Thatcher biography 'not suitable for miners'

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Miners' strike

A bookshop display of Margaret Thatcher's biography, by Charles Moore, has been photographed with the label 'Not Suitable for Miners'. Waterstones are known for their personal recommendations, which appear next to books selected by the staff, and in this case they couldn't resist taking inspiration from Billy Brag to add the warning.

It hit social media and has gone viral.

It follows a growing trend of putting shop signs on social media and finding them popping up around the world within days. Here are five of our favourite shop signs to have gone viral:

1. In December last year we reported on the Cafe in Nice in the south of France, which put up a sign saying that rude customers would be charged extra. The owner erected a sign saying that customers who rudely demanded "Un café" would be charged €7. Those asking for "Un café s'il vous plait" would pay €4.25, and those who managed to say "Bonjour, un café, s'il vous plait" would be charged just €1.40. The story was picked up by newspapers and TV channels around the world.

2. Last May a sign in a butcher's window in Vancouver went viral. It said: "Did you know? Vegans live 15 years longer because they aren't invited anywhere fun or dangerous. Instead they stay at home crying and drinking, being careful not to cry into the drink because tears are a product of animal suffering." It was only after it had been shared and retweeted thousands of times that it emerged that it was a joke originally written by a vegan comedian.

3. In the same month, an unfortunate sign in Bury was an internet sensation. The RSPCA shop sign read 'Helping Bury Animals'. It had been photographed in 2005 and was taken down a month later, but was tweeted by a local policeman who collects amusing photos, and was viewed by tens of thousands of people in one weekend.

4. In 2012 a San Francisco coffee shop hit the headlines after it pinned up a list of rules in the alley behind the shop - which was used by customers who wanted to smoke. It asked them to be respectful of the neighbours, but the rule that caught the eye was the one banning discussing 'annoying hipster topics'. The shop has since also banned people taking photos of the sign and putting them on Instagram... a rule which has been predictably ignored.

5. And it's not just shops which are part of the trend. St John's Anglican Church in Niagara Falls put a sign up outside in support of gay parents, which went viral. It said: "Jesus had two dads and he turned out just fine!'

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