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London

The Regent

The Regent, 331 Regents Park Road, Finchley Central, Borough of Barnet, London N3, 2016 • Grand doorway somewhat let down by plastic canopy. Aptly, it’s flanked by a door shop. […]
The Regent

Roletta Ltd

Roletta Ltd, King Edward Hall, 335-337 Regents Park Road, Finchley Central, Borough of Barnet, London N3, 2016 • Rosy Art Nouveau transom lights in a rather Charles Rennie Mackintosh style, […]
Roletta Ltd

376

376, 376 Forest Road, Walthamstow, Borough of Waltham Forest, London E17, 2004 • Only the net curtains remain in this traditional green shop, which I’d guess was once a cafe. […]
376

M.J. Davies

M.J. Davies, 10 New King Street, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Stripey ghost sign for what may have been a dairy (they often had Welsh names). Looks […]
M.J. Davies

Market Sweet Stores

Market Sweet Stores, 22 Wilcox Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW8, 2004 • Ghost sign for a sweet shop revealed in a traditional Portuguese enclave near Vauxhall. Now Ourivesaria Portugal, a jeweller.
Market Sweet Stores

Tyres Tyres (FWR)

Tyres Tyres (FWR), 330 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • Unusual cross-shaped ghost sign for tyres, situated above motorcycle parts shop FWR. The sign had disappeared by 2008.
Tyres Tyres (FWR)

Green boarded shop

Green boarded shop, 294-292 Kennington Park Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • Boarded-up shop, a symphony in greens. Now Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, part of Kennington’s ever-growing nest of […]
Green boarded shop

Gray and Lowe

Gray and Lowe, 91 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Amazing giant sign with random letter spacing. Their “blog-site” says they’ve been going […]
Gray and Lowe

Vivian Patisserie

Vivian Patisserie, 62 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Its patisserie identity seems to predate the Chinese cafe within. Back in 2008 it was […]
Vivian Patisserie

Bransdon (CB News)

Bransdon (CB News), 86 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Identikit newsagent-cum-homeless shelter retaining ghost sign for a previous occupant; you can see […]
Bransdon (CB News)

Shepherd and Flock

Shepherd and Flock, 84 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Built 1869, a traditional Irish sports pub hanging on in an area popular with […]
Shepherd and Flock

W.G. Miller

W.G. Miller, 93-95 Essex Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2012 • The kind of funeral parlour that does horse-drawn hearses. This handsome black facade would have been traditional even when […]
W.G. Miller

Gio’s Kitchen

Gio’s Kitchen, 79 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2004 • The windows look like a Sarah Lucas artwork and the flag couldn’t save it. One of many short-lived cafes on this […]
Gio’s Kitchen

Giovanni’s Room

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 […]
Giovanni’s Room

Camden £1 Shop

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.
Camden £1 Shop

Camera Care

Camera Care, 20 Hanway Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2005 • The number’s so old it’s got a burglar alarm stuck over it. Part of a hippyish enclave behind Oxford Street […]
Camera Care

Sunshine Cafe

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 […]
Sunshine Cafe

Biman

Biman, 49 Counduit Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2016 • A Mayfair airline office that’s still there, with classic 1960s-style sign – they’ve even got the regulation model plane.
Biman

Gulf Air

Gulf Air, 10 Albemarle Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2004 • Another ex-airline office dating from the pre-mega-bling era of Mayfair. By 2015 this one was a Paul Smith menswear shop.
Gulf Air

Olympic Airways

Olympic Airways, 11 Conduit Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2015 • Current state of a once-proud airline office, with classic plastic logo. Here it is open in 2008. There used to […]
Olympic Airways

Cafe Olympic

Cafe Olympic, 156 The Grove, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • Pallid colours on their way out. It’s now Babylon Kebabs, but in 2014 you can see an […]
Cafe Olympic

Vinces Snack Bar

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 […]
Vinces Snack Bar

Sima Tandoori

Sima Tandoori, 295 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • I’d love to know what the statue and neon figures represent – Hindu deities or just people offering greetings? By 2008 all […]
Sima Tandoori

Yes Win No Fee

Yes Win No Fee, 451-3 North Circular Road, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Hard-to-parse name for a dispiriting modern service. The heavily armoured door is a relic of previous occupant National […]
Yes Win No Fee

Avis Windscreens

Avis Windscreens, 1 Creekside, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • DIY hand-painted gate on the garage which hosted (and covered up) yesterday’s old Medina sign. It is now Greenwich MOT Centre, with […]
Avis Windscreens

Medina

Medina, 1 Creekside, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A 1910s-looking typeface, advertising who knows what – but I’d guess auto related, as this is a long-standing garage site. […]
Medina

L. Lambert

L. Lambert, 23-25 Hoxton Street, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2002 (top), 2011 (bottom) • Ex-timber merchant with ‘JFB 1892’ etched into the concrete brackets. By 2002 it was closed down, […]
L. Lambert

Whirlpool

Whirlpool, 124 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Still there but with ‘modern’ logo, boo hoo.  
Whirlpool

Tikis Hairdressers

Tikis Hairdressers, 49 Old Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Wibbly hand-drawn sunbed text on local hair salon, next to yesterday’s Spotless cleaners. By 2015 it was […]
Tikis Hairdressers

Spotless

Spotless, 51 Old Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 (top), 2007 • Classic cleaner’s name in eccentric acrylic lettering. A year later it had a new look, although […]
Spotless

The Take-Away Bar

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. […]
The Take-Away Bar

Tasty Café

Tasty Café, 72 St John Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2013 • Surely the greatest generic name of them all. Features somewhat unenthusiastically on Classic Cafes, while Food Urchin describes […]
Tasty Café

Thames Electronics

Thames Electronics, 244 Battersea Bridge Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Imposing haven of now-obsolete tech which by 2012 had modernised into a computer repairer, but was closed by 2015.
Thames Electronics

R.M.V. Double Glazing

R.M.V. Double Glazing, 77/78 Frederick Place, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Ostensibly a fantastically grim and unpromising building, but there’s a bit of Edwardian lettering peeping through the […]
R.M.V. Double Glazing

Metro Test

Metro Test, 182 Hercules Road, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2006 • Beautiful hand-lettered sign (note alternating direction of shadows) on railway arch MOT centre, now demolished to create smart […]
Metro Test

The Silver Sixpence

The Silver Sixpence, 12 Catford Hill, Catford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE6, 2010 • Whimsical name for a ramshackle door-stripper that looks pieced together from scrap. By 2015 it was even more derelict.
The Silver Sixpence

J.J. Lyons

J.J. Lyons, 1a Central Parade, Western Avenue, Perivale, Borough of Ealing, London UB6, 2006 • Tradition amidst grime at the foot of a shabby walkway over a thundering trunk road. Now houses the unfortunately-named Isis hair […]
J.J. Lyons

Isats

Isats, 309 Gray’s Inn Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2015 • Decaying but still shiny black ‘Brilliant’-style Vitrolite cladding on what may once have been a smart shop, but now houses Isats, […]
Isats

Jimmy’s Cafe

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 […]
Jimmy’s Cafe

Posies

Posies, 1a Union Road,Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth,  London SW4, 2005 • Functional ex-florist; despite its pretty name, a clinical facade giving equal billing to weddings and funerals isn’t very enticing. Later became a hairdresser.
Posies

J.H. Pepperell (Zack)

J.H. Pepperell (Zack), 63 Great Titchfield Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2008 • Early example of hipsterish-vintage-sign-revelation (not sure of the technical term for that). It was still there […]
J.H. Pepperell (Zack)

L. Fern & Co.

L. Fern & Co., 27 Rathbone Place, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Oh, if only I had taken more than one snatched shot of this venerable coffee merchant, here sporting […]
L. Fern & Co.

Pink

Pink, 44 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2005 • In case you hadn’t guessed, the current mini-theme is … pink. This roseate boutique later became eau-de-nil eaterie Café del Marsh.
Pink

Little House

Little House, 545 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • A little pink house with 29 window panes and seven golden lights, though by 2008 they were tarnished and tumbling. […]
Little House

The Old Calcutta

The Old Calcutta, 64a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Old-school pink Indian; sadly this ornate style seems to have fallen from favour. It’s now the blank-faced Oval […]
The Old Calcutta

Rasa Samudra

Rasa Samudra, 5 Charlotte Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Bearing out a famous quote by Vogue fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who in 1962 stated “Pink is the navy blue […]
Rasa Samudra

C&W Global Ltd

C&W Global Ltd, 283 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2011 • Lovely pink baggage emporium with once-grand entrance, now bland white and hidden by massive plastic sign saying Angel Bags.
C&W Global Ltd

English West Indian

English West Indian, 227 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice old glass number, which is still there, though the business isn’t. The frontage is now green with net […]
English West Indian

Bank of Baroda

Bank of Baroda, 30B Commercial Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Functional bank facade with nice 1960s-style logo (bottom). By 2008 it had a plasticky new orange livery but […]
Bank of Baroda

Frankle Trimmings

Frankle Trimmings, 281-285 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Art deco cinema, now a trimmings emporium. Apparently it was renovated 2005, maybe just before I […]
Frankle Trimmings

The Commons

The Commons, 59 Plumstead Common Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Grim-looking club whose name is a play on its politics and position – the local Conservative association and Plumstead Common, […]
The Commons

Deeplex

Deeplex, 21 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice name in giant Cooper Black Italic – a great font. It’s still there but with a duller logo.
Deeplex

Family Butchers

Family Butchers & Grocers, 99 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Same sign writer as yesterday’s Adam, surely. Still there but with more boring sign.   […]
Family Butchers

Adam Fashions

Adam Fashions, 81 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice bit of signwriting for a Biblical name. It’s now Just 4 U grocer, whose next door neighbour AZ Halal […]
Adam Fashions

Spencer’s Shoes

Spencer’s Shoes, 99 Peckham High Street, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Wish I’d caught this 1960s throwback while it was still open. It’s now Bilex Money Transfer, and […]
Spencer’s Shoes

Unity Shop

Unity Shop, 2 Atwell Road, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Elegantly-pillared charity shop lookalike selling ‘georges & Swiss voile laces’ – ‘georges’ being presumably georgette. Now gone.
Unity Shop

Personal Jesus

Personal Jesus sign, outside Shoreditch Grind, 213 Old Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2013 • Sign outside trendy coffee shop Shorditch Grind at London’s grotty mini tech hub, Old Street Roundabout.
Personal Jesus

More Blessing

More Blessing, 8 Cobb Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Interestingly, Moreblessing can be a person’s name in Africa – there’s a list of similar unusual names (eg […]
More Blessing

Greek Gods Taverna

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 […]
Greek Gods Taverna

Julia’s Emporium

Julia’s Emporium, circa 10 Islington Green, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Sadly Islington Green’s too expensive for Tarot reading shops now. It’s totally disappeared – I think it’s the […]
Julia’s Emporium

Religion

Religion, 154 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2011 • The glazed green tiles suggest this was once a food business, or maybe a pub. It’s apt name for Brick Lane – across […]
Religion