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The Tea Hut

The Tea Hut, Surrey Row, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Ramshackle snack kiosk allegedly dating back to the 1940s but demolished circa 2008 to make way for apartments.
The Tea Hut

Top Joe’s

Top Joe’s, 4 Arlington Parade, Brixton Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2001 • Huge boasty bonkers sign whose stripy wall and backwards apostrophe brightened Brixton for decades – but no […]
Top Joe’s

Terminus Snack Bar

Terminus Snack Bar, 18 Terminus Place, Victoria Station, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • A newer Terminus than yesterday’s, but the sign’s equally defunct and the whole 1970s-throwback parade is […]
Terminus Snack Bar

The Terminus.

The Terminus. (aka Eastern Promise), 38 Greenwich Church Street, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • Old glass sign briefly revealed (and probably still lurking there) by Eastern Promise cafe replacing […]
The Terminus.

Wimpy Bar (Holborn)

Wimpy Bar, 117 Kingsway, Holborn, Borough of Camden, London WC2, 2003 • And here’s a Wimpy Bar photographed 20 years after yesterday’s. Note faded interior shot in window (see detail, below).
Wimpy Bar (Holborn)

Beddy Buyz Ltd

Beddy Buyz Ltd, 197-199 East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • It might look like a closed-down ruin, but it’s still going strong. Note tiny “snores” emerging from the […]
Beddy Buyz Ltd

J. Wilson & Co.

J. Wilson & Co, 96 David Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow G40, Scotland, 2012 • Dinky yellow works brightening up a Scottish industrial estate, in the same row as yesterday’s unit.     […]
J. Wilson & Co.

Charles A

Charles A, David Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow G40, Scotland, 2012 • Superannuated sawtooth-roofed works unit with sawn-off name, now part of a tool hire establishment.
Charles A

Gardner & Finch

Gardner & Finch, 70 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2012 • Quali y Butch r – a classic old  frontage now at the letters-falling-off stage…
Gardner & Finch

Caffé Roma

Caffé Roma, 59 Westgate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, 2008 • Amazingly, this 1960s Italianesque beauty lasted till 2008, but it’s since been replaced by a North African cafe.
Caffé Roma

Sunshine

Sunshine, 5 Crown Parade, Crown Dale, Streatham, Borough of Lambeth, London SE19, 2002 • The wrong kind of sunshine, I fear.
Sunshine

Sun Sun

Sun Sun, 45 High Street, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 2001 • Sunny by name, sunny by nature. Now the very dark and doomy-looking Oriental Chef.
Sun Sun

Jean

Jean, 18 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Sigh – shops named after their owners, selling random bits of haberdashery, are a dying (if not dead) breed.
Jean

A. & I. Lask

A. &  I. Lask, 60a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • From a stretch of road that was home to loads of ancient-looking shops, now nearly all gone.
A. & I. Lask

Bojacs Club

Bojacs Club, 38 Goodge Street, Borough of Camden, London W1, 2002 • Watneys Red Barrel! Cobwebs! An old members’ club sign on – bizarrely – a doormat, revealed by a refurb.
Bojacs Club

Nicholas Johns

Nicholas Johns, 281 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London, SE16, 2002 • Oddly beautiful, in all its fairy-lit ruined pinkness. Was reborn as the lurid-sounding Curry Den, with tiny mosaics […]
Nicholas Johns

Bespoke Windows

Bespoke Windows, Great Suffolk Street (sign for 70 Ewer Street), Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Nice take on the then-new Tate Modern. The area’s got too posh for light […]
Bespoke Windows

Billo Shoes

Billo Shoes, 598 Kingsland High Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2002 • Later moved down the road to no. 294, but still has the same beautiful hippy-font sign.
Billo Shoes

Martinis Café

Martinis, 226a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2003 • This once had a superb yellow plastic facade, which I shall post another time. It’s now gone completely.
Martinis Café

Bargain World

Bargain World, 7 Central Parade, Central Avenue, West Molesey, Surrey, 2001 • A closed world of bargains from the heyday of chavs. Now a Chinese takeaway called Orient Express.
Bargain World

Zak’s Snacks

Zak’s Snacks , 48 Rosebery Avenue, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2003 • Now a generic fast food place with the far less poetic name of Mix Grill.
Zak’s Snacks

Joy

Joy, 52 Broadway Market, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2006 • Eine, the bloke who graffitied this shutter, ended up with a painting (chosen by Sam Cam for Obama) in the […]
Joy

R. Cooke

R. Cooke, 84 The Cut, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2001 • Very popular old Waterloo caff which shut overnight “on doctor’s orders”. And I never set foot in there. Damn.
R. Cooke

The Bacon Shop

The Bacon Shop, 6 Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 2009 • A shop just for bacon! It closed in 2008 but there’s a nice Flickr set of its 1970-80s glory days here.
The Bacon Shop

Byrite

Byrite, 140 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Remember the chain Mr Byrite? It started in 1912 as hat shop Levy & Son; and here is is in […]
Byrite

Beige Plus

Beige Plus, 7 Hoop Lane, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • Nice logo, but possibly not the most enticing of advertising hoardings…
Beige Plus

James Gubb

James Gubb, 85 Leather Lane, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2011 • Superb old-fashioned butcher with superb old-fashioned name, still going strong.
James Gubb

The Tyre Shop

The Tyre Shop, 100 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Not a tyre in sight, but a nice hand-crafted two-tone paint job. Later became an office of […]
The Tyre Shop

Voltaire Motors

Voltaire Motors, 2-4 Voltaire Road, Clapham, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • As poetic as its name, and nearly as long-gone. Later became Secondo, a glass-fronted “vintage and retro cafe-bar”.
Voltaire Motors

Capital Taxi’s

Capital Taxi’s, 28 Great Suffolk Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 & 2010 (bottom) • Ah, the greengrocer’s apostrophe. By 2012 just a patch of striped wall remained and the […]
Capital Taxi’s

Battista’s

Battista’s, 135a Charing Cross Road, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2001 • An unusual sponsored Pepsi cafe sign in a Victorian display font. Whole block now demolished for Crossrail.
Battista’s

Y2K

Y2K, 33 Liverpool Street, City of London, London EC2, 2006 • A video library for the new millennium – how wrong can you get.
Y2K

W.J. Jenkins

W.J. Jenkins, 81a Rochester Row, Victoria, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2005 & 2013 (bottom) • Not all traditional watchmakers have disappeared – this was still there in 2013, complete with watches […]
W.J. Jenkins

Suzanne

Suzanne, 70 Brixton Road, Oval, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • It was a sad day when this 1950s dressing table-style hairdresser, with what looks like a jungle inside, became […]
Suzanne

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