Straddling the Globe: Letterheads at Dingles and Down Under

Sign painters gather for Letterheads meets in Sydney and at Dingles Fairground Heritage Museum.

Sign painter working on scroll with brush hand resting on a mahl stick.
Jorge Jacobs at Dingles Letterheads. Photo: Hannah de Oliveira Whitlock and Nicoletta Corbett.

The last weekend of March 2023 saw Letterheads meets being held in parallel on opposite sides of the globe: Devon, England and Sydney, Australia. Although they differed in scale, each of these events showed that the movement is back in full swing after the pandemic.

If the reviews below give you that fear of missing out, keep an eye on the Event Listings page for details of forthcoming meets.

The Sydney Paint Jam

The Sydney Paint Jam was held over two days in Enmore, Sydney. It was organised by Ryan Donnelly at Alltype'sa Signs (@alltypesa.signs) and hosted by Emiel Saada at Studio Mielo (@emiels). Most of the 13 attendees were from Sydney, with some traveling in from out of state, and one joining while on holiday from Canada, making it an international affair.

The event was supported by sponsors A.S. Handover (Brushes & Sundries) , Colormaker Industries (Permacrylik scenic paint range), and Viponds (Sign enamel paint range), with organiser Ryan Donnelly commenting:

"Having attended signwriting meets around Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Europe over the past few years, I was inspired to put something together in Sydney. Studio Mielo graciously agreed to hold the event at his workshop which is equipped for such a meet! As well as being centrally located, there is plenty of inspiration in hand-painted signage adorning local shops and murals in nearby alleyways."

Letterheads at Dingles

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Dingles Fairground Heritage Museum (@dinglesfhc) hosted what is intended to be the first of a regular Letterheads meet. The next one is pencilled in for March 2025...

The event was the brainchild of organisers Aaron Stephens (@aaronvalentinestephens) and Amy Goodwin (@amy.goodwin.signwriter). It was set up to raise money for the ongoing maintenance of the museum's valuable and historically significant collections.

Vintage fairground shooting saloon stall.
Shooting saloon at the Dingles Fairground Heritage Museum. Photo: Hannah de Oliveira Whitlock and Nicoletta Corbett.
‘Our Business is Fun’ with Fred Fowle
Previously unpublished photos and documentary on Fred Fowle.
More of the Dingles collection is featured in this piece about legendary fairground artist Fred Fowle.

Over 70 painters, plus 30 guests, made the trip to Milford Lifton in Devon, southwest England, to enjoy themselves in this inspirational setting. As well as the expected contingent from the UK, there were international attendees from Denmark, Ireland, and the USA.

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Some 'lively' evenings in the local Fox & Grapes pub were accompanied by daytime demonstrations from Joby Carter (blocks and shadows), David Kynaston (S's, ampersands and scary bits), and Hana Sunny Whaler (sunny script).

Amy Goodwin gave a talk on her doctoral research into women 'showmen' of the 19th century and David A. Smith's Ludlow & Blunt film was screened in addition to the regular dose of panel jamming.

Craft & Creativity: The Making of Ludlow and Blunt
David A. Smith and Danny Cooke on ‘The Making of Ludlow and Blunt’, an incredible artwork and film.
"It was such a great meet, probably my favourite so far: super well organised, great food, nice local pub, and great company. It was ace!" — Jon May (

In total, the event raised £6,500 for the museum across tickets and sales from the auction. Half of the auction sales (£3,500) were then given as a donation to Harefield Hospital. The hospital was chosen on the suggestion of Cooper at Dapper Signs who joked that it can be "a down payment on my new lung".

Thank you to the following for their collaboration on this pair of event reviews: Nicoletta Corbett; Ryan Donnelly; Amy Goodwin; Jon May; Hannah de Oliveira Whitlock; and Aaron Stephens.

More Letterheads

Letterheads Meets on Better Letters Magazine
Reviews, photo galleries, and films of Letterheads meets.

Event Listings

Event Listings
Sign painting and lettering event listings from BLAG (Better Letters Magazine).