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Adam & Eve

Adam & Eve, 90 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Groovy curly type for a biblical name – note fig leaf. It was still there in 2008, […]
Adam & Eve

Clover Dairies Limited

Clover Dairies Limited, circa 201-203 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • This attractive block next to yesterday’s Gin Palace was similarly demolished, to be replaced with bog-standard shop’n’flat […]
Clover Dairies Limited

The Gin Palace

The Gin Palace, circa 205-9 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Legendarily dodgy boozer on the cheapest bit of the Monopoly board. Previously known as The Castle, […]
The Gin Palace

Happy Days

Happy Days, 44-46 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 (top two) and 2010 (bottom) • One for Samuel Beckett fans, and also beloved by pigeons (note bird emerging […]
Happy Days

Yum Yum’s

Yum Yum’s, 5 Boot Parade, High Street, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • It looks like they may protest their yumminess too much on this nice vernacular acrylic sign, […]
Yum Yum’s

Yuk Chuen

Yuk Chuen, 36 Clapham Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW8, 2005 • With a name like ‘Yuk’, they needed to try a bit harder. Later morphed into Lontosa, a Chinese-Malaysian-Thai restaurant.
Yuk Chuen

Val del Taro Cafe

Val del Taro Cafe, 51 Camberwell New Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5, 2001 • Classic caff with stylish acrylic typography and a misplaced accent. Became unrecognisably carved up as […]
Val del Taro Cafe

Nasons

Nasons, 47 High Street, Canterbury, Kent, 2013 • More slab serif lettering on another old independent department store.
Nasons

Anjay Displays Ltd

Anjay Displays Ltd, 227-229 Waterloo Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • I always like sad shop dummies. I think this shopfitter’s still there, though the road’s changing quickly.
Anjay Displays Ltd

Star Dry Cleaners

Star Dry Cleaners, 32 Strutton Ground, City of Wesrminster, London SW1, 2014 • Glum traditional keycutter in a cheerful traditional street market near London’s Victoria station.
Star Dry Cleaners

Cosmetics & Co

Cosmetics & Co, 37 Market Place, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • I always like a cheerful 1960s-style swirly font: this one is the classic Victorian-retro Davida, designed in 1965.
Cosmetics & Co

Fancy Goods

Fancy Goods, 3-11 The Cut, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2013 • Earlier incarnation of a fairly gruesome ex-Costcutter, in transition to becoming a Tesco Express.
Fancy Goods

Cost to Cost

Cost to Cost, 227 Shoreditch High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2005 • Somewhat meaningless variation on the Costcutter theme. The Cost to Cost logo later got reduced to near […]
Cost to Cost

Costprice

Costprice, 41 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2007 • Jaunty take on the Costcutter theme. It’s become more sedate since this was taken.
Costprice

Costa Dorada

Costa Dorada, 47-55 Hanway Street, Borough of Camden, London W1, 2003 • When I first visited this late-nite Flamenco dive, I thought it was an ancient institution. Turns out it only […]
Costa Dorada

Ian Allen

Ian Allen, 45-46 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2013 • “Futuristic” 1970s-style round-cornered windows distinguishing a railway enthusiasts’ book and model shop situated behind Waterloo station.
Ian Allen

Pal Cargo

Pal Cargo Service Ltd., 36 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 •  Yet another gem from the decaying wonderland of Toynbee Street. Glad to see they deliver “doors […]
Pal Cargo

Model

Model, 11 Berwick Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • I think we can assume it’s not Kate Moss. I managed to relocate this door on Google Street View, looking […]
Model

E D of London

E D of London, 9 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Meet E D (or possibly Ed), next-door neighbour of yesterday’s Frank – notable for cramming […]
E D of London

Frank

Frank, 7 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • From the 1950s until his death in 1966 aged just 47, this was the base of Frank Conway […]
Frank

Kennington Car Hire

Kennington Car Hire, 56 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Another colourful business “under new management”. This appears to house a taxi firm, SSS Hair Salon, an afro-carribean […]
Kennington Car Hire

Samiez Leathers

Samiez Leathers, 140 Trongate, Townhead, Glasgow G1, 2008 • I just like this because it’s colourful, 1970s-looking, and in a decaying old building. Under new management, says a note in […]
Samiez Leathers

John Hirst & Co

John Hirst & Co, Thornes Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Despite its decaying Venetian loveliness, this “corn cake & barley merchants” warehouse opposite the Hepworth Wakefield gallery is surrounded by […]
John Hirst & Co

Knight & Willson Ltd.

Knight & Willson Ltd., 127-129 Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Another built-in clock, this time on an immense derelict printing works – no doubt an urban explorer’s delight – in a canal-side industrial area […]
Knight & Willson Ltd.

Thornton & Co Ltd

Thornton & Co Ltd, 50-51 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Next door to M&S is this re-purposed HQ of an India rubber manufacturer. Moral: cast your name in stone if you […]
Thornton & Co Ltd

Net stall

Net stall, 1976 Hall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • I daresay this stall does have a name, but it looks rather nice closed down. A fitting occupant for […]
Net stall

Market News

Market News, 14 Market Hall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Semi-circular hole-in-wall bracketing the entrance to Leeds’ wonderful Kirkgate Market.  
Market News

Kyro Fabrication

Kyro Fabrication, 97 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • The hoardings say this is Leeds’ oldest street, awaiting redevelopment. Fabrication was a crafts shop which has relocated elsewhere, but the […]
Kyro Fabrication

Jeeves & Jericho

Jeeves & Jericho, Corn Exchange, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • 1920s flat-cap geezer meets 1990s Mancs baggy in cartoon collision of two tea-pouring Northern stereotypes. And […]
Jeeves & Jericho

E.J. Poynor

E.J. Poynor, 88 Broad Street, Ludlow, Shropshire, 2014 • There’s been a drapers on this site since 1897, and a Poynor since 1917. Despite nearly closing due to rate hikes in 2012, it’s […]
E.J. Poynor

S.C. Price & Sons

S.C. Price & Sons, 7 Castle Street, Ludlow, Shropshire, 2014 • A beautiful sunray door in foodie Ludlow, and so traditional they call it a “confectioner” (which used to denote […]
S.C. Price & Sons

Ball Hotel

Ball Hotel, Castle Terrace (back of 30-31 East Castle Street), Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Ghost-lettering on the back entrance of one of Bridgnorth’s oldest pubs, licenced in 1750. It latterly […]
Ball Hotel

Blunts

Blunts, 8-9 West Castle Atreet, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Unmissable old shoe shop, reinvented for the eBay generation.
Blunts

Costa (Bridgnorth)

Costa, 1 Postern Gate, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Costa occupies the bonkers Italianate New Market Hall which looms over narrow Bridgnorth. It was built in the 1855 but the market traders never […]
Costa (Bridgnorth)

Beaman & Sons

Beaman & Sons, 64 High Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Traditional family butcher, established 1890 and looking little altered. It’s  only closed here because it was a Sunday.
Beaman & Sons

Morris Lubricants

Morris Lubricants, circa 68 Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Beautiful Victorian HQ for this long-lived business, founded in 1869 and still speeding the plough (there’s a history on their website here). […]
Morris Lubricants

Crown House (Subway)

35 St Mary’s Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Not everything in Shrewsbury is half-timbered: here’s a classic new town-style 1960s precinct, not enhanced by Subway. The block sold for £1.5m in […]
Crown House (Subway)

Halon

Halon, 46-47 High Sreet, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Superb gentleman’s outfitters, founded 1905 in Manchester. Belying its art nouveau / deco detailing, this branch opened in 1951. It’s got a groovy website, […]
Halon

Valley Vapes

Valley Vapes, 20 Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • I’ve never seen a shop for these creepy devices before. Lovely step and entranceway, though.  
Valley Vapes

Computerama

Computerama, 13a Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • A few clashing layers of history: defunct tech shop with 1960s facade (note Italian-themed mosaic pillars) in Tudorbethan house which says “1908” […]
Computerama

Little Boro

Little Boro, 4 Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Shrewsbury is mind-blowingly full of ancient half-timbered buildings housing just what they always did, ie shops. However, some recent occupants are a mite incongruous…
Little Boro

Olives

Olives, 200 Blackfriars Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2014 • Tiny and ever-changing hole-in-the-wall in a defunct railway station. My fave incarnation was the Toast Office, but I can’t find […]
Olives

Abacus Hardware

Abacus Hardware, 215 Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • I don’t think it actually sold abacuses, though it looks like it might have done. Long gone, it […]
Abacus Hardware

Food & Wine

Food & Wine, 49 Upper Street, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2011 • Colourful generic minimart with oversized finials suggesting a grander past.
Food & Wine

Tee’s Diner

Tee’s Diner, Port Clarence Road, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Derelict diner lent drama by Middlesbrough’s magnificent transporter bridge, which looms above it.  
Tee’s Diner

O. & C. Butcher

O. & C. Butcher, 129-131 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, 2014 • Established over 100 years ago and still supplying red trousers to the locals, a handsome traditional emporium of a type […]
O. & C. Butcher

Sizewell Tea

Sizewell Tea, Sizewell Gap, Leiston, Suffolk, 2014 • Facing Sizewell A and B nuclear power station, hence punning name. Note handily placed “danger of death” sign.
Sizewell Tea

Dreamland

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 […]
Dreamland

Marina Cafe

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 […]
Marina Cafe

Panay Fashions

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 […]
Panay Fashions

T.W. Stigant

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.
T.W. Stigant

H.B. Smith

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 […]
H.B. Smith

Boss

Boss, 4 Criterion Buildings, Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey, 2002 • Looked as if it was for the chop in 2002 but is still there, now with a new sign but retaining […]
Boss

Trussons Menswear

Trussons Menswear, 31 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2008 • I’m so glad no-one’s ever felt the need to update this charming 1960s-style frontage, with a name as […]
Trussons Menswear

D.R. Warehouse Ltd

D.R. Warehouse Ltd, Crowngate House, 60-64 Great Hampton Street, Birmingham, 2013 • One of many magnificent Jewellery Quarter buildings, a grade II listed ex-factory by Dunn, Dallas & Lloyd circa 1912. Currently […]
D.R. Warehouse Ltd

Thistle Do Nicely

Thistle Do Nicely, 97 High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2012 • Closing down sale for the punningest souvenir emporium on the tourist-clogged rat-run of tuneless bagpipes and tartan tat that is Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. […]
Thistle Do Nicely