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Grimwade Services

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.
Grimwade Services

G.J. Petts

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.
G.J. Petts

Beder Telecom

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 Been replaced by a pub, unusually.
Beder Telecom

Quickie Heel Bar

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.
Quickie Heel Bar

Eva Petulengro

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 […]
Eva Petulengro

A.H. Prior

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.
A.H. Prior

Bishops Stores

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 […]
Bishops Stores

St. Judes

St. Judes, 172 London Road, Mitcham, Surrey, 2001 • Quaintly-named newsie in quaintly-named Figgs Marsh. Jude – the patron saint of desperate causes – is nowadays sponsored by Lycamobile.
St. Judes

Christian Caring

Christian Caring Ministries, 189 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Not sure if this is a church or a shop – God moves in mysterious ways. Now beauty […]
Christian Caring

Kabra Kebabra

Kabra Kebabra, 58 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5, 2015 • Coldharbour Lane seems to specialise in bonkers shop names. This one’s already quite famous on the internet. Not to […]
Kabra Kebabra

Rock Steady Eddies

Rock Steady Eddies, 2a Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE5 • Longstanding Camberwell landmark, famed as the nearest cheap cafe to Maudsley ‘mental hospital’ (to use the 1980s term). Reviews could […]
Rock Steady Eddies

Crown & Glory

Crown & Glory, 10 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE5, 2015 • Upper case italic script, always a bold move. A holdout from the bland new signage infecting the […]
Crown & Glory

Amaraché

Amaraché, 96 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5 • Some quite impressive wiring here. Note accented ‘e’ in different font. Google can’t translate the name, so I don’t know […]
Amaraché

David Greig

David Greig, 232 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2015 • More beautiful, if less useful than when it was open – it used to be a Futon […]
David Greig

P.C. Royce

P.C. Royce, 21 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2015 • There’s two layers of sign here. ‘Baker &’ it says at the left of the newer logo, so the […]
P.C. Royce

Princess Dry Cleaning

Princess Dry Cleaning, 19 Wellington Row, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2015 • Until recently the old ‘Valet Service’ sign was covered by an equally attractive 1960s plastic fascia saying Princess Laundrette (complete […]
Princess Dry Cleaning

I. Paule Ltd

I. Paule Ltd, Merchant House, 24 Wentworth Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • There are many layers of the name over this alleyway in the Petticoat Lane area. A comment on […]
I. Paule Ltd

Alan Sadick & Co

Alan Sadick & Co, 3 The Promenade, Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • More Profil, all painted black. By 2014 the ‘C’ had fallen off the […]
Alan Sadick & Co

Aladdin’s Cave

Aladdin’s Cave, 194 Middlewood Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Plucky use of mixed visual metaphors. Despite the magical name, Colonel Sanders is a reflection, he’s not actually in the shop.
Aladdin’s Cave

Aslamtex

Aslamtex, 24 High Street, Gravesend, Kent, 2015 • Another unusual name, writ extremely large – presumably the owner is called Aslam. Looks like there’s a big demand for shopping trolleys in […]
Aslamtex

Agora Amusements

Agora Amusements, 53 New Street, Birmingham, 2005 • More inappropriate ancient Greek, this time meaning meeting place – according to Wikipedia, “the centre of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of […]
Agora Amusements

‘Agape’ £ Shop

‘Agape’ £ Shop, 88 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • An unusual name, with added poignancy given Greece’s financial woes. Although it suggests a mouth agog at the low prices, ‘Agape’ is […]
‘Agape’ £ Shop

99p-+ Awamz Store

99p-+ Awamz Store, 82 Rye Lane, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Splendidly-clad punter outside a bargain shop whose ‘-+’ allows infinite leeway in pricing. Now a Lycamobile-branded […]
99p-+ Awamz Store

98p Chinese Shop

98p Chinese Shop, Pallasades, above New Street Station, New Street, Birmingham, 2005 • Talk about a race to the bottom. 98p Shop’s erstwhile home, the horrible 1970s Pallasades (sic) shopping arcade, […]
98p Chinese Shop

LJ’s Beach Bar

LJ’s Beach Bar, Brooklands, Jaywick Sands, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, 2013 • That’s barbed wire on top. Part of Jaywick Sands, apparently one of Britain’s most deprived areas, albeit with a vast […]
LJ’s Beach Bar

Lifestyle

Lifestyle, 19 South Street, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • South coast aspirations – I like the shaking hands. Now houses South Street Trading, a house clearance emporium (a thriving sector in […]
Lifestyle

John Chawner

John Chawner, 36 Station Approach, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 2006 • Essence of sleepy southeast summer afternoon, featuring a clock mender whose own clock has simply given up. Google shows the shop as still […]
John Chawner

Mobile 2K

Mobile 2K, 60a Bridge Street, Bolton, Lancashire, 2010 • The name probably seemed like a good idea in 2000. By 2014 it was an empty unit.
Mobile 2K

Bolton News Corner

Bolton News Corner, 68a Bridge Street, Bolton, Lancashire, 2010 • This was next door to yesterday’s Softys. It’s now the exotically-named letting agent Mezopotamya Emlak; another local newsie gone.
Bolton News Corner

Softys

Softys, 68b Bridge Street, Bolton, Lancashire, 2010 • Its full name was once Softys’ Hard Stuff (sic), but part has fallen off – see the full sign on Flickr, taken in […]
Softys

Sheer Elégance

Sheer Elégance, 2b Norfolk House, Theatre Approach, Birmingham, 2005 • That’s a curtain she’s emerging from, though sadly the facade doesn’t match up to the sign’s promise. Later became Fly Girls hair […]
Sheer Elégance

Rightpower Ltd

Rightpower Ltd, Trafalgar Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • Note tiny, beautifully lettered instruction to slide the door. By 2015 the windows were still the same, but the painted signs had gone. 
Rightpower Ltd

Thomas Newey Limited

Thomas Newey Limited, Central Tool Works, 22 Regent Place, Birmingham, 2005 • Another long-lost Jewellery Quarter engineering works. It’s been turned into a smart building, with the door made into an archway.
Thomas Newey Limited

Thompson

Thompson, 5 Gloucester Road, Avonmouth, Bristol, 2009 • Nice type on old ex-bike repair shop (aka Thomson Bros) in the Bristol boondocks. Now completely boarded up.
Thompson

Valentine

Valentine, 171 Long Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2011 • Scary pub squat with extreme name / appearance mismatch. It may have originally been called the Valentine & Orson, […]
Valentine

Nameless works

Nameless works, Unit 1a, Bordesley Street, Birmingham, 2014 • Curious neoclassical portal leading to a lowly industrial unit. A while back, it housed an Auto Valet Centre.
Nameless works

H+C clock

H+C clock, 159-173 St John Street, Clerkenwell, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2007 • And another 1950s-style Clerkenwell clock, advertising lift manufacturers Hammond & Champness, who inhabited this building until at least […]
H+C clock

EuroSensor clock

EuroSensor clock, 20-24 Kirby Street, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2004 • Another period gem from Clerkenwell: EuroSensor was a big technical firm that occupied the building in the area’s pre-gentrification days. Threatened […]
EuroSensor clock

Herbert Brown clock

Herbert Brown clock, 24 Corn Market, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Those are stickers on the clock, with probably nicer writing beneath. Despite the ominous hoardings – whose sign suggests there are keys and […]
Herbert Brown clock

Herbert Sports

Herbert Sports, 12 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • According to the dictionary, Herbert is slang for “an undistinguished or foolish man or youth”, so it’s a brave name […]
Herbert Sports

Monet

Monet, 144 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Crimping companion for Picasso and Renoir. Still looks fairly similar, but is now called The Parlour.
Monet

James Dean Ltd

James Dean Ltd, 119 Dulwich Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE24, 2001 • And you thought he died in a car crash. The shop’s still there, should you want an autograph.
James Dean Ltd

Sutton Wash House

Sutton Wash House, 2 Sutherland House, 29 Brighton Road, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Welcoming laundry with a Dickensian name and a logo like a car number plate. It lasted until around 2012 but now, […]
Sutton Wash House

Matbro

Matbro, Unit 1, Bridge Industrial Estate, Balcombe Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • This proud old sign on a sleepy industrial estate caught my eye for the unusual name. According to Wikipedia, it was a […]
Matbro

T.A. Boxall & Co Ltd

T.A. Boxall & Co Ltd, 20 Balcombe Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • Retro signage for an engineering business established in 1935, according to their website. It’s still there but with a modernised facade.  
T.A. Boxall & Co Ltd

Elizabeths Restaurant

Elizabeths Restaurant, 30 Bridge Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Apostrophe-free diner that appears as traditional inside as out. That looks like the remnants of a shiny Brilliant-style Vitrolite facade under the […]
Elizabeths Restaurant

V for Hair

V for Hair, 51 West Hill Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, 2004 • A sign in window appraises us that the V stands for Veronica, which is a proper hairdresser name. It’s still […]
V for Hair

Vivette

Vivette, 33 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • I assumed this nice window belonged to a hairdresser, but in fact it was an interior design business. It now houses a yacht […]
Vivette

Zoom the Loom

Zoom the Loom, 165 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • I always like a traditional net curtain shop, and this one’s also blessed with an unusual name and sign. I’m […]
Zoom the Loom

Whichcraft

Whichcraft, 7 Station Way, Cheam, Sutton, Surrey , 2002 • This shop’s not as old as its great retro ‘Wools’ sign suggests – their website says they opened in 1996. They now have […]
Whichcraft

Victoria News

Victoria News, 14 Terminus Place, Victoria Station, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004  • I like this because it’s named after me. It’s in a gloriously grubby arcade attracting a wide socio-economic mix (see below), […]
Victoria News

Knapp’s News

Knapp’s News, 60 Plumstead Common Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • A good old-fashioned name, with wonky sign writing, a name check somewhere on the premises for every single newspaper […]
Knapp’s News

159 Newsagents

159 Newsagents, 159 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • This one hasn’t even got a name, just a number, and some superannuated Pepsi sponsorship. After the glory days […]
159 Newsagents