The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, 12 Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • A market hall by Thomas Penson, built in 1842 (more info here) and demolished in the 1960s except for this facade. Looks like a Weatherspoons-in-waiting to me.
Burton (Antique Warehouse), 9-14 Depford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • This grille, which I spotted at ground level, alerted me to photograph the shop above it, but if I’d stepped back I’d have seen the whole building was magnificent. By 2012, the neatly-reworded cartouches were covered and the building empty. For more on Burton’s architecture see this article on the Newark Branch, and the National Archives has a good general history.
Burton, 16-17 High Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, 2014 • A classic Burton that’s still in use, albeit somewhat grimy and with inferior modern logo tacked on. The company’s founder Montague Burton (born Moshe Osinsky in Lithuania) had 333 shops by 1933, and all were elegant buildings which attempted to evoke a gentlemen’s club. Some even housed billiard halls or dancing schools, and all are still recognisable today – there’s a Flickr group here.
Burton, Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, circa 29 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • According to the article here the local council refused permission to demolish this frontage and made the developer take it down and rebuild it. I bet the ground floor facade was beautiful when intact – indeed, it may still be lurking beneath the boxy shopping centre entrance.
R. Jackson & Sons, 20 Slater Street, Liverpool, 2014 • Art materials shop that’s been at various premises in Slater Street since 1866. Looks like a newer sign got taken off; in fact the whole thing looks rather closed down, though the fact that they have a regularly-updated website suggests it’s still operational.
La Galerie Claude Sagny, 47 Kingston Road, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • That’s enough “new old” galleries, now for some “old old” ones. This retro frontage was later painted brown, with the name gone.
Margaretta Rickards (Arthouse Deli), 159a Tottenham Lane, Crouch End, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2014 • I thought this was a gallery when I photographed it, but it’s actually a food shop related to Crouch End’s Arthouse cinema – there’s an article about the transformation here. Nice windows!
Classic Magazines, 108 Baylis Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2014 • Revealed when my local Payless (aka Paymore) closed down, under onslaught from Tesco Metro.
The Tap & Die Co, 445 West Green Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2014 • Yikes – don’t tap that phone! According to the firm’s intricate website, they do indeed supply taps and dies (aka nut and screw manufacturing parts), and were founded in 1976.
Euro Sandwich Bar, 20a Swallow Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2004 & 2014 (bottom) • Much lamented classic caff from the days before Swallow Street housed champagne bars. Bottom pic shows it now: Euro’s greasy grills have been replaced by the grey grilles opposite Gaucho.
Sergios, 3 Eagle Place, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2003 • Classic caff next door to yesterday’s M. Landaw, and likewise gone. Wish I’d got a better pic, they had a great sign under the awning. Sadly, I was in a hurry… and mistakenly thought it would always be there.
M. Landaw, 5 Eagle Place, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2003 & 2014 (bottom) • Stylish alleyway newsagent looking straight out of Vienna. Not only has it disappeared, the entire lively row was later stripped of commerce and rebuilt as a barren, featureless space (bottom). There’s a 2008 photo of the whole alley pre-development on the Urban75 blog here.
Kosher King, 293 Hale Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • What a magnificent sign! Sadly it’s now minus crown and called, rather randomly, KosherNet – I guess they sell kosher stuff on the internet.
Kings Pharmacy, 104 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • It’s nice when a regal name has a suitably noble sign. Judging by the dual crowns and lack of apostrophe, this is owned by at least two kings. The pharmacy is still there, but now with a much more modest version of the logo.
The Emperor Stores, 48a Gloucester Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW7, 2005 • Not as regal looking as its wonderful name. It’s still there, but now with a (no more interesting) blue sign.
Empress Coaches, 3 Corbridge Crescent, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2012 • Long-lived business on the banks of the Regent Canal, complete with vintage Derv pumps and exuberant foliage. Founded 1923 and still in the same family, website here.
L&D Motorcycles, 179 Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • A forest of for sale signs on this old-time motorbike store. Fitting therefore that it became an estate agent, of which there were already far too many on this once-quaint Kennington corner.
J.R. Hobson & Co The Drinking Glass Centre, Nursery Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Founded 1870 initially as a brass foundry, Hobsons used to supply the pub trade with glasses and materials, but closed in 2009 due to floods and recession.There’s a history thread here to which the owner’s son contributes. The building was still there in 2012.
Mercury Discount, Cambridge Heath Appliances, 274-278 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2002 (top two) & 2006 • Beautiful signwiting, caught on its way out. Now a block of (doubtless expensive) flats.