Barbers Anderson and Banks are opening up a barbershop. While the space was being remodeled, an old, ornate sign was uncovered. As reported in The Argus, the sign reads “J. Barker”, “dispensing chemist” and “practical phrenologist,” and is carved in ornate gold leaf writing. Since the sign has historical significance,
They were then told by planning officers from the city council they must keep the old sign as it is protected by conservation laws – even though it advertised the wrong kind of business.
So they have this cool old sign, and life is good at Trafalgar Barbers, no? No, it’s not.
Last week the barbers received a letter from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain saying it was illegal to advertise themselves as a “dispensing chemists” when they weren’t. The letter said it would take further action unless the sign, which contravened the Medicines Act 1968, was taken down.
Only one problem – they paid £500 ($1,000 US) for their sign, and a new “old” sign would cost about £1,000 ($2,000 US)! They don’t have it, and they’re feeling a bit boxed in. Said Mr. Anderson:
The council has made us break the law. It feels like we are in a nowin situation and it is all a bit bizarre. We never wanted the sign in the first place but were told we had no choice. Now we are being told we have to take it down and pay for another one. We are told we have to preserve the cultural heritage of the area but all the other shops in the area have the signs they want above the door.
Yeah! People, get your shit together and let these guys cut hair! Here’s The Argus article.