Shortis Motorist's Discount Store (formerly
544-550 Woodbridge Road
December 2014 and the scene at the corner of Howard Street and
Woodbridge Road is changing. The former Motormania motor spares shop
has had its plastic shop-front stripped away to reveal a former
proprietor in the same trade:
'SHORTIS MOTORIST'S DISCOUNT
The shop name is hand-painted in
bold, sans serif, blue caps with a thin white outline and black drop
Beneath this sign vestiges of blue capitals are visible, but
their meaning is unclear. No doubt these will all be covered up by the
new business's sign.
[UPDATE 6.1.2015: "Your
web page about old lettering on buildings in Ipswich has just come up
my Google alerts. The Shortis store that you mention was my father's
former store in Ipswich which was opened in 1967, selling car spares
accessories; he later opened another store on Norwich Road that we
still have today, trading under the Wilco and Fast-Fit name. My manager
at Fast-Fit had already spotted the signage and sent me some photos
I see you mention that there are some other letters under the signage,
it says 'KJ Shortis (Car Spares) Ltd', see attached photo, as it was
changed to saying just Shortis in about 1970.
http://www.shortisgroup.co.uk/fifty.htm is a web link which has
copies of the Evening Star
featuring the store in 1967. We have recently celebrated our 50th
anniversary of when my father opened his first store
If you know what they are planning to do with the sign as I would be
very interested in having it for our archive. Please feel free to come
come back to me if you have further questions. Regards, Richard
Shortis." Many thanks to Richard for
the details and for the excellent image. It solves the vestigial blue lettering
seen in our photographs.]
1967 photograph courtesy Richard Shortis
[UPDATE 6.1.2015: "You
will be pleased to hear that I have been able to save some of the
signage, I was able to find most of the Shortis sign in a pile of
broken wood around the back about to be skipped; it had been split and
cut when they got it down, we were also able to save the Shortis
painted flag that was on the end of the building."
'... Unfortunately the builders ripped the sign down breaking it in
several places but on 10th January 2015 Richard rescued the remaining
pieces of the sign before it was turned into fire wood and restored it
to now join the collection of Shortis group memorabilia at their head
office in Norwich. ‘It’s an amazing find, we don’t have any original
Shortis signage from that era. The condition of the sign is outstanding
after 45 years of being exposed to the elements.’ Says Richard.
The rescued sign was hand painted in 1970 which replaced the original
1967 KJ Shortis Car Spares signage which can just be made out through
the paintwork if you look very carefully. The sign was then covered up
by later occupiers of the building after Kevin Shortis moved to their
current location on Norwich Road.' – passage from the press release.]
Photographs courtesy Richard Shortis
Above left: father and son Richard (left) and Kevin Shortis (right)
holding the historic Shortis sign.
Above right: the original Shortis flag sign as seen in the above 1967
image of the Woodbridge Road store.
For other shop proprietor signs, see C.J.
Hawes, Serjeants Wallpapers & Paints
(including Stradbroke Bakery), Brunswick
Road Post Office.
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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