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The students at one of Joby's signwriting courses showing off their work.

One of the features which makes Carters Steam Fair unique is the decoration of its engines, rides and transport with consistently superb signwriting, lining and traditional fairground decoration. A large amount of this is the work of Joby Carter and his team.

Joby, who learned his signwriting skills from master craftsman Stan Wilkinson, is concerned that many modern practitioners tend to adopt methods which produce quicker results but are less visually appealing. To counter this trend he is keen to encourage the traditional craft and standards of signwriting to keep this important skill alive.

Joby Carter's 5-day intensive courses cover the basics of fairground art, signwriting, lining, blending, perspective, scrollwork, colour relativity and much more.

Signwriting Courses:

14-18 November 2016 Fully Booked
28 November - 2 December 2016 Fully Booked
30 January - 3 February 2017 Fully Booked
13-17 November 2017 Booking now…
Letterheads Meet - 18-19 November 2017 Booking now…


This is the first course of 2017 and is in the week leading up to the fantastic Letterheads Meet on the weekend of 18 & 19 November, giving signwriters from all over the world the opportunity to meet and paint together. If you'd like to extend your stay to include the weekend make sure you get in early to book a space here.

These fantastic courses cover all the basics of traditional signwriting, from layout and design, to shading, lining and brushwork, and you have your own painted sign (and new-found skills) to take home with you at the end of the week.

The courses are held in Joby's paintshop at the Carters Steam Fair Yard, in White Waltham near Maidenhead. Click here to see a map, and here for the postal address.

All materials are provided for the duration of the course, except for gold leaf which is available at cost price if you would like to add it to your design. You have the opportunity to buy your own equipment at the end of the week.

This particular course runs from 8.30am till 5.30pm every day except Friday, which will be 8.30am till12.30pm to make allowances for preparations for the Letterheads Meet. Lunch and hot drinks are provided.

Please wear old clothes that you don't care about - you will get painty!

We regret that we can't provide accommodation at the Yard for you, but highly recommend the B&B at Innings Lane, White Waltham - tel. 01628 826789. There is also a Holiday Inn at Shoppenhangers Road. Unfortunately we cannot provide space for caravans or mobile homes in the Yard; it's a busy working fairground yard and we are moving vehicles around a lot. We recommend visiting the Caravan Club to find local campsites.

The courses cost £475 + VAT

Please note these courses are very popular - to ensure your place on a course you need to book and pay the full fee. The courses hold a maximum of 15 people, and we work on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for our Refunds Policy

18 & 19 November 2017 - Carters Yard, White Waltham near Maidenhead, UK.

Last year's Abnormal Letterheads Meet at Carters Yard was such a fantastic event full of amazing, skilled artists, that we have got the bug. We want to come to the next Letterheads Meet in Oslo... but it is in the middle of the summer again, which is no good for people who run a travelling fairground. So we don't feel left out we have decided to hold a November gathering again and invite signwriters from far and wide to join us. This is a chance for signwriters from all over the world to get together and paint together, share stories and techniques, and have a laugh.

So: Introducing the Bizarre Letterheads Meet. As last year, it will be held over the weekend at our fairground yard near Maidenhead. Every painter will be able to choose a pre-prepared and coach-painted board to paint (additional boards will be £10 each), and anyone who would like to can enter their signs into the charity auction on Sunday at 3pm - last year we raised £6375 for the Teenage Cancer Trust! You are also, of course, very welcome to bring your own stuff to paint on (you don't have to auction it), or any signs you would like to put into the auction for charity.

There will be lunch and dinner provided on Saturday and lunch on Sunday, followed by the charity auction at 3pm. If you have friends or family who would like to come along just for the auction we will open the doors at 2pm and they can come and take part for £20 each (for charity).

If you have a partner or friend who would like to come for the weekend but who isn't painting, please buy them a ticket here – "spectator" tickets are £20 +VAT for the weekend to cover the cost of catering. "Spectators" must accompany a painter.

Unfortunately we cannot provide accommodation at the yard, but there are plenty of hotels and bed & breakfasts locally.

Weekend tickets £100 +VAT


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