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 […]
Barrier Animal Care Clinic (Thames Barrier Arms), Eastmoor Place, Borough […]
The Rose of Denmark, 78 Shirley Street, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • Looks more like the Rose of Beirut, but is in fact at the head of London’s […]
The Graving Dock Tavern, 353 North Woolwich Road, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2012 • A graving dock is a dry dock for working on ships’ hulls – but it’s […]
Crowson & Sons Ltd, 17-23 Farringdon Road, City of London, London EC1, 2004 • Nice mid-century building (note tiny replacement ‘s’ on ‘Sons’) selling fancy cheeses no more; it was knocked down […]
Evans & Witt, 58 Long Lane, Smithfield, City of London, EC1, 2004 • Purveyor of stationery supplies to the meat trade. Still there, along with conjoined neighbour Smithfield Cafe, featured yesterday.
Smithfield Cafe, 59 Long Lane, Smithfield, City of London, EC1, 2004 • 24-hour pit-stop for Smithfield’s traders and, more recently, hipsters. I think it’s still there, though the area is changing swiftly. […]
Catering Meats (Smithfield), 308 London Central Markets, Smithfield, Charterhouse Street, London EC1, City of London, 2004 • A more utilitarian but no less period Smithfied frontage than yesterday’s. This one’s […]
Edmund Martin Ltd, 3 Lindsey Street, Smithfield, City of London, EC1, 2004 • Sigh, you don’t see many tripe dressers around these days. It’s now a giant hole in the […]
G.H. Theobald, 99 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2003 • Just a nice old bit of signwriting. The shop’s still there but called Jim’s Family Butchers, with a cute “new-old-style” sign.
A.J. Mountstephen Late Truscott, County House, New Street, Sidmouth, Devon, 2013 • That’s quite a mouthful of a monicker. Nice that they’ve kept this old sign (possibly dating from the founding […]
G.W. & A.E. Thomson Ltd (Navals Jewellers), 228 Kilburn High […]
F.W. Thornton & Son, 57 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • A purveyor of vintage engine parts, primarily pistons it seems. Founded 1922, they moved to this shop in 1939 […]
Motor Budget Centre, 1 Yattendon Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • Still there and with the same stuff in the window in 2012. Presumably a going concern as Google Street View shows […]
N.H. Pearson, 75 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Now there’s character: a comma at the end of its name, and brief technical notes in the minimalist window display. Norman’s business didn’t […]
Footfall, Seconds Ahead, 16 & 12a Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • Footfall is an organisation that creatively re-occupies defunct shops; Seconds Ahead is a vintage clothes store, which may […]
Sports Direct.com, 12-15 Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • Another re-used facade from Oswestry, which seems to specialise in downmarket shops in grand crumbly buildings. This one looks like it […]
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, 12 Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • A market hall by Thomas Penson, built in 1842 (more info here) and demolished in the 1960s except for this […]
Alan R. Powell, c. 25 Broad Street, Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, 2014 • Picturesque workshop in a town noted for bookshops (maybe Alan provided the miles of bookshelves therein).
Morrow, 41 High Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, 2014 • I have no idea what this is – those look like spotlights in the window. It’s a listed 16th century building which […]
Burton (Antique Warehouse), 9-14 Depford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • This grille, which I spotted at ground level, alerted me to photograph the shop above it, but if […]
Burton, 16-17 High Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, 2014 • A classic Burton that’s still in use, albeit somewhat grimy and with inferior modern logo tacked on. The company’s founder Montague […]
Burton, Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, circa 29 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • According to the article here the local council refused permission to demolish this frontage and made the developer take […]
Art Worx Art Sale, Baptist Sunday School, Westbourne Baptist Church, North Street, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • Village art sale in a nice old hall. A far cry from White Cube. […]
R. Jackson & Sons, 20 Slater Street, Liverpool, 2014 • Art materials shop that’s been at various premises in Slater Street since 1866. Looks like a newer sign got taken […]
Picart Gallery, 27 The Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Spotted during Folkestone’s first art Triennial, when the town seemed to have a programme of revealing the original signs […]
La Galerie Claude Sagny, 47 Kingston Road, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • That’s enough “new old” galleries, now for some “old old” ones. This retro frontage was later […]
Margaretta Rickards (Arthouse Deli), 46 Topsfield Parade, Tottenham Lane, Crouch End, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2014 • I thought this was a gallery when I photographed it, but it’s […]
H.F. & G.W. Smith (Breese Little), 30d Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2013 • Trendy gallery Breese Little appropriating a previous owner’s more prosaic title.
T.C. Bulless (Kingston Art Gallery), 27 Humber Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • There’s a trend for art galleries to reveal retro shop signs at the moment – this one, for […]
Classic Magazines, 108 Baylis Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2014 • Revealed when my local Payless (aka Paymore) closed down, under onslaught from Tesco Metro.
Keys, 42 Theobalds Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2008 • Not a key shop but a cafe, next to an ornate doorway. Became a badly-reviewed Ethiopian restaurant called, no less surreally, […]
D&T Upholstery Repair, 436 West Green Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2014 • Imaginative conversion of a run-down shop front near yesterday’s Tap & Die. According to the internet, DT […]
The Tap & Die Co, 445 West Green Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2014 • Yikes – don’t tap that phone! According to the firm’s intricate website, they do indeed supply […]
Romanys, 51 Brewer Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2014 • Example of a useful old Soho shop that’s still there, a rapidly diminishing group. I included the bloke because […]
Euro Sandwich Bar, 20a Swallow Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2004 & 2014 (bottom) • Much lamented classic caff from the days before Swallow Street housed champagne bars. Bottom […]
Sergios, 3 Eagle Place, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2003 • Classic caff next door to yesterday’s M. Landaw, and likewise gone. Wish I’d got a better pic, they had […]
M. Landaw, 5 Eagle Place, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2003 & 2014 (bottom) • Stylish alleyway newsagent looking straight out of Vienna. Not only has it disappeared, the entire […]
Kosher King, 293 Hale Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • What a magnificent sign! Sadly it’s now minus crown and called, rather randomly, KosherNet – I guess they sell […]
Kings Pharmacy, 104 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • It’s nice when a regal name has a suitably noble sign. Judging by the dual crowns and lack of […]
The Emperor Stores, 48a Gloucester Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW7, 2005 • Not as regal looking as its wonderful name. It’s still there, but now with a […]
Empress Coaches, 3 Corbridge Crescent, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2012 • Long-lived business on the banks of the Regent Canal, complete with vintage Derv pumps and exuberant foliage. Founded […]
L&D Motorcycles, 179 Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • A forest of for sale signs on this old-time motorbike store. Fitting therefore that it became an estate agent, […]
J.R. Hobson & Co The Drinking Glass Centre, Nursery Street, […]
Mercury Discount, Cambridge Heath Appliances, 274-278 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2002 (top two) & 2006 • Beautiful signwiting, caught on its way out. Now a […]
Collectors Corner, 106 High Street, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, 2014 • Collecting dust, but not apostrophes.
Anne, 62 High Street, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, 2014 • More genteel net, albeit in a rather minimalist setting.
Dolly’s Diner, 177 London Road North, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • The sign looks newer than the net – I bet the previous one was nicer. Still much the same by 2012; […]
Textile Fabrics M+M Overseas, 18 Calvert Avenue, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2002 • From the same school of signwriting as yesterday’s shop. By 2012 it was an anonymous tailors, while the other […]
R-H-Leather, 36 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Slightly less glamorous than yesterday’s clothes shop. Later became Gaba Unique Fashions Ltd, whose unique fashion statement was that it also […]
Margot Gowns, 4 William Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Essence of seaside town, a symphony in pink. Google street view shows it looking just the same in 2009, except […]
J & M Smith, 64 North Street, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • A very sad shop which suggested to me that its owner had died. Although I didn’t know it when […]
Tealwood Company Limited, Seagull Lane, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • Plucky sliver of gentility in a workaday industrial unit. Still there but sans net, it’s a useful-looking printers whose website says it […]
J & Sons Unisex Hair Salon, 501 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Ambitious hand-painted lettering depicting a mysterious pater/materfamilias (it’s hard to tell which from […]
The Pleasant Gent’s Hairdresser, 33 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • More fading pleasantry in Tunbridge Wells.
Pleasant Sandwich Bar, 7 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Seems like an underwhelming taste offer, but it’s actually the name of the road.
Porky’s Pantry, 49 Chandos Place, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2003 • Nice lettering, shame about the scary pig paintings. Later on they changed the sign, but kept the horrible […]
Thomas Brothers, 798-804 Holloway Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 and 2014 (bottom image) • Enormous and long-standing corner builders’ merchant with great 3D plastic lettering that just […]
Arkle Pharmacy, 39 Junction Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 • A good old-fashioned name and address next door to yesterday’s De Marco. Now just called Pharmacy (incorporating […]
De Marco, 37 Junction Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 • More superannuated Italy, in the eternally down-at-heel backwaters of Archway. It’s now estate agent Barstow Eves, so perhaps gentrification beckons.
New Piccadilly, 8 Denman Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • This Italian institution was so famous I thought plenty of other people would record it (and I was right […]
Lina Stores Ltd., 18 Brewer Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Famous Italian food store, established 1944 and largely unchanged from the days when Soho was about the […]
Knight & Compy., 47 Fisherton Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 2007 • More art nouveau green tiles spared the chipper on this game mart-turned-charity shop, which by 2011 had become a vintage clothes store.
Masham Hotel, Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Once one of the town’s most popular pubs, this listed building became a failed shoe shop, then in 2013 was turned into a small […]
Poole Arms, 19 The Quay, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • More green tiles, this time on the oldest pub on Poole Quay: it dates from 1600s (though not the tiling, which […]
The 3 Crowns, 8 East Road, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2013 • Nicely-tiled Shoreditch pub which appears to have been rescued by hipsters in mid-destruction. There’s a picture of how […]
Kenilworth Castle, 104 St Anns Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London W11, 2002 • Unusual post-war council estate pub on the fringes of posh Holland Park. By 2012 it was painted blue and much […]
Sir Robert Peel, Krystals Express, 178 Bishopsgate, City of London, London EC2, 2004 • Something of an oddity – commemorative 1930s tiling on a circa 1900 pub named after the prime […]
Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2013 • Forbidding but fantastic pub built into Newcastle’s old town walls and perched high above the river Tyne, bracketed by two of the city’s spectacular bridges. […]
S. Sadler, 192 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2006 • Beautiful glass sign briefly revealed before being smothered by a tacky-looking Mexican joint, Loco Mojito.
Time Peace (UK) ltd., 43-45 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Picturesquely bonkers watch outlet with a mis-spelt essay of punning signage and impenetrably boxed entrance. “Please […]
Teamfern Ltd Chardonay, 75 Commercial Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Randomly-named ‘fashion’ outlet whose front is only marginally less gritty than its side. By 2012 it had been […]
Simone, 12 Whitchurch Parade, Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • Ah, the sadness of suburbia. Google shows this as still there in 2015 – and indeed looking […]