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 […]
Ex-Co-op, 32-38 Jameson Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Built 1957-63 to designs by the central Co-operative Architect’s Dept under G.S. Hay in Manchester, this is the other half of yesterday’s […]
Co-op Mosaic (BHS), 32-38 Jameson Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Immense 1963 “three ships” mural by Alan Boyson, on what was then a super-duper new Co-Op building. There’s a huge […]
Bargain Suites, 433 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Trad sign writing on a crumbling Victorian terrace opposite Hull’s KC Stadium. Since demolished.
Baker Street Garage, Mark C. Brown & Son Ltd, 22-24, […]
Albert Hall (The Fair & Square Club), 12 Midland Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Practically opposite yesterday’s stunning Tower, another fun palace in far worse condition – a Victorian music […]
Tower (Tokyo Hull), 52 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • A rather grubby topless lady keeps vigil over this magnificent 1914 cinema designed by H Percival Binks, which has been […]
Ex-Boots, Hull, East Yorkshire, 2005 • Positively my final Boots for now, once again proving the brilliant recognisability of its longstanding logo (designed by Jesse Boot in 1883) – even when […]
Boots (Oxford Street), 151 (I think) Oxford Street, London W1, City of Westminster, 2002 • Sorry to harp on about Boots, but this wouldn’t have happened with their old-school stone signs […]
Boots Opticians (Strand), 428 Strand, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2012 • See what I mean about Boots being in interesting buildings – in this case, a slim Art Deco throwback […]
Boots Opticians (Horsham), 39 West Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003 • Modern variant of the last two days’ vintage 3D Boots signs, which, though cheapo-looking, shows the benefit of not giving […]
Boots (Golders Green), 638 Finchley Road, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • Another vintage Boots sign, this one now gone though the shop’s still there.
Boots (Pret A Manger), 7 Parade, Canterbury, Kent 2013 • Yet another parade of boots – this time, evidence of an earlier occupant of this ancient-looking building.
Boot Parade, 88 High Street, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • 1970s footwear of a different kind – a resolutely unglamorous shopping parade that’s still proudly beige today.
M Yman Ho Repair (ex- Suleyman Shoe repair shop), 162 Chatsworth Road, Borough of Hackney, London E5, 2011 • Looks like an art installation but it’s the real deal – apparently […]
The Shakespeare (Victory Amusements), 34 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Another theatrical boozer; but unlike yesterday’s Garrick, poor old Bill’s given way to a less rewarding form of entertainment. Still, the […]
Garrick’s Head, 50 Saville Street, North Shields, North Tyneside, 2013 • Beautiful 1899 pub, but the local council doesn’t seem to like its clientelele very much, according to this report of […]
Victory Cafe, 54 Eversholt Street, Euston, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2013 & 2002 • Patriotic Pepsi cafe happily little changed since I first photographed it in 2002 (bottom).
Merton Cafe, 114 Merton High Street, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • Merton’s proudly self-titled cafe and its nice curly Davida font has now given way to the startlingly-named Monkeys […]
The Grill, Ponton Road, Nine Elms, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW8, 2013 • It may look like an industrial wasteland, but one day the new American embassy will rise behind this […]
Pickering & Mayell Ltd Reliance Works, 41-42 Caroline Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, West Midlands, 2013 • Founded in 1913, this jewellery packaging firm merged with1941-founded local rival Talbots and moved to […]
Chainstore Massacre, 152 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Closed for crimes against fashion, perhaps. Appropriately, the burglar alarm has a picture of a judge on it. Later became a […]
The Upper Crust Bakery, 4 Woolbrook Road, Sidmouth, Devon, 2013 • Nicely old-fashioned bakery from a nicely old-fashioned seaside town.
Moira’s, 123 Upper Spon Street, Coventry, West Midlands, 2013 • As featured yesterday, more of Coventry’s conserved Black Swan Terrace – underneath these green tiles lies a medieval building, which until 1903 […]
London Laundry, 120 Upper Spon Street, Coventry, West Midlands, 2013 • Part of Black Swan Terrace, a row of historic cottages that was derelict in the 1990s, and now restored to […]
Dodo, FormConcepts, 34-5 New Bridge Street, Exeter, Devon, 2013 • Looks dead as the proverbial, despite the imposing doorway.
Coast News, 9 East Parade, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, 2013 • Wonder if it’s just serendipity that the old sign matches up with the new(ish) one?
Little Mo Ca, 219 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Known in full as Little Mo’s Cafe, this features in the rather wonderful website The London Review of […]
SpiceNite, 23 Exeter Road, Exmouth, Devon, 2009 • SpiceNite’s pretty dull-looking, but the tiled shopfront it’s set into certainly isn’t.
Skivers, Druid Street, London Bridge, Borough of Southwatk, London SE1, 2003 • Nice name, but they surely didn’t attract many skivers at 6am. These under-viaduct roads at London Bridge have all […]
Lihiniya, 70 Cricklewood Broadway, Borough of Barnet, London NW2, 2004 • Intricate Sri Lankan shopfront, now a Cats Protection charity shop.
Chard & Sons (Hardware Homeware), 101 Gloucester Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW7, 2005 • A ex-butcher’s (and probably something fancier before that), now London’s most beautiful hardware shop. […]
Veg Out, Side of 228b Stoke Newington Road, Northwald Road, Stoke Newington, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Not entirely healthy-looking veggie outlet, next door to yesterday’s surfie fridge shop; […]
Cookers ‘N’ Fridges, 2 Northwald Road, Stoke Newington, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Surfie graphics meet kitchen appliances – very North Dalston. It’s now called, brilliantly, Sellfridges.
Island Gardens Cafe, Island Gardens, Saunders Ness Road, Isle of Dogs, Bourough of Tower Hamlets, London E14, 2004 • Nice brickwork! Despite the old-school teapot, it currently serves Caribbean cuisine (jerk […]
Ionic, 612 Finchley Road, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • A 1975 replacement for the original 1913 Ionic (great name!), which got crammed into a corner of the Sainsbury’s that […]
S.D.V. Jewellers, 100 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2010 • From the unglamorous end of the jewellery trade, though it’s a great place to get a watch battery…
James Smith & Sons, Hazelwood House, 53 New Oxford St, London WC1, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2011 • A new Year’s present of London’s most famous old shop, an impossibly […]
Fancy Dress @ Party! Party!, 225-227 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, 2011 • Not much party cheer here – ambitious punctuation and nice tiles weren’t enough to save it. Still closed in […]
Casa Italiana S. Vincenzo Pallotti, 136 Clerkenwell Road, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2011 • An Italian community centre, whose tiny tinselled sign says “Buon natale e felice anno nuovo”. It’s […]
A217 Indian Take Away, 9 The Parade, Brighton Road (A217), Burgh Heath, Surrey, 2001 • Yet another grim example of the festive season in Surrey (which is where I used to […]