victoria, and is the only one to include an animated figure, and is indeed one of the few to remain animated at all. Of those that survive, these is a remarkable concentration in the Richmond area, flagging its industrial history. They include Pelaco, Nylex, Slade, and Victoria Bitter signs.
National Trust of Australia (Vic)