Ice Cream and Vans, Their History!

Ice Cream and Vans

‘Stop me and buy one!’ We have all experienced the joy of buying a delicious ice cream or lolly from an ice cream van, but when did this tradition begin? The history of ice cream and vans is rooted with the Victorians. Read on to discover how the tradition of buying an ice cream from a street vendor began!

Hokey Pokey Sellers

In England, the first recording of anyone enjoying ice cream is Charles II and his lucky guests in 1672. The location for this momentous event, Windsor Castle, at a Feast of St. George banquet! Ice cream needed to be served immediately, as no suitable storage facilities existed, therefore, it remained an exceedingly rare delicacy for a couple of centuries, enjoyed by the elite only.

In 1847, Carlo Gatti, a Swiss born immigrant, came to Britain. Italian speaking Gatti, took residence in Holborn’s Little Italy, in London. He first started selling waffles and chestnuts from a stall. In 1849, he opened a café and restaurant specialising in chocolate and ice cream! He is therefore credited as being the first to make ice cream available to the general public. Gatti established a contract with the Regent’s Canal Company for the import of ice, enabling him to expand. He opened a stall in Hungerford Market where people could buy a penny’s worth of ice cream, served in a glass or shell, known as a ‘penny lick’.

Soon, ice cream vendors appeared across London, selling their wares from wheeled carts. The sellers, mainly Italian in descent, often cried out, ‘Gelati ecco un pocco’ (‘ice cream, here’s a little bit’), which became corrupted into the term ‘hokey pokey’! As popularity for this treat expanded across Britain, Hokey Pokey sellers began to appear in more and more cities!

‘Stop Me and Buy One’

Penny licks proved popular, but very unhygienic! The glasses often got washed in dirty water before the next customer used it or wiped with an equally questionable dirty cloth. As a result, customers often found themselves falling ill after indulging in this frozen treat. Indeed, an interesting article on The Victorian Web, describes just how bad ice cream could be for you. A London council medical officer discovered ‘cocci, bacilli, torulae, cotton fibres, lice, bed bugs, bug’s legs, fleas, straw, human hair and cat and dog hair’ in samples taken! Consequently, in 1898, a law, banning the use of ‘penny licks’ passed in parliament.

Fortunately, a wonderful culinary entrepreneur, Mrs. Agnes Marshall, included a recipe for edible cones in her book, Fancy Ices of 1894. The cones soon became an exceedingly popular way to enjoy an ice cream!

In 1923, Wall’s Ice cream introduced the first mobile ice cream sellers, using bicycles! Cecil Rodd, of Walls, came up with the slogan ‘Stop me and Buy One’, a phrase still often seen today on modern ice cream vans! These distinctive bicycles increased sales for Walls from £13, 719 in 1924, to £444,000 by 1927!

During the Second World War, ice cream manufacture naturally declined. The tricycles, used to sell ice cream, became requisitioned by the army for use at military installations. Walls sold 3,300 bikes in 1947 and turned their attention to stocking freezers in shops instead.


In 1945, Westye Bakke, of Wisconsin, USA, invented the first electrical Freezer. Before this invention, ice cream was stored in insulated cabinets surrounded by blocks of ice. Due to the impact of World War II, general distribution of freezers to the public stalled until the late 1950s, early 1960s. Working class families, however, could not often afford the luxury of owning a freezer. The introduction of ice cream vans, therefore, ensured they did not go without this delicious sweet treat!

In 1956, the first ice cream van selling soft whip ice cream appeared in West Philadelphia, America. In 1958, Dominic Facchino, having visited America and seeing the success of Mister Softee, established Mr. Whippy in Birmingham. These Mr. Whippy ice cream vans quickly became a nationwide success. The following year, Mister Softee vans began trading in the U.K., as franchises.  The link between ice cream and vans had established!


As the popularity of the ice cream van grew, vendors realised they could attract more customers by playing a catchy tune. The jingles often reflected local folk songs, for example Greensleeves in Britain and Pop Goes the Weasel in America. The jingles became associated with different vendors and became very distinctive. Nowadays, some may think them outdated, but they still have a nostalgic place in many people’s hearts.

Flake 99

Probably the most famous treat associated with an ice cream van is the Flake 99. Many believed it achieved this title from its price of 99p, but this is not the case. The Flake 99 first appeared in 1922 and certainly did not cost 99p, more like 1d! Cadbury’s state that the reason for the term has been lost in time, however there are a couple of theories. The first is that it started in Portobello, Scotland, when Stephen Arcari, who owned a shop on 99 Portobello High Street, broke a flake in half and stuck it into an ice cream. The name came from the shop’s address and became adopted by a Cadbury’s employee. The second is the guard of an Italian King consisted of 99 men, thereby associating the number with anything first class! Whatever the reason, the Flake 99 remains a popular choice for many!

Ice Cream Vans

The 1950s and 60s certainly heralded the glory days for the ice cream van. In the 1960s, some 30,000 vans existed in Britain. As freezers became more commonplace, however, ice cream vans diversified to sell more novelty ice creams and popsicles, like Fab and rocket lollies. Although their cheerful chimes can still be heard occasionally around the streets on a warm summer’s day, ice cream vans have declined significantly. Now more associated with carnivals and festivals, there are estimated to be just 5,000 classic ice cream vans in the UK to date. So, next time you hear the cheerful call of the ice cream van, why not go out and treat yourself to a bit of nostalgia?

Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we hope you have enjoyed reading about the history of ice cream vans. We are passionate about celebrating nostalgia and have a wide range of gifts available on our website all celebrating the 20th Century. We are also thrilled to be in the top 50 blogs to read on Feedspot!







British Seaside Resorts History

British Seaside Resorts History

Seaside resorts first developed in Britain in the 1700s when the practice of ‘taking the waters’, popular at spa towns, extended to the coast. Doctor’s began to prescribe immersion in seawater for the treatment of conditions like rabies, gout, hysteria, and melancholy! Initially, not a pleasurable experience, though a growing fashion to experience the benefits did alter these attitudes very quickly. One of the earliest such resorts could be found in Yorkshire, at Scarborough. Already a popular spa town, because of acidic water running from one of the cliffs, it became a natural leader in the new trend for bathing. The British Seaside resorts’ history had begun!

Bathing Machines

Bathing machines first appeared in 1735, believed to be in Devon. The bathing machines provided a modest, sheltered place for guests.  Bathing Machines became a significant part in the etiquette of bathing, particularly for the ladies. They proved popular throughout 18th century right up to 20th century. Men and women usually remained segregated to ensure members of the opposite sex could not see them in their bathing costumes. However, it is worth noting, men often bathed in the nude, up to the 1860s!

Guests entered the machines whilst on the beach, wearing their street clothing. They changed into their bathing costumes and the machine would be wheeled into the water usually by a horse or horses pulling it. Some resorts employed a strong individual of the same sex, known as a Dipper. The Dipper assisted the guests from the bathing machine and into the sea. Many of the bathing machines had a flag on them that the user could raise when they wanted to return to shore.

By the 1890s the popularity of the machines waned. They remained parked at the top of the beach to be used as changing huts. These soon evolved into beach huts!

Beach Huts

Beach huts, like their earlier counterparts, afforded the gentry a private space to change. However, in the early 20th century, the huts became more associated as holiday homes for the working classes. In the 1930s the image of beach huts changed once again. Loved and used by royalty, including King George V,  the upper classes renewed their passion to utilize them. The outbreak of World War Two required the beaches to be closed, but post war, saw a huge resurgence for the British seaside holiday.

Initially bathing machines, fishermen’s huts and boat sheds made up the bulk of the ‘new’ beach huts, however, as the trend and demand increased, many beach huts became purposefully built. In 1909, at Bournemouth, the council’s borough engineer designed and built 160. Positioned either side of the pier, there are now 520 huts owned by the local council and a further 1200 privately owned ones at this site.

As stated above, beach huts can be owned by local councils or be privately owned. On popular beaches, the privately owned huts can reach phenomenal prices. Recently, a report in the Daily Mail, stated that a 12ft by 10ft beach hut sold for a staggering £330,000. Declared to be Britain’s most expensive beach hut.  The hut is situated on Mudeford Spit, Christchurch Harbour Dorset, a second hut sold for £325,000 just a week later. Fortunately,  beach huts still owned by local councils, enable those with a smaller budget to rent them for the day and experience the nostalgia and convenience associated with them.

The growth of the Railways.

Improvement’s to Britain’s transport system, particularly the railways, contributed significantly to the growth of the British seaside resort. From the 1840’s onwards, expansion of the railways to the coast often transformed small fishing villages into popular resorts! Making access quicker and cheaper, the railways brought working class and middle-class citizens to the coasts of England and Wales. In Brighton, for example, numbers increased so rapidly, that in 1841 the British Royal family abandoned the place as their resort of choice!

Blackpool became extremely popular.  It experienced a massive economic and demographic boom. This was exacerbated by the Lancashire Mill owners introducing the concept of a holiday break for workers. They closed the mills for one week, once a year, to conduct essential maintenance on the machinery. This, in turn, gave their employees a much-needed rest. Each mill closed on different weeks. The staggered closures created a steady flow of holiday makers visiting the resorts of the north. Known as Wakes Weeks, the practice soon extended to other industries. In Scotland it became known as Trades Fortnight, in Wales, Miner’s Fortnight. The concept of the annual holiday had been born. British seaside resorts’ history rocketed.

By the end of the 19th Century over 100 popular resorts existed in England and Wales. From Llandudno in North Wales, to St. Ives in Cornwall. With increased numbers of visitors, for both day trips and annual breaks, the resorts had to expand. They needed to provide accommodation and entertainment. The Victorians rose to the challenge and the iconic piers came into being!


The First seaside piers originated in the early 19th Century. These wooden constructions originally started life as landing stages for boat trips. As the popularity of the British seaside resorts grew, the platforms developed to become complex entertainment venues. The World’s oldest seaside pier can be found in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Ryde pier opened on July 26th, 1814. The industrial revolution, then introduced ornate ironwork to piers. Many existing piers converted from wood to iron and a host of new piers sprung up too. Margate pier, originally a 1100 ft wooden jetty, became the first iron pier in 1855. Designed by Eugenius Birch he became one of the most famous pier designers of the age.

Providing a walkway out to sea, the piers often included amusements and theatres. Some remained open to the elements, others roofed or partly roofed. The longest pier still open to date, is Southend. Reaching out 1.34 miles over the Thames estuary, the pier is a grade two listed building and is also home to a pier train!

By 1914 over 100 pleasure piers existed in Britain. However, susceptible to the elements, fire, and collisions with drifting craft, many have been destroyed. It is believed there are now just 55 surviving piers in England and Wales. The National Pier Society, founded in 1979, have helped to protect many from demolition.

20th Century Changes

Despite temporary closures during both World Wars, the British seaside resorts continued to flourish. Ironically, further development in the transport industry, once the resorts’ champion, began a decline in their popularity. Air travel and the introduction of the package holiday saw more holiday makers heading to ‘guaranteed’ sunnier climates. Spain, Portugal, and Greece became the first choice for many. More recently, the introduction of low budget airlines has made holidaying abroad more affordable.

The once, classic images of British seaside resorts, like holiday camps, sticks of rock and donkey rides on the beach, are now regarded by many as outdated. Decline seemed inevitable. Many resorts, like Torbay on the English Riviera, have adapted to the change however.  Now offering excellent restaurants, shops, and nightlife, it is popular still with day trippers and holiday makers. Others, like Newquay in Cornwall, have become destination resorts for activities, like surfing. When the sun comes out, especially on a Bank Holiday, thousands still flock to the resorts, recreating scenes from the heady heydays of the British Seaside holiday.

The Future

With Blue flag beaches, clear waters, water sport activities and stunning scenery, British seaside towns can and will survive.  If they continue to adapt, they can still attract holidaymakers and day-trippers to spend their time and money at beach resorts. Of, course, with the recent global pandemic, demand for staycations, is likely to rise, with more people afraid to fly and travel abroad. Could this be the next chapter in the British seaside resorts’ history?

Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a wide selection of memorabilia from the 20th century, including fantastic Railway Posters associated with seaside resorts. Why not pop along to our website for a browse?




How To Create A Bar At Home

How To Create A Bar At Home?

There is a growing trend for home bars. Making a pub in your basement, living area, a converted garage, or a summerhouse, is the ideal way to entertain family and friends. Whether you use it for parties, to watch the sport, play cards or just to escape the rigmarole of life, it is important your bar feels authentic! This blog is intended to give ideas and guidance on how to create a bar at home!

Location, Location, Location

The first thing you need to decide, is where to build your bar/pub. Do you have a spare room that is never used? Perhaps you are going to convert your garage? Do you have a summerhouse that is crying out to be utilised? Maybe you are just looking to add a small bar to a lounge or dining room? The good news, there are designs and ideas to suit each of these locations! Big or small, you can create a pub/ bar in your home! Look at Houzz, there is an eclectic mix of designs here.


In order to create a bar at home does not have to mean you blow the budget! There are many bars available online. These come in all shapes and sizes. If you do not have a lot of space, you could just create a retro drinks trolley, probably the cheapest option! Wayfair offer bars from under £100, whilst specialist home bar companies have designs starting from £350. You could, of course, create your own bar. The Family Handy Man, has great, detailed instructions on how to build a fantastic bar. He provides instructions that include the anatomy of a bar, what materials you require and what you need to consider when creating your bar. There is another highly informative guide by the Instructables Workshop, 10 easy steps to building a bar. You could also use recycled material, like pallets, to create a bar, economical and great for the environment!



Giving your home bar/pub a theme will really help you create a professional, fun space for everyone to enjoy. Choose a theme and stick to it, your family and friends will be impressed by the finished results!





Consider the theme you want to give your bar. Is it going to be a cocktail bar, a Tikki bar or a traditional Pub? Will it be a bar that celebrates your favourite pastime, for example a sport, music, or cars? Deciding on your theme will then help guide you in your selection of enhancements. For example, if you are going to create a cocktail style bar, you may want to use LED coloured lighting and a metallic finish to your bar. Alternatively, for a Tikki Bar, you may go light and bright, with rustic wood or bamboo finish. A traditional Pub feel may lead you to using darker, natural wood, with pendant lights hanging overhead? Likewise, the seating should also follow your theme. Chrome and dark coloured leather for cocktail bars, rustic for a Tikki bar and traditional bar stools for a pub, for example.

Enhance the look

So, you have selected the space, set a budget, chosen a theme and your basic bar is in place – great job! Now it is time to give it that va va voom! If you are able, add a back- board, this will give you additional storage and shelving. Decide whether you are going to install a beer pump system, or not. There is a variety of pumps on the market, that certainly give an authentic feel to a traditional pub, plus your beer will be chilled! Talking about keeping things chilled, consider having a refrigerator built into your bar, ideal for wine, prosecco, and ice cubes! Optic dispensers are widely available and a must for any home bar where space allows. You also need storage for glasses – don’t forget your theme, keep them authentic!

The finishing touches

It is time to add those finishing touches. Again, consider your theme. Artwork really helps to enhance your space. Maybe cocktail menus, a pub name, drink advertising signs? You are only limited by your own imagination! Don’t forget practical accessories too, bottle openers, beer mats, cocktail shakers etc! Consider what you are primarily going to use your bar for. If it is to party and entertain friends or family, why not incorporate a sound system, TV, and games. You could have anything, from traditional pub games like dominoes or draughts, to your very own Juke box!

Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we hope this guide on how to create a bar at home has inspired you to go for it! The most important thing is to create a space that is going to work for you. Make it fun, unique and above all, enjoy it! Don’t forget, metal wall art can male a great gift for someone too! We are delighted to now feature in Feedspot’s top 50 Gift websites and Blogs and look forward to sharing more informative blogs to you soon!




Vintage Pub Signs

Vintage Pub Signs

Vintage Pub Signs at Sweet and Nostalgic

Cocktails have always been popular, even before the dawn of Tom Cruise’s iconic film Cocktail. With the rise of the gin culture, there’s never been a better time to learn how to make a perfect cocktail. Impress your friends and family! Better still, home bars are making a comeback. Many of us are converting our unused garages into our own special home bar, complete with vintage bar signs. Likewise, it’s now fashionable to create a bar space in our gardens. How much nicer is a personal bar in your garage or summer house, than the usual garden tools? So, why not consider creating your own bar and decorating it with a few retro bar signs? Check out out blog post featuring our take on Vintage Pub Signs.

Irish Bar SignIt’s all in the Name!

Whether you run a pub, or have hopes of turning a room in your home into a bar, you need a good name. There are many different pub wall signs to choose from. Each sign will give your bar a cosy, vintage atmosphere. You really can create your very own Irish bar theme by using a 3D Irish metal pub signs and advertising McConnell’s Whisky and Murphy’s Irish stout! If it’s a traditional English pub theme you’re after, you can’t go wrong with The Black Swan, The Old Crown or a Red lion. Maybe you fancy something more tongue in cheek? Try out the Pickled Newt retro bar sign or The Cock Inn!

Cocktail Lounge

If you’re after a more sophisticated feel to your bar, and want to create an elegant cocktail lounge why not try adding a few Cocktail Wall signs. You could even use these to add some fun and colour to your kitchen. Adding a few metal wall signs to your kitchen or garage pub space, is a really great way to introduce a fun cocktail theme. Cocktail signs will remind your guests to challenge you to make the perfect cocktail of their choice! You can choose a cocktail recipe metal wall sign in a variety of sizes which can be your go-to cocktail maker menu. If you want to be a cocktail aficionado, get cracking on those cocktail recipes and hone your cocktail making skills.

What’s your Poison?

It’s amazing what you can do with a spritz of Prosecco, a dash of vermouth and a healthy splash of rum and tequila. Fancy a Mai Tai or a Cosmopolitan? Make sure you stock up on some essential bases, for example, Vodka, Rum, Tequila, Curacao and Cointreau. Adding some vintage Absinthe wall signs to your kitchen diner can add a certain olde worlde charm too! From Beck’s Beer to Tennent’s, Clan Castle Scotch whiskey, to John Jameson, we’ve got it covered!

Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a wide selection of Vintage Pub Signs. Come and have a look at what life was like in 20th Century Britain, our products give you a warm nostalgic flavour for this wonderful time. Our range covers the whole of the 20th Century, so there’s something on our site for everyone interested in the most influential century that the world has known to date.

Vintage Railway Art for the Home

Vintage Railway Art for the Home

Railway Art for the Home

There’s nothing that says retro like railwayana. So just what is it about railways and steam trains that speaks to our vintage souls? Is it that we all wish secretly that we were born near the railway and starred in our very own railway children movie? Is it the possibility of adventure or exotic travel? Maybe it’s the art deco black and white film noir romance of brief encounters that zips us back into the early 19th’century. Read further into our fascinating blog where we also feature some vintage railway art for the home.


St Ives Railway Sign


The National Railway Museum Archives tell their own story of railways that opened up Britain and connected our towns and villages in ways we never believed possible. In the years after the war, our grandparents and parents congregated at local stations. They took summer seaside trips to local seaside resorts like Scarborough, Brighton, Great Yarmouth and Torquay. Sadly, the Beeching review took away many lines. Consequently, many are just fond memories of sea sand and ice cream.


In the U.S., railways laid the tracks of cities and towns and governed where people could travel, pre the motor vehicle. Before that, we were reliant on stagecoach and our four-legged friend the horse and trap to take us where we needed to be. No longer did we have to rely on other people to take us somewhere. Firstly, we had the possibility of making our own choices and secondly, travelling on our own timetable, or at least that of the train station.

Train Stations

Beware of Trains Railway Sign

Train stations were temples of possibility where we could enter and travel to a whole new world. Railway stations were places of meeting and farewells. We greeted our long-awaited loved ones and waved them off to work or war. Railways weren’t just a way of getting to and from our destinations. They moulded our destiny and presented a plethora of life choices we could make. Railways allowed us to master that destiny. Rail art represents the era of steam, trains and the stuff of memories, of days gone by. Perhaps that’s another reason why Harry Potter has been such a run away success, given that it connects thoughts of steam trains and magic!


Train Art Work

The Flying Scotsman Wall Sign


A trip on the Orient Express still has that aura of mystique which evokes tales of Agatha Christie. The Orient Express emulates the glamour and luxury of 1920’s travel. In addition to this, it stimulates a feeling of mystery or anticipation of visiting the farthest corners of the world such as Berlin, Budapest and now even China. Railway signs and metal wall art are a really simple way to harness the bygone era of steam and railway engineering. You can use metal wall signs and rail art in your kitchen garage, lounge or library. In fact, the signs make great decorator’s pieces anywhere! Once you start a railway theme, you’ll want to keep building on it with station clocks and timetables. Who knows, you might even get to see the ultimate in steam travel, -the Flying Scotsman,  now wouldn’t that be the ultimate treat for a railway enthusiast?


Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a wide selection of railway art signs for the home. Come and have a look at what life was like in 20th Century Britain. Our products, for example, give you a warm nostalgic flavour for this wonderful time. Our range covers the whole of the 20th Century, so there’s something on our site for everyone.

Vintage Wall Art for the Garage

Vintage Wall Art for the Garage



A garage can be as much a cathedral to the car and motorbike, as it is a storage facility for gardenalia. Whether you store a Harley Davidson or simply have some art that pays homage to it’s classic lines, the garage is a natural home for retro. Garages lend themselves perfectly to Metal Wall Signs. They bring a certain character to an otherwise cold corner. So, read on to learn more about vintage wall art for the garage.

Harley Davidson Bike Wall Sign


Vespa Scooter Garage SignWhether you’re a hairy biker or dream of owning a Vespa you’ll want to celebrate your passion in the garage. Just add some vintage Vespa signs or the image of a classic Norton on the wall and you will create your own time capsule, back to the golden era of transport. Your garage need no longer be the home of the dusty and discarded, it can be a festival of kitsch and cool. Remember the halcyon days of your first Ford Escort Mark I, for example. Honour your passion for classic cars, by donning art work on the walls. Alongside the pictures of your favourite vehicles, hang nostalgic advertisement. Obvious choices would be motor oil, like Shell for example. Likewise, don’t forget manufacturer’s brands, like VW and Ford.

Round Vintage Gas Sign



Adding some vintage signage and metal wall art can create a 60’s vibe and can add a bit of fun in your garage. Vintage Gas Signs and metal Harley Davidson signs can really evoke that bygone era and give your garage a unique vintage cool atmosphere. Why not give it a go and make your garage a space to be proud of when the door is open?

Garden Store Room

If your garage is merely an extension of your garden shed, why not celebrate it with some great signage. Tidy your tools, sort your seeds and decorate your walls. Whether you’re a nature lover, a flower gardener or a keen vegetable grower, there’s a vintage sign for you!

Man Cave

No longer just a space for just storing stuff, garages have become an extension of our homes. Often they adjoin our utility rooms and house everything from cars, bikes, trikes and ride on lawnmowers. Many, however, have been transformed into full blown Man Caves, bars and pool rooms. If your home has spilled into your garage, why not take back control and turn it into your cave? Adding some metal wall art will give your garage the ultimate vintage va-va-voom to match that of your theme. Garages can be cold and unwelcoming, but if you’re willing to put a little extra thought into adorning your garage walls with unique art work, you can turn it into a welcoming cosy corner of which you can be proud.

American Diner Wall Sign


Choose your artwork accordingly, to reflect your theme. Tiki-bar, American Diner, a homage to Route 66 or retro bar. Add to that some Sarsaparilla, a few cocktail, beer and Coca Cola signs and you’ll step back to the future in a few short footsteps. You’re only limited by your imagination!



Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a great range of vintage wall art for the garage. Come and have a look! Our products give you a warm nostalgic flavour for the 20th century. Our range covers the whole of the century, so there’s something on our site for everyone interested in the most influential century that the world has known to date.



Bathroom Wall Art

Vintage Wall Art for the Bathroom

Vintage Wall Art for the Bathroom

Bathroom Wall Art

Picture the scene, it’s been a freezing cold day, you’ve waited at bus stops, got splashed by passing traffic and can’t wait to get home. As a result, you just want to walk through your front door, run upstairs and have a lovely, hot shower. For many of us, our bathrooms are our sanctuary. They’re more than places where we get clean. They’re cosy warm places of refuge, where the steam of the shower and the bubbles of the bath can ease our aches and pains. There are many ways to enjoy a relaxing bath, but ensuring your bathroom is pleasing to the eye, is just as important. So why not decorate them with vintage wall art for the bathroom?

Pears Soap Sign. Vintage Wall Art for the BathroomThe Sanctuary of the Home

Our bathrooms are a place where we can pamper and polish ourselves in the privacy of our own inner sanctum. We want a bathroom to be more than just functional, so it’s hardly surprising that we want to decorate our bathroom to help us feel cosy and nurtured. One easy way to make your bathroom more appealing is to use art. Metal wall art, in the form of Pears Soap signs , for example, are a popular choice for bathrooms because the Pears Soap brand was the very first soap ever produced commercially. It’s an iconic brand that reminds us of our childhood and that nostalgia, takes us right back to the safety and comfort of our family home. Nostalgia is an emotion that fills us with warmth and relaxes us, consequently, bathrooms are the ideal place to decorate using vintage art work


Vintage signage is an easy and effective way of bringing a bit of cosy into our sometimes cold Vintage Bathroom Sign. Vintage Wall Art for the Bathroombathrooms. We can adorn our bathrooms with pretty seaside themed art including mermaids and seashells. These might help us dream of long, sunny, summer days, relaxing on the beach.

Adding metal wall signs with themes of soap help counteract all our plastic bottles and bring us back to more innocent times. Let’s face it, a good old bar of soap is an eco-friendly way to stay clean!

You may want to adorn your bathroom with other bath scenes, like ‘The Bathing Parlour’ or  retro make up brand advertising, for a 50’s/ 60’s vibe. There’s a host of themes and styles available. So, why not bring back old fashioned and luxuriate in some Mermaid Bath Salts to boot?


Whatever our bathroom décor preferences, whether olde worlde or art nouveau, candles and fluffy towels, retro is making a comeback in bathroom design. There’s an increasing trend towards vintage shabby chic and a move away fromHudsons King and Queen Soap. Vintage Wall Art for the Bathroom brand spanking new. We want things with character for example, which bring us to a different world of times gone by.

Vintage wall art evokes style and some create a higher end feel. Hudson Soap and Titanic White Star Liner metal signs hark back to luxurious but simpler times. Pre-internet, pre-mobile phones, a time where the bathtub was something to linger in languidly.  The Queen Mary represented the height of 1930’s art deco glamour and adventure and would look great on the wall of a bathroom styled in this decade.

Brylcreem, Thomas Crapper and Harison’s Arizonic Soap have a more masculine style, whilst for a sense of fun, you could theme your bathroom with unexpected signs like ‘Danger Minefield’ or Lord Kitchner’s recruitment poster!

Whatever your style, make your bath-time a vintage adventure! However, be careful, with simple touches of vintage signage, you’ll create a bathroom you’ll never want to leave!

Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a great range of Metal wall art for the bathroom. Come and have a look! Our products give you a warm nostalgic flavour. Our range covers the whole of 20th century, so there’s something on our site for everyone interested in the most influential century that the world has known to date.


Wall Art for Kitchens

Vintage Wall Art for Kitchens

Vintage Wall Art for Kitchens

Our kitchens are the heart of our home. We cook in them, we socialise in them, we make that comforting cup of tea in them. It is said that cooking for people shows them that you love them, and often we use food to heal and comfort. In some cultures a marriage is sealed by cooking. It’s not just the way to a man’s heart, through his stomach, we’re all susceptible to a bit of food bribery! So, what better reminders of our comfort food than some vintage wall art for kitchens? 

The Power Of A Picture
Golden Shred Metal Wall Sign. Wall Art for Kitchens

There’s something eminently comforting about food and ingredients that have a long history and seeing pictures of them can have a profound effect. For example, Golden Shred Marmalade sparks memories, for many, of granny spreading it on to your toast with a generous spread of butter. It’s the taste of history and Saturday morning comfort. Likewise, we all remember the Bisto adverts. I’m sure, we can all relate to one of those Bisto kids in our family!  That nostalgic memory of waiting for a perfect Sunday lunch, that wouldn’t be Bisto Urchins. Wall Art for Kitchenscomplete without some good old-fashioned Bisto gravy. It’s that heart-warming flavour and taste that brings us right back to the cradle of our family, no matter how old we are.  Perhaps that’s why nostalgic images can have such a powerful impact on people’s emotions.






Psychology Today explains that nostalgia is sentimentality for the past, particularly for a period or place with positive associations. For most of us, our childhood represented a time of zero responsibility, safe in the bosom of our family. Our past is often looked on, by many, as a time when we were at our happiest. The smells, sights and sounds of our childhood can be such a comfort in a modern age. Nostalgia is more pronounced during times of uncertainty, transition or change, consequently, feeling nostalgic is a positive emotion. Having our homes adorned with the sights and sounds of our childhood therefore, can literally give us a feeling of warmth and joy. Nostalgia is about re-visiting an emotional state that lifts your spirits.


For many of us our most powerful memories are of food and flavour. Take Marmite, love itOxo Vintage Advert. Wall Art for Kitchens or hate it, it’s a brand that has stood the test of time. Likewise, OXO, Colman’s Mustard and Daddies Sauce, all uniquely British Marmite Wall Sign. Wall Art for Kitchensbrands, remind us of home. No matter where in the world we go, or where we live, they’re anchors. These brands are distinctive in flavour and stimulate emotions and memories to where we grew up, they are simply part of our identity! When we see the brands of our childhood, especially food brands, we can practically smell and taste them. These powerful smells and tastes can evoke very strong emotions.



Decorator’s Pieces

Vintage wall art for kitchens therefore have a dual purpose. Firstly, they can brighten your home, add style and can become a conversation piece. Secondly, they will have a positive effect on your mental well-being. In Cafes and restaurants, guests will feel liberated from the mundane distractions of everyday life. Vintage wall art will create a great ambience. So, fill your kitchen and dining rooms with artwork that stimulates meaningful memories and experiences.

Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a great range of wall art for kitchens and dining rooms. Come and have a look! Our products will give you a warm nostalgic flavour for 20th century Britain. Our range covers the whole of the 20th century, so there’s something for everyone interested in the most influential century that the world has known to date.







How to protect your Metal Wall Sign

How to protect your Metal Wall Sign for use outside.

Metal Wall Signs , the most popular product lines at Sweet and Nostalgic. We want you to get the most out of them. The metal wall sign range is popular because the vibrant colours add an extra special feel to the home. Many of the signs lend themselves to garden decoration too, however, is it safe to put them outside? The signs do not have a UV protection in the manufacturing process, consequently we highly recommend you place them in a shaded spot. We do understand that this isn’t always possible however. So, to extend the life of your sign, here’s how to protect your Metal Wall Sign for use outside. We’ve tested the best UV spray products available to keep your sign in tip top condition for years to come.

We treated (vertically) half the signs displayed with UV Spray and the other half remained non-treated. We hope that you find it interesting and can use the information to help you with the placement of your signs.

The Plan

We used 2 great Garden Wall Art Signs for this test, our Allotment Sign and our Catalogue of Seeds sign. Both are sized 30cm x 40cm.
Hanging Metal Wall Signs Oustide









We purchased the following two products for this experiment.

  1. Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear (Matt Finish)
  2. PlastiKote Clear Sealer (Satin Finish)

UV Spray for Metal Wall Signs       UV Spray for Metal Wall Signs

Both were purchased on Amazon circa £7 per Can. Other finishes are available depending on preferred final effect.

If you use a UV Spray, please make sure you fully read the instructions on the reverse of the can. Only use the spray in a well ventilated area (preferably outside). Use gloves and a face mask for additional protection.

The Execution

Firstly we Separated each sign vertically using tape and cardboard. Secondly, the left hand side was treated with the UV Spray, whilst the right hand side remained untreated. We hope, that over time, we will be able to show the effect of protecting your wall sign outside, compared to not protecting it.

Each sign received 3 light coats of UV Spray over a 3 hour period (any visible markings on the vertical plane is the effect of the joint on the spray.

Protecting your Metals Wall Sign from UV Sunlight

Protecting your Metals Wall Sign from UV Sunlight

Once dried overnight we erected the signs on a south facing fence. The sun, during the summer months, passes this area from 11.00am in the morning until Mid Afternoon approximately 5.00pm. This position will expose the signs to UV light for most of the day, so this is the most extreme test of our Metal Wall Signs outside.

To find more perfect air conditioner and gadgets for your home, check out GearHungry.

The signs were erected on 30.05.19. We will provide updates over time to explain how the UV coating performs.
Wall Art outside

Garden Wall Art for OutdoorsGarden Wall Art for Outdoors

One Year On – Update

Unfortunately, the UV coating protection had very little effect protecting the signs in this full sun position. Sweet and Nostalgic would therefore continue to recommend you place the signs in a shaded/ semi-shaded site to prolong their life. They will brighten up a darker corner of your garden! Continue to use the UV spray to add some additional protection, however, if you do need to place the signs in direct, full sunlight, it may be worth investing in a sign manufactured with the UV coating, contact us for quotes (this is an expensive process).