Shop owner Rick Irvine was stunned when he cleaned the façade of his shop to discover an original 1920s sign underneath.

His only worry now is people will not know what he is selling – because the original sign advertises plumbing and electrical goods and he sells nostalgic items from the 1930s to the 1970s.

But he said his customers will “have to live with it” because he is such a fan of the post-World War One sign which reads: “General Engineers, A Smith”.

Mr Irvine, 64, of Shoreham, originally uncovered the sign about 15 years ago but covered it up after a short period because his customers were left scratching their heads.

Now he has decided to give it another go, hoping people will appreciate the original sign.

His shop, Rin Tin Tin in North Road, Brighton, has been in his hands for many years.




Mr Irvine said black paint over the original enamel sign protected it from the worst of any potential damage and it only had a little bit of rust, which he treated – and was a dab hand at because he restores signs.

He said: “I have been here for quite a long time and after originally exposing the sign I left it for a while, but people were confused.

“The shop was due for redecorating and I decided to keep the original sign – I like it.

“It used to be a general engineers in the 1920s and now I sell nostalgic items – so I think having a sign from the 1920s is fitting.

“If people get confused they will have to live with it.

“The shop is still the same.

“The sign is interesting and is actually connected with the sort of things I sell. It is part of the whole idea.

“It’s only been up a week but a lot of people have asked about it.”