Continental Blue Film & Video Club, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 1983 • Old enough to look quaint, despite the subject matter. I’d like to know which road this was […]
D. Morgan & Son’s, 173 Manor Place, Kennington, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2001 • Dairy with greengrocer’s apostrophe (unless there really was just one son), from a parade now behind […]
Dave’s Diner, 60 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Strange how evocative these generic Pepsi-branded cafes now look. Later became Con Amore, an Italian restaurant.
E.T. Baker, 76 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2003 • Mysterious, long-lasting facade with a beautiful “Brilliant” glass-and-gold sign (see detail).
Eddy’s Cars, 18 Mitcham Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2001 & 2002 • A fantastially ramshackle office with classic signwriting: note tiny afterthought apostrophe in name. Shown operational in 2001 […]
Euston Bookshop, 40 Eversholt Street, Euston, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2002 • The kind of bookshop that needs its windows blacked out. By 2012 was signed “To Let”, perhaps a […]
Go Gay, 819 Fulham Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Yes, Go Gay dry cleaners was a chain. This one is now called Blue Sky Cleaning.
Go Gay, 120 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Fantastical sign for fantastical name, which lasted until 2012, amazingly.
Jack Hall, 150 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Charming old dining rooms, with “Brilliant” brand glass sign. Now houses a gallery of some kind, retaining the […]
Phil Rabin’s Nosh Bar, 39 Great Windmill Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 1983 • One of Great Windmill Street’s three legendary salt beef bars, all long gone: Phil Rabin’s […]
W.G. Sullivan Bespoke Tailor, 181 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • First the letters fell off, as they tend to in Caledonian Road; and then it […]
A. Smith, 122 Southwark Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Venerable funeral parlour demolished circa 2007 and replaced with flats and offices; this corner is unrecognisable now.
Club Gear, 40 East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Aaaw, he’s gone there looking for his club gear and it’s closed down!
Liqueur Store, 32 Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • A nice conceit – but I wonder if they meant Liquor Store?
The Tea Hut, Surrey Row, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Ramshackle snack kiosk allegedly dating back to the 1940s but demolished circa 2008 to make way for apartments.
Uncle Jim’s Off Licence, Uncle Jim’s Launderette, 208 & 208a […]
Top Joe’s, 4 Arlington Parade, Brixton Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2001 • Huge boasty bonkers sign whose stripy wall and backwards apostrophe brightened Brixton for decades – but no […]
Terminus Snack Bar, 18 Terminus Place, Victoria Station, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • A newer Terminus than yesterday’s, but the sign’s equally defunct and the whole 1970s-throwback parade is […]
The Terminus. (aka Eastern Promise), 38 Greenwich Church Street, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • Old glass sign briefly revealed (and probably still lurking there) by Eastern Promise cafe replacing […]
Wimpy Bar, 117 Kingsway, Holborn, Borough of Camden, London WC2, 2003 • And here’s a Wimpy Bar photographed 20 years after yesterday’s. Note faded interior shot in window (see detail, below).
Wimpy, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 1983 • Gloomy-looking punters, from the days when there were still more Wimpy Bars than McDonalds.
Tea Coffee Hot Soup, unknown cafe, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 1983 • In cartons to take away – how modern. Whatever this caff was, it won’t be there now.
Beddy Buyz Ltd, 197-199 East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • It might look like a closed-down ruin, but it’s still going strong. Note tiny “snores” emerging from the […]
L A Aildail Ltd., 199 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2007 • Top fashion! Being knocked down/redeveloped, unsurprisingly.
New Millennium (W.F. Mawer), 332 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • And which millennium is that, precisely?
Gardner & Finch, 70 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2012 • Quali y Butch r – a classic old frontage at the letters-falling-off stage. By 2017 it still looked […]
J.B. Shakespeare Ltd, 67 George Street, East Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR0, 2010 • Another funeral parlour with a Dickensian (if not Shakespearean) name, established in 1877.
A.W. Luck & Sons, 3 Church Lane, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • Yes, it’s a funeral parlour. And it’s still there.
Sunshine, 5 Crown Parade, Crown Dale, Streatham, Borough of Lambeth, London SE19, 2002 • The wrong kind of sunshine.
A. & I. Lask, 60a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • From a stretch of road that was home to loads of ancient-looking shops, now nearly all gone.
Bojacs Club, 38 Goodge Street, Borough of Camden, London W1, 2002 • Watneys Red Barrel! Cobwebs! An old members’ club sign on – bizarrely – a doormat, revealed by a refurb.
Nicholas Johns, 281 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London, SE16, 2002 • Oddly beautiful, in all its fairy-lit ruined pinkness. Was reborn as the lurid-sounding Curry Den, with tiny mosaics […]
Bespoke Windows, Great Suffolk Street (sign for 70 Ewer Street), Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Nice take on the then-new Tate Modern. The area’s got too posh for light […]
Billo Shoes, 598 Kingsland High Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2002 • Later moved down the road to no. 294, but still has the same beautiful hippy-font sign.
Martinis, 226a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2003 • This once had a superb yellow plastic facade, which I shall post another time. It’s now gone completely.
Benny’s Textile Corner, 1 Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Proud rag trade emporium commandeering both an entire corner and the start of a major road. Became […]
Zak’s Snacks , 48 Rosebery Avenue, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2003 • Now a generic fast food place with the far less poetic name of Mix Grill.
Adfa Ventures Limited, 446 New Cross Road, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Mmmm, their hi-tech sign is really giving me confidence. Now replaced by a solicitor, however.
Joy, 52 Broadway Market, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2006 • Eine, the bloke who graffitied this shutter, ended up with a painting (chosen by Sam Cam for Obama) in the […]
AM & Son Auto Electrician, 25 Midland Road, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2002 • One of of a series of decaying garages subsumed into the vast, posh ramparts of the […]
R. Cooke, 84 The Cut, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2001 • Very popular old Waterloo caff which shut overnight “on doctor’s orders”. And I never set foot in there. Damn.
C&A, 200-211 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Dubbed “Cheap & Awful”, it quit the UK in 2000 but is still big in Europe. This ex-store now houses […]
Byrite, 140 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Remember the chain Mr Byrite? It started in 1912 as hat shop Levy & Son; and here is is in […]
Beige Plus, 7 Hoop Lane, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • Nice logo, but possibly not the most enticing of advertising hoardings…
James Gubb, 85 Leather Lane, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2011 • Superb old-fashioned butcher with superb old-fashioned name, still going strong.
Balls Pond Bodéga, 108 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • A doomed mismatch between ambition and reality.
Car Spares, 31 Wallis Road, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2006 • Yeah, I’d definitely get my car parts here.
5 Star Sandwich & Salad Bar, 33 Southampton Row, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2001 • Defunct Pepsi caff named after defunct pop group (or possibly not).
The Tyre Shop, 100 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Not a tyre in sight, but a nice hand-crafted two-tone paint job. Later became an office of […]
Dominic’s Take Away, 172 Goswell Road, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2008 & 2013 (bottom) • Dominic should have tried taking away some of those wires. (2013 update, bottom – oh, he […]
Voltaire Motors, 2-4 Voltaire Road, Clapham, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • As poetic as its name, and nearly as long-gone. Later became Secondo, a glass-fronted “vintage and retro cafe-bar”.
Phil. Terry Trouser Maker, Unit 4b Regent Studios (ex-Ada Street Workshops), 8 Andrews Road, Cambridge Heath, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2005 • Old-school signage, now departed, in a grungy block […]
Capital Taxi’s, 28 Great Suffolk Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 & 2010 (bottom) • Ah, the greengrocer’s apostrophe. By 2012 just a patch of striped wall remained and the […]
Battista’s, 135a Charing Cross Road, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2001 • An unusual sponsored Pepsi cafe sign in a Victorian display font. Whole block now demolished for Crossrail.
Y2K, 33 Liverpool Street, City of London, London EC2, 2006 • A video library for the new millennium – how wrong can you get.
W.J. Jenkins, 81a Rochester Row, Victoria, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2005 & 2013 (bottom) • Not all traditional watchmakers have disappeared – this was still there in 2013, complete with watches […]
Walk Around Superstores, 97 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 • It’s not a superstore, and you can’t walk around it, but it’s a nice old acrylic sign. […]
Dowell’s Coals, Norway Street, Greenwich, London SE10, 2005 • An old docklands warehouse sign that disappeared under a huge development of riverside flats.
Suzanne, 70 Brixton Road, Oval, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • It was a sad day when this 1950s dressing table-style hairdresser, with what looks like a jungle inside, became […]
Harman’s Post Office & Savings Bank, Sutton Lane North, Chiswick, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2010 • Offering remarkably varied services, this old sign was still on display in 2012, along […]
Mr Dandy, 78 Bolton Crescent, Kennington, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5, 2001 • Bonkers and brilliant old acrylic sign which is still there at time of writing.
Hunt and Son Security, Riverside Way, Borough of Greenwich, London SE7, 2005 • So called because you have to hunt for them in the cafe, where they have “poped”.
John Kimpton & Co Insurance Services, 85 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Recalling the heady days when anyone could get a mortgage. Now a curtain shop.
One Hour Quality Dry Cleaning by Eric’s, 98 Essex Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Now a tasteful beige Dry Cleaning Station, not by Eric’s.
Tonys Snacks, 7 Meymott Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • This usually ornate backstreet caff (shown both closed and open) was knocked down to make way for a hotel.
Chemist, 182 Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • The word chemist is falling from use; this is now a pharmacy.
Millennium Cafe, Silvertown Way / Brunel Street (South), Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • Totally demolished, and even the side road has gone.
Blackwall Aggregates Limited, 295-303 Tunnel Avenue, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2005 • Classic view of Canary Wharf from behind O2 (the ex-Millennium Dome); nowadays this yard is a neatly […]
C.R. Frost & Son, 60-62 Clerkenwell Road, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2002 • One of Clerkenwell’s many lost watch and clock businesses, this later became a tile showroom.
Alum Food Store, 100 Harper Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Splendid hand-made sign, though possibly misspelt as the name changed to Alom when they got a “proper” one.
Farey & Sons, 37 The Cut, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Became an army surplus store with yellow plastic sign – still old-school, but much less beautiful.
Fastway Fliers, 301 Old Sreeet, Borough of Hackney, London EC1, 2002 • Some unusual, and appropriate, Letragraphica type. Later became Cay Tre Vietnamese Kitchen.
Bob’s Shoe Repairs, 171 Blackfriars Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Classic if wonky signwriting. Now a dry cleaner in a block due to be demolished.
Dolla Cosmetics & Hair Salon, 75 Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Nice old-fashioned typography, which later got replaced with a swirly purple logo.
America St Testing Stn, 39 America Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • A lovely name, charmingly hand-painted. Was replaced by a far less cheerful-looking auto business.
Simmons Dining Rooms, 32 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002, 2010, 2013 (top to bottom) • By 2010 there was a trendy cafe behind this facade – I preferred the saggy […]
African Prices, 390 Walworth Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2001 • As opposed to princes. By 2012 it had been renamed Sofisticats.
Spendloads-Please, 129 Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • There used to be two branches of this splendidly-named hairdresser, both now gone.
Notarianni & Sons, 142 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Exceptionally fine 1950s diner-style facade later mainly concealed beneath a maroon Indian restaurant fascia.
Frake’s Ltd Mace, 51 Leather Lane, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2001 & 2013 (bottom) • There’s something so quintessentially 1950s about this Mace sign. By 2013 all the black letters […]
Westminster Sauna, 162 Westminster Bridge Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2002 • I like to think this was thronged to the net-curtained gunnels with MPs. Later demolished to make way […]
Santana, 61 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • You don’t get many hardware stores named after Latin-American rock fusion bands. Now with far more boring logo.
Mazzini Garbaldi Club, 51 Red Lion Street, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Founded 1864, sold 2008, now an expanse of plate glass, with no trace of these Italian flag-coloured […]
R.T. Display Systems Ltd, 212 New Kings Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Here’s more slab-serif signage. Now gone, as this became a yellow-and-white trade centre.
Firmback Works, 43 Andrews Road, Cambridge Heath, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2003 • Splendidly named thanks to its past housing a manufacturer of traditional chairs. Frontage still intact in 2012.
Oval Office, 10 Clapham Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2005 • Used to be Oval Post Office. Now one-third of an estate agent. So things go, in London anyway.
George Staples, 2 West Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • Now Hair Candy – not the same kind of sustenance at all.
The Johnson Engineering Co, 319 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2000 & 2005 (bottom) • There’s no trace of these stunning signs left – it’s now a boring […]
Adhesive Specialities Ltd, 59 Ladywell Road, Borough of Lewisham, London SE6, 2010 • Classic little art deco factory with a brilliant name, knocked down weeks after I happened across it, […]
Grilled Burgers – Jumbo Sausages, Bilton Towers NCP, 25 Great Cumberland Place, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • The burger stall and yellow NCP sign have gone, but the […]
Rheidol Rooms, 16 Rheidol Terrace, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2003 • Another Pepsi cafe. Apparently still there, but somewhat repainted and without the venetian blinds.
V Falber & Sons, Daddy Kool, The Soho Music Company, […]
C.E. Pound, 162 Trafalgar Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • This art deco-ish beauty may still lurk beneath current incumbent Mr Chung’s equally large sign.
Adel Hair Fashions, 204 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • One of the most beautiful facades I ever found. Unrecognisable now as Chesney’s luxury fireplace emporium.
Café – Restaurant, 187 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Boasts ridiculously tiny accent on Café. Astonishingly, this still looked exactly the same (minus flags) in […]
Fanny Adams Unisex, 10 West Lane, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • They probably didn’t know that Fanny Adams was an 8-year-old whose murderer tore her into pieces. […]
Costa’s Barbers., 165 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Infinitely preferable to a Costa coffee shop, this appeared to be undergoing refurbishment in 2012.
Café, 36 Redchurch Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Pepsi cafes are a dying breed. This became Chaat Bangladeshi Kitchen.
Comfit Ltd, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Does anyone still use the word “slacks”? The sign has now gone, but the general decay remains.
E. Barclay FSMC FACLP Optician, 158 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 and 2010 • Magnificent old optician’s sign, later with name half-obliterated as below.