Skip to content

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

Unique News

Unique News, 118 East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Depressing news, more like it (note noose over door). It’s now, bizarrely, called Ozone Sauna Detoxification Booth – […]
Unique News

Super News

Super News, 140 Crouch Hill, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2014 • Having your newsagent’s sign sponsored by an actual newspaper as opposed to an international sim card purveyor is starting to […]
Super News

The Smart News

The Smart News, 8 The Strand, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Interesting use of definite article – as opposed to getting your news on the smart phone, perhaps? Still there and still the […]
The Smart News

Easy News

Easy News, 30 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • Another cheerful Brighton newsagent offering depressing news: “Appeal bid by teacher Jane’s killer”. The shop’s still there, still lurid pink, and they’ve […]
Easy News

Good News

Good News, 33 Sydney Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2014 • Brighton newsies  seem to have appropriately sunny names, but the news in the window isn’t so good – “Mum’s horror […]
Good News

Moor News

Moor News, 20 Killigrew Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, 2012 • Moor News, as opposed to yesterday’s Little News, geddit? I like a proud local newspaper name, and the West Briton is as […]
Moor News

Little News

Little News, 9 Little Turnstile, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Unfortunate choice of name for a newsagent, albeit based on the name of its ancient London alley. It’s still there, […]
Little News

The Pantiles News

The Pantiles News, 66 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Now for a few days featuring newsagents, a dwindling resource I find fascinating for the way they sum up an […]
The Pantiles News

Days Garage

Days Garage, 6 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Established 1919, still there, and they’ve kept the charming wooden telephone sign.
Days Garage

The Drink Box

The Drink Box, 159 Camberwell New Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE5, 2001 • Looks like it’s called Off Licence, but tiny ornate handwriting reveals its true identity. It’s been […]
The Drink Box

Sidney Charles

Sidney Charles, 36 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Modern world passing an old one by – destined soon to become a Chinese supermarket.
Sidney Charles

Hargoss

Hargoss, 56 High Street, Walton-on-Thames. Surrey, 2002 • Great name, great font. Now ‘The Local’ off licence.
Hargoss

A.P. Welsh

A.P. Welsh, 71-73 Robertson Street, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Not Wales, but Scotland: old shipping office housing a wide variety of businesses, with great signage.
A.P. Welsh

L.W. Haggis

L.W. Haggis, 171 Brighton Road, South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • What a brilliant name! Although it looks like someone chopped the bottom of their sign off. […]
L.W. Haggis

Stitch & Sew

Stitch & Sew, 11 New Broadway, Tarrring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Beautiful old-lady shop, complete with flotilla of knitted ducklings in the window. The opening times sign on […]
Stitch & Sew

The Cat Basket

The Cat Basket Rhodes Minnis Cat Sanctuary Shop, 16a Cheriton Place, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • All cat charity shops should be required by law to have net curtains like this […]
The Cat Basket

Bikeshire Racing

Bikeshire Racing, 15 New Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Charmingly naive motorbike murals, long gone. A small disclaimer under “Free Fitting” reads “(to loose wheels)”. Now a block of […]
Bikeshire Racing

Vye & Son

Vye & Son, side of 67 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Must have been hidden behind two smaller signs. Looks 1950s to me, so they’d presumably been going since […]
Vye & Son

Quality Cafe

Quality Cafe, 3 Station Road South, Merstham, Surrey, 2001 • Beautiful station cafe. It’s now been modified with pale blue tiles and orange windows, and looks really weird. There’s an incredibly […]
Quality Cafe

Lethers

Lethers, 56 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • A saddlers and riding wear shop, though it’s hard to tell from the random window. Now Juniors family hair salon, with a horrible […]
Lethers

AES Electrics

AES Electrics, 54 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • You don’t see second-hand TVs like that any more. Later housed the more 21st century SusyRadio.com.
AES Electrics