Tag Archives: Mick Pollard

When Monocle Magazine Met the Letterheads

Unbeknown to most visitors, Monocle Magazine were cruising around last year’s Letterheads meet in Amsterdam, capturing material for the short film below. As well as Mike Meyer’s various patches, it was great to see two additional Better Letters workshop facilitators in the film, Cheryl McLean from Australia and Gustavo Ferrari from Argentina. Just goes to show how international the movement has become ahead of meets in Oslo and Maidenhead this year…

What the Dickens! – Letterheads in Rochester

This weekend I traveled to Rochester, Kent, for my second Letterheads meet, ‘What the Dickens‘ (in honour of the Charles Dickens’ Rochester connections). The event was hosted by Rochester signwriter Mick Pollard and his daughter Kate Belmonte, supported by a team of friends and family. Hats off to Kate for managing the organisation of everything down to the finest details. This involved kicking off with a screening of Sign Painters, alongside Horn Please, and ended with about 50 pizzas in front of Rochester Castle. In between there was plenty of paint, beer and time for fundraising for nominated charity, Arthritis Research UK.

The purpose of the event was to share skills, learn from the masters, watch others working and, of course, to have fun and meet new people. It was a truly international affair with countries represented including Argentina, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain. This meant that a key objective for Mick and Kate was to show off some British culture which took the shape of a pub crawl, live music from Hobo Jones & the Junkyard Dogs, Morris Dancing and a reception with a Pearly King, Queen and Princess. Who knows what they’ll have taken away from all that!

Anyway, here are some of my photos of the weekend which started with a walk down Rochester High Street to find the venue, spotting hand-painted work, new and old, along the way.

Partial fascia reveal two doors down from the Corn Exchange, just off Rochester High Street
Partial fascia reveal two doors down from the Corn Exchange, just off Rochester High Street
Mick Pollard's signature, spotted all over Rochester
Mick Pollard’s signature, spotted all over Rochester
Ghostsign for Pickfords Removals in an alleyway visible from Rochester High Street
Ghostsign for Pickfords Removals in an alleyway visible from Rochester High Street
Restoration House panel just off Rochester High Street.
Restoration House panel just off Rochester High Street
Paint galore all over the Corn Exchange
Paint galore all over the Corn Exchange
There was bound to be a spillage or two, just enjoy it!
There was bound to be a spillage or two, just enjoy it!
Examples of Fileteado Porteño work from Gustavo Ferrari
Examples of Fileteado Porteño work from Gustavo Ferrari
Mick Pollard and the mayor of Rochester enjoying the Fileteado Porteño work
Mick Pollard and the mayor of Rochester enjoying the Fileteado Porteño work
Bar in the Fileteado Porteño style of Argentina by Gustavo Ferrari,
‘Bar’ in the Fileteado Porteño style of Argentina by Gustavo Ferrari
Wayne Osborne at work on his Dickens portrait
Wayne Osborne at work on his Dickens portrait
Dave Correll at work on a little coffee panel
Dave Correll at work on a little coffee panel
Risto at work on a small panel
Risto at work on a small panel
Neil Melliard demonstrating some pinstriping techniques
Neil Melliard demonstrating some pinstriping techniques
Inspired by the screening of Horn Please, Sign Painter Movie's John Lenning gets to work on a panel for the charity auction, raising money for Arthritis Research UK
Inspired by the screening of Horn Please, Sign Painter Movie’s John Lenning gets to work on a panel for the charity auction, raising money for Arthritis Research UK
Dan shows off his Horn Please panel, a John Lenning original, after bidding for it in the auction
Dan shows off his Horn Please panel, a John Lenning original, after bidding for it in the auction
Shading and shadows demonstration with David Kynaston.
Shading and shadows demonstration with David Kynaston
David Kynaston's signwriter box
David Kynaston’s signwriter box
Eye candy in the car park from David Kynaston.
Eye candy in the car park from David Kynaston
Adding a bit of colour to the usually dull vehicles in Rochester's car parks.
Adding a bit of colour to the usually dull vehicles in Rochester’s car parks
Ash Bishop talking Robin Simpson through some shading techniques
Ash Bishop talking Robin Simpson through some shading techniques
Ash Bishop shadowing on Bryan Kerr's van
Ash Bishop shadowing on Bryan Kerr’s van
Decorating the hood in the carpark
Decorating the hood in the car park
Jasper lettering the Love & Thunder van
Jasper lettering the Love & Thunder van
Lettering on this old truck with the payment going to Arthritis Research UK, the designated charity for the whole weekend
Lettering on this old truck with the payment going to Arthritis Research UK, the designated charity for the whole weekend
Back of the truck, 'hand signals only'
Back of the truck, ‘hand signals only’
Detail of the truck door
Detail of the truck door
The Pearly King of Mile End, the Wandering Scribe and me getting photo bombed by Mike Meyer
The Pearly King of Mile End, the Wandering Scribe and me getting photo bombed by Mike Meyer
Morris Dancers show the international visitors what British culture is all about...
Morris Dancers show the international visitors what British culture is all about…
Mick Pollard shows off his Morris Dancing skills
Mick Pollard shows off his Morris Dancing skills
One of the many hand-lettered pages from Samuel Welo's Studio Handbook
One of the many hand-lettered pages from Samuel Welo’s Studio Handbook
Cooper at work on his panel.
Cooper at work on his panel
Sarah Bishop applying size ahead of gilding these caravan decorations
Sarah Bishop applying size ahead of gilding these caravan decorations
Sign created by Bob Perry to let the people of Rochester know about the exhibition of work inside the Corn Exchange.
Sign created by Bob Perry to let the people of Rochester know about the exhibition of work inside the Corn Exchange
Bob Perry adapts Mick's signature for himself.
Bob Perry adapts Mick’s signature for himself
Wall on Rochester High Street after Saturday night.
Wall on Rochester High Street after Saturday night
Pinstriping panels on display
Pinstriping panels on display
Jemma Thompson's alphabet fade
Jemma Thompson’s alphabet fade
Andy Wright's glass panel, started before the meet and finished in Rochester
Andy Wright’s glass panel, started before the meet and finished in Rochester
Cornbread illustrates one of Dickens' less well-known lines
Cornbread illustrates one of Dickens’ less well-known lines
Some work from the Netherlands' Ferry Winkler
Some work from the Netherlands’ Ferry Winkler
A sign shop is born
A sign shop is born
David Kynaston panel with a timely message
David Kynaston panel with a timely message
Team effort from Dave Correll and David Kynaston, produced for Stewart McLaren
Team effort from Dave Correll and David Kynaston, produced for Stewart McLaren
One of many pieces taking the mick out of Mick the host
One of many pieces taking the mick out of Mick the host
The finale, pizzas and photographs in the sun outside Rochester Castle
The finale, pizzas and photographs in the sun outside Rochester Castle

Thank you to Mick, Kate, Sarah, Cathy and everyone who attended for making it such an amazing weekend. I feel a few days of ‘post-meet blues’ coming, roll on the next one!