CONSERVATIONISTS were aghast to discover that the sign of a beloved old shop was dumped in a skip by contractors last month.

The sign for a building supplies store around 50 years old was torn down before the vacant structure is turned into a shop selling dress fabrics at the end of November.

Billie Figg, of the Wanstead Society, told the Guardian: “It’s a tragedy to have lost the sign but it’s the most marvellous relief that a block of flats hasn’t gone up.”

Geoff Rosenberg, 56, of Latchett Road, South Woodford is the new owner of what was Andrews Builder’s Merchants in Woodbine Place, Wanstead.

He said: “I’ve known the place for 30-odd years and it’s a quaint old building and that’s how I want to keep it. We’re thinking of doing it in a sandy colour but also keeping the grey that’s already there.”

Mrs Figg added: “Maybe when he decides on a name he could include a commemoration to the old store. It really was unfailingly useful and [owner] Brian Jobber was so lovely, it had a special place in the community.”

She added that although she likes the idea of encouraging people to knit and make clothes she was not sure the new shop could be as much of a success.

Click here to follow the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian on Twitter