Crossways Sign, Eltham
We were asked by the architects to restore the original Crossways sign back to its former glory as part of a project they were working on in Eltham.
The original sign was located on the Crossways Hotel and then on the Burger King in Eltham. Sadly this building was to be knocked down to make way for a new hotel, but part of the planning permission was to restore the Crossways sign which was to form the focal point of the new hotel’s foyer. One wet and cold winter day, we collected the sign via a flatbed lorry and crane from the building site – which wasn’t an easy job in itself as the sign was made of lead and was about 2.5m x 2.5m in size and weighed about 1.5 tonnes!
Unfortunately, the sign had sustained some damage to the face while it was being removed from the building, so before any restoration work could be carried out we had to find a specialist lead company to repair the gauges to the leadwork. Thankfully we were put in touch with Ian Minnett, who set about carrying out the repairs – Ian did an excellent job as you can see from the before and after photographs.
Now came the interesting part of the job– bringing the dull, mud covered sign back to life. After a good clean up, we colour matched the colours and started work. As you can see from the final photographs, the sign is looking a quite impressive now. Due to the size of the sign, we had to deliver the sign back to the building site while the hotel was still being built. The hotel is finally open now, and we have recently visited to photograph the sign in situ in the reception area of the hotel. This historic sign is now back in its rightful place, and looks very impressive.
Up Our Alley – Beckenham High Street
We were approached by Bromley Council in 2015 to work with them and the local residents’ association to brighten up the High Street and the 15 alleyways that come off it (yes, we didn’t realise there were quite so many until we walked down there!). We were given a list of the alleyways to be worked on together with some historical background as to the previous businesses associated with these areas of Beckenham, and we came up with some initial ideas for sign-writing the names of the alleys in question with simple pictogram for sign-writing direct to the walls.
After various re-drafts of the artwork and approval from the various landlords, finally in March 2016 we were ready to start the work. Some remedial work had to be carried out to some of the alleyways, but work progressed in conjunction with the awful weather! We are really pleased with the results as were the residents of Beckenham. It was very interesting to learn the history of our local area and help to improve the High Street.
Westminster City Hall
We were given the task of renovating the large cast metal crest that was located outside the offices of Westminster City Hall in November 2012. The work could only be carried out at the weekend and the tight schedule meant that the work had to be completed over two weekends – luckily the area where the crest was located was sheltered so although it was cold we were not affected by the rain!
We initially visited site to meet with both the main contractors and the clients at Westminster Council to go through the details of the job, mix paint on site to match as closely as possible to the existing colours and take extensive photographs of the crest prior to work commencing.
When we arrived on site one Saturday morning in late November and had set up camp on our scaffold, we started to rub down the crest and carried out any minor repairs required to the surface. Primer was applied and then a base undercoat finish applied – now we were ready for the fun bit – painting the final top coat colours. All the coloured detail was hand signwritten to a gloss finish all as per our discussions with the clients and all to the agreed colours.
I think you will agree that this renovation has certainly bought the lions back to life – they look resplendent in all their glory guarding the entrance to Westminster City Hall.
Sutton High Street
We were initially instructed by Sutton Council to hand signwrite street names to 6 No. roads located off the pedestrianised area of Sutton High Street as part of a regeneration project. After the Council had received the initial approval from the tenants’/landlords’ of the buildings, we prepared full size drawings based on their architect’s drawings to use on site.
With our trusted scaffold tower we arrived in Sutton ready to start work in June 2011 – however as with the lovely British weather it was raining and carried on raining on and off for nearly 2 weeks! However, it didn’t dampen our spirits and we got on with the work, dodging the showers and after preparing the walls with an initial PVA coat, we started to hand signwrite the designs to the various locations. It was certainly interesting speaking to the local residents while we worked and learning about the history of local area and the true meanings of many of the road names.
After this initial project, we were then approached by Sutton Council in the late summer of 2011 to manufacture some metal gates which would be located on roads that lead onto Sutton High Street and thereby allowed for it to be pedestrianised at certain times of the day.
After meetings with the council, and adaption of their initial artwork into working drawings for our metalworkers, we started the manufacture of the gates, keeping the Council informed at all stages of the manufacturing process. Again we were under a tight schedule, as all installation works on the High Street had to be completed prior to the busy run up to Christmas, but we achieved our deadline and ensured that they were delivered to the Council’s contractors ready for them to install to the agreed locations.
London Borough of Harrow – Cadbury’s sign
After talks with Lee Newham of Designed by Good People Limited, the London Borough of Harrow approached us about hand painting an old fashioned “sign” that Lee had designed for the brick wall of the North Harrow Corner Shop.
We used Lee’s artwork as a basis for our design and after rendering the area of the wall that was to be signwritten and applying a PVA initial layer, we started to hand paint the design to the newly rendered surface, incorporating the distinctive purple Cadbury’s Dairy Milk advertising logo that was first used in the 1920s. The use of this old logo definitely gave the sign that “retro” look that Lee was trying to achieve and I am sure you will agree the results are very impressive. Another good job!
Bertie & Boo Adventure Island
After working with Sam and Boo on the both internal and exterior signage of their Bertie & Boo coffee shop in Balham, they approached us about coming up with a design concept for their new venture – converting an old wine bar again in Balham into a combined Coffee Shop/Children’s Soft Play Centre.
After several meetings, and the preparation of mood boards for Sam and Boo to look at, once the lease was signed and keys handed over, we commenced work on this “design and build” project in March 2012, working closely with the specialist soft play company into utilising the areas we had to the best of their advantage.
Initial work involved the ripping out of the fixtures and fittings left behind by the previous occupants and adapting what was left into something that could be used by “little people”! Walls were plastered and painted, beach huts erected, a sunken ship constructed and hidden treasure discovered. With the careful positioning of props “Adventure Island” emerged in April 2012. We are all very proud of what we achieved on this job – it was hard work but to see the children’s faces when they walked into the building made everything worthwhile.
We pride ourselves on being able to turn our hand to anything, and building a beach hut bar out of reclaimed materials was certainly something we enjoyed.
Our mission was to create a beach bar for a joint 50th Birthday Party – we were given some initial materials by the client but the rest was left to our imagination. We certainly got some funny looks when we searched the local area/skips for old timber and basically anything we felt we could use!
During a family outing to Whitstable we spent hours walking up and down the beach looking for things that we could utilise that had been washed up on the beach and collecting shells to decorate the beach hut. With a bit of help from trusty Ebay and the purchase of some nautical props the beach hut was completed.
It was certainly the talking point of the party and is still in place some 3 years later – it looks a bit ragged round the edges and weatherworn – well wouldn’t we all if we had to suffer the diverse weather conditions we have to put up with in Britain – but the beach hut or “Peddle O’ Bar” as it is affectionately known still takes pride of place in our clients’ garden and has a grand re-opening every summer!
After this beach hut, signwriting slogans to a beach hut in Clapham Common for British Gas in the pouring rain seemed like an easy task. However, the summer weather being as it is in Britain, the work had to be carried out from under an umbrella. We love on site signwriting!