Skip to content

About the blog

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.

Memel Shop

Memel Shop, 40 Dover Road, Folkestone, Kent, 2017 • I have no idea what a Memel shop is, but here is one. The definitions on Wikipedia don’t offer any clues […]
Memel Shop

Taylors Cleaners

Taylors Cleaners, 68 Herbert Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Interesting use of a 5-dot ellipsis. Now called Tailors & Cleaners, in a still-interesting road.
Taylors Cleaners

The Gladstone

The Gladstone, 1 Wilcox Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW8, 2004 • Minimalist logo, plastic Fosters roundel, and an illegible graffitied sign for ribs. Later got a slight refurb, but […]
The Gladstone

Tasty House

Tasty House, Bland House, 18 Vauxhall Street, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2017 • Tasty House in Bland House – wonder if it was a deliberate joke? Another minimal sign, […]
Tasty House

TR (Food Store)

Food Store, 22 Vauxhall Street, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2017 • Minimalist name with even more minimalist logo – I found out what the full name was by visiting […]
TR (Food Store)

Super Way Express

Super Way Express, 344 Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2017 • Vintage wooden frontage with intricate fretwork and leaded lights. It  has since had a clean-up.
Super Way Express

Café Central

Café Central, Quay Street, Bristol BS1, 2011, 2013, 2018 • Green-slate-tiled cafe at the base of a brutalist Bristol tower block. It later closed down, and the entire complex was […]
Café Central

Round Windows

Round Windows, 205 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 • Quirky urban dereliction, which was maybe an art studio. By 2018 it was a grey smart unit, with […]
Round Windows

Taste of China

Taste of China, 53 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2006 • Randomly spaced script for an old school Chinese takeaway. Amazingly it was still there in 2018 and […]
Taste of China

Leopold Cameras

Leopold Cameras, 17 Tavistock Place, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2002 • Final closure for an evocatively named old photographic shop. By 2018 it was King of Falafel.
Leopold Cameras

Gak Pro-Audio

Gak Pro-Audio, 76-82 North Road, Brighton, East Sussex, 2010 • Graffiti shutters by (or emulating) Eine for muso store GAK – which, if I’m not mistaken, is slang for cocaine. […]
Gak Pro-Audio

Froude and Hext

Froude and Hext, 83 Victoria Road, Swindon SN1, 2017 • Wonderful name for what was a much-loved model shop. It relaunched nearby as Spot-On Models – there’s a 2010 article […]
Froude and Hext

Happy Valley

Happy Valley, 209 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2006 • Seals in chef’s caps and Olde English lettering advertising a trad chippie with a Chinese restaurant name – talk about […]
Happy Valley

Club Cars

Club Cars, 78a North Street, Bristol BS3, 2017 • Radio cab offices rocking the 1970s men’s club look, and still hanging on in there despite Bristol’s adoption of Uber.
Club Cars

Wilko Services

Wilko Services, c.32 Ashton Road, Bristol BS3, 2017 • Attractive old school signage, with military tinge to the name – WILCO being radio code for Will Comply.
Wilko Services

Stan Butt Ltd

Stan Butt Ltd, 137 East Street, Bedminster, Bristol BS3, 2017 • So good they named it twice. According to this Flickr comment, meat wholesaler extraordinaire Stan Butt died a few […]
Stan Butt Ltd

Mr. Merchandise

Mr. Merchandise, 6 George Street, Hastings, East Sussex, 2014 • I only grabbed one shot of this charming old-school fan memorabilia shop in 2014, and when I got home I […]
Mr. Merchandise

Mr Videos

Mr Videos, New Cross Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE8, 2002 • Seems to specialise in films about men with guns (maybe Mrs Videos sells exclusively rom-coms). I think we […]
Mr Videos

Mr Bagel’s

Mr Bagel’s, White Post Lane, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2006 • Either inappropriate apostrophe use, or the property of Mister Bagel (discuss).
Mr Bagel’s

Mr Bongo

Mr Bongo, 44 Poland Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Long-departed record store, not to be confused with Um Bongo, that favourite beverage of the Congo. By 2017 […]
Mr Bongo

Mr. Biggs

Mr. Biggs, 77 Atlantic Road, Brixton, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2012 • Charming DIY / family portraits mash-up in deepest Brixton. Not sure what “From A Pinto A Anchor” […]
Mr. Biggs

Mr. Li’s

Mr. Li’s, 45-47 Springfield Road, Horsham, Surrey, 2003 • Intriguing hoarded and boarded upper windows (you can see a person’s arm through the open one). Still there, same curly-lettered sign, […]
Mr. Li’s

Mr. Snob (Sutton)

Mr. Snob (Sutton), 224 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • This branch has now gone, but there’s still one in Banstead, which I featured here. According to their website, the […]
Mr. Snob (Sutton)

Mr Wu

Mr Wu, 28 Wardour Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002, 2015, 2016 (top to bottom) • Ever-present fixture in Soho’s Chinatown – even the writing on their window been […]
Mr Wu

Mr. Ben

Mr. Ben, 128 East Street, Bristol BS3, 2017 • Logo looks to date from around the same time as the early 1970s kids’ TV series (which was spelled Mr Benn).
Mr. Ben

Victoria Tandoori

Victoria Tandoori, 318 Vauxhall Bridge Road, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • Grand yet gritty eaterie offering great signwriting and the “best curry in town”. By 2017 it was […]
Victoria Tandoori

Victoria Chemist

Victoria Chemist, 80-82 High Street, Banstead, Surrey, 2001 • Quite a fancy 1980s-style frontage for a chemist (and named after me, always a good thing). It’s still there, double the […]
Victoria Chemist

Victoria Mobile

Victoria Mobile, ex Victoria News, 19-20 Terminus Place, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2017 • Wiring fest in grand dilapidated building opposite Victoria Station, now being redeveloped.
Victoria Mobile

Victoria Jane

Victoria Jane, 54 North Street, Bristol BS3, 2017 • Shop named after me, as so many things are. I’m guessing from the mural that it’s a hairdresser.
Victoria Jane

Bob Carver’s

Bob Carver’s, Corporation Chambers, 9 Trinity House Lane, Hull HU1, 2017 • Famed Hull fish and chip emporium set in grand surroundings. The building is proudly titled Corporation Chambers – […]
Bob Carver’s

Redfort Furniture

Redfort Furniture, 111 Redchurch Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Nice Eine letter T, long since gone, although the shops were still boarded up ad graffiti-laden in […]
Redfort Furniture

Lucky Fish Bar

Lucky Fish Bar, 338 Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2015 • Superb old school frontage and name. In 2017 it was updated, but is still very traditional looking […]
Lucky Fish Bar

Hot Munchies

Hot Munchies, 30 Southwark Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2004, 2011, 2016 • Cheekily named arch cafe amidst sea of dirty viaduct tiles. Still there in 2018, as all […]
Hot Munchies

Wright’s Bar

Wright’s Bar, 5 Houghton Street, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2005 & 2015 • Classic 1960s-looking logo and finger sign, next to the London School of Economics. It’s shown below […]
Wright’s Bar

H’s Cafe

H’s Cafe, 82 Neptune Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2010 • Well-regarded backstreet greasy spoon with wonky hand made sign. Run by a bloke called H and his two […]
H’s Cafe

Dino’s Restaurant

Dino’s Restaurant, 1-3 Pelham Street, Borough od Kensington and Chelsea, London SW7, 2005 • Huge Italian caff that featured in the movie Repulsion. It used to dominate South Kensington, and […]
Dino’s Restaurant

Coronation Cafe

Coronation Cafe, 190 Coronation Road, Bristol BS3, 2011 & 2017 • Traditional caff that reinvented itself as a curry house – you can see it announcing the transformation in 2012 […]
Coronation Cafe

Tanyas, Fish Bar

Tanyas, Fish Bar, 39b Barnes High Street, Borough of Richmond upon Thames, London SW13, 2006 • Rogue comma alert (and the letter spacing is pretty wonky too). By 2012 they […]
Tanyas, Fish Bar

The Proud Potato

The Proud Potato, 182 Middlewood Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • 1970s-looking happy tattie, though it’s probably much more recent. Google shows it still there in 2016, the most recent […]
The Proud Potato

Silver Sea House

Silver Sea House, 62 Exeter Road, Exmouth, Devon, 2009 • Lovely name and sign on frontage obscured by red van (possibly owned by bloke waiting inside). It was unchanged by […]
Silver Sea House

Popular Cafe

Popular Cafe, 85 Lever Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2013 • Once popular, here closed down and up for sale. It was soon back in business as before (repainted, […]
Popular Cafe

Cafe Restaurant

Cafe Restaurant, 25 St Cross Street, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2001 • Wonderful old Italian caff shot with dreadful old digital camera – both long gone. According to a […]
Cafe Restaurant

Franklin Barnes

Franklin Barnes, Blueschool Street, Hereford, Herefordshire, 2017 • Profil font and stylized flower sculpture by Trevor Worton on an early 1960s store, now defunct. It was designed by architects Cecil Corey and Harry Bettington […]
Franklin Barnes

The Sign Shop

The Sign Shop, 392 Forest Road, Walthamstow, Borough of Waltham Forest, London E17, 2004 • Palimpsest of sign shop signage. By 2008 it had been turned into a house (2015, […]
The Sign Shop

B&B. Wines

B&B. Wines, 63 West Ham Lane, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • Grand and grubby pillars plus an extra full stop. By 2017 it was called Global Food […]
B&B. Wines

B&B Project Space

B&B Project Space, 14 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2017 • Curious little gallery with barely-visible Profil font logo. Presumably named after the possibly defunct B&B sign on the side door.
B&B Project Space

Full Measure (ex)

Full Measure (ex), 175 Cleveland Street, Hull HU8, 2017 • Humble dwelling with ghost tiles from an 1870s tavern called the Full Measure (latterly the White Room club), which according […]
Full Measure (ex)

Taylors Buttons

Taylors, 22 Cleveland Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2005 • Giant button sign for a bespoke button emporium. It is still there today (though not looking so quaint), offering […]
Taylors Buttons

M.E. Price

M.E. Price, 5 High Street, Knighton, Powys, Wales, 2017 • Old-school toy shop with a tobacco ghost sign and farmyard alarm clocks in the window. It’s clearly related to yesterday’s group […]
M.E. Price

W.E. Price

W.E. Price, 25-27 High Street, Knighton, Powys, Wales, 2017 • Charming cluster of blue-and-white homewares shops in the steep town centre.
W.E. Price

Robin G. Renée

Robin G. Renée, 300 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2002 • Another example of classic 1960s wood slat and script signage, plus leafy wrought iron door grille. It later became Dorking […]
Robin G. Renée

Rene Hair Fashions

Rene Hair Fashions, 111 Essex Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Classic 1960s weatherboard sign with 071 number. It disappeared soon after, and by 2017 the unit housed […]
Rene Hair Fashions