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This shopkeeper with his brilliant pun names is a true everyday hero

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Dave Fawbert
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Everyone, and we mean everyone, loves a good shop pun. The Codfather fish shop, Back to the Fuschia flowers, the legendary Jason Donervan, we could go on – they all have our respect for truly magnificent shop names.

And to have one great name is good, but for lightning to strike twice? Well, that’s simply genius.

Which must mean that 42-year-old businessman Jel Singh Nagra is a hero of our times. Having been threatened with legal action when he named his corner shop ‘Singhbury’s’ – complete with orange sign – he’s now changed it. To ‘Morrisinghs’.

He was encouraged to make the change to his shop on Benton Road in West Allotment, North Tyneside by his customers.

He told the Northern Echo: “When the first sign went down, the customers kept asking what happened. While I was away on my honeymoon in September 2012, I got a letter saying that Sainsbury’s was threatening to take me to court. In the letter they stated how much this would cost. My family saw the letter and took the sign down while I was away because they were so worried.

“My customers kept saying I should come up with a similar name, so I had to think of something”.

Morrisinghs was previously called Singhsbury's. Both names are, obviously, incredible

Mr Nagra continued: “A lot of the customers come in here for the banter more than the actual service. The sign makes us a talking point. They talk about it in the pubs and the clubs and the restaurants. We used to have a post office, but when the postmaster retired we knew business would decline. There is also a dead end at the bottom of the street, so we don’t get a lot of passing trade. But I do feel that the sign is bringing more business in. If I get asked to take this one down I will fight for it.”

It doesn’t look like he’ll be getting in any trouble though, because Morrison’s are being good sports about the whole thing.

“Mr Nagra and his customers obviously have good taste so we wish him well,” a spokesman for the supermarket said.

Jel took over Singhsbury’s from his sister’s brother-in-law six years ago, but was contacted in 2012 by Sainsbury’s asking him to remove the sign and threatening legal action if he failed to comply. They removed it, and the shop remained nameless until the new sign was put up last week.

He said: “It is just a laugh and we hope it will put West Allotment on the map. When we posted the picture of the new name on our Facebook page, we had more than 10,000 views in less than 24 hours, which was just mad. I have seen people of all ages walking past giggling to themselves. People have driven past and pulled over so that they can take a photograph. It’s all a bit of fun and the customers love it. It is just a laugh, the aim is to get people talking and that’s worked.”

(Images: North News & Pictures)

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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