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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

Parkers

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; […]
Parkers

Paradise Travel

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.
Paradise Travel

Wozencroft

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 […]
Wozencroft

Hawkes

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 […]
Hawkes

Wicker Pharmacy

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 […]
Wicker Pharmacy

H. Stain Ltd

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 […]
H. Stain Ltd

Ons, Ltd

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 […]
Ons, Ltd

Stuarts

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 […]
Stuarts

Venus Pizza

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 […]
Venus Pizza

Tudor Williams

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.
Tudor Williams

Zita Sandwich Bar

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. […]
Zita Sandwich Bar

Suppelle Couture

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
Suppelle Couture

Supertech

Supertech, 80 Fowler Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, 2013 • Wow, batteries for everything! Loving the old-style computer font.
Supertech

Thomsons TV

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 […]
Thomsons TV

Joplings

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 […]
Joplings

Lady Godiva News

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 […]
Lady Godiva News

Peeping Tom News

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).
Peeping Tom News

Front Page News

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 […]
Front Page News

Clueless

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.
Clueless

Valerie

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.
Valerie

B. Cooke & Son Ltd.

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 […]
B. Cooke & Son Ltd.

Cooplands

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 […]
Cooplands

Skeltons Bakery

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 […]
Skeltons Bakery

Maizecor

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 […]
Maizecor

Post Office (Hull)

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 […]
Post Office (Hull)

Kingston Tavern

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.
Kingston Tavern

G.W. Horners

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 […]
G.W. Horners

Edwin Davis

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 […]
Edwin Davis

Ideal

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 […]
Ideal

Thearne

Thearne, 15 South Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Not all the old shops in Hull are run down, as this superbly-signed example shows.
Thearne

The Tool Box

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 – […]
The Tool Box

Queen’s Garden News

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, […]
Queen’s Garden News

Paragon Arcade

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 Arcade

Paragon Heel Bar

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 […]
Paragon Heel Bar

Chichi

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 […]
Chichi