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Harman’s

Harman’s Post Office & Savings Bank, Sutton Lane North, Chiswick, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2010 • Offering remarkably varied services, this old sign was still on display in 2012, along […]
Harman’s

The China China

The China China, 13 Massets Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • A repetitive name matching the elegant symmetrical facade. By 2012 called New China, with paint peeling, and to let.
The China China

Mr Dandy

Mr Dandy, 78 Bolton Crescent, Kennington, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5, 2001 • Bonkers and brilliant old acrylic sign which is still there at time of writing.
Mr Dandy

Gents

Gents Hairdressing for Men, 10d East Street, Epsom, Surrey, 2002 • A dangerously generic title; I like the way it has to qualify its function as non-gents-toilet…
Gents

Tonys Snacks

Tonys Snacks, 7 Meymott Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • This usually ornate backstreet caff (shown both closed and open) was knocked down to make way for a hotel.
Tonys Snacks

Chemist

Chemist, 182 Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • The word chemist is falling from use; this is now a pharmacy.
Chemist

C.R. Frost & Son

C.R. Frost & Son, 60-62 Clerkenwell Road, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2002 • One of Clerkenwell’s many lost watch and clock businesses, this later became a tile showroom.
C.R. Frost & Son

Alum Food Store

Alum Food Store, 100 Harper Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Splendid hand-made sign, though possibly misspelt as the name changed to Alom when they got a “proper” one.
Alum Food Store

Farey & Sons

Farey & Sons, 37 The Cut, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Became an army surplus store with yellow plastic sign – still old-school, but much less beautiful.
Farey & Sons

Fastway Fliers

Fastway Fliers, 301 Old Sreeet, Borough of Hackney, London EC1, 2002 • Some unusual, and appropriate, Letragraphica type. Later became Cay Tre Vietnamese Kitchen.
Fastway Fliers

Dolla

Dolla Cosmetics & Hair Salon, 75 Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Nice old-fashioned typography, which later got replaced with a swirly purple logo.
Dolla

Notarianni & Sons

Notarianni & Sons, 142 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Exceptionally fine 1950s diner-style facade later mainly concealed  beneath a maroon Indian restaurant fascia.
Notarianni & Sons

Frake’s Ltd Mace

Frake’s Ltd Mace, 51 Leather Lane, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2001 & 2013 (bottom) • There’s something so quintessentially 1950s about this Mace sign. By 2013 all the black letters […]
Frake’s Ltd Mace

Westminster Sauna

Westminster Sauna, 162 Westminster Bridge Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2002 • I like to think this was thronged to the net-curtained gunnels with MPs. Later demolished to make way […]
Westminster Sauna

The Lock Centre

The Lock Centre, 8 High Street, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, 2003 • Still there, but with beige walls and bland typography replacing this rich old-school signpainting.
The Lock Centre

Santana

Santana, 61 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • You don’t get many hardware stores named after Latin-American rock fusion bands. Now with far more boring logo.
Santana

Tudor Café

Tudor Café, 325 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Another Pepsi cafe with an unfeasably small accent. Now unrecognisable as the less delightful Cafe Delight.
Tudor Café

Firmback Works

Firmback Works, 43 Andrews Road, Cambridge Heath, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2003 • Splendidly named thanks to its past housing a manufacturer of traditional chairs. Frontage still intact in 2012.
Firmback Works

Oval Office

Oval Office, 10 Clapham Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2005 • Used to be Oval Post Office. Now one-third of an estate agent. So things go, in London anyway.
Oval Office

Whistling Kettle

Whistling Kettle, 10 Wincolmlee, Hull, East Yorkshire, 2004 • Only the wind whistles through it now… the redundant grille adds a finishing touch of Larkinesque gloom. By 2013 it had […]
Whistling Kettle

Rheidol Rooms

Rheidol Rooms, 16 Rheidol Terrace, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2003 • Another Pepsi cafe. Apparently still there, but somewhat repainted and without the venetian blinds.
Rheidol Rooms

C.E. Pound

C.E. Pound, 162 Trafalgar Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • This art deco-ish beauty may still lurk beneath current incumbent Mr Chung’s equally large sign.
C.E. Pound

Adel Hair Fashions

Adel Hair Fashions, 204 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • One of the most beautiful facades I ever found. Unrecognisable now as Chesney’s luxury fireplace emporium.
Adel Hair Fashions

Café – Restaurant

Café – Restaurant, 187 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Boasts ridiculously tiny accent on Café. Astonishingly, this still looked exactly the same (minus flags) in […]
Café – Restaurant

Fanny Adams Unisex

Fanny Adams Unisex, 10 West Lane, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • They probably didn’t know that Fanny Adams was an 8-year-old whose murderer tore her into pieces. […]
Fanny Adams Unisex

Costa’s Barbers.

Costa’s Barbers., 165 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Infinitely preferable to a Costa coffee shop, this appeared to be undergoing refurbishment in 2012.
Costa’s Barbers.

Comfit Ltd.

Comfit Ltd, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Does anyone still use the word “slacks”? The sign has now gone, but the general decay remains.
Comfit Ltd.

C’mon In

C’mon In, Clyde Street (under railway bridge between Saltmarket and Bridgegate), Glasgow, 2010 • Hmmm, I won’t, thanks.
C’mon In

Nuit Cleaners

Nuit Cleaners, 72 Brixton Road, Oval, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • I keep expecting this superb name to disappear but stoically it remains.
Nuit Cleaners

Robinsons

Robinsons, 48 Old Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • Another casualty of the monolithic Bermondsey Spa development (see below).
Robinsons

Jellies Walk-In

Jellies Walk-In, 12 New Broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • I have no idea what this means. Became TaxAssist accountants, bicycles still not allowed.
Jellies Walk-In

Colt Bookstore

Colt Bookstore, 3 Berwick Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Last redoubt of the plastic strip curtain. Demolished to make way for glossy new apartments / retail.
Colt Bookstore

Hong Kong Garden

Hong Kong Garden, 22 Woolwich Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • Now says New Hong Kong Garden on a garish magenta sign, but the yellow stripes beneath remain.
Hong Kong Garden

Peckish

Peckish, 1a Manor Place, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Manor Place indeed: a St George’s flag and even a UK burglar alarm. Note woodpecker pecking Peckish logo.
Peckish

Beverley Hall Ltd.

Beverley Hall Ltd., 16 Regent Parade, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, West Midlands, 2005 • I thought this was being knocked down when I photographed it, but in 2012 it was still intact.
Beverley Hall Ltd.

G. Hill

G. Hill, 405 Evelyn Street, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice lettering, I wonder what it sold? Now demolished.
G. Hill

Brothers Garden

Brothers Garden, 3 Pier Road, North Woolwich, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2005 • A magnificently tumbledown corner now occupied by Harvest Chinese Takeaway. A DLR connection has led to a lot of […]
Brothers Garden

Grandma’s

Grandma’s, 4 Clapham High Street / Gauden Road, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • Grandma’s barred-up Jamaican hole-in-the wall appears to have gone, along with her Bob […]
Grandma’s

Alan R Long

Alan R Long, 19 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Traditional butcher’s which is still there. Looks like they take the red-and-white awning in every night.  
Alan R Long

The Pot Company

The Pot Company, 16-20 Raymouth Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • As in garden accessories, not drugs. Now obliterated: the arches were refurbished with anonymous blue units.
The Pot Company

Heel Bar

Heel Bar, 73 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A proudly upbeat old acrylic sign, still there in 2012, along with cheerful shutter mural.
Heel Bar

Kings Sandwich Bar

Kings Sandwich Bar, 6 Milroy Walk, South Bank, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • In a not-so-regal brutalist mall beneath Kings Reach Tower (ex-home of IPC magazines), due for […]
Kings Sandwich Bar

Scrap Metal Wanted

Scrap Metal Wanted, Arch 488, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • This whole Dickensian viaduct was razed for the swanky new Overground; by 2012 site […]
Scrap Metal Wanted

Shad Restaurant

Shad Restaurant, 8 William Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Mmmm, welcoming. Actually a substantial Indian restaurant round the front, and still there: Shad means tasty.
Shad Restaurant

The Manor Cafe

The Manor Cafe, 163 Manor Place, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2001 • The whole parade was later boarded up with Southwark council’s bright purple hoardings, still there in 2012.
The Manor Cafe

Aldgate Warehouse

Aldgate Warehouse, 65-66 Whitechapel Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2002 • Was demolished to make way for the London Muslim Centre’s huge mosque at 46-92 Whitechapel Road.
Aldgate Warehouse

Shoefayre

Shoefayre, 129-131 Borough High Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2013 • Was hidden by decaying scaffolding for over a decade until being revealed again in a street “smartening” for […]
Shoefayre

Pleckbond Ltd

Pleckbond Ltd, 119 Falcon Road, Battersea, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • I was attracted by the odd name and contrasting windows. Unchanged by 2012; a publishing business, apparently.
Pleckbond Ltd

Glass Mirrors

Glass Mirrors, 205 Grange Road, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • As opposed to plastic mirrors, perhaps. Still derelict by 2012, though sans name boards and bearing a […]
Glass Mirrors

Chemist.

Chemist. NHS Prescriptions Dispenced, 165 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A classic: generic name, random full stop, spelling issues, misplaced security fears. Became Hair by […]
Chemist.

Kehoe’s.

Kehoe’s., 5 Stoney Street, Borough Market, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Borough Market gentrified and this became smart Applebee’s Fish, but there’s still a Kehoe’s cobbler nearby.
Kehoe’s.