A well-respected businessman in Southend has been forced to close his new tanning salon just 30 MINUTES after opening for the first time after he realised that he had made a huge mistake with the business name and the sign. Peter Spade insists that he was unaware that calling his salon ‘Spade’s’ was going to be offensive on racial grounds, but to make matters worse his chosen sign writer forgot to include the apostrophe. 

Onlookers were said to be ‘astonished’ when the large black and white ‘SPADES’ was unveiled on the shop front in London Road, and a number of complaints were made to local police – the sign was removed shortly after police officers attended the scene earlier on Friday. Mr Spade said: ‘Once again, hard-working people like myself have to bow to the madness that is political correctness. My last name is ‘Spade’, and the salon belongs to me, so why can’t I call it ‘Spade’s’? Someone has told me that it is a derogatory term for a black person, but it’s not like I’ve decided to call it ‘N-word Tanning’ is it?

A spokesperson for Southend Trading Standards said: ‘While ‘Spade’s’ or ‘Spades’ would be a perfectly acceptable name for a greengrocers or a fishmongers, it is clearly inappropriate for a tanning salon where by its very nature customers are taking steps to darken their skin tone. We understand Mr Spade’s frustration when choosing a unique name as there are currently more than 1500 registered tanning salons in the borough of Southend, but at the same time he needs to choose something that doesn’t mean ‘black person’.

Amazingly, this isn’t the first time that a Southend-based business owner has upset people with their chosen shop name. In 2012, Polish restaurateur Mariusz Spicz caused outrage with ‘Spic’s Tapas’, and attempts are still being made to reunite the Westcliff community after the Irish businessman Packie McLoughlin attempted to open a corner shop in 2007. 


  1. I can honestly recommend this establishment. Always thought the name was a tribute to the late and great Lemmy, as in the ace of …?

      • In the 17th Century, King James I came up with the idea taxing playing cards, which were deemed to lead to bad behaviour by encouraging gambling.

        An official stamp was printed on the Ace of Spades to show the tax had been paid.

        One cunning card maker, John Blacklin, came up with the idea of simply omitting the Ace of Spades from the pack to get round paying. He offered it for sale separately instead.

        Unfortunately for him, a jury did not buy this ploy. In a salutary lesson for any would-be tax evader, the Old Bailey record states he was sentenced to death in 1805 for his crime.