D. Barnett, 1 Station Approach, Chipstead Station Parade, Chipstead, Surrey CR5, 2001 • The perfect spot for emergency slipper repairs on 28th Dec (probably needed quite often in Surrey). Note ancient […]
Sun Hong, 36 High Street, Caterham, Surrey CR3, 2001 • Pathetic tinsel, festive colours – it could only be a Chinese take away in the dog days of Christmas. The pointless […]
Tasty Grill, 158 Brighton Road, Coulsdon, Borough of Croydon, London CR5, 2001 • A lonely Christmas kebab lady in deepest, dullest Surrey (historically, if not technically) – the word Hopperesque springs to […]
Kelly’s Records, Central Market, St Mary Street, Cardiff, 2012 • Scary festive Elvis at massive vintage vinyl emporium in Cardiff’s wonderful old covered market.
Kanny Kard Kompany, Grainger Market, Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2005 • Canny Geordie name for a card shop, albeit with the unfortunate initials KKK, located within a fine covered market. […]
Hepworth’s Arcade, Market Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, 2005 • Nice arcade, pity about the crap Christmas lights – Hull from the days before it was awarded City of Culture status (and […]
Wishes Galore, 17 Leather Lane, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2001 • Cute typeface, but I’m not sure I’d want my wishes fulfilled here. Now a dry cleaners-cum-phone shop
Maries Cafe, 90 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2005 (top), 2011 (middle), 2003 (bottom) • Shrunken-headed Santa greets curious punter at this popular Thai-cum-greasy spoon caff, which still […]
St George the Martyr, Borough High Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • An ambitious but not-very-successful bit of Christmas calligraphy. At the time, a church boasting a website seemed […]
Xmas Trees, Near Sandford Hotel, Sandford Road (A351), Wareham, Dorset, 2004 • I always like a hand-written sign so I pulled over in the middle of a long drive to snap […]
J.P. Wheeler, 55 Westway, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • An amazing old-fashioned emporium packed with a huge range of non-printing sundries, but displaying the usual parsimonious Surrey approach to Christmas lights. Google […]
Vogue Printers, 30 Rathbone Place, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • From the days when fax rolls featured proudly in window displays, an incredibly useful West End stationers with an […]
Mr. Snob, 22 High Street, Banstead, Surrey SM7, 2001 • Snob refers to a superior type of cobbler (there’s a history here), rather than the good citizens of Banstead. The family business, […]
Honour, 86 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2005 • Festive fetish gear at this stalwart of the rubberwear and bondage scene, still there today if you’re interested…
Sweeny Todds, 41 Station Road, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, 2001 • Grisly attempt at Christmas decor from an unfortunately-named hairdresser paying homage to the “demon barber of Fleet Street” – albeit wrongly spelled. […]
Cameron Hair Fashions, 48 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • A poignant sight: you just know this is one of the last Christmases for this lovingly ruched and curlicued old coiffeur’s, which […]
Sandwich Bar Cafe, 4-5 Hatfields, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2001 • Fine old-school cafe with spurious tinsel and customer in festive green hat. The ruched curtains, painted ivy and […]
Christmas Bargain Store (Dewhurst), 135 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Ah, the grim pursuit of festive cheer. Everyone looks fed up. The baby’s bum is hanging out. The D of […]
J.T. Snuggs, 50 High Street, Banstead, Surrey, 2001 • Another Snuggs – this one’s a jeweller, whose Dickensian name is complemented by Scroogeish Christmas decor. That’s mistletoe in the top left corner, […]
H. Snuggs & Co. (Trafik), 331 Old Street, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2004 • The superbly-named H. (aka Henry) Snuggs bowed out in 1899 – there’s a contemporary report in […]
Euro Screws Limited, Colourbox, 16 Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • Yet another top screw-based emporium, with classic acrylic sign – and it’s still there, complete with […]
Clerkenwell Screws, 109 Clerkenwell Rd, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2004 • Another esteemed purveyor of screws, unchanged to this day (including the scrubbed-out lettering).
Campbells, 513 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Gotta love a logo made out of nuts and screws – and happily, it’s still there.
Twice the Siren, 28 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 • Giant specs, presumably from a departed optician’s, keeping watch over a Waterloo gift shop.
£1,000,000 Bankrupt Stock, circa 16 Richmond Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Really? There’s a million quid’s worth of watches, shirts and slippers in there?
Linens Plus, 65 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • Linens plus what? Crack?
Brodie & Middleton Ltd., Russell & Chapple Ltd., 68 Drury […]
Lewis & Dick Solicitors, 18 Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • No comment. Still there, now with the less-compromising soubriquet Lewis-Dick.
Channon, 21 North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Nice old sign on a newsagents that’s clearly seen better days. By 2009 it was overshadowed by a Lidl; I don’t know if […]
Wakefields Jewellers, 11 West Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003 • This art deco frontage must have been an early “update” for Wakefields, established in 1911. It’s still there – jewellers seem […]
Lewins, 190 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Established in 1934, this jeweller and pawnbroker is still there, but with an updated black frontage foregrounding golden pawnbroker’s balls, and the charming 1960s […]
Digbeth Cold Storage, 123-135 Digbeth, Birmingham, West Midlands, 2005 • One of many magnificent old Digbeth buildings, this leviathan was built in 1899 to serve the local markets. It’s grade 2 listed […]
T & W Farmiloe Ltd., Cringle Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW8, 2011 & 2012 • Immense-doored works-cum-warehouse once belonging to a 150-year-old glass, lead, paint and sanitary ware manufacturing company, […]
Videovent Ltd., 124 Essex Road, Borough of Isligton, London N1, 2002 • To the right of yesterday’s Wools was this sad example of the decline of camera shops; it’s now a […]
Wools, 124 Essex Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • The building has been renovated into flats, and this became simply… a door. Albeit one sandwiched between Food City and a Pound Stop.
A & E Scott and South Bank Grocery, 69 The Cut, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2010 and 2002 (bottom) • An earlier identity as a greengrocer revealed during transformation […]
Kents Chemists, 104 Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, 2002 • Hard to believe such a beautiful “chymist” exists in unassuming suburban Surrey. Both it and the building it’s in were established […]
L & N Cohen, 27 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2002 (top) & 2003 • Battered building housing a discount clothes stall, now smartly restored as posh grocer […]
Conway Trading Co., 15 Toynbee Street, Shoreditch, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2010 (top) and 2004 • I’ve got a feeling this tinned-up row of old traders is still lingering […]
H.H. Brain Ltd., 30-36 Upper York Street, Bristol, Avon, 2011 • A bacon and ham curers once occupied by the makers of legendary Brain’s Faggots (as in offal patties). A sign […]
Chalton Fish & Chip Shop, 61 Chalton Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2005 • Totally gone; it’s now been restored to a house and you’d never know the chippie was […]
East & West Supermarket, 489 New Cross Road, Borough of Lewisham, London SE14, 2002 • Typically blasted shopfront from New Cross, where continents collide in a bus stop scrum. Now Penny’s […]
Jason’s, 34 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Borough of Croydon, London CR5, 2001 • More old-style wood panelling (see Chunnel Bar, yesterday). Now Pizza Night, not made with pet food I hope.
Chunnel Bar, 133 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 & 2011 • Uncompromisingly drab wooden frontage as 1970s as its monicker: Eurostar bypassed Waterloo several years ago, and […]
The Prince Albert Hotel, 27-29 Rendezvous Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2011 • This beautifully tiled rendezvous has had several looks, including an incongruous 1970s one – there’s a history here.
Wok U Like, 31 Baylis Road, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2002 • What a superb name. And it really does look like it serves exquisite cuisine! Has since gone […]
Wing Wah Fish Bar, 174 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • I always like a name that rhymes. In a decisive change of national identity, this later became the Britannia […]
St Margaret’s Church, Edgware, 1 Station Road, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • Sales point for religion, with beautiful lettering.
Apollo Cafe Restaurant, 26 Brixton Road, Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • I doubt the ancient Greeks would feel this a fitting tribute to their sun god, despite the faux marble. Note […]
Barbican Grill, 117 Whitecross Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2002 • Classic cafe from Barbican’s proletarian past, now a posh grey office of some sort.
Virgin, Republic, 18-22 & 16-18 Park Street, Walsall, West Midlands, 2005 • Another grand Walsall building – it certainly outlasted Virgin.
WH Smith (Walsall), 50 Park Street, Walsall, West Midlands, 2005 • Stunning home for the stationers – Walsall is full of faded old buildings far grander than you’d expect. Notice […]
Petre, 5 Poole Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, 2004 • I think this strangely-named shop – in an enclave of tattered buildings housing small businesses both living and dead – may have been a […]
RF Potts, 66-68 Babington Lane, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Not as old-fashioned as its faux-digital font suggests, it even has a website which offers a virtual tour, says they were established in 1933. […]
The Semiconductor Archives, 48 Deptford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Forbidding-looking emporium claiming to source obsolete tech components. There’s even something sinister about using the word “facsimile” rather […]
CGS Computers, 22 Tanner’s Hill, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • More unconvincing “computer” type, on premises that later became a Thai massage joint.
Internet Cafe, 163 Charing Cross Road, Borough of Camden, London WC2, 2005 • Somehow the faux-computer font doesn’t manage to make this place look high tech. It was later razed to […]
Samuel Ironmongers Ltd, 418 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • One of my favourite-ever finds, a sad but splendid old hardware shop, once deserving of a double awning and […]
Ex-shop, next to 68 Rathmore Road, Charlton, Borough of Greenwich, London SE7, 2004 • Mmm, nice shop, can’t wait for it to open again. It was still there in 2012, minus […]
Sarshire Ltd, F. Holt, 41 and 41a Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • A palimpsest of old Brick Lane’s small-trader past; now depersonalised as a generic Costprice […]
RM The Company Shop, 81 City Road, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2002 • Forget the Virgin Islands, I’d happily run my company from this impressive-looking HQ. Except I can’t, because […]
Shampoo, 10 Furzehill Parade, Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, 2010 • Borehamwood is in the British filmland belt near Elstree Studios, so I like to think this utilitarian old hairdresser’s sign is […]
Scratch n’ Dent, 211 Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • I love the wonky carpet of tiles, and it’s a great name for a shop, though now more poshly rebranded […]
Cash Supply Stores, Furniture, ghost signs behind 23 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • More ghost signs, next to yesterday’s music roll emporium. By the […]
The Music Roll Exchange., ghost sign behind Premier Food & Wine, 29 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • Secondhand music rolls, the superannuated CDs of […]
James Phelps Ltd., 26 Goodge Place, Borough of Camden, London W1, 2005 • Another place I used to work at in the early 1990s (well, in a bunker-like office tucked away […]
Soundcraft Limited, 4 Tottenham Mews, Borough of Camden, London W1, 2005 • Looks like a classic 1970s design, but I worked in this strange prow-like building in the early 1990s (when […]
Rahie Off Licence Newsagent, 5 Whitechurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • I knew times were tough for newsagents, but this is ridiculous. Now called Price Cutter.
Steve’s, 21 Herbert Road, Plumstead, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Greengrocer with unfeasibly large name; still there, looks nice when open.
Embassy Cafe, 1-2 Mortimer Square, Holland Park, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London W11, 2002 • Fine old greasy spoon in one of London’s most expensive areas. Still there, still […]
Clapham School of Motoring, 6 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • Confidence-inspiring driving school, handily sited next to a pub. For some reason it didn’t […]
H. Samuel, 7-7A upper Mall, Arndale Centre, High Street, Manchester, 2009 • Tiled 1970s bunker with missing letter – a stirring brutalist sight. The U was still missing three years later; […]
Gamleys, 12 Haslett Avenue West, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • A toy shop, not to be confused with Hamleys; in a less litigious era, proprietor Bill Lord combined famous store names Gamages […]
Lloyd & Son, 42 Amwell Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2004 • High class dairy pictured open in 1978 here. From 2007-2012 it became organic grocery Unpackaged, who retained the frontage, albeit looking […]
Burma Fish Bar, 6 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2002 • More old-style Hoxton – note yummy £1 menu. Now reinvented as internet caff Burma@Access.
Pams Pet Shop, 194 Hackney Road, Hoxton, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 • So blasted, it almost looks like South Bronx in the 1970s. Now smartened up as Shoebase, though […]
Sheila’s Aladins Cave & Wool Shop, 181 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Two target customers bypassing a mis-spelled, yellow-filmed knitting shop channelling spirit of 1970s granny, as faded seaside […]
Henrietta’s News & Food, 1-3 Slipshatch Road, Reigate, Surrey, 2002 • Not wishing to diss Henrietta, but there’s a quiet despair about suburban shopping parades. (This particular shop is now updated […]
Regis Shellfish, The Esplanade, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, 2003 • Aah, the English seaside – not depressing, in any way. This particular stall doesn’t seem to be there any more, but […]
Hotel de Boulogne (London Chinatown), 27 Gerrard Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Belle epoque mosaic step now adding an incongruous continental flavour to Soho restaurant London Chinatown.
Mamas & Papas (Family Discount Store), 94 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2002 • A splendid old mama and papa indeed. The shop’s still there, but with […]
Lou Farrow’s, 277-279 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Super-basic pie & mash frontage near Millwall football ground. It’s still similar but neatly updated, sans random letter-spacing […]
Prestege Cleaning Supplies, West Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • Nice sign, shame about the spelling. Classic little council estate shop of the kind that’s fast disappearing; this one […]
Metacrest Ltd, Lidlington Place, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • Not the world’s finest figure studies, but charming even though the bloke on the right appears to be baring his […]
S (Willesden), St Albans Lane, Golders Green, London NW11, Borough of Barnet, 2003 • Fragment of old signwriting found lurking down an unkempt service road – I doubt it’s still there […]
Hing Loong, 59 Tower Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Faded takeaway with semi re-inked letters; it’s still there, with new sign.
Belmont Fish & Chips, 43 Station Road, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, 2001 • Genteel take on the standard fish bar sign; note inverse text pyramid of offerings on right, and insouciant fishing […]
Terry’s News, Lloyds TSB, 4 & 3 Teignmouth Parade, Perivale, Borough […]
Devine Creations, Videotalk, 5 & 6 Teignmouth Parade, Perivale, Borough of […]
Spar (Derby), 6 The Spot Osmaston Road, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Impressive art deco parade which used to sell provisions, but is now a Money Shop, opposite a Poundland. Sigh.
Gilham, 4 Saint Thomas’ Square, Ryde, Isle of Wight, 2002 • Last hoorah of an imposing deco greengrocers now unrecognisable as Level Hair & Beauty.
Sew & Sew, 377 Edgware Road, Paddington, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • Somehow escaped the crafts boom. Now a coffee shop called Coffee Shop.
J.W. Pelling, 17 New Broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • A brave survivor from the days when wireless didn’t mean wi-fi and satellite dishes were giant receivers based at Goonhilly […]
Colour Centre, 29a Offord Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Heaven knows (perhaps literally) what the original occupants would have made of this. Still there in 2012, but white […]
Copy Copy, 181 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • To some boring, to me charmingly mundane, with witty double name. Later became AM DIY Builders Ltd.
Copy Shop, 25 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • Colourful village copy shop no more – an early victim of the burgeoning internet? Was still to let in 2012.
The Polyshop, 48 Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Sinister heads and inexplicable bunnies, still there in 2012 but with a less lovely logo.
G.S. Williams, JT Barbers, Devon House, 19 Bath Street, Frome, Somerset, 2008 • Fabulous tiled facade in a fascinating town – a pity half the original sign is obscured.
Drury Lane Diner, 176 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, Borough of Camden, London WC2, 2002 • Cheerfully ramshackle takeaway in an eclectic corner of theatreland; it’s now the less colourful East Thai.
Imperial Wine Stores, Watneys, 178 Lambeth Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2012 • Still there, an old-fashioned sign on an old-fashioned corner where the classic 1950s comedy Passport To Pimlico […]