This was how he started Wellington Signs and Designs and helped fund his first Commercial Premises in Southampton. It was in the ‘Red Light’ district and turned out to be an ex Porn Shop! It was in the boom of the eighties and builders were hard to find. The shop was derelict and required major work and builders were like hens’ teeth.
A smartly dressed man turned up one day and offered him bricklayers, plasterers and tradesmen of all descriptions. He thought this guy must have been sent from heaven.
The tradesmen were excellent, but work was slow as they only turned up in the mornings and wanted to be paid at lunch times. The penny dropped when one worker was seen comatose on a park bench near the shop. It transpired they were from the local St Dismas Centre which catered for recovering alcoholics. The smartly dressed man turned out to be an care worker from the St Dismas centre. He hadn’t mentioned who his workers were, and that they may not last a full day!
In the last thirty-five years the business has grown, employed staff and been variously located in Twickenham, Brighton, Southampton and Midsomer Norton. Latterly only Southampton and Midsomer Norton remained but since the Corona virus both have now closed.
Fortunately, the staff in Midsomer Norton have taken up the mantle again and resurrected a business under the name of Speed Signs and Designs, in tribute to Simon’s Grandfather.
He is working mainly in watercolour because of its immediacy, as he likes to paint on site as much as possible. He will work in oil colour and any other media that suits, but this is usually on larger work. He keeps family traditions by pictorial sign painting as the mood suits him.