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Five Star Taxis

Five Star Taxis, 1a London Road, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2012 • Bright yet bleak seasonal message. The last online sighting was a bad review two years ago, and their website is cybersquatted, so […]
Five Star Taxis

HK House

HK House, 12a Russell Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2012 • Interesting building with functional festive offering. Apparently it was a good Chinese restaurant, but Tripadvisor reports it as closed – here it is […]
HK House

Superbuys

Superbuys, 66 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Elephantiasis-afflicted Santa resting against a bargain store. Ho ho ho!
Superbuys

Bennetts

Bennetts, 117 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Attractive deco shop unit, which actually looks like a Christmas tree – so much more welcoming with its curved entrance and warm, elegant windows than the […]
Bennetts

L. Fern & Co.

L. Fern & Co., 27 Rathbone Place, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Oh, if only I had taken more than one snatched shot of this venerable coffee merchant, here sporting […]
L. Fern & Co.

Rainbow, Kababish

Rainbow, Kababish, 1161, 1163 Govan Road, Govan, Glasgow G51, Scotland, 2010 • Colourful and quirky frontages punctuating Govan’s endless grubby redstone, part of a Creative Shop Fronts Project by local improvement […]
Rainbow, Kababish

Roslyn

Roslyn, 42 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • Rosy deco-pilastered coiffeuse, possibly run by Ros and Lyn. By 2008 it had become the boringly blue and curtain-less Affinity Hair & Beauty.
Roslyn

Pink

Pink, 44 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2005 • In case you hadn’t guessed, the current mini-theme is … pink. This roseate boutique later became eau-de-nil eaterie Café del Marsh.
Pink

Little House

Little House, 545 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • A little pink house with 29 window panes and seven golden lights, though by 2008 they were tarnished and tumbling. […]
Little House

The Old Calcutta

The Old Calcutta, 64a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Old-school pink Indian; sadly this ornate style seems to have fallen from favour. It’s now the blank-faced Oval […]
The Old Calcutta

Rasa Samudra

Rasa Samudra, 5 Charlotte Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Bearing out a famous quote by Vogue fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who in 1962 stated “Pink is the navy blue […]
Rasa Samudra

C&W Global Ltd

C&W Global Ltd, 283 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2011 • Lovely pink baggage emporium with once-grand entrance, now bland white and hidden by massive plastic sign saying Angel Bags.
C&W Global Ltd

English West Indian

English West Indian, 227 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice old glass number, which is still there, though the business isn’t. The frontage is now green with net […]
English West Indian

Bank of Baroda

Bank of Baroda, 30B Commercial Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Functional bank facade with nice 1960s-style logo (bottom). By 2008 it had a plasticky new orange livery but […]
Bank of Baroda

Northern Rock

Northern Rock, 214-216 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2002 • This seemed boring at the time but I was attracted by the neglected-looking logo. Who could have guessed that such  faded suburban dullness […]
Northern Rock

Englishman’s Castle

Englishman’s Castle, 9-17 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Purveyor of Surrey-style furnishings for over 50 years, and still there, albeit with updated logo.  There’s a vid of the interior […]
Englishman’s Castle

Alan’s

Alan’s, 61 High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Nice hand-made type for traditional florist. They have a website, but it says “Alan’s Florist Shop … is currently closed after many years […]
Alan’s

Alans Naturally

Alans Naturally, 13 South Street, Hull, 2013 • Old-school loose goods purveyor next door to yesterday’s Alan’s Fruiterers, and presumably the same Alan, albeit without apostrophe. Both shops are still there – […]
Alans Naturally

J. Hull & Co.

J. Hull & Co., 128 Kingsland High Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2004 • Traditional net shop which only disappeared in 2014 – you can see its closing down sale here. Reflecting the area’s […]
J. Hull & Co.

The Cleveland

The Cleveland, corner of Paradise Street and Price Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Next to the Seamen’s Dispensary (gone) and opposite the Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen (to be redeveloped), this functional boozer catered to a salty […]
The Cleveland

Nameless 1882 shop

Nameless 1882 shop, 15 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Completing the Cleveland Square triumvirate of Rober L’Pool Ltd and Hollinshead & Walker, this handsomely dilapidated Victorian building was in […]
Nameless 1882 shop

R. Savage

R. Savage, Vandries Street (back of 5-7 Vulcan Street), Liverpool L3, 2008 • Wonderful names – Savage! Vulcan! – in a bit of Merseyside docklands that’s still relatively intact. This remains unchanged, […]
R. Savage

Cafe

Cafe, corner of Henry Street and Suffolk Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Wonky hand-lettering for this generic cafe, which was still a derelict corner in 2014, despite being almost in the city […]
Cafe

Sans’ Cafe

Sans’ Cafe, 2 Lightbody Street, Liverpool 3, 2008 • A famous greasy spoon for 40 years, albeit sans apostrophe knowledge. Owner Tseng Chikhao died in 2014; there’s a great article here. The […]
Sans’ Cafe

San-San

San-San, 59 Lime Street, Liverpool, 2003 • My last example of neon from Liverpool Chinatown’s traditional restaurants – a breed that are slipping away, as they have done in London. This one […]
San-San

China City

China City, 48 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Austere by Chinatown standards, but I like the plasticky faux marble. These days it has no neon, looks even more functional, […]
China City

Chow’s House

Chow’s House, 26 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Traditional neon welcome that was still the same in 2014, but there are no reviews on Tripadvisor so the restaurant has presumably closed down.
Chow’s House

North Garden Restaurant

North Garden Restaurant, 30 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Liverpool’s Chinatown used to have decorative frontages with nice neon, but signage has got more functional over the years. This restaurant is still there, but the neon […]
North Garden Restaurant

The Nook

The Nook, 7 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Blimey, there’s a light on in there. Once renowned as Britain’s only ‘Chinese’ pub (interesting memoir by a 1960s bartender here), this scary-looking boozer […]
The Nook

Ma Bo

Ma Bo, 16 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Legendary old-school restaurant in Liverpool’s Chinatown, which has been going over 40 years and still looks the same. It gets generally excellent reviews for […]
Ma Bo

The Lux Company

The Lux Company, 50 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Name redolent of a 1980s new romantic pop group and design redolent of a 1980s Time Out travel ad. The internet means […]
The Lux Company

Donor Kebab House

Donor Kebab House, 36 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • There’s something rather delicate about this sign, it looks more like a knitting shop. Now, I think, Hot Chillis halal […]
Donor Kebab House

Miller Signs

Miller Signs, 52 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I wonder if this business was behind some of the great signs in Liverpool, which can be seen either side. By 2008 it […]
Miller Signs

Society Brides

Society Brides, 35 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Girly dressings for squared 60s facade. Still there in 2015 with newer but broken sign. Clothes shop Greenwoods below (est 1860) […]
Society Brides

Lee’s Girls

Lee’s Girls, 15-17a Ranelagh Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Is that a play on Les Girls? Sci-fi-sounding procedures in Cooper Black Italic. Still there minus Cooper Black.
Lee’s Girls

Antiques

Antiques, 130 Bold Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 (top) and 2014 • Ah, groovy Davida font. Amazing how much of central Liverpool is still derelict, this was the same in 2003 and […]
Antiques

Open

Open, 48-56 Church Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Tiny Elvis impersonator in front of grand clothes shop building, now a Primark.
Open

Olan Mills

Olan Mills, 18 Lord Street, Liverpool L2, 2003 • That’s Olan, not Alan on the vast old-school sign. Knocked down to make way for Liverpool One shopping quarter and is […]
Olan Mills

Athena

Athena, 45 Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • More Lime Street neon; still there, but they removed the word ‘kebabs’ so there’s a gap in the middle.
Athena

Newroz

Newroz, 57 Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Lime Street, despite being in the centre of Liverpool, is noted for being run down. However there are some shops that make an […]
Newroz

Richmond Hotel

Richmond Hotel, 32 Williamson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Apparently there’s been a pub on this corner for over 200 years. This frilly incarnation is still there, but has been smartened up, and […]
Richmond Hotel

Barratt

Barratt House, 45 Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I can’t find any history on this – but apparently it refers to Barratts shoes (not Barratt the builders. Whatever its origins, it still exists, unlike Cousins […]
Barratt

Lewis’s

Lewis’s, 40 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool, 2003 and 2010 • Grubby city centre monolith, slated to become a Lidl, featuring an imposing male nude statue (apparently known locally as Dickie Lewis) by […]
Lewis’s

Futurist

Futurist, Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 and 2010 • Famous Liverpool cinema from 1912 that’s been decaying since it closed in 1982 and is now in danger of destruction. Shown […]
Futurist

Robert I. Perry

Robert I. Perry, 66 Croydon Road, Caterham, Surrey CR3, 2001 • Why do closed-down shops always seem to have scary circus posters in the window? Despite the planning notice, this […]
Robert I. Perry

Frankle Trimmings

Frankle Trimmings, 281-285 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Art deco cinema, now a trimmings emporium. Apparently it was renovated 2005, maybe just before I […]
Frankle Trimmings

The Commons

The Commons, 59 Plumstead Common Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Grim-looking club whose name is a play on its politics and position – the local Conservative association and Plumstead Common, […]
The Commons

Deeplex

Deeplex, 21 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice name in giant Cooper Black Italic – a great font. It’s still there but with a duller logo.
Deeplex

Family Butchers

Family Butchers & Grocers, 99 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Same sign writer as yesterday’s Adam, surely. Still there but with more boring sign.   […]
Family Butchers

Adam Fashions

Adam Fashions, 81 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice bit of signwriting for a Biblical name. It’s now Just 4 U grocer, whose next door neighbour AZ Halal […]
Adam Fashions

Spencer’s Shoes

Spencer’s Shoes, 99 Peckham High Street, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Wish I’d caught this 1960s throwback while it was still open. It’s now Bilex Money Transfer, and […]
Spencer’s Shoes

Unity Shop

Unity Shop, 2 Atwell Road, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Elegantly-pillared charity shop lookalike selling ‘georges & Swiss voile laces’ – ‘georges’ being presumably georgette. Now gone.
Unity Shop

Personal Jesus

Personal Jesus sign, outside Shoreditch Grind, 213 Old Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2013 • Sign outside trendy coffee shop Shorditch Grind at London’s grotty mini tech hub, Old Street Roundabout.
Personal Jesus

More Blessing

More Blessing, 8 Cobb Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Interestingly, Moreblessing can be a person’s name in Africa – there’s a list of similar unusual names (eg […]
More Blessing

Minerva Hotel

Minerva Hotel, 10 Nelson Street Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Handsome waterfront hostelry boasting ‘the smallest pub room in Britain’. These deco doorcases are a later addition to the essentially 1850s […]
Minerva Hotel

Greek Gods Taverna

Greek Gods Taverna, 6 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2003 • Blimey. This became a branch of the famous trendy restaurant Polpo, itself a beautiful re-imagining of a […]
Greek Gods Taverna

Ju-Ju’s Gift Shop

Ju-Ju’s Gift Shop, West Kiosk, Brighton Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Also called Ju-Ju’s Coconut Cabin. Probably named after someone called Julia, rather than the Nigerian faith. It became Coast Cafe […]
Ju-Ju’s Gift Shop

Julia’s Emporium

Julia’s Emporium, circa 10 Islington Green, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Sadly Islington Green’s too expensive for Tarot reading shops now. It’s totally disappeared – I think it’s the […]
Julia’s Emporium

Guru Express

Guru Express, 139 Hersham Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, 2002 • I’ll have a side-order of spiritual guidance with my pakoras, please. Still looks much the same nowadays.
Guru Express