Channon, 21 North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003
• Nice old sign on a newsagents that’s clearly seen better days. By 2009 it was overshadowed by a Lidl; I don’t know if it’s still there now.
Wakefields Jewellers, 11 West Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003
• This art deco frontage must have been an early “update” for Wakefields, established in 1911. It’s still there – jewellers seem to last well.
Digbeth Cold Storage, 123-135 Digbeth, Birmingham, 2005
• One of many magnificent old Digbeth buildings, this leviathan was built in 1899 to serve the local markets. It’s grade 2 listed but slated for development as “Beorma Quarter” – it looks like some of the buildings far right in the bottom picture have now been demolished. There’s an informative blog piece plus pics of the interior here, and more pics and info here.
T & W Farmiloe Ltd., Cringle Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW8, 2011 & 2012
• Immense-doored works-cum-warehouse once belonging to a 150-year-old glass, lead, paint and sanitary ware manufacturing company, dissolved 1988. There’s lots of info about the firm here and here. Apparently the premises later became a Securicor depot, though when I photographed it, it appeared to be squatted, with a coach outside picking up a bunch of luggage-toting eastern Europeans. As it’s next to Battersea Power Station, it’s no doubt doomed.
Kents Chemists, 104 Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, 2002
• Hard to believe such a beautiful “chymist” exists in unassuming suburban Surrey. Both it and the building it’s in were established in 1869. Wish I’d taken a better photo, there’s a nice clock above not in shot. It’s still there, and there’s a 2009 description of the interior here.
Conway Trading Co., 15 Toynbee Street, Shoreditch, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2010 (top) and 2004
• I’ve got a feeling this tinned-up row of old traders is still lingering on, in prime central London. Not for long, surely. It used to sell men’s socks and underwear – see Spitalfields Life, here; and there’s more info in the great blogpost Alan Dein’s East End Shopfronts Revisited.
H.H. Brain Ltd., 30-36 Upper York Street, Bristol, Avon, 2011
• A bacon and ham curers once occupied by the makers of legendary Brain’s Faggots (as in offal patties). A sign in the window says “Portland Apartments”, which presumaby were not yet started upon at this point.
Chalton Fish & Chip Shop, 61 Chalton Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2005
• Totally gone; it’s now been restored to a house and you’d never know the chippie was there. The next-door building with the ornate pointy finial now also has badly-organised house front jammed into it.
Jason’s, 34 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5, 2001
• More old-style wood panelling (see Chunnel Bar, yesterday). Now Pizza Night, not made with pet food I hope.
Chunnel Bar, 133 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 & 2011
• Uncompromisingly drab wooden frontage as 1970s as its monicker: Eurostar bypassed Waterloo several years ago, and the term Chunnel probably sounded old-fashioned in Maggie Thatcher’s day. The facade has since been cheerily updated (see below) – happily they kept the charming name, and polished up the retro wooden slats. The OCD part of me, however, is saddened by the ongoing trend to “de-symmetricalise” these old shopfronts by un-matching the twinned front doors.
The Prince Albert Hotel, 27-29 Rendezvous Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2011
• This beautifully tiled rendezvous has had several looks, including an incongruous 1970s one – there’s a history here.
Apollo Cafe Restaurant, 26 Brixton Road, Lambeth, London SW9, 2001
• I doubt the ancient Greeks would feel this a fitting tribute to their sun god, despite the faux marble. Note Pepsi sign at left, and repetition of the number 26 three times, just in case their clientele can’t find it. It’s now the Moonstar Cafe – still a heavenly name, and still pretty basic-looking.
WH Smith (Walsall), 50 Park Street, Walsall, West Midlands, 2005 • Stunning home for the stationers – Walsall is full of faded old buildings far grander than you’d expect. Notice similarity of windows to the more modest versions on Deptford’s guano-encrusted Designer Clearance Store.