W.J. Fox & Sons, 37 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Battered tobacconist with ghost sign saying “Established 1863” and a deep arcade entrance. A contemporary gallery later moved in and […]
Imperial Pharmacy, 4 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Grand drugstore in an 1804 Georgian bath house; a niche housing the chalybeate (iron-rich) spring that gave the town its […]
Zoe’s Gobble & Go, Westgate Terrace, Folkestone, Kent, 2002 • Immobilised mobile snack bar with less-than-enticing name. I found it somewhere round here.
Terry Discount Store, 51 High Street, Gravesend, Kent, 2015 • Large budget emporium offering “Most Products, Less And Bargain Price”. Who could ask for more?
Video Scene, 33 Station Road, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 2006 • Love the random word spacing on this. I’m not saying Birchington’s old-fashioned, but it probably does still have a video scene.
Floorcraft, 20a Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • DIY sign-painting meets mini-grandeur. Now houses Oxford Street Books.
Kam Garden, 14 Bouverie Road West, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Sweet green Chinese-style rooflet which stayed even after it went Indian as Copper and Spices.
Pizza King, 115 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Incongruous in its grand portal despite the regal name. Now called Master Kebab.
Jan & Charlie’s, 59 Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • End of days for an old-school fishmonger. Ironically it looks more old-fashioned these days, as Frizbee clothing; the entire frontage […]
Famous Amusements Emporium (JG’s), 3-9 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Classic neon ghost sign on what was once the street’s oldest boot and shoe shop – there’s a photo of that here. By […]
Kat-Man-Do, 2 South Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Weirdly-named ex-pub/club which has since been knocked down and replaced with flats.
Best Wishes, 13 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Ex-gift shop, now ex-charity shop, whose ghost sign has – like yesterday’s shop – a rather Edwardian feel. Note crowns on door handle […]
Nameless chinoiserie shop, 29 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • This has a look of Edwardian chinoiserie about it, so I prefer to think it’s an ex-gown shop rather than a […]
Stuarts, 75 High Street Whitstable, Kent, 2002 (top) and 85 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent 2004 (bottom) • Flowery plastic branding carried all the way through their decor. The Whitstable branch […]
Nanny Janet’s, 22 Milton Road, Gravesend, Kent, 2015 • Unusual family-based name for a burger bar.
Hel’s Kitchen, Anchor Bay Industrial Estate, Manor Road, Erith, Kent, 2014 • Surely all food is hot in Hell? (Although it’s not that hellish, it’s got a food hygiene rating of […]
Worlds Stores (Richmond House), 18 High Street, Gravesend, Kent, 2015 • Tiled ghost sign for a pre-supermarket chain of grocers. There’s an informative thread on Kent History here including a recentish […]
Glenn’s Barbers, 9 St John’s Road, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Great DIY lettering on this traditional red-and-white barber. It was still the same in 2014, except the decaying cafe sign […]
Southern Video, 41 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Red Profil on pink fascia, what a colourful shop. Last spotted in 2009 with blue Profil on yellow.
Aslamtex, 24 High Street, Gravesend, Kent, 2015 • Another unusual name, writ extremely large – presumably the owner is called Aslam. Looks like there’s a big demand for shopping trolleys in […]
John Chawner, 36 Station Approach, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 2006 • Essence of sleepy southeast summer afternoon, featuring a clock mender whose own clock has simply given up. Google shows the shop as still […]
Fatal Attraction Bridal Centre, 171 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Interesting name for a bridal shop. Didn’t the film Fatal Attraction feature bunny boiling? By 2009 the premises had […]
Nimbus Lighting, 144 High Sfreet, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • Discotastic logo.
Capon’s of Rochester, 177 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • I got to Rochester too late to catch this venerable butcher, est 1944. There’s a bit more info on the […]
Repairwise, 322 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • I always enjoy a bunker-like facade.
Spemco Manufacturing Ltd (Intra), 337-341 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • Defunct electrical products company behind a zigzaggy deco frontage. Intra is an arts venue and studio complex that now occupies the premises.
The Pantiles News, 66 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Now for a few days featuring newsagents, a dwindling resource I find fascinating for the way they sum up an […]
Days Garage, 6 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Established 1919, still there, and they’ve kept the charming wooden telephone sign.
The Cat Basket Rhodes Minnis Cat Sanctuary Shop, 16a Cheriton Place, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • All cat charity shops should be required by law to have net curtains like this […]
Vye & Son, side of 67 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Must have been hidden behind two smaller signs. Looks 1950s to me, so they’d presumably been going since […]
Pound Stop, 32 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Genteel pound shop with DIY logo that looks like a dollar sign. It later moved (with same sign) a bit further […]
Stevens Music Stores, side of 170 Mortimer Street (seen from Cavendish Road), Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • A ghost sign of indeterminate age, as seen from the side entrance of yesterday’s now-demolished Servowarm. On the side of […]
Servowarm (East Kent) Ltd, 174 Mortimer Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Modest unit taking the decorative Dutch gable to bonkers heights; even the side entrance (below) boasts a curved pediment. Sadly […]
Ridout & Son Printing Works, 4 Charles Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Old printer’s with nice typography fitted into the angled roofline. It later became authentically converted back into a house, which retained the ghost […]
S.N.H. Trade Centre, 7 The Store, Albion Road, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 2006 • A subtly asymmetric roofline on what is presumably an old grain or hop store. It’s a long structure with attractive chequered brickwork on the […]
G.H. Theobald, 99 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2003 • Just a nice old bit of signwriting. The shop’s still there but called Jim’s Family Butchers, with a cute “new-old-style” sign.
Burton, Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, circa 29 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • According to the article here the local council refused permission to demolish this frontage and made the developer take […]
Picart Gallery, 27 The Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Spotted during Folkestone’s first art Triennial, when the town seemed to have a programme of revealing the original signs […]
Margot Gowns, 4 William Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Essence of seaside town, a symphony in pink. Google street view shows it looking just the same in 2009, except […]
The Pleasant Gent’s Hairdresser, 33 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • More fading pleasantry in Tunbridge Wells.
Pleasant Sandwich Bar, 7 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Seems like an underwhelming taste offer, but it’s actually the name of the road.
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. […]
Nasons, 47 High Street, Canterbury, Kent, 2013 • More slab serif lettering on another old independent department store.
Lyons Complete Outfitters, 32 High Street, Lydd, Kent, 2007 • Big old traditional outfitters in tiny Romney Marsh town.
J. W. Eve & Son, 14 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Not merely a butcher, but a purveyor of meat. Disappeared around 2006, and later housed a fancy […]
Dreamland, Marine Terrace, Margate, Kent, 2014 • I couldn’t leave Margate without photographing this famed old amusement park, which was nearly destroyed by arson in 2008. It’s currently shuttered, but is […]
Thanet Times, Vera’s Kitchen, 11 Broad Street, Margate, Kent, 2014 • A striking old ghost sign on an ex-newspaper office, which features on the Ghostsigns calendar here. The building dates from 1760, […]
Marina Cafe, 24 Marine Drive, Margate, Kent, 2014 • Every seaside town needs a Marina Cafe. The orange lighting is courtesy of Margate’s beautiful sunsets (as better immortalised by one-time local […]
Panay Fashions, 9 Marine Gardens, Margate, Kent, 2014 • Somewhat less romantic than the last two Margate fashion emporia, but I like the 1970s lettering, and the way the door window […]
T.W. Stigant, 24 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2014 • One-time hosier next door to yesterday’s breeches maker, also with original sign revealed. There’s a bit more historical info here.
H.B. Smith, 28-30 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2014 • This used to be the dowdy Ye Old Town Launderette (featured here), but now has the original “Tailor and Breeches Maker” sign […]
F.L. Pettman Ltd. Depository, 52 Athelstan Road, Margate, Kent, 2014 • Now for a week of finds from Margate, a once-wealthy town which still has many interesting buildings, such as this grand […]
Parkers, 13 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • None of those namby-pamby filter tips for the salty seadogs of Folkestone. The gallery next door shows which way the wind was blowing; […]
Cocketts Corner (Wahab Balti), 33 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • A more modest sponsored corner than yesterday’s, named for Cocketts Matresses, founded 1928 and sited opposite. The Cocketts sign […]
Boots (Pret A Manger), 7 Parade, Canterbury, Kent 2013 • Yet another parade of boots – this time, evidence of an earlier occupant of this ancient-looking building.
Chainstore Massacre, 152 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Closed for crimes against fashion, perhaps. Appropriately, the burglar alarm has a picture of a judge on it. Later became a […]
The Prince Albert Hotel, 27-29 Rendezvous Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2011 • This beautifully tiled rendezvous has had several looks, including an incongruous 1970s one – there’s a history here.
Wing Wah Fish Bar, 174 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • I always like a name that rhymes. In a decisive change of national identity, this later became the Britannia […]
Sheila’s Aladins Cave & Wool Shop, 181 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Two target customers bypassing a mis-spelled, yellow-filmed knitting shop channelling spirit of 1970s granny, as faded seaside […]
Hop Kweng, 1 Majestic Parade, Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Superb decorative facade more redolent of a 1960s New Town such as Crawley than a genteel seaside shopping parade. I […]
Cigarettes Confectionery Tobacco, 6 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2002 • Old sign briefly revealed during redevelopment into flats – you’d never know there’d been a shop there now.
Ye Olde Town Launderette, 28-30 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2012 • Yeah, I’ll go to the launderette in the new town, thanks.
Dilnot’s Bakers & Confectioners, 77 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • This looks like it should be a permanent fixture, but became a jewellers. What looks like an ex-Hovis sign, top […]
Alan R Long, 19 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Traditional butcher’s which is still there. Looks like they take the red-and-white awning in every night.
Shad Restaurant, 8 William Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Mmmm, welcoming. Actually a substantial Indian restaurant round the front, and still there: Shad means tasty.