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, […]
Victoria Care (UK) Limited, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Mysterious-looking training centre, with windows almost like an art installation.
The Barber Room, Steve’s Garage Ltd, 90-91 Plender Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • DIY signage meets groovy graffiti. By 2008 the whole block had been demolished and […]
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, 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Ice Cream Kiosk, Promenade, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, 2003 • Ah, the sunny south coast seaside (not).
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 […]
Maysun Market, 869 Finchley Road, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • Grimly green far east emporium.
Worthing & District TV, 147 Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Seaside signwriting with grocer’s apostrophe. The 1959-founded TV shop became Simpson Electrical, and Setyres is still there.
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.
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.
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 […]
Concourse Burger Bar, Concourse House, Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Hand-drawn mixed messages on Scouse burger bar. The entire building was demolished to build new offices some time after […]
Chattoo& Co Ltd, 176 Strand, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2003 & 2016 (bottom pic) • I always liked the specs door handle and blinds. Now closed down for redevelopment […]
Launderette, Lidlington Place, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • Grimly decorative washeteria.
Neal’s Corner Sandwich Shop, 1 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, Borough of Camden, London WC2, 2003 • Named after Neal Street, not a bloke called Neal. In fact, this entire corner […]
Poseidon, 102 High Road, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2 • I always like it when ancient gods are namechecked. By 2008 this had expanded into the next shop and […]
Roger of Finchley, 5 Fortis Green, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • Fnarr fnarr. By 2008 it was called The Retreat, which it still is.
JJ Williams, 168 Kings Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3, 2003 • Impressively large 3D zipper sign. The shop is still there and amazingly has the same lettering, but the zipper […]
Hotel Splendide, 25 Mornington Crescent, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • You couldn’t make this up. But in fact it was made up, because according to the Shady Old Lady […]
Sai News, 138 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • Nameless ex-newsie with painterly pink palimpsest wall and elegant stroller who looks like he’s posing for a cavalier […]
Dino’s Travel & Holidays, 11 Camden High Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • How times change – that bloke would be reading a phone today. Flyposting obliterates the name of this ex-Greek […]
Allworthy Bros, 13, 15 Camden High Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • “Money advanced on pictures, bronzes, violins &c &c” says this wonderful old pawnbroker’s sign above a Dickensian-looking yard […]
Cat & Cucumber Café, 182 Tower Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2003 • Nice name, wayward accent, grim rear aspect. Popular and still-extant greasy spoon once immortalised in […]
Giovanni’s Room Wine Bar, 42 Theobalds Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Faded 1970s chalet chic with name like a dodgy erotic novel – love the standalone door awning. I’ve already published its […]
Camden £1 Shop, 35 Camden High Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • Rush hour for £1 items, including toilettries and stationeries. Currently an ice cream-cum-phone shop.
Sunshine Cafe, 36 Hanway Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • Cheerful back alley jerk joint hindered by London downpour. Later became Vinyl Bar, and developers knocked the other side […]
Vassos Shoe Repairs, 47 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • Talk about waiting for the other shoe to drop; this was still there in 2015 but with right shoe gone, […]
Vinces Snack Bar, 61 Red Lion Street, City of Westminster, London WC1, 2003 • Genuinely classic cafe, just crying out for an apostrophe. Apparently the period formica interior was ripped out […]
The Take-Away Bar, 84 Southwark Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2003 • Old-fashioned name in a grim 1960s block just behind Tate Modern, dating from the era when it was a backwater power station. […]
Strand Station, Kingston Show, Photos, 171 Strand, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2003 • Despite the name this was actually Aldwych tube station, which closed for good in 1994. It’s often used for filming […]
Jimmy’s Cafe, 56 Townmead Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2003 • Traditional corner caff opposite a crumbling riverside warehouse, which both hung on (albeit closed down) until 2008 at […]
Sean Brennan Racing, 8 New Broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Stylishly symmetrical windows from the motherlode of superannuation that is Worthing. Creepy circus posters seem to denote closed businesses (circuses […]
Marks Cleaning, 15-16 New Broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Really not a great name for a cleaner, especially with no apostrophe. Later housed a photographer, then a chartered accountant.
Freshly Maid Cafe, 79 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 • Hot Nasty – yum. Last gasp of the retro-signaged Freshly Maid Cafe. This seemingly jinxed corner site has since been […]
Croft & Maitland, The Balti Express, 44 & 46 High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Every town needs its Profil sign, though it’s not there any more. Croft & Maitland […]
Englishman’s Castle, 9-17 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Purveyor of Surrey-style furnishings for over 50 years, and still there, albeit with updated logo. There’s a vid of the interior […]
W.E.H. Nunns Mens Wear, 16 Bridge Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • No-nonsense menswear emporium which looks like it had seen better days. Note classic lighted ‘ties’ sign inside. By 2009 it […]
Building Supplies Ltd, 49-51 High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Classic fleapit-era tiled retail unit sold for redevelopment around 2015. You can see it still open in 2014 here.
Alan’s, 61 High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Nice hand-made type for traditional florist. They have a website, but it says “Alan’s Florist Shop … is currently closed after many years […]
Clifford Shirt M’f’g. Co. Ltd., 37-43 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • ‘Royal’, what an evocative area code! This is my last Liverpool shopfront for now, in the red and green […]
The Cleveland, corner of Paradise Street and Price Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Next to the Seamen’s Dispensary (gone) and opposite the Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen (to be redeveloped), this functional boozer catered to a salty […]
Nameless 1882 shop, 15 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Completing the Cleveland Square triumvirate of Rober L’Pool Ltd and Hollinshead & Walker, this handsomely dilapidated Victorian building was in […]
Rober L’Pool Ltd, 14 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1, 2003 • A neighbour of of Hollinshead & Walker, with mysterious truncated name. Became stylish dog grooming parlour Dog One.
Hollinshead & Walker, Harry Haworth (Glassware) Ltd., 16-17 Cleveland Square, […]
Europleasure International Ltd, 2-8 Duke Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 and 2013 • A name, like The Lux Company, that’s straight out of James Bond. This was derelict for ages, and looked much the […]
Cafe, corner of Henry Street and Suffolk Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Wonky hand-lettering for this generic cafe, which was still a derelict corner in 2014, despite being almost in the city […]
San-San, 59 Lime Street, Liverpool, 2003 • My last example of neon from Liverpool Chinatown’s traditional restaurants – a breed that are slipping away, as they have done in London. This one […]
China City, 48 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Austere by Chinatown standards, but I like the plasticky faux marble. These days it has no neon, looks even more functional, […]
Chow’s House, 26 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Traditional neon welcome that was still the same in 2014, but there are no reviews on Tripadvisor so the restaurant has presumably closed down.
North Garden Restaurant, 30 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Liverpool’s Chinatown used to have decorative frontages with nice neon, but signage has got more functional over the years. This restaurant is still there, but the neon […]
The Nook, 7 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Blimey, there’s a light on in there. Once renowned as Britain’s only ‘Chinese’ pub (interesting memoir by a 1960s bartender here), this scary-looking boozer […]
Ma Bo, 16 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Legendary old-school restaurant in Liverpool’s Chinatown, which has been going over 40 years and still looks the same. It gets generally excellent reviews for […]
Nameless green Chinese shop, Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Attractive decaying paint job in lucky Chinese colours. Now a house.
Oriental Food Wholesale & Retail, 31 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I can’t find a 31 Nelson Street now, so maybe it got knocked down.
The Lux Company, 50 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Name redolent of a 1980s new romantic pop group and design redolent of a 1980s Time Out travel ad. The internet means […]
Donor Kebab House, 36 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • There’s something rather delicate about this sign, it looks more like a knitting shop. Now, I think, Hot Chillis halal […]
Miller Signs, 52 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I wonder if this business was behind some of the great signs in Liverpool, which can be seen either side. By 2008 it […]
David Pluck, The Blob Shop, 40 Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Pub beneath bookie beneath Yates’s Wine Lodge ghost sign, all still there. According to this Bad Pub Guide The Blob Shop […]
Society Brides, 35 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Girly dressings for squared 60s facade. Still there in 2015 with newer but broken sign. Clothes shop Greenwoods below (est 1860) […]
Lee’s Girls, 15-17a Ranelagh Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Is that a play on Les Girls? Sci-fi-sounding procedures in Cooper Black Italic. Still there minus Cooper Black.
The Puzzle, Connection Point, Silverberg Opticians, 30 Whitechapel, Liverpool L1, […]
Tutill-Nicol Ltd Jordan Woodrows, 1 Richmond Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Traditional stationers closed in 2009 after 130 years due to a massive rent increase (article here). Inside, it had […]
Open, 48-56 Church Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Tiny Elvis impersonator in front of grand clothes shop building, now a Primark.
Half Price Jewellers, 23 Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Brilliant psychedelic sign. Now a Ladbrokes betting shop.
Olan Mills, 18 Lord Street, Liverpool L2, 2003 • That’s Olan, not Alan on the vast old-school sign. Knocked down to make way for Liverpool One shopping quarter and is […]
A. E. Walsby Opticians, 48 Renshaw Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • A family chain which lasted until one of the third generation was convicted of defrauding the NHS. It was […]
Hair Express, Faces, 40 Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Forbidding temples of beauty. Hair Express still has a small wall sign present, but both it and Faces have gone, […]
Athena, 45 Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • More Lime Street neon; still there, but they removed the word ‘kebabs’ so there’s a gap in the middle.
Newroz, 57 Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Lime Street, despite being in the centre of Liverpool, is noted for being run down. However there are some shops that make an […]
Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant, 54 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • There used to be lots of nice old neon signage in Liverpool. This charming example is now totally gone, replaced […]
Las Vegas Amusements, 2-12 Bolton Street, Liverpool L3, 2003 • Glamorous neon signage (despite faded coins) on a utilitarian unit next to Lime Street Station. Now a minimart.
Richmond Hotel, 32 Williamson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Apparently there’s been a pub on this corner for over 200 years. This frilly incarnation is still there, but has been smartened up, and […]
Barratt House, 45 Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I can’t find any history on this – but apparently it refers to Barratts shoes (not Barratt the builders. Whatever its origins, it still exists, unlike Cousins […]
Lewis’s, 40 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool, 2003 and 2010 • Grubby city centre monolith, slated to become a Lidl, featuring an imposing male nude statue (apparently known locally as Dickie Lewis) by […]
ABC Cinema, corner of Lime Street and Elliot Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Right opposite Liverpool’s main train station, a grubby Grade 2 listed disused deco cinema built in 1931. It’s not […]
Futurist, Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 and 2010 • Famous Liverpool cinema from 1912 that’s been decaying since it closed in 1982 and is now in danger of destruction. Shown […]
Tate Gallery, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 • From the days before it was called simply Tate. The frontage is still the same except they’ve taken off the word ‘Gallery’. I […]
Greek Gods Taverna, 6 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2003 • Blimey. This became a branch of the famous trendy restaurant Polpo, itself a beautiful re-imagining of a […]
Ju-Ju’s Gift Shop, West Kiosk, Brighton Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Also called Ju-Ju’s Coconut Cabin. Probably named after someone called Julia, rather than the Nigerian faith. It became Coast Cafe […]
Lloyds TSB (Oxford Street), 32 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • Now for a bit of summer shopping grimness, and where better to start than Europe’s busiest shopping […]
26 Bedfordbury (Peter’s Gents Hairdressers), 26 Bedfordbury, City of Westminster, […]
Toys, Whitechapel Audio Time Ltd, 69 Whitechapel High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • A fine Toys sign, but Audio Time ran out of time. It’s now AB […]
Lifestyle, 19 South Street, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • South coast aspirations – I like the shaking hands. Now houses South Street Trading, a house clearance emporium (a thriving sector in […]
Rayner Opticians clock, above 57 New King’s Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW6, 2003 • Decaying timepiece still there, now above Harvey Jones Kitchens.
H. Samuel clock, Clerkenwell House, 4 West Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003 • Old H. Samuel clock still telling the time, on an 1878 building named after Clerkenwell in London, […]
10/10 Ten Out of Ten Barber, 7 Bell Street, City of Westminster, London NW1, 2003 • Eleven out of ten for the brilliant name. It’s still called that, but with a […]
Coin Wash, 1 Victoria Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • Cute launderette, which by 2008 was looking very sad, and is now a house.
Little News, 9 Little Turnstile, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Unfortunate choice of name for a newsagent, albeit based on the name of its ancient London alley. It’s still there, […]
B&L. Stevens and Roger’s Gents Barbers, 51 and 51a Walton Street, Walton-on-the-Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Charming little bike shop from the days before they got all hipster (and still the […]
L.W. Haggis, 171 Brighton Road, South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • What a brilliant name! Although it looks like someone chopped the bottom of their sign off. […]
Stitch & Sew, 11 New Broadway, Tarrring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Beautiful old-lady shop, complete with flotilla of knitted ducklings in the window. The opening times sign on […]
Cat Automotive Parts Express, 177-179 Brighton Road, South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • Maybe yesterday’s shock absorber sign belonged to this nearby auto business, successfully rocking the […]
Monroe Shock Absorbers Specialist, Newark Road (side of 173 Brighton Road), South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • I always like random old signs for no-nonsense things like […]
Woof Woof, 178a Kings Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3, 2003 • An Evening Standard article from 2002 calls it London’s most upmarket pet boutique, but it looks like it […]
Chelsea Methodist Church, 155a Kings Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3, 2003 • The only church with an entrance on Kings Road, and an attractive one it is. The […]
R. Soles, 109a Kings Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3, 2003 • Punning purveyor of cowboy boots to the already well-heeled, founded in 1975.