Create Festive Signs with our Christmas Chalkpens!

To celebrate the yuletide season we have put together a selection of Christmas Coloured Chalkboard Pens!


Each pack contains 2 red, 2 green, 2 gold and 2 silver pens to get you in the festive mood for only £11.90 per pack (+vat).  Combine our festive colour collection with the 46 colours from our Pick ‘n’ Mix Chalkpen selection and let your imagination do the rest.

Order yours today and bring in the Christmas crowds!

Article by Nikki Slade, Sales Director at BHMA.

Feeling The Squeeze Or Feeling The Recovery?

Dark Oak Wooden A BoardsWith our usual cold weather and the continuing difficulties with sales there is no wonder that trading continues to be tough.

The first thing most people cut is there marketing and advertising budget which of course is a visious circle. You NEED to ADVERTISE to bring in the crowds and increase sales. Remember SPECULATE to ACCUMULATE!

You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your image professional. Keep your signage looking spick and span with our Dark Oak A-boards. Solid wooden chalkboard a-boards that are not only stylish but practical too.

800 x 500mm £60.00*

1100 x 650mm £70.00*

1400 x 750mm £80.00*

*Prices exlcude VAT & Carriage

Article by Nikki Slade, Sales Director at BHMA.

Making More Use of Bar & Restaurant Outside Spaces

Cafe Bar Pub Banner Set

The fresh air and sunshine somehow stimulate social conversation, resulting in a friendly atmosphere, and repeat business.It is not just the smokers you are catering for… children are not allowed into most public houses, so what better way to promote your venue and boost sales, than extending your external areas.

Making use of the outside space of your venue makes sense in more ways than one, so why waste the opportunity to get more customers through the doors?


External Information StandYou will not only be wanting comfort and style but a practical space. Adding plants and decorative pieces will add to the atmosphere, while it also lends itself to advertising your offers and upcoming events.

You also need to be able to make the area user friendly and convenient.

Condiment, Cutlery and Menu HolderIf you serve food inside your venue, will you be serving it outside too? With the use of condiment holders, baskets and chalkboards, you will be making ordering easy for your customers.


Article by Nikki Slade, Sales Director at BHMA.

The History of the Blackboard Chalk Board

Blackboards-Chalkboards of different sizes

The blackboard was invented by James Pillans, headmaster of the Royal High School in Scotland. He used it with colored chalk to teach geography.

The chalkboard/blackboard was in use in Indian schools in the 11th century as per Alberuni’s Indica (Tarikh Al-Hind), written in the early 11th century. They used black slate tablets for the children in the schools, and wrote on them like we writon on our books today. They used calcium sulphate (chalk) as we would have done before the explosion of the chalkboard pen.

The term “blackboard” dates from around 1815 to 1825 while the newer and predominantly American term, “chalkboard” dates from 1935 to 1940.

The chalkboard was introduced into the US education system in 1801.

Compared to Whiteboards chalkboards have a variety of advantages:

  • Chalk requires no special care; whiteboard markers must be capped or else they dry out.
  • Chalk is much cheaper than whiteboard markers.
  • It is easier to draw lines of different thicknesses with chalk than it is with whiteboard markers.
  • Chalk has a no smell, whereas whiteboard markers often have a pungent odour.
  • Chalk writing often provides better contrast than whiteboard markers, which helps people read at a distance.

Patrick Huggins – Director

How often should we be changing our menus?

Having done some research on Menus recently, I am intrigued as to how often restaurants, pubs and hoteliers change their menus.

Specials Menu Clipboard

Specials Menu Clipboard

I can think of one Italian high street restaurant in particular, that I frequent with my family at least once a month, and I can honestly say I have never had the same plate of food twice, and that is without ordering from the specials. So is it best to have loads on the menu to start with and never have to change them, thus saving on time and paper. Or is it better to have a very basic menu holder and loads of specials that are written up on lovely chalkboards?

If you use chalkboards, do you have a sign writer to do them for you, or is it a working document that gets re-written after every service? The options for menus and advertising your wares are vast!

Alphanumeric Stencil For Chalkboards

Alphanumeric Stencil For Chalkboards

If you are changing the menu fairly often, let’s say weekly, do you use menu covers and then re-print your dishes on pretty card to insert? The added advantage of this is if they get covered in chocolate pudding, the menu covers are wipe clean and the inserts can be replaced.

Classic Brown Menu Cover

Classic Brown Menu Cover

Chalkboards, I always think are a lovely addition to any venue serving food. To me, it shows that the menu is being refreshed on a regular basis…using a specials board shows the ingredients are fresh.. Once they’ve gone, they’ve gone! Once the fish or pie of the day has gone, I can imagine the satisfaction of the chef telling his waitress to strike it off the ‘specials’ board! Do you make the menus all look the same; with clean lines and smudge-free using stencils and waterproof pens? Coloured chalk or the good old fashioned white stuff? Chalkboard Pens or proper chunky chalk?

Table Specials Chalkboard

Table Specials Chalkboard

Should menus be changed with The Seasons? quarterly – therefore encouraging chefs to use the freshest ingredients, giving them time to cost up and taste every dish before they present them to the public?

Do you keep a tally of best sellers, so you know which ones to keep and which ones to change?

Do you only change the menu when there is a price change on ingredients, or do you have inspiring young chefs that you allow to put one dish forward each month?

All these questions that go into deciding how often to change the menu… Who would have thought that writing out what we as customers can eat, would be such a challenge?

Patrick Huggins – Director