Alan’s Fruiterers, 9 South Street, Hull, 2013 • Immense and striking faux fruit machine frontage in Hull, famed (sort of) for its now-artsy fruit market district.
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 […]
Clifford Shirt M’f’g. Co. Ltd., 37-43 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • ‘Royal’, what an evocative area code! This is my last Liverpool shopfront for now, in the red and green […]
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 […]
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 […]
Rober L’Pool Ltd, 14 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1, 2003 • A neighbour of of Hollinshead & Walker, with mysterious truncated name. Became stylish dog grooming parlour Dog One.
Hollinshead & Walker, Harry Haworth (Glassware) Ltd., 16-17 Cleveland Square, […]
Europleasure International Ltd, 2-8 Duke Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 and 2013 • A name, like The Lux Company, that’s straight out of James Bond. This was derelict for ages, and looked much the […]
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, […]
I.B.S. Merseyside Ltd, 72 Waterloo Road (between Regent Street and Porter Street), Liverpool L3, 2008 • Interesting hand lettering with Ws like upside-down Ms and an 18th-century look. Google reckons […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Nameless green Chinese shop, Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Attractive decaying paint job in lucky Chinese colours. Now a house.
Oriental Food Wholesale & Retail, 31 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I can’t find a 31 Nelson Street now, so maybe it got knocked down.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Bargain Booze, 22-24 Vauxhall Road, Liverpool L3, 2014 • Bargain booze, bargain sign.
David Pluck, The Blob Shop, 40 Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Pub beneath bookie beneath Yates’s Wine Lodge ghost sign, all still there. According to this Bad Pub Guide The Blob Shop […]
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) […]
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.
The Puzzle, Connection Point, Silverberg Opticians, 30 Whitechapel, Liverpool L1, […]
Tutill-Nicol Ltd Jordan Woodrows, 1 Richmond Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Traditional stationers closed in 2009 after 130 years due to a massive rent increase (article here). Inside, it had […]
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 […]
Open, 48-56 Church Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Tiny Elvis impersonator in front of grand clothes shop building, now a Primark.
Half Price Jewellers, 23 Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Brilliant psychedelic sign. Now a Ladbrokes betting shop.
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 […]
H. Coleman, Spy Shop, Richie Tattoo Artist, Max Spielmann, 24 […]
Ian S Davis, 66 Hanover Street, Liverpool L1, 2014 • Ex-optician in art deco tiled building.
A. E. Walsby Opticians, 48 Renshaw Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • A family chain which lasted until one of the third generation was convicted of defrauding the NHS. It was […]
Hair Express, Faces, 40 Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Forbidding temples of beauty. Hair Express still has a small wall sign present, but both it and Faces have gone, […]
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.
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 […]
Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant, 54 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • There used to be lots of nice old neon signage in Liverpool. This charming example is now totally gone, replaced […]
Las Vegas Amusements, 2-12 Bolton Street, Liverpool L3, 2003 • Glamorous neon signage (despite faded coins) on a utilitarian unit next to Lime Street Station. Now a minimart.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
ABC Cinema, corner of Lime Street and Elliot Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Right opposite Liverpool’s main train station, a grubby Grade 2 listed disused deco cinema built in 1931. It’s not […]
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 […]
Tate Gallery, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 • From the days before it was called simply Tate. The frontage is still the same except they’ve taken off the word ‘Gallery’. I […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
Chelsea Funeral Directors, 91 Rochester Row, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2013 • I hesitate to call an undertaker’s cute, but this one is.
Supergrows Cosmetic, 405 Mare Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2010 • Yargh, nightmare on Mare Street. That’s some cosmetic (bottom pic).
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.
Ali Brothers Butchers, 27 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • I like to think that’s the brothers in the window. The nice sign has now gone, supplanted […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
Blessed Assurance Co., 201 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Truly blessed, as it was still there over a decade later.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Hare Krishna Matchless Gifts, 102 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2010 • How cheerful! Still there but with a slightly less psychedelic logo.
Be’L’ievers Limited, 141 Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Note use of tiny letter ‘C’s for inverted commas. Still rocking the scare quotes as tailor Stitch “N” Time.
Religion, 154 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2011 • The glazed green tiles suggest this was once a food business, or maybe a pub. It’s apt name for Brick Lane – across […]
Faith, 192-194 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Now for a few posts on the subject of faith. This conjunction of signs caught my eye every time […]
Hansid, 121 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • To me a pleasing name, though possibly once part of a greater whole. The unit has since been knocked down; […]
Robert A. Grummitt, High Street, Caterham, Surrey CR3, 2001 • Suitably resonant name for a maker, repairer and restorer of violins, bows, guitars and mandolins. Established in 1971 and still in business; […]
Trayman Solicitors, 247 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Rather beautiful in an understated, random way: Doric portal, bathroom tiles, bottleglass windows, vintage street number […]
Inter Biz, 1d Blenheim Grove, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Wonkily hand-painted one-stop shop for a bewildering array of financial services. A note on the door says ‘Am down the […]
Nitters Needs, 36-38 Station Road, West Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR0, 2010 • Great name, with an even older sign peeping out behind it; the derelict shop still looked […]
The Corner Off-Licence, 18 Abbey Lane, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • More modernist grimness, in an area whose local landmark was at this point a sewer outfall, but is […]
Cumbernauld Shopping Centre, 10 Ettrick Walk, Cumbernauld, Scotland, 2012 • Famous 1960s brutalist edifice not improved by later additions, and now called the Antonine Centre. The only original part still […]
Public Toilets Dry Cleaning Key Cutting, St Ages Well, Old Street Underground Station, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2008 • A last redoubt of 1970s tubedom in a subterranean mall named after […]
Shirley Stores, 2-8 Shirley Street, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • Bleakness on the edge of Silvertown. Later became a Kwiksave.
Nige’s Lunchbox and Groceries, 32 Scale Lane, Kingston upon Hull, 2004 • A faded handwritten sign says: ‘Niges rugs + “carpets” no under lay though’, with a smaller note qualifying […]
Care Assistant Training, Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Remember this kind of thing? No wonder there were care home scandals. How depressing.
Lloyds TSB (Oxford Street), 32 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • Now for a bit of summer shopping grimness, and where better to start than Europe’s busiest shopping […]
W.C.R. Dies, JW Print Finishers, Quicksilver Ltd, Fox Finishers, 27 Wallis Road, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2006 • Morbidly-named hive of industry which had gone by 2008, when Olympic projects swept into the area.
G. Horton Ltd, 7 Market Place, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 2007 • Not quite Profil font, but near enough. This old pharmacy actually looks more vintage now, as is the trend.
Boardmans Teleflora, The University of Manchester, 296 Oxford Road, Manchester, 2009 • Teleflora, that name’s a blast from the past. Looks like an pretty old sign to me, with its alphabetical […]
St Marys Centre (Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries), Ladywell […]
26 Bedfordbury (Peter’s Gents Hairdressers), 26 Bedfordbury, City of Westminster, […]
North Eastern Rubber Co Ltd, 35-37 Clive Street, North Shields, North Tyneside, 2013 • Profil font lives on in light industry…
Southern Video, 41 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Red Profil on pink fascia, what a colourful shop. Last spotted in 2009 with blue Profil on yellow.
Streatham Skinworks, 4 Bridge Parade, Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • From the days before tattooing became a hipster boom trade. Pity they didn’t use Profil font for the […]
Surrey Sports, 67 High Street, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 2002 • I love this OTT discotastic font. The shop’s still there, but with much more boring logo.
Surrey Foam, 54 Croydon Road, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Surrey denizens are so proud of their county they even name foam shops after it.
Grimwade Services, 262a Brixton Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2002 • Another Dickensian name from old Lambeth. I doubt there was much demand for ‘president’ signs.
Fagin’s House Clearance, 105 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2001 • Dickensian name and address for a Dickensian line of work. Became clothes shop Valerio.
G.J. Petts, 5 Westmoreland Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2001 • Unfortunate name for a butcher. Was still there in 2015, looking even more battered.
Beder Telecom, 207 Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • Beder than a Lycamobile shopfront, anyway, despite the wired phone. Been replaced by a pub, unusually.
Quickie Heel Bar, 198 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Brilliant name, as featured in the book Formerly (right). No longer there, of course.
Eva Petulengro, Palace Pier, Brighton, East Sussex, 1983 • A slow day for clairvoyancy at Brighton’s then-decaying Palace Pier, which is nowadays called Brighton Pier and much smarter. I hope that is Eva herself emerging, with […]
A.H. Prior, circa 6 Cleaver Street, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2001 • Another ecclesiastical name, long gone. Now The Locker Room, a male sauna.
Bishops Stores, 365 New King’s Road, Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Nice bit of cheery acrylic signage, alongside newer coke-sponsored sign. Still there, complete with apostrophe […]