Legs ‘n’ Co, 86 Maxwell Street, Glasgow G1, Scotland, 2012 • Defunct lap dancing joint named after dodgy 1970s Top of the Pops dance troupe, with suitably retro sign.
Liqueur Store, 32 Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • A nice conceit – but I wonder if they meant Liquor Store?
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.
Uncle Jim’s Off Licence, Uncle Jim’s Launderette, 208 & 208a […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
William Amusement Burger Bar, 26 Station Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • Channelling the groovy Wimpy vibe. By 2012 was called The New Cafe, with the same net in the door, and […]
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, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 1983 • Gloomy-looking punters, from the days when there were still more Wimpy Bars than McDonalds.
Tea Coffee Hot Soup, unknown cafe, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 1983 • In cartons to take away – how modern. Whatever this caff was, it won’t be there now.
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 […]
Husband & Currell Ltd Printers (now A&S Signs), 240 Holliday Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, 2005 • Melancholy ghost sign of a printing firm which lasted from 1934-1991, lurking behind newer incumbent A&S […]
L A Aildail Ltd., 199 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2007 • Top fashion! Being knocked down/redeveloped, unsurprisingly.
New Millennium (W.F. Mawer), 332 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • And which millennium is that, precisely?
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. […]
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.
Gardner & Finch, 70 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2012 • Quali y Butch r – a classic old frontage at the letters-falling-off stage. By 2017 it still looked […]
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.
J.B. Shakespeare Ltd, 67 George Street, East Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR0, 2010 • Another funeral parlour with a Dickensian (if not Shakespearean) name, established in 1877.
A.W. Luck & Sons, 3 Church Lane, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • Yes, it’s a funeral parlour. And it’s still there.
Sunshine, 5 Crown Parade, Crown Dale, Streatham, Borough of Lambeth, London SE19, 2002 • The wrong kind of sunshine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
Benny’s Textile Corner, 1 Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Proud rag trade emporium commandeering both an entire corner and the start of a major road. Became […]
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.
Adfa Ventures Limited, 446 New Cross Road, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Mmmm, their hi-tech sign is really giving me confidence. Now replaced by a solicitor, however.
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 […]
Ye Olde Town Launderette, 28-30 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2012 • Yeah, I’ll go to the launderette in the new town, thanks.
AM & Son Auto Electrician, 25 Midland Road, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2002 • One of of a series of decaying garages subsumed into the vast, posh ramparts of the […]
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.
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.
C&A, 200-211 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Dubbed “Cheap & Awful”, it quit the UK in 2000 but is still big in Europe. This ex-store now houses […]
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 […]
Beige Plus, 7 Hoop Lane, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • Nice logo, but possibly not the most enticing of advertising hoardings…
James Gubb, 85 Leather Lane, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2011 • Superb old-fashioned butcher with superb old-fashioned name, still going strong.
Balls Pond Bodéga, 108 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • A doomed mismatch between ambition and reality.
Car Spares, 31 Wallis Road, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2006 • Yeah, I’d definitely get my car parts here.
5 Star Sandwich & Salad Bar, 33 Southampton Row, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2001 • Defunct Pepsi caff named after defunct pop group (or possibly not).
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 […]
La Brosse Gentlemen’s Hairdresser, Institute Walk, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Barbershop in a tree. What else do you expect in Institute Walk.
Dominic’s Take Away, 172 Goswell Road, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2008 & 2013 (bottom) • Dominic should have tried taking away some of those wires. (2013 update, bottom – oh, he […]
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”.
Phil. Terry Trouser Maker, Unit 4b Regent Studios (ex-Ada Street Workshops), 8 Andrews Road, Cambridge Heath, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2005 • Old-school signage, now departed, in a grungy block […]
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 […]
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.
Chung Wah Supermarket, circa 48 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Picturesque slice of Liverpool ruination swept away by ugly new flats.
Y2K, 33 Liverpool Street, City of London, London EC2, 2006 • A video library for the new millennium – how wrong can you get.
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 […]
Walk Around Superstores, 97 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 • It’s not a superstore, and you can’t walk around it, but it’s a nice old acrylic sign. […]
Dowell’s Coals, Norway Street, Greenwich, London SE10, 2005 • An old docklands warehouse sign that disappeared under a huge development of riverside flats.
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 […]
Gents Hair Stylists (Norms a peado), 20 Portland Drive, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • Good job he’s not a paedo. By 2015 this still looked the same, minus awning and poorly-spelled graffiti.
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 […]
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.
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.
W.E. Savage & Son, 72 Wilmot Street, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • By 2012 this was still there, decaying away near the memorably-named Lara Croft Way.
Hunt and Son Security, Riverside Way, Borough of Greenwich, London SE7, 2005 • So called because you have to hunt for them in the cafe, where they have “poped”.
John Kimpton & Co Insurance Services, 85 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Recalling the heady days when anyone could get a mortgage. Now a curtain shop.
One Hour Quality Dry Cleaning by Eric’s, 98 Essex Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Now a tasteful beige Dry Cleaning Station, not by Eric’s.
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…
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.
Chemist, 182 Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • The word chemist is falling from use; this is now a pharmacy.
Millennium Cafe, Silvertown Way / Brunel Street (South), Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • Totally demolished, and even the side road has gone.
Blackwall Aggregates Limited, 295-303 Tunnel Avenue, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2005 • Classic view of Canary Wharf from behind O2 (the ex-Millennium Dome); nowadays this yard is a neatly […]
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.
Chinatown Quality Foods, 2 Knight Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Quality never lets you down…
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.
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.
Fastway Fliers, 301 Old Sreeet, Borough of Hackney, London EC1, 2002 • Some unusual, and appropriate, Letragraphica type. Later became Cay Tre Vietnamese Kitchen.
Bob’s Shoe Repairs, 171 Blackfriars Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Classic if wonky signwriting. Now a dry cleaner in a block due to be demolished.
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.
America St Testing Stn, 39 America Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • A lovely name, charmingly hand-painted. Was replaced by a far less cheerful-looking auto business.
Simmons Dining Rooms, 32 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002, 2010, 2013 (top to bottom) • By 2010 there was a trendy cafe behind this facade – I preferred the saggy […]
African Prices, 390 Walworth Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2001 • As opposed to princes. By 2012 it had been renamed Sofisticats.
Spendloads-Please, 129 Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • There used to be two branches of this splendidly-named hairdresser, both now gone.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
Mazzini Garbaldi Club, 51 Red Lion Street, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Founded 1864, sold 2008, now an expanse of plate glass, with no trace of these Italian flag-coloured […]
R.T. Display Systems Ltd, 212 New Kings Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Here’s more slab-serif signage. Now gone, as this became a yellow-and-white trade centre.
J.A. The Kitchen & Bathroom Centre, circa 11 Leigh Hill, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, 2007 • I love the classic slab-serif lettering on this fascia, which eventually all disappeared leaving just shadows.
Nameless cafe (M.T. Plate?), circa 22 New Broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • A window crying for all lost net-curtained cafes. I think it had been The M.T. Plate, […]
Tudor Café, 325 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Another Pepsi cafe with an unfeasably small accent. Now unrecognisable as the less delightful Cafe Delight.
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.
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.
George Staples, 2 West Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • Now Hair Candy – not the same kind of sustenance at all.
The Johnson Engineering Co, 319 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2000 & 2005 (bottom) • There’s no trace of these stunning signs left – it’s now a boring […]
Adhesive Specialities Ltd, 59 Ladywell Road, Borough of Lewisham, London SE6, 2010 • Classic little art deco factory with a brilliant name, knocked down weeks after I happened across it, […]
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 […]
Chaminade Hair by Frank & Chris, 40 High Street, Cheam, Surrey, 2002 • Named after composer Cécile Chaminade? Now plain grey Molyneux Hairdressing, but still has the nice M handle.