Frank Childs & Son Ltd, 13 Listley Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • No-nonsense hardware shop with understated window display. Back in the mists of time, I daresay that escutcheon above the […]
Post Office, 63 High Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • So many post offices have departed their impressive original buildings, but here’s one still occupying its purpose-built 1901 Arts and Crafts […]
The Shakespeare, West Castle Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Even the road signs are old in Bridgnorth – there are plenty more of this vintage, reminding me of childhood car […]
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 […]
Blunts, 8-9 West Castle Atreet, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Unmissable old shoe shop, reinvented for the eBay generation.
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 […]
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.
S.E. & A. Ridley Ltd., Bridge Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • And now to the unusual two-tiered town of Bridgnorth in lovely Shropshire. This seed merchant was established in the year […]
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). […]
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 […]
Junk’N’Disorderly, Weavealicious, 127,126 Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Enough faux Tudor shopfronts, this one’s the real deal – although the shop names don’t quite live up to their location…
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, […]
Claims Management Centre, 25 Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Another nice step leading to another depressing manifestation of our current society.
Valley Vapes, 20 Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • I’ve never seen a shop for these creepy devices before. Lovely step and entranceway, though.
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” […]
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…
Shrewsbury Chronicle Shropshire Star, circa 48 Chester Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • The Shrewsbury Chronicle, founded 1772, is one of Britain’s oldest newspapers; the Shropshire Star emerged somewhat later, in 1964. Both are […]
Coventry Evening Telegraph, 157 Corporation Street and Chapel Street, Coventry, Warwickshire, 2013 • Regional newspapers, where they survive, are downsizing or agglomerating, and moving on from their 20th century purpose-built HQs. […]
Waterstones, The Wool Exchange, Hustlergate, Bradford, West Yorkshire, 2014 • I assumed this was an ex-church, but in fact it’s Bradford’s old wool exchange. Now that bookshops are going the way […]
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 […]
Sons of Temperance Friendly Society, 176-177 Blackfriars Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2014 • Former HQ of a 19th-century financial co-operative for teetotallers, now being wound down; they sold the […]
The Aldeburgh Sweet Shop, 75 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, 2014 • It’s open but it’s closed – maybe a victim of the trendy new sweet shop up the road.
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 […]
Food & Wine, 49 Upper Street, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2011 • Colourful generic minimart with oversized finials suggesting a grander past.
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.
Williams Brothers of Sheffield (Williams Fasteners), Green Lane and Dun […]
White Star Cafe, Harland & Wolff Ltd Shipbuilding and Engineering Works, circa 56 Regent Road, Liverpool L3, 2008 • Transport cafe in former Liverpool HQ of the firm that built the Titanic; […]
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 […]
The Black Horse, 257 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, 2014 • First licenced to sell beer in 1843, this ivy-capped wreck was once (reputedly) a major smuggling inn. By 1988 it was The […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The Walton Road Garage, 34 Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, 2002 • Part of a big old garage complex with a logo that looks like it dates from the 1920s, and […]
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 […]
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. […]
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; […]
Brian Mellor Fishing Tackle, 30-32 Brunswick Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, 2010 • Now has a flashy new sign with a leaping fish, though I prefer this wonky stick man, with his […]
Paradise Travel, circa 1 Brunswick Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, 2010 • Not likely to trouble Expedia – which was no doubt a part of its downfall.
Frederick Pratt & Son, 32 Brighton Road, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • Good old-fashioned name, but now even the car in front is knackered. Founded 1948 and shuttered 2003, it used […]
Wozencroft, 59 Osmaston Road, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Lovely old script for Wozencroft, an Anglo Saxon name associated with Woolstencroft in Cheshire. Established in 1956, the shop is still there, and on […]
Hawkes, 99b High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • High quality 1960s frontage, complete with a tiled hawk sign on the floor (just visible) and some French onions outside. Once the largest […]
‘Floor Cover’ ghost sign, Chicken Cottage, 177-179 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Presumably a larger sign was pulled away complete with plaster, revealing the ghost sign beneath […]
Chicken Cottage, 108 St Mary Street, Cardiff, Wales, 2012 • Large old marble shop surround at the base of a tall skinny building, now enhanced by having a Chicken Cottage unceremoniously […]
Barclays (Saxmundham), 24 High Street, Saxmundham, Suffolk, 2014 • More mid-century modernist marble for this bank in an old country building. I like the facade but you probably couldn’t get away […]
Wicker Pharmacy, 55-59 Wicker, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • More 1960s marble on a building which started life as a Midland Bank. The pharmacy, founded by a consortium of local chemists in 1952 […]
H. Stain Ltd, 207 Victoria Street, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • What a pity marble shopfronts like this went out of fashion; happily this magnificent 1960s-style jewellers lives on still, just […]
Gordons the Jewellers, 27 Strutton Ground, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2012 & 2007 • Last days for this old-style jeweller which looked on the verge of closure even five years […]
McKay Sound and Music, 100 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2013 • Classic muso shop channelling the 1970s in Geordieland.
Ons, Ltd, 128 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Scarred and illlegible ghost sign for something ending in ‘ons’ (Sons?) adding a touch of looming darkness to the local market. There’s also […]
Stuarts Your Do it Yourself Flooring Centre, 35 Victoria Road, Surbiton, Surrey, 2006 • I was driving through snoring Surbiton late at night and just had to pull over to snap […]
Two Way Books, 54 Gardner Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2010 • Old-fashioned book exchange in Brighton’s trendy Laines.
Venus Pizza, 149 Whitecross Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2008 • Those Roman gods certainly live on, longer than this takeaway at least. This colourful old bit of road got […]
Wavy Line, 46 Woolwich Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • Evocative holdout from the era before Costcutter and the like. Still vacant in 2012, with nice tiling intact but […]
Tudor Williams, 94-98 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2008 • Another nice doorstep with a dull shopfront attached; these op-art stripes look rather art deco.
“Easiephit” Footwear (Wherry Estate Agents), 115 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Great mosaic ghost sign step with a boring estate agent attached. I assume it was once a shoe shop.
Zita Sandwich Bar, 232 Shaftesbury Avenue, City of Westminster, London WC1, 2002 • One of those old-school West End cafes you always took for granted – until it was suddenly gone. […]
Suppelle Couture, 46 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Immense range of woollen skull caps plus designer jeans – interesting fashion mix. Now knocked down, I think.I
Sylvia’s, Prime English Rabbits, 12 Westoe Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, 2013 • Unusual ghost sign offering ‘fresh fish daily eggs prime English rabbits’. What more could you want?
Supertech, 80 Fowler Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, 2013 • Wow, batteries for everything! Loving the old-style computer font.
Thomsons TV, 7 King Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, 2013 • Nice acrylic sign for this much-admired family business, founded 1930. Closed 2013 to “avoid the ignominy of administration”, as shopping habits […]
Wainwright & Sons (Risborough) Ltd., 69 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, 2007 • Formerly Grover, according to the doorstep, and in its last days here. Google Street View showes it vacant […]
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 […]
Cousins Corner, Radio Rentals Ltd, Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Cousins was a local confectioner employing nearly 3,000 people, whose founder died aged 95 in 2010. Once a Liverpool meeting […]
Joplings, John Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Established in 1804 and rebuilt many times over its two centuries on this site, this long-lived department store closed for good in 2010. Known as […]
Lady Godiva News Devlins, 26 Broadgate, Coventry, West Midlands, 2013 • The equally weird twin of yesterday’s Peeping Tom newsagent; they’re situated either side of Coventry’s “famous” Lady Godiva clock, hence […]
Peeping Tom News Devlins, 20A Hertford Street, Coventry, West Midlands, 2012 • Creepy name for a toyshop, you may feel. All will be revealed tomorrow (no pun intended).
Front Page News, Odeon Building, 33 Jordan Well, Coventry, West Midlands, 2013 • Lebara seem to have colonised every paper shop in the universe, but this must be the grandest. (2014 […]
Clueless, 88b East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Not the ideal name for a boutique. Now called “CD’s DVD’s“, which also lacks an air of longevity.
CMaster, Cumsers (Cutmasters), 202-204 Merton High Street, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • Bizarre signage which almost looks like a rude joke. They’ve now got a “proper” sign but the […]
Valerie, 85 Ealing Road, Brentford, Borough of Hounslow, London TW8, 2014 • Redolent of an Ealing film set, a classic net-curtained coiffeuse with bonus carriage arch.
Andrews, N. Kay’s, 128a & 128 South Ealing Road, Borough of Ealing, London W5, 2014 • Back from Hull to London, and a chance to try out my super-duper new camera […]
Yorkshire Penny Bank (Caffe Nero), 37-40 Savile Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Established in 1860, Yorkshire Penny Bank changed its name to Yorkshire Bank in 1959, so it’s still around […]
B. Cooke & Son Ltd.. 58-59 Market Place, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Traditional maritime business established in 1863 by Bernard Cooke, and still specialising in making nautical charts and optical […]
Cooplands, Trinity House, 71 Paragon Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • This is a branch of the bakery that bought Skeltons, featured yesterday. Apparently the big yellow tiled panel once held a […]
Skeltons Bakery, 11-15 Trinity House Lane, Kingston upon Hull, 2005 • Founded 1931, this 43-branch bakery went into administration in 2007 – there are some photos from its heyday here. It was bought by […]
Rank Hovis Clarence Mill, Clarence Street, Hull, 2013 • And this is the reason I went to Hull – to catch this monolith before it gets knocked down, which is due […]
Maizecor, 141 Wincolmlee, Hull, 2013 • A maize milling company inhabits this imposing complex, whose immense walls are studded with wrought iron bearing plate rosettes (more about those here). The historic […]
W. & J. Oliver. (Stead & Smith Engineering), 153 Wincolmlee, […]
Post Office (Hull), 63 Market Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Fancy facade meets postal utilitarianism in Hull’s handsome Old Town; you can just imagine well-to-do seafaring types frequenting the premises […]
Mercure Hull Royal Hotel, Paragon Station, 170 Ferensway, Hull, 2013 • Built in 1849 and recently refurbished, this is at the start of Hull’s Philip Larkin trail. It’s described in his […]
Kingston Tavern, 76 Paragon Street, Hull, 2013 • Delicate tiled ghost sign (look at that intricate ‘O’) on the side of a closed-down city centre hostelry.
G.W. Horners, 21 Anlaby Road, Hull, 2013 • Pub in an imposing ex-fleapit, The Regent, which was built in 1910 (the towers were added later) and owned by the same family […]
Gibson Bishop & Co Ltd., 73 Humber Street, Hull, 2013 • Nice 1950s detailing on this unreconstructed warehouse in Hull’s old fruit market, now being used as a creative quarter.
Ex-Edwin Davis department store, Bond Street, Hull, 2013 • When I came across this I guessed it was a derelict 1930s telecoms or waterworks building. In fact it’s a post-war rebuild […]
Ideal, 14 Midland Road, Hull, 2013 • Next to the falling-down Albert Hall, an old printing works that currently offers motorcycle training. I love the tiny black arched windows at the […]
Thearne, 15 South Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Not all the old shops in Hull are run down, as this superbly-signed example shows.
The Tool Box, ghost sign above 3 Church Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Faded wooden ghost sign on a boarded up shop. Not all of Hull is boarded up – […]
Rich Rags & Well Suited, 41 & 43 Alnaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Aptly named duo with old-school signage on the raggle-taggle architectural wonderland of Anlaby Road.
Queen’s Garden News, 10a Alfred Gelder Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Alfred Gelder Street – named after Hull’s most famous architect – launches in style with this liner-like black deco building, […]
Paragon Arcade, Paragon Street, Hull, 2013 (top) and 2005 • Cute 1891 Gothic Revival arcade by Alfred Gelder. On the lower right of the very blurry 2005 shot you can see […]
Paragon Heel Bar, 175 Ferensway, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Classic old heel and key bar named grandly after nearby Paragon Street, which in turn may have been named after an […]
Chichi, 1 Witham, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Defunct nightclub with ridiculously incongruous name in the former National Provincial Bank, which was swallowed up by National Westminster in 1970. It says […]
Cecil (Mecca, Diva’s), Cecil House, 1 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Still on the downbeat 1960s vibe, the clean-lined and rather fine (apart from all the tacky contemporary signage) Cecil […]