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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.

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

Francesco

Francesco, 35 High Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, 2018 • Superb mid-century Vitrolite shopfront, in classic pale green and black. The Gentlemen’s Hairdresser sign is in 1950s period lettering, while the […]
Francesco

Mercia News

Mercia News, 42 High Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, 2018 • Welcoming old-school newsie with window happily unobscured by cheap phone call posters. Mercia is an ancient name for the Midlands.
Mercia News

Rikki Lloyd

Rikki Lloyd, 39 High Street, Welshpool, Powys, Wales, 2017 • Gourmet meat purveyor with boyband name and abundant signage, that even explains which local farm’s lambs have ended up on […]
Rikki Lloyd

J.E. Bailey

J.E. Bailey, 67 Aston Street, Wem, Shropshire, 2017 • I started going to places in Shropshire just because of the weird names – Clun, Wem, New Invention (a real if […]
J.E. Bailey

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