The Smiling Service Shop
|Late C19th Amble interior and exterior, both printed with kind permission of Beamish archive|
When Coastal Colour moved out, owner Chris Pickering took the opportunity to use the English heritage/ NCC shop front improvement scheme to improve the exterior.
Architect Chris Baglee of Spence & Dower LLP, Chartered Architects told us, “It was decided that it was important to strip out all of the 1988 alterations, windows and coverings, expose the original masonry and re-instate the 19th century window design.
“As soon as the asbestos panelling was removed, the terrible state of the stone columns could be seen – probably why they were covered up in 1988.
All of the stone on the two elevations has now been repaired or replaced where it was not repairable and new structural bracing has been introduced throughout the building.
“During the stripping out, an original 1920s timber sign with Walter Willson’s slogan Smiling Service Shops on it, was found inside the shop and also beneath the modern fascia boards on the shopfronts. We have recorded these and they are being left in situ for future building archaeologists.”
The faint outline of the famous Walter Willson shield (see photo top right) was also noted on the outside of the first floor.
Work should be finished soon. The downstairs space will be completely open, with three separate areas upstairs and a nice dry cellar.
Owner Chris is hoping that one tenant will take over the whole building, perhaps with offices upstairs and shop on the ground floor.
Interested parties should contact George F. White.
Photo of smiling service sign: Anna Williams. All other photos courtesy of Chris Baglee, Spence & Dower LLP, Chartered Architects.