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 […]
Model Please Walk Up, 6 Peter Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • And this model’s likely not Cara Delevigne. The door with its impressive capital is still there, only looking […]
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 […]
The Dining Plaice (Young Model), 20 Berwick Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Chippie incorporating access to “young model”. It’s now got a different giant brown sign.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Wine & Co., 20-22 Bridge End, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Accountant with built-in timer – useful!
Richer Sounds, 74 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Looks like a baddie’s castle, but is in fact a budget hi-fi store in a former public dispensary.
O’Neills, 26 George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Leeds is full of huge Victorian buildings, but this is unusual – a faux Irish pub in a neo-gothic ex-Masonic hall.
H.C. Atkinson Builders Merchant., 2-28 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Another name cast in stone, on an old warehouse that’s on sale for development.
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 […]
Marks & Spencer, 49 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Having expanded somewhat from yesterday’s stall, M&S now resides in this rather austere black marble art deco edifice – there’s a […]
Marks & Spencer, 1904 Hall, Kirkgate Market, 28-34 George Street, Leeds LS2, 2014 • Blimey – the first-ever M&S, opened 1884. And it’s still there! Actually, it isn’t – this […]
Malcolm Michaels, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Just one (or two) of a whole row of traditional butchers in this fantastic market.
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 […]
Dorothy Goodall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Scattergun scanties in traditional cabinet at the market’s entrance.
Market News, 14 Market Hall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Semi-circular hole-in-wall bracketing the entrance to Leeds’ wonderful Kirkgate Market.
Paula Hair Fashions, 93 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Superannuated sign for an earlier incarnation of this hairdresser.
MKC Sewing Machine Specialists, 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Eyecatching DIY-style 3D sign for another occupant of Leeds’ oldest street.
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 […]
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 […]
AJ’s Superstore, 19 Barrow Street, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 2014 • Yes, there really is a place called Much Wenlock – and this is its superstore.
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 […]
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 […]
The Winding House Tea Rooms, Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Cute but closed tea-room with amazing funicular attached (England’s oldest and steepest, opened 1892). There’s a gallery of […]
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 […]