Very sad to find the estate agents Vanderpump and Wellbelove seem to have become merely Vanderpump. I think something similar happened to Button, Menhenitt and Mutton, though I may be wrong. One wonders if there is an agency matching up wonderful names for estate agents, lawyers, accountants… I remember with delight Bacchus, Gathercole and Partners, not to mention Alabaster, Stray and Clogg. And of course who could forget Hotblack Desiato?
Then there’s lorries. I believe many people collect Eddie Stobarts, but I incline towards Norbert Dentressangle, ever since I first saw one when being driven across France on a school holiday. My absolute favourite, however, which I have seen twice, is F. Pratt & Co, Independent Banana Ripeners of Hemel Hempstead. Who knew there even were independent banana ripeners, let alone in Hemel Hempstead?
While I see that there may be a case for streamlining, and having a name that’s easy to get on the notepaper, it so often diminishes the glorious variety of life. And all too often it results in something unmemorable and often incomprehensible, like those charities that rebrand themselves so as not to actually mention, or even hint at, what they’re trying to achieve.
When I had a shop, I thought long and hard about what to call it, and eventually decided that the only thing I felt comfortable with, that wasn’t misleading or twee, was Marion Pitman, Books. Not exotic, but does what it says on the tin.
This post has neither moral nor message. Thank you.

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