Shortis Motorist's Discount Store (formerly Motormania)

544-550 Woodbridge Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Shortis 1a2014 images
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:
which features:
The shop name is hand-painted in bold, sans serif, blue caps with a thin white outline and black drop shadow.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Shortis 2
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.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Shortis combo
[UPDATE 6.1.2015: "Your web page about old lettering on buildings in Ipswich has just come up on 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 and 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 over Christmas.

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.  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.]

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Shortis 19671967 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.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Shortis 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Shortis 4Photographs 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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