Thomas Brothers, 798-804 Holloway Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 and 2014 (bottom image) • Enormous and long-standing corner builders’ merchant with great 3D plastic lettering that just closed down (mid 2014).
De Marco, 37 Junction Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 • More superannuated Italy, in the eternally down-at-heel backwaters of Archway. It’s now estate agent Barstow Eves, so perhaps gentrification beckons.
New Piccadilly, 8 Denman Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • This Italian institution was so famous I thought plenty of other people would record it (and I was right – there’s a Flickr group here), so never got a decent shot of the outside, or even attempted the inside, which was an overwhelmingly retro yellow formica time capsule. Here it is in its latter days; it closed for redevelopment in 2007 and is unrecognisable now. According to the excellent article here, Lorenzo Marioni, the proprietor for 50 years, took away or destroyed all traces before retiring to Italy. I have to say, the few times I ate there, the food and coffee were terrible, they couldn’t even make a decent omelette. You can get the idea from the scrawled sign in the window offering “try our signature dish of jungli hot chicken curry & eggs with rice £6″.
Lina Stores Ltd., 18 Brewer Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Famous Italian food store, established 1944 and largely unchanged from the days when Soho was about the only place in England with such exotica. It’s still there now, but more upscale and with stripey blinds. There’s a photo of its earliest days on Lina’s website here.
Knight & Compy., 47 Fisherton Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 2007 • More art nouveau green tiles spared the chipper on this game mart-turned-charity shop, which by 2011 had become a vintage clothes store.
Masham Hotel, Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Once one of the town’s most popular pubs, this listed building became a failed shoe shop, then in 2013 was turned into a small business centre. There are fond memories here of its glory days (and those of the nearby Shakespeare); though the amusing reminiscences here suggest it was noted for violence.
The 3 Crowns, 8 East Road, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2013 • Nicely-tiled Shoreditch pub which appears to have been rescued by hipsters in mid-destruction. There’s a picture of how it looked before its ‘oldvamp’ here – it’s far nicer now. According to the pub’s website, ‘The 3 Crowns’ is the correct wording, though most sub-editors would disagree (and note cryptic new name sign, three badly-drawn crowns).
Kenilworth Castle, 104 St Anns Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London W11, 2002 • Unusual post-war council estate pub on the fringes of posh Holland Park. By 2012 it was painted blue and much more shabby, with its red prow fallen off. One disparaging reviewer described it in 2011 as “like something from The Sweeney”. More recently it’s been under new management and getting the thumbs up, albeit still “like going back in time 30-40 years ago”.
Sir Robert Peel, Krystals Express, 178 Bishopsgate, City of London, London EC2, 2004 • Something of an oddity – commemorative 1930s tiling on a circa 1900 pub named after the prime minister who invented the police. A pub no longer, it now houses a mini-mart and an accountant. There’s some history here and here.
Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2013 • Forbidding but fantastic pub built into Newcastle’s old town walls and perched high above the river Tyne, bracketed by two of the city’s spectacular bridges. Note tiled doorstep and interesting windows, my photos don’t do justice the quality of late afternoon light through these. May need to go back…
S. Sadler, 192 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2006 • Beautiful glass sign briefly revealed before being smothered by a tacky-looking Mexican joint, Loco Mojito.
Teamfern Ltd Chardonay, 75 Commercial Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Randomly-named ‘fashion’ outlet whose front is only marginally less gritty than its side. By 2012 it had been replaced by trendy pan-asian bites bar Momo’wich.
Simone, 12 Whitchurch Parade, Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • Ah, the sadness of suburbia. Google shows this as still there in 2012 – and indeed looking exactly the same, probably thanks to loyal residents of the area’s neat 1930s semis – but I doubt its future is long.
First Class Dry Cleaning, Beckenham Junction Station, Beckenham, Kent, 2010 • A power-dressing duo from David Bowie’s old stomping ground. Being mouthless, it’s apt they’re representing the rather faceless kiosk below. The ad was later updated with “modern” photo-people.
Economy, 82 St George’s Road, Brighton, East Sussex, 2010 • More mosaic, watched over by a weird disembodied burglar alarm eye (for more on which see my other blog, here). It’s just not a very inspiring name for a shop, is it? Established for over 40 years, the business continues online, having relocated to a business park.
Ladywell Supermarket, 111 Ladywell Road, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2011 • The ladies of Ladywell, patronising a rather tatty shop in a fadedly genteel area. The mosaic pillars may indicate a posher past, or maybe just an ex-takeaway. It later started sprouting the now-ubiquitous Lycamobile ads.
F.P. Turner & Sons (Five Star Nails), 31 Victoria Road, Surbiton, Surrey, 2014 • An old sign kept on from a jeweller’s, established 1825 (though not at this premises, where they’d been for 15 years). F.P. Turner’s final days can be seen on Google street view here, at which point they were receiving very unflattering reviews. There’s an article about their 2013 closure here.
Roy’s Furnishers, 147 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • More Peckham ruination: a superannuated sign somewhat at odds with the fashion emporium within. By 2012 it was boarded up.
Maestro Records, Mobiles Phone, 61 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Poignant collision of old and new tech divided by a fat conductor, in a typically ruinous Peckham building. Note the mysterious non-Latin script “CAY” surtitle, also found here. Unexpectedly, Maestro (actually a reggae outlet, despite the classical pretensions) lived on and appeared to prosper, while Mobiles Phone became the also-interestingly-named Salem Beauty.
Silver and Edgington, 18 Arwenack Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, 2010 • I caught Falmouth’s premier camping-cum-tailoring emporium just on its way out – wish I’d witnessed it in its tents-and-flags glory days (although maybe I did – I often visited Falmouth as a child). The sign’s black sobriety was soon replaced by the gaudy blobbiness of Kernow Toymaster.
Radway cinema, Radway Place, Sidmouth, Devon, 2013 • Modestly restrained deco cinema in the non-multi-screen bastion of Sidmouth. It opened in 1928 as a theatre, but has been showing films since the 1930s; there’s some history here.
Rolando’s Patisserie, 33 Tavistock Place, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2002 • Unrecognisable now, just a plain house – only the front door is the same.
That’s It, 44 High Road, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • Faded politesse and a mild yet fatalistic approach to dry cleaning in deepest North London. These old-style acrylic signs live longer than average on clothes-washing emporia; this was still there in 2012.
Rogers (Autocolor), Deptford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Deptford’s an interesting place. This old shop was still the same 10 years later, albeit with more crap inside.
Eric’s (Emm’s), 107 Leppings Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Strange mixture of old and new(ish) near Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground. Google street view shows a bunch of people sitting outside.
William High Class Confection, side of 212 Middlewood Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • That’s enough dodgy graffiti, here’s some wall art with a bit more staying power, having transitioned from high class confections to engine services in a tatty parking lot.