Participants painting at easels at Carters Steam Fair's Signwriting Festival

Carters Steam Fair Signwriting Festival

Now booking

20 – 22 September 2019
9am – 8pm



Pedestal Field, High Street,
West Wycombe, HP12 4AH



£30 Painting Pass per person
£30 Camping Pass per vehicle or tent

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Celebrating traditional skills in a digital age

Join us on the 20, 21 and 22 September 2019 to celebrate the art of signwriting and hand lettering alongside our Carters Steam Fair event at West Wycombe.

There will be a charity auction of objects painted throughout the weekend and activities for children, all within the world’s most beautiful vintage travelling funfair, Carters Steam Fair. All money raised from the signwriting will be going to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.

Participant at Signwriting Festival painting a sign
Cups of paint in different colours for use at Signwriting Festival
Participant practising signwriting at the Signwriting Festival

What’s happening when?

Man at easel practising signwriting techniques

Friday 20 September

Arrive at the festival from 9am, set up your tent, grab some materials and start getting creative in the Grand Palace of Entertainment, a fantastic old-school freak show tent we are setting up for you to paint in. When it’s time to down tools on Friday night we’ll provide entertainment but you’ll need to bring your own drinks.

We’re looking to get as many hand-painted signwritten vehicles parked together as we can, to showcase the diversity and beauty of the craft to the public. So, whether it’s your own works van, or an old truck you’ve painted for someone else, all are welcome in our photo opportunity line up.

Sign showing the text brew stop, painted in the traditional hand signwriting style
Sign showing the text brew stop, painted in the traditional hand signwriting style

Saturday 21 September

Picture the scene – candy floss in one hand, brush in the other; fairground organ music playing alongside the heady mix of steam coal and white spirit!

There will be plenty of time to continue working on your masterpieces but if you fancy taking a short break then at 11am Joby Carter will be conducting a Fairground Art and Heritage Tour around the fair, so if you’re interested in learning more about the rides and attractions — and the incredible paintwork — this is a good opportunity. The tour is free for those with a painting pass, and £5 per person (for charity) for the public.

The fair will be open to the public after the art tour and you’re welcome to go on the rides or take a walk around to see the fancy lettering and fairground art up close.

From time to time throughout the day we would like to bring small groups of guests in so they can see the signwriters getting creative (in return for a donation). Your own children can accompany you if you are painting but they must be supervised at all times as there will be wet paint and white spirit.

This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your skills and get more people interested in the art of signwriting, so let’s get painty!

In the evening there will be a free award winning firework display at the fair.

Group of people at Carters Steam Fair Signwriting Festival

Sunday 22 September

At 10am we will be hosting a fun charity auction to sell off the artwork and signs that have been painted over the weekend. Last year this event raised £10,000 for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice and this year we hope to raise even more.

After the auction we recommend you pack up your camping pitch but encourage you to have fun at the fair before you go.

Video: Wondering what to expect at a Letterhead’s meet up?

“A letterhead’s meet up is a gathering of sign painters coming together, sharing knowledge and to keep up the craft.”

“You will share ideas, be taught everything you could possibly want to know about this trade.”

“You just have to dive in and paint something.”

Charity Event

Help us beat last year’s total of £10,000 for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.

Take part in our charity auction of hand painted items at 10am on Sunday.