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Signwriters raise £9,000 for Alexander Devine

An auction of hand-painted art organised by Carters Steam Fair has raised more than £9,000 for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service.

The event was held on Sunday after a signwriting weekend hosted at the Carters’ Yard, off Waltham Road.

It was attended by the Letterheads, a group founded in the US in 1975 made up of artists, signwriters, apprentices and signwriting enthusiasts from all over the world.

Run on an informal basis, with members volunteering to host events, the meet-up from Saturday to Sunday was the third organised by Carters’ owner and signwriter Joby Carter.

During the weekend members spent their time hand painting boards with a famous saying or quote of their choosing, ready to be auctioned.

Joby said: “It was fantastic. It was just a brilliant atmosphere.

“The weather was perfect and we had a live ukulele band on Saturday night.

“It’s just a really nice event because you raise money for charity and promote traditional hand painting.”

With artistic talent running through the Carter family blood line, a sign started by Joby and finished by his six-year-old daughter Elizabeth went under the hammer for £300.

Joby said: “She told her teacher that when she’s in charge of the fair she’s going to paint every-thing in pink and purple and glitter.”

Another of the signs was bought by Joby’s wife, Georgina, for £725, a ‘remarkable’ portrait of Joby under the heading ‘Carter the Great’, signed off with a description of the Letterheads group at the bottom.

Joby was not there when it was auctioned and did not know Georgina was going to bid for it.

He said: “I was amazed by it and embarrassed all at the same time.”

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