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.
Thomas Cook (Cambridge), 8 St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 2010 • Interesting art deco window, boring noughties sign.
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, […]
W.H. Matthews & Co., 11-13 Grove Road, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Rocking the 1970s wood cabin look. Now with dull plate glass frontage.
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.
Works for You! clock (ex People Works), 8 Poole Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, 2004 • Bleak commentary on South Coast unemployment, or desecration of fine old clock? Both, probably. I don’t think […]
Marks & Spencer clock, 21 St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, 2010 • Pigeon-punishing old M&S clock on matching marbled mid-century building.
Rayner Opticians clock, above 57 New King’s Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW6, 2003 • Decaying timepiece still there, now above Harvey Jones Kitchens.
Chelsea Building Society clock, 7 Ashley Road, Epsom, Surrey, 2002 • Groovy swingin’ 70s-style timepiece. I wish I’d photographed the whole frontage, the Chelsea’s still around but the logo’s changed, and […]
Georges & Co. clock, 88-90 Hatton Garden, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2004 • I got hassled by security guards while snapping this in Hatton Garden, London’s diamond district. It’s […]
H. Samuel Everite Time clock, Central Market, St Mary Street, Cardiff, Wales, 2012 • Now that’s what I call a clock, albeit handless and ‘everwrong’. It’s pictured earlier with hands here, […]
H. Samuel clock, Unit 4, 167 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • A stylish ‘golden eye’ clock that I thought looked too good to last, and I was right […]
H. Samuel clock, Clerkenwell House, 4 West Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003 • Old H. Samuel clock still telling the time, on an 1878 building named after Clerkenwell in London, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Nameless wall clock, side of 85 Clerkenwell Road, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2011 • For decades this giant octagonal clock rusted away high above Clerkenwell, but now it’s been […]
The Hallamshire Coal Supplies Ltd clock, Victoria Quay, Wharf Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Random old clock still adjoined to a renovated warehouse.
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 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 Best Kebabs & Pizza, 64 Herbert Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Bold sign bearing the name of its superb old-school shopping road. Now called, more boringly, Delight.
Handy Supply Co, 41 Herbert Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • DIY type for a DIY store. It’s now, blub, a Peri Peri Grill.
Gents Hairdresser D. Burns., 76 Herbert Road, Plumstead, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Barber embedded in an old tiled grocer’s, and you can see an even older sign […]
10/10 Ten Out of Ten Barber, 7 Bell Street, City of Westminster, London NW1, 2003 • Eleven out of ten for the brilliant name. It’s still called that, but with a […]
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.
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.
Coin Wash, 1 Victoria Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • Cute launderette, which by 2008 was looking very sad, and is now a 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, […]
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 […]
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.
The Home and Colonial Tea Stores (Tablet Gallery), 51a George […]
F.O.T.O.P. Friends of the Old People, 4 Middle Street, Hastings, East Sussex, 2014 • Net-curtained cafe for the elderly. I thought it was closed down, but Google shows it later on […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
St Keverne Newsagents, Lemon Street, St Keverne, Helston, Cornwall, 2012 • Perhaps this is why I like newsagents: this was my local newsie when I was a kid. Back then it […]
Victoria News, 19a 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), […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 – […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, 23 Berwick Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • News Gents, it says. If only it really was called that. Unusually for a newsagent it’s still there and […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
Days Garage, 6 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Established 1919, still there, and they’ve kept the charming wooden telephone sign.
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 […]
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.
B&L. Stevens and Roger’s Gents Barbers, 51 and 51a Walton Street, Walton-on-the-Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Charming little bike shop from the days before they got all hipster (and still the […]
Hargoss, 56 High Street, Walton-on-Thames. Surrey, 2002 • Great name, great font. Now ‘The Local’ off licence.
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.
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
Cat Automotive Parts Express, 177-179 Brighton Road, South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • Maybe yesterday’s shock absorber sign belonged to this nearby auto business, successfully rocking the […]
Monroe Shock Absorbers Specialist, Newark Road (side of 173 Brighton Road), South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • I always like random old signs for no-nonsense things like […]
Clarke Motorcycles, 63 Osmaston Road, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • All motorcycle shops should be like this. It’s still there, just off the fabulously-named Lara Croft Way.
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 […]
Inglis and Roffey Opticians, 8 High Street, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • End days of a slightly funereal opticians. It got knocked down replaced by a big ugly block of […]
Opticians AXO (Scrivens), 36 Waingate, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Looks like an art installation or concrete poetry, but is actually a sign for Scrivens Opticians.
Vision Express, 7 St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, 2011 • Great old optician’s wall sign in central Bristol. I revisited recently and didn’t need glasses to see it was no longer […]
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 […]
Quality Food News & Wines, 91 Bloomfield Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • I wonder how much demand they get for the Financial News.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Farley Electrical Co., 18 Westway, Caterham, Surrey CR3, 2001 • Cheerful psychedelic sign with very 1970s-Surrey carriage lamps. Still there in 2014, but by 2016 it – and the carriage lamps […]
Lascelles Tickner & Co’s Entire (The George Inn), 124 Bridge […]
Lennon Bros Ltd. (Mr Simms), 15 Market Place, Rugby, Warwickshire, 2012 • A very substantial ghost sign, much longer resident than the faux-olde worlde Mr Simms sweetshop chain beneath (which was later replaced […]
Denture-Care Clinic, 32 Church Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, 2012 • Possibly England’s cutest denture emporium.
Sainsbury’s Local (Stratford-upon-Avon), 8-9 Bridge Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, 2012 • Very similar to yesterday’s mystery art deco facade. It also features in this engrossing compendium of art deco buildings, but […]
Retail Therapy, 80 High Street, Poole, Dorest, 2004 • A very distinctive art deco frontage – I wonder if this used to be a Burtons?
Westfield Stratford City, Montfichet Road, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Borough of Newham, London E20, 2012 • Enormo shopping centre with a nice Olympic park attached, shown in full Olympics swing. […]
B&Q (Whetstone), 1201 High Road, Whetstone, Borough of Barnet, London N20, 2011 • Matching berries and sign, nice! They’ve since cut back the bush, the fools.
I.S. Dry Cleaners The CLothes Care Solution, 34 Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, Borough of Barnet, London N20, 2011 • More retro fontage from N20. Now Ryan Dry Cleaners, which looks the […]
Totteridge Brasserie, 36 Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, Borough of Barnet, London N20, 2011 • So good they named it twice. Now the somewhat smarter Tiffin Tin.
Herbert’s Whetstone News, 1452 High Road, Whetstone, Borough of Barnet, London N20, 2011 • That’s quite a font, Herbert! It still looks the same, unencumbered by Lycamobile ads and their ilk.
Taxi & cafe arches, canal towpath, beside bridge near Westbourne Park, Great Western Road, City of Westminster, London W9, 2011 • Towpath derelicton: it may be in Westminster, but gentrification […]
Holloway Service Station T/A Sparsholt, 23-27 Crouch Hill, Borough of Islington, London N4, 2014 • A neat high street corner garage housing Swiss Cheese plants and a TUX-reg Roller – it’s like London in a […]
Hornsey Automatic Transmissions, 1 Stapleton Hall Road, Borough of Haringey, London N4, 2014 • I assumed this was closed down, but Google Street View shows it operational a month after I […]
J.F. Turner, wall above Ying’s, 125 Hanley Road, Borough of Islington, London N4, 2014 • Graffiti by moron over ghost sign for baker; both elements are still there.
Furniture Arkade, 320 Lewisham High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2010 • Your one-stop spot for Bed’s, Ward Robe and Sofa. I think that’s Michael Jackson peeking out from the rug, […]
Kings & Queens, 300 Lewisham High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2010 • Not very palace-like. Now has a plain purple sign, with windows by Lycamobile.
Mann Countrywide, 171 Lewisham High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2010 • Wishful thinking, but that oval looks like it could once have held a Boots sign.
Abbey Arms, Harry’s Mini Cabs, 31 & 31a Wilton Road, Abbey Wood, Borough of Greenwich, London SE2, 2014 • A pub in Abbey Wood that’s still standing. It doesn’t have […]
Ex-Drinks Cabin, 498 Abbey Wood Road, Abbey Wood, Borough of Bexley, London SE2, 2014 • The black bottle speaks of a booze store, which internet research suggests was called Drinks Cabin. Google Street View shows it […]
Gianno Couture, 7 Crown Parade, Crown Dale, Streatham, Borough of Lambeth, London SE19, 2002 • Interesting image for a haute couture shop. Now the charmingly-named Gladness Barbers.
Brilliant Neon Ltd., above Best-One, 218 Earls Court Road, B orough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW5, 2010 • Tiny reminder of a long-gone fascia, still hanging on above a minimart. It’s […]
Diamond Laundry, 190 Finchley Road, Borough of Camden, London NW3, 2014 • It’s getting harder to find laundries in central London these days, especially ones named after precious stones.
PriceLess Shoes, 45 Tooting High Street, Tooting, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17, 2006 • Budget shoe chain with socking great logo, which I always liked for its basic brashness. It […]
The Modern Gents Continental Hair Stylist, 99 Upper Tooting Road, Tooting, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17, 2006 • Once modern, now a charity shop.
Cafe, side of 886 Garratt Lane, Tooting, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17, 2006 • Subtle ghost sign which is still there. Typography suggests nineteen-teens.
Cafe, side of 181 Bow Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2006 • Became a tasteful wall ad for hairdresser Noor, minus – ironically or appropriately, depending on how you look at […]
Ford Specialist, 123 Fairfield Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2010 • Mmm, I must buy a Ford so I can take it there. (Checks Google Street View.) Blimey! It’s […]
Hand Car Wash, Corner Bow Road & Arnold Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2007 • Oops, back-to-front N alert. I had a Ferodo bridge behind me, I should […]