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Welcome to Shopfront Elegy, which has a new image added every other day. Menus are at the bottom; click on a tag – net curtains, arches or whatever – and you’ll get a grid of images on that topic. To see all places and years covered, use the drop-down category menu. Click any image for the full post plus comments etc.

Bunner

Bunner, Arthur Street, Montgomery, Powys, Wales, 2017 • Edwardian-fronted traditional ironmongers founded in 1892 and still run by the same family. Still a well-used local store, it’s jam-packed and museum-like […]
Bunner

Tool Lodge

Tool Lodge, 71 Westbourne Grove, City of Westminster, London W2, 2017 • Sounds (and looks) like an ironic 1970s throwback hipster bar but is actually a genuine 1970s throwback hardware […]
Tool Lodge

Peace Mini-Market

Peace Mini-Market, 17 & 19-21 Leytonstone Road, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • Love the name and teetering stacks of pans. It’s next door to yesterday’s fancy-fonted builder’s merchant, […]
Peace Mini-Market

Silk Cut

Silk Cut, 41 Dorset Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW8, 2018 • Brief ghost sign revelation for a once-lavishly advertised cigarette brand, on a backstreet shop that was previously Leena […]
Silk Cut

Sidolis Buttery

Sidolis Buttery, 21 Store Street, City of Westminster, London WC1, 2002 • ‘Buttery’, that’s a cafe synonym you don’t often see. Classic Cafes says it was later renamed Lino’s, which […]
Sidolis Buttery

Robert Forsythe

Robert Forsythe, 54 Wardour Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2017 • Brief revelation of a stunning art deco ghost sign for a theatrical tailor. The premises had previously been […]
Robert Forsythe

Top Stitch

Top Stitch, 92 St James’s Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • Dated by its giant landline phone logo, and a nice step too (bottom pic). Amazingly, by 2017 it was […]
Top Stitch

Take Cover (W2)

Take Cover, 376 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • Giant plastic curtain sign with accompanying essay. Possibly a relative of yesterday’s Take Cover, which was just round […]
Take Cover (W2)

Take Cover (NW8)

Take Cover, 142 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • Faded bed painting meets saggy awning, not a great advert for its services. By 2016 it had long […]
Take Cover (NW8)

Suede Services

Suede Services, 18 Hoop Lane, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • 3D orange slab serif lettering – who could ask for more? It’s on the shop’s tiny […]
Suede Services

Blustons

Blustons, 213 Kentish Town Road, Borough of Camden, London NW5, 2015 • Art deco stunner opened in 1932 and closed down after 85 years of trading in April 2015. Sadly […]
Blustons

F.W. Holroyd

F.W. Holroyd, 9-11 George Street, Merchant City, Glasgow G1, 2012 • Dilapidated art gallery round the corner from yesterday’s demolished block. This was still there in 2017 and even tattier.
F.W. Holroyd

Loudon Upholstery

Loudon Upholstery, Circa 15 George Street, Merchant City, Glasgow G1, 2012 • Colourful dereliction in the city centre, in a row that was demolished circa 2014. There was a ghost […]
Loudon Upholstery

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Osnabruck Square, Albert Rd, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Coffee kiosk established in 1960 and named, bizarrely, after an 19th Century anti-slavery novel. Still there, despite rumours in […]
Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Station Cars

Station Cars, Station Road North, Merstham, Surrey, 2001 • Taxi rank or murder hut? Hard to tell, because the windows are blocked with taxi parts. Demolished sometime after 2008.
Station Cars

Medcalf

Medcalf, 40 Exmouth Market, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2003 • Traditional butcher in the process of being turned into a trendy eaterie, which kept the name and signage. That […]
Medcalf

GMT Cafe

GMT Cafe, 38 Woolwich Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • Classic greasy spoon named after Greenwich Mean Time, which originates nearby. (Note also the naive cheery chef signboard, […]
GMT Cafe

Millennium Pizza

Millennium Pizza, 119 Woolwich Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • That jellyfish in its 2000 logo is in fact the nearby Millennium Dome (as the O2 was once […]
Millennium Pizza

Millennium Flowers

Millennium Flowers, 45 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Ghost sign for booze meets soon-to-be-dated blooms. There’s a bit of info about the old pub here, […]
Millennium Flowers

Task 2000

Task 2000, 152 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Strange name for a clothes sweatshop – and one bound to date, despite the vast confident […]
Task 2000

Riddicks, Racks

Riddicks (and Racks), 22 Fowler Street, South Shields, South Tyneside NE33, 2013 • Grand local shoe shop founded in 1893, closed in 2014 – just one of several imposing premises in […]
Riddicks, Racks

Post Office S.S.

Post Office S.S., 8 Woolwich Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2004 • Mars Bars and bright graffiti couldn’t save it; postal duties had ceased by 2012 and it is […]
Post Office S.S.

Post Shop

Post Shop, 115a Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Not the most reassuring-looking of post offices. It’s now been closed for a very long time and […]
Post Shop

The Egg Shop

The Egg Shop, 49 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Long-standing egg emporium with far-flung full stop, probably lettered by yesterday’s sign painter. It finally disappeared […]
The Egg Shop

J.C. Smith

J.C. Smith, 63 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2003 • Beautiful hand lettered sign matched by calligraphic graffiti tag. The sign was still there in 2017, but […]
J.C. Smith

Shepherd

Shepherd, Betterton Street, Covent Garden, Borough of Camden, London WC2, 2002 • No parking because there’s a load of sheep behind the door, perhaps. By 2017 it had become the […]
Shepherd

Swedish Strip

Swedish Strip, 24 Brewer Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Not a pine emporium but a peep show, now a dying genre in Soho. By 2017 it […]
Swedish Strip

Wash Spin Dry

Wash Spin Dry, 207 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 • Open very late with 60s styling. It still looked much the same in 2017, though renamed Hi […]
Wash Spin Dry

Welcome Shoes

Welcome Shoes, 89 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Price range £2 to £5, very welcome. Nevertheless by 2017 it had become Adebayo beauty salon.
Welcome Shoes

Brighton Foam

Brighton Foam (The Red Lion), Vine Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • Just what you need at the seaside, a foam shop. It soon got the chop and by 2017 […]
Brighton Foam

South Bank Cards

South Bank Cards, 85 Lower Marsh. Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2002, 2015 • Colourful street market card shop (green in 2002 and blue in 2015, bottom). By 2017 it […]
South Bank Cards

Cardshops

Cardshops, 43 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001, 2003 • Shabby souvenir shop in prime West End, pictured in 2001 and 2003 (bottom). By 2017 it had become […]
Cardshops

Sucklings

Sucklings, 15 Park Road, Norbiton, Borough of Kingston upon Thames, London KT2, 2002 • Best name ever, albeit more suited to a butcher than a baker. Even better, they had […]
Sucklings

Happy Swan

Happy Swan, 39 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Borough of Croydon, London, 2001 • Classic plastic sign and festive plant hierarchy in window. Still exactly the same in 2017 (minus Christmas […]
Happy Swan

Shortlands

Shortlands, 34 High Street, Banstead, Surrey, 2001 • Old-school shoe shop rationing the Christmas lights. Still exists 2017, and also has a branch in Cobham. The 1970s logo has been “modernised” […]
Shortlands

Marcel

Marcel, 31 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Borough of Croydon, London CR5, 2001 • Plucky festive cheer within peeling facade. Looks like a restaurant but, as its name suggests, is a […]
Marcel

Taylor’s

Taylor’s, 21 High Street, Merstham, Surrey, 2001 • Industrial festive cheer, part 2. This is a removals and storage business, which is still there.
Taylor’s

Ernest Larner

Ernest Larner & Son Ltd, 117 Falcon Road, Battersea, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Got more run down, then was taken over by funeral group Dignity. They kept […]
Ernest Larner

House of Antoine

House of Antoine, 89 Kingsland High Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2002 • I don’t know why, there was just something faintly disturbing about these child models.
House of Antoine

S.H. Bargains

S.H. Bargains, 2a Brookmill Road, Deptford, Borough of Greenwich, London SE8, 2002 • Nice sign writing, shame about the spelling. Became a hairdresser called Trio Style (2016), while the area […]
S.H. Bargains

Cyclone

Cyclone, 6-8 Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • Not entirely convincing attempt at replicating a Greek temple. Later became a sports bar called Trilogy.
Cyclone

Dallas

Dallas, 52 Battersea Park Road, Battersea, Borough of Wandsworth, LondonSW11, 2002 • Blue walker.
Dallas

Silvertown Motel

Silvertown Motel, 1-3 Silvertown Way, Canning Town, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • It looked even more depressing before they painted it blue. Long since knocked down and replace […]
Silvertown Motel

Lahoree House

Lahoree House, Victoria House, 7 Wilton Road, Victoria, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • Slice of grungy old London in a historic head-lined building outside Victoria Station, now undergoing […]
Lahoree House

Lazy Days

Lazy Days, Mare Street, London Fields, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2003 • “Anything brought and sold”, and an almost aggressive approach to the grocer’s apostrophe. As an added touch […]
Lazy Days

Spar (Battersea)

Spar (Battersea), 23-27 Falcon Road, Battersea, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Part of a large black marble art deco block, possibly an ex-Burtons. Later became a Tesco Express.
Spar (Battersea)

Peter Dicker

Peter Dicker, 3 Alma Parade, 108 Chaldon Road, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Final closure for a trad green greengrocer which, along with neighbour Avery Butcher, got replaced by a beauty […]
Peter Dicker

ST Signs

ST Signs, 294 Grays Inn Road, Clerkenwell, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2002 • Wonderful old school sign shop offering light boxes, neon, window etching etc. By 2012 half had […]
ST Signs

Nina’s Gifts

Nina’s Gifts, Marine Parade, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Rocking the Soviet kiosk look. It’s been suggested to me that this caravan-like affair is an ex-RAC edifice.
Nina’s Gifts

Secondhand Racers

Secondhand Racers, 231 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2003 • Apparently that’s a Triumph Vitesse. By 2016 the building was not so colourful, and selling used taxi tyres.
Secondhand Racers

Flakes

Flakes Catering, 46 Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Old geezer meets trad signwriting. Later became a Labour party office.
Flakes

Eisenegger

Eisenegger, The Plaza, 120 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Outlet that was permanently “closing down”, and eventually did. With hindsight, the ISIS posters don’t read too […]
Eisenegger

Alfies Antique Market

Alfies Antique Market, 13-25 Church St, Marylebone, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • Old-fashioned haven of modernist lampshades and the like. Been there 40 years, “London’s Largest Indoor Market […]
Alfies Antique Market

Balti Raj

Balti Raj, 142 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Ah, the colourful confusion of London. By 2016 was the trendier-sounding Rusty Bike Kitchen.
Balti Raj

Creations

Creations, Turnham Green Terrace, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2002 • There’s what looks like a Gouda cheese and half an old office chair balancing on the road sign – […]
Creations

Brodt Chemist

Brodt Chemist, 30 Coombe Road, Norbiton, Borough of Kingston upon Thames, London KT2, 2002 • Closed-down pharmacy with old-school vending machine and Profil font on its empty shelving. By 2016 […]
Brodt Chemist

Star Furnishing

Star Furnishing, 165-175 Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Mid-century signage on a vast furniture emporium that wouldn’t quite fit in my 2002 digital camera’s lens. […]
Star Furnishing

Avery Butchers

Avery Butchers, Peter Dicker, 2-3 Alma Parade, 106-108 Chaldon Road, Caterham, Surrey CR3, 2001 • A shop Local campaign that clearly failed. Both parts (Avery at left & Dicker at […]
Avery Butchers

A. Simmonds

A. Simmonds, 94 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Chain of Kent jewellers with an attractive Edwardian style of logo that predates their founding around 40 years ago.
A. Simmonds

Alandra

Alandra, 143 Shoreditch High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2002 • Alandra – nice name for a grim-looking jewellery wholesaler, but it’s not there any more. By 2016 […]
Alandra

Adana

Adana, 162 Grays Inn Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2001 (top two images) & 2013. Beautiful art deco glass sign for Adana, a make of printer. It was retained […]
Adana

Sea Spray

Sea Spray, 18 High Street, St Margarets Buildings, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Classic seaside caff facade with deck chair fabric awnings and lone Scottie dog tile. In business for 67 years […]
Sea Spray

Stockdales

Stockdales, 403 Stratford High Street, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • Remnants of a classic Vitrolite frontage, founded 1867. By 2016 was Dar Marrakech, a Moroccan restaurant.
Stockdales