The Beano Cafe, 6 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 & 2003 • A tale of Kings Cross: in the course of a year, the Beano edged from decaying […]
Supermarket Day By Day, 224 Brixton Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2002 • Just a great old typeface. Later became hairdresser Asphair, with an equally wonky logo.
Adans Travel Agency, 175a Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Sigh, the internet did away with travel agents sporting charming paintings of floppy planes and fruit-like ABTA […]
Brigitte, 53 Linkfield Street, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • The other side of yesterday’s A.J. Massey – I always like a bit of black letter writing.
A.J. Massey, 53 Linkfield Street, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • Superannuated signwriting on what is now a deli.
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 […]
A.Z. Halal. Butchers, 83 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Huge wavy pediment dwarfing a mini meat emporium.
Sheffield Engine Services Ltd, 100 Catch Bar Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Arched facade in classic fleapit cinema style, with added flagpole antennae. It’s next to the lovely Edwardian-style William Confection ghost […]
Purbeck Pottery, The Quay, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Fantastical quayside roofline for this 1966-founded pottery, which makes stoneware using clay from the nearby Purbeck Hills.
Quay Amusements, 25 The Quay, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Multi-angled quayside roofline providing a switchback for seagulls. It’s now just called Amusements.
Dougal & Co, 260 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Incongruous in a dull suburban street, a pointy oriental-style facade of a type more familiar on seaside parades. It later […]
Nameless ex-works, circa 36 Oxford Street, Birmingham, 2014 • A […]
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 […]
W.H. Wellbeloved, 31 Tanner’s Hill, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A sculptural gable end for a wonderful name, established in 1829. Note hand-painted sign offering “surloin”, and the jaunty van […]
F.J. Thornton & Co. Ltd. Weighing Machine Manufacturers, 111 Fazeley […]
Brute Menswear, 73 Wentworth Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Interesting choice of name, especially as the other side of the sign says Brute Menswar.
Alberts, 88 Whitechapel High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2014 • Men’s clothier with a nifty sideline in Jack the Ripper t-shirts. The grand frontage once belonged to Blooms (note […]
Eastern Computers, Dairy Product Specalist, 370 & 368 Neasden Lane North, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Next door to yesterday’s Dairy Product, and equally weary. Together I thought […]
Dairy Product Specialist, 368 Neasden Lane North, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • I like the weary “etc. etc.” – maybe the person who specified the sign thought the […]
H.E. Pea, Zen-Shin, The Best Baguette, 180 High Street Deritend, Birmingham, 2014 • Next door to yesterday’s Deritend Fish & Chips, perhaps not coincidentally, a works entrance hidden by a […]
Deritend Fish & Chips, 181 High Street Deritend, Birmingham, 2014 • Always nice to find a Pepsi cafe, however faded. The leaping fish on the counter front are obviously trying to […]
Bangers & Mash, Tyre Shop, 1 Wellfit Street (off Hinton Rd), Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Once upon a time, deep in the backwoods of Brixton, stood a greasy spoon cafe […]
The Barge, 271 Victoria Dock Road, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • I was attracted by the wonky painted wall sign of this once-grand docklands boozer, established as the Freemasons […]
Starr Racing, 144 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2002 • Nice name, illustrations and tiles on this 1970s-era bookie, which looks like a set from The Sweeney. It’s […]
Bryce Lowe, 228 Kingsland Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2002 • From the days (not so long ago) when Kingsland Road was scary rather than trendy. This ruinous immigration bureau later […]
Paolina Thai Food Cafe & Takeaway, 181 Kings Cross Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Abject-looking takeaway with nice lettering on its pavement sign (bottom). It’s still there, […]
Celine, 293 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Giant and elegant patisserie logo, somewhat at odds with the cartoony “perfect spud” underneath. It later got covered by a […]
Cranes, 11 Thrale Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW16, 2001 • How marvellous, a shop dedicated almost entirely to old lady shopping trolleys. You can see it here in 2014, looking […]
Manny Thanks, 784 Fulham Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Doubtless this is a typo, but I like to think of it as the owner’s name. It’s now […]
To Let, Arch 485, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • Another relic from the demolished viaduct featured yesterday – I assume this was a short let. There […]
Autos, Arch 491/2, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • I love this angular DIY lettering. It’s under the viaduct featured yesterday and later demolished for the London […]
Car & Truck Sales Service Car & Van Hire Parts, […]
Bilton, bridge ad, Bideford Avenue, Perivale, Borough of Ealing, London UB6, 2006 • Still there, though it’s obviously an old ad – note 081 phone number, and more recently-added height […]
Ferodo, bridge ad, near Blackmore Drive, North Circular Road, Stonebridge, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Ferodo got taken over in 1998, and stopped paying fees for their bridge ads – […]
Ferodo, bridge ad, Southwark Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Ferodo, a century-old brake parts specialist, still exists, and with the same lovely logo. Sadly they’ve stopped doing painted bridge ads, […]
JacLen, 18 Dockley Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • I love the typography on this DIY doorway, deep in a Dickensian Bermondsey viaduct. It’s presumably named after Jack and […]
City Tyres, 2 Malcolm Place, Bethnal Green, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2007 • Mellow yellow, plus old tyres. Stayed there till around 2015 then moved to another road nearby (see […]
Auto Electrics, Canal Road, Leeds, 2014 • Picturesque Northern gloom high above the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and opposite the satanic-mill-like Armley Mills Industrial Museum.
Leisureland Motors, Albatross, Easington Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Imposing ruin that looks like it may have been a stables once upon a time. It’s part of an industrial estate that backs onto […]
Cooper’s Motor Mart, Coopers Studios, 14-18 Westgate Road, Newcastle, 2013 • Ghost sign on trendy studios. The1897 building is a rare example of a multi-story horse and cart repository – here’s a history here.
C&C Auto Services Limited, 13 Kingston Road, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • Another auto palimpsest – not sure what it is now, though it was still the same in […]
DRW Motor Spares, 30 The Watton, Brecon, Powys, Wales, 2014 • I always like these signboard palimpsests. This had obviously been an auto outlet for decades.
Sussex Automotive, Lyn’s Cars, 42 & 43a New broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • I thought there was something rather 1930s about the window on the right, though […]
Camden Auto Electrics, Greyhound Couriers, 2 Bayham Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • From the days when Kings Cross was a warren of auto workshops. It’s now been […]
Badat Brothers Ltd, Dacca Caterers Ltd, Simco Caterers Ltd, 2-4 Cook’s Road, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2010 • Nest of caterers in an appropriately-named road, amidst development for the […]
D. McKay, 19a Harrington Road, South Kensington, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW7, 2005 • Jewel box of a fruiterer in London’s “French” quarter. Still there 2012, not sure […]
Rowes, 34-36 South Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2008 • Another traditional stationers with a good old no-nonsense sign. I think it’s still the same, though an awning hides it on Street […]
Dyer, 32 North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Photocopy centre and fax bureau – how quickly hi tech becomes quaint. Their website says Dyer was established 1916 and is now run […]
Lloyds Bank (Shrewsbury), 1 Pride Hill, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Elegant brutalist building in a mainly olde-worlde town. Note triangular Civic Trust award, I think it says 1969.
Lloyds TSB, 55 High Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Grand entrance for a small-town bank, although given the amount of money banks were flinging around at this point, they could […]
The Little Tea Room, 55 Marine Drive, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Oh no! It’s now called Sea of Spice. And doesn’t have net curtains.
D.M. Sutton, 58 High Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Still a traditional butcher, but now called G.R. Rushman & Son.
S.R. Kay & Sons, 1 High Street, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Note the very old phone number. Much the same in 2012 but with subtly updated (but still old-fashioned) lettering.
J.A. Corney, 81 High Street, Edgware, Borough of Brent, London HA8, 2004 • Established 1947, this was still there in 2015, looking closed down (albeit with straightened lettering). There’s an even older-looking […]
Geo. Watts & Son, 93 St. James’s Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • I was attracted by the surrealist, slightly melancholy, window display. Founded in 1966, it closed in 2013 […]
Stuart Pearce, 9 South Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2002 • Arnold Bocklin font again, which is an unusual choice for a butcher. Nowadays it still has the same 1920s-looking shaped sign, but with “posher”, olde […]
Street Value, 7 The Broadway, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • Art Nouveau cut price shop in 1960s new town. The round-cornered window and discotastic Arnold Bocklin font were later replaced, according […]
The Grub Shop, 178 Lambeth Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2006 • Another great name, on a cafe which used to change colour every year. It’s now called The Corner […]
Paradise Cottage, 477 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • A colourful mixed metaphor in traditional plastic, complete with desert arch illustrations. By 2014 the shop was being […]
The Old Maids Pharmacy, 321 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • What a brilliant name. It’s still there, but with a newer, “posher” sign.
Dad’s Unisex Hair Salon, 96 Hoxton Street, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2006 • Maybe dad’s inside. Note unfortunate wire placement over the word “unisex”. It’s now something else, with […]
New Experience, 275 Eversholt Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • Probably quite an old experience. Now called Experience Massage (To Let), in what is still quite a run-down […]
Hern Saddlers, 54 Middle Road, Brockham, Dorking, Surrey, 2005 • Maybe it originally said Southern Saddlers. It’s now a house with porch where the shopfront was.
Chris & Chris Fashions (Crouch End Food Centre), 34-35 Broadway […]
Wm. Mooney & Sons Ltd., 20a College Lane, Liverpool, 2014 • Ex-builder’s premises looking set to become a barbers.
Supercigs, 20 Richmond Street, Liverpool, 2003 • Now, more politically-correctly, called Supernews.
John J. Denton Ltd., 7 Williamson Square, Liverpool, 2003 • Another nice old shop from this racketty and now part-demolished square. Neat gold lettering centred on the door window says simply […]
Stoniers, Williamson Square, Liverpool, 2003 • Offering “a world of glass and china” no more, this famous Liverpool store once supplied crockery to the Titanic (and indeed the whole White Star Line, whose […]
Brown, Muff & Co. Ltd., 4 Ivegate, Bradford, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Not a dubious “private shop” but the last remains of an oddly-named department store once known as the Harrods […]
Potter Bros (Holland Broadbridge), Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • The faded writing on the white wall (second picture) says: “Frankwell Works Established 1855 Potter Bros”. I know because of […]
Bills Cafe, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • No more bills to pay now. Part of an endangered quayside works, of which more tomorrow.
Same Day, 19 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • I have a soft spot for these 1960s-style wood-slat signboards. This jaunty example may look like a hipster pastiche, but it’s the […]
Syd’s (Hillary Caterers), corner of Calvert Avenue and Shoreditch High Street, Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2002 • Rus in urbe; note bespoke piping to lamp post. Founded by a Great War veteran in […]
Cambridge Cafe, A23, Hooley, Coulsdon, Surrey, 2003 • Wooden slats again: I actually stopped off in the middle of a long drive (somewhere around here) to photograph this bleak slice of […]
J.A. Ibbotson, The Forge, 72 Walton Street, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Looks more like Herefordshire than Surrey. To quote in full: J.A. Ibbotson R.S.S. A.W.C.F. Smith. […]
Tadcars, The Avenue, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Not wishing to diss wooden huts, but this looks like the set for a horror movie (note splatterproof curtains made of M&S carrier bags). It looked even less […]
Raynsford’s, 153 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Nice signwriting; still looked the same in 2012, not sure about now.
Stones, circa 22 Atlantic Road, Brixton, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2014 • 1920s-style ghost logo for a Brixton business that’s long, long gone. There’s a great picture history on […]
T.V. Video & Audio Sales & Service, 145 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Another prosaically-named emporium, looking as weary as the hulking TVs stacked inside. Recently became Isambard’s […]
Muslin, 256 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • A very specific offering. Later became Sterling de Vere, a posh-looking letting agent (albeit still in a ruinous […]
Smokers World, 344 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Fags, mags and net curtains – interesting mix. It was still there in 2012, not sure […]
St Noahs News, 41 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2014 • Sunny frontage for the patron saint of missing apostrophes. I’m always attracted by newsagents because they’re a type of shop that’s […]
Kebab Ranch Fish Bar, Salim Khan & Co Accountants, 24 Bradford Street, Walsall, West Midlands, 2005 • Colourful but confused food offering, with extra apostrophe and an built-in accountant. Now […]
Hill Cleaner’s, 565 Green Lanes, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2013 • Unmissable sign with an esoteric use of apostrophe. It’s not noticeably on a hill, so maybe that’s someone’s surname.
Nicholas Printers (Baldwins), 481A Green Lanes, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2014 • A multi-named palimpsest in colourful Green Lanes.
N. Davalou Carpets, 372 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • This antique shop sold weird stuff, but I was more fascinated by the old garage gates next […]
Seel Street Garage, 92 Seel Street, Liverpool, 2014 • Garage for sale in Liverpool’s raucous and rapidly redeveloping nightclub quarter. Probably won’t be there for much longer.
Avenue Garage, next to 147b Earlsdon Avenue North (side in Westwood Road), Coventry, 2013 • Another West Midlands garage with period typography (and fuel pumps). Flickr shows it recently, about to become […]
Ashfield Motors, Caroline Street, Birmingham, 2005 • What gorgeous typography – it almost looks like a pastiche, but this was a real garage. There’s now a new-build block jammed up against […]
Railway Bell Hotel, Comberton Hill, Kidderminster, Worcsestershire, 2014 • Imposing pub opposite the Severn Valley Railway’s puffing locos and atmospheric rail museum in Kidderminster.
Fancy Fabric Stores, 109 Digbeth, Birmingham, 2005 • Finally from fascinating Digbeth, a glimpse of its more work-a-day side. This is still there, but they mended the sign.
RTP Crisps Ltd, 78 Allison Street, Birmingham, 2005 • What a beautiful building! Originally built in 1872 for Corder & Turley, manufacturers of umbrella ribs, it was adapted in 1923 as a clothing factory […]
The Smithfield Garage Ltd, opposite 38 Meriden Street, Birmingham, 2005 • According to the history here this was built by Harry Weedon, an architect known for Art Deco factories and […]
G. Makepeace (Dance Music Finder), Makepeace House, 136 Digbeth, Birmingham, 2005 • Dance music found via fax departs, but the original occupant lives on. According to Andy Foster’s Pevsner Architectural Guides: […]
The Bull Ring Tavern, 1 Digbeth, Birmingham, 2005 • A Guinness pub in Digbeth that still stands. Its functionalist 1960s styling has a certain bleak grandeur, don’t you think? No? […]
Fair City Cars, 125 Digbeth Road, Birmingham, 2005 • Poignant name and home-made chauffeur logo tacked onto a handsome premises which has since been demolished, along with the adjoining Hennessey’s Bar (which […]
Hennessey’s Bar, 123 Digbeth High Street, Birmingham, 2005 • Guinness Time stopped here when the whole block got demolished circa 2010 – there’s an article about the redevelopment here. The splendid Irish gent (bottom) was a Hennessey’s regular, and […]
White Swan, 217 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Look, the net curtains have got swans on! ‘Smoking allowed throughout’, proclaim stickers in the windows. “The place could do with […]