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.
Grilled Burgers – Jumbo Sausages, Bilton Towers NCP, 25 Great Cumberland Place, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • The burger stall and yellow NCP sign have gone, but the […]
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.
V Falber & Sons, Daddy Kool, The Soho Music Company, […]
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.
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.
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 […]
Dilnot’s Bakers & Confectioners, 77 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • This looks like it should be a permanent fixture, but became a jewellers. What looks like an ex-Hovis sign, top […]
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. […]
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.
Best Cash Butcher, 258 (ex-196) Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, 2001 • This ancient sign revealed by a shop closure was still there in 2008, but probably isn’t now.
Café, 36 Redchurch Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Pepsi cafes are a dying breed. This became Chaat Bangladeshi Kitchen.
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.
C’mon In, Clyde Street (under railway bridge between Saltmarket and Bridgegate), Glasgow, 2010 • Hmmm, I won’t, thanks.
E. Barclay FSMC FACLP Optician, 158 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 and 2010 • Magnificent old optician’s sign, later with name half-obliterated as below.
Dominic Hair Fashions, 1a Clifton Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex, 2003 • Once so proud, by 2012 even sadder than this: “Dominic” lettering torn off, blinds faded pale peach.
Cafe Breakfast Dinners and Teas…, 177 New Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Generic yet specific; and I like the 1930s stepped fascia. Now plasticky blue Cafe […]
Caustin Church Metalware, 188a Warham Street, Kennington, Borough of Southwark, London SE5, 2001 • This classic old works was later demolished – sadly this is the only photo I took.
Nuit Cleaners, 72 Brixton Road, Oval, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • I keep expecting this superb name to disappear but stoically it remains.
F.J. Meadows Ltd, 14 Greenford Road, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Phone Vigilant 5350 no more – by 2012 this was boarded up and for sale.
Kelvinator Launderama, 144 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Launderettes stay happily old-fashioned. The wood got painted blue, but the retro sign remains.
Gerry’s Curtains, 56 East Street, Walworth, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Looks like Gerry left some outside. Unchanged by 2012 in old-school East Street market.
George’s Fruit & Veg, 273 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Metamorphosed into two shops: Brother’s Barbers and Dammy Stores.
Robinsons, 48 Old Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • Another casualty of the monolithic Bermondsey Spa development (see below).
Junk & Disorderly, 25 Old Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • The whole road was later junked for a massive new apartment quarter, Bermondsey Spa.
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.
Hammerton Plumbing Fittings, 159 Stoke Newington Road, Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Beautiful old shop now unrecognisable – though still yellow – as Safak Florist.
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.
Good Man Chinese Food, 193 New Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Still there, despite bearing the unusually frank food message of jumbo, junk and horse.
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.
J. Blundell & Sons, 199 Wardour Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • After over 150 years in Soho, moved to Hatton Garden in 2003, with a similar but […]