New bakery sign causes a stir


Plans have been submitted to Canterbury Council to hand paint a large vertical mural on the site of the former NatWest bank in St Dunstan’s advertising a new Warrens Bakery.

The Cornish—based company intend to launch new outlet in Canterbury and hope the extended shop sign will help draw in passing trade.

However, critics say the décor is out of keeping in a conservation area and are calling for the artwork to be toned down in style, despite the wall having been used as a shop sign in the past.

The former HM Marsh butchers

Formerly a family butcher’s dating back to the Edwardian era, the premises was occupied by NatWest for a number of years before eventually closing as banks reduced their branch numbers as consumers moved to online banking.

The Dominos Pizza chain made several applications to open the building as a takeaway outlet, but were prevented after residents objected to noise and disturbance from delivery drivers.

Commenting on the bakery application, Chair of the St Dunstan’s Residents Association Allen Tullet said: “the proposed signage is broadly in keeping with previous signage used on this building pre and post WW2, as well as other similar buildings with a retail purpose located around the city area.

“Although it would be a more appropriate fit if the red elements of the signage could be toned down in their intensity, or possibly swap the red for a black or darker colour.”

However, some locals are keen for the area to reclaim some former vibrancy. St Dunstan’s resident James Taylor told the Journal “although there is already a bakery nearby, it will help footfall for all local businesses if customers are persuaded to move outside the confines of the city wall”.

Comments on the application are being accepted until Friday 23 November on the council website.


  1. Agreeing that a baker’s shop is an excellent use of this building and much preferable to a Domino’s Pizza, does NOT mean having to put up with that out of scale and garish corner sign. You show the butcher’s sign from many years ago which is the right size. Apart from its dimensions, the proposed sign employs 7 or 8 different letter types and an italic: such complicated graphics never give a quality impression.

    Lets hope a simpler and smaller sign is insisted on by the City Council’s Heritage Officers and Heritage Champion.

  2. All too often in recent years Heritage has been bottom of the pecking order when Planning Applications are debated in Cttee.

    Our fine City deserves far more effective conservation strategies and decision making from our elected representatives to support the hard work of the various voluntary groups that care passionately about its unique Heritage

  3. If people cared so much about the conservation of the city then what about the flagrant disregard home owners pay to the requirement to get listed building permission for changes to windows, doors, etc. No one seems to bat an eyelid to the slow erosion of a street aesthetic unless it is a commercial premise. This sign, although imperfect, is a significant improvement to the corner. But who cares about that, lets retain a shabby looking corner of St Dunstan’s.


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