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Muslin

Muslin, 256 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • A very specific offering. Later became Sterling de Vere, a posh-looking letting agent (albeit still in a ruinous […]
Muslin

Smokers World

Smokers World, 344 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Fags, mags and net curtains – interesting mix. It was still there in 2012, not sure […]
Smokers World

St Noahs News

St Noahs News, 41 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2014 • Sunny frontage for the patron saint of missing apostrophes. I’m always attracted by newsagents because they’re a type of shop that’s […]
St Noahs News

Hill Cleaner’s

Hill Cleaner’s, 565 Green Lanes, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2013 • Unmissable sign with an esoteric use of apostrophe. It’s not noticeably on a hill, so maybe that’s someone’s surname.
Hill Cleaner’s

Avenue Garage

Avenue Garage, next to 147b Earlsdon Avenue North (side in Westwood Road), Coventry, 2013 • Another West Midlands garage with period typography (and fuel pumps). Flickr shows it recently, about to become […]
Avenue Garage

Ashfield Motors

Ashfield Motors, Caroline Street, Birmingham, 2005 • What gorgeous typography – it almost looks like a pastiche, but this was a real garage. There’s now a new-build block jammed up against […]
Ashfield Motors

Railway Bell Hotel

Railway Bell Hotel, Comberton Hill, Kidderminster, Worcsestershire, 2014 • Imposing pub opposite the Severn Valley Railway’s puffing locos and atmospheric rail museum in Kidderminster.
Railway Bell Hotel

RTP Crisps Ltd

RTP Crisps Ltd, 78 Allison Street, Birmingham, 2005 • What a beautiful building! Originally built in 1872 for Corder & Turley, manufacturers of umbrella ribs, it was adapted in 1923 as a clothing factory […]
RTP Crisps Ltd

Fair City Cars

Fair City Cars, 125 Digbeth Road, Birmingham, 2005 • Poignant name and home-made chauffeur logo tacked onto a handsome premises which has since been demolished, along with the adjoining Hennessey’s Bar (which […]
Fair City Cars

Hennessey’s Bar

Hennessey’s Bar, 123 Digbeth High Street, Birmingham, 2005 • Guinness Time stopped here when the whole block got demolished circa 2010 – there’s an article about the redevelopment here. The splendid Irish gent (bottom) was a Hennessey’s regular, and […]
Hennessey’s Bar

White Swan

White Swan, 217 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Look, the net curtains have got swans on! ‘Smoking allowed throughout’, proclaim stickers in the windows. “The place could do with […]
White Swan

Crowson & Sons Ltd

Crowson & Sons Ltd, 17-23 Farringdon Road, City of London, London EC1, 2004 • Nice mid-century building (note tiny replacement ‘s’ on ‘Sons’) selling fancy cheeses no more; it was knocked down […]
Crowson & Sons Ltd

Evans & Witt

Evans & Witt, 58 Long Lane, Smithfield, City of London, EC1, 2004 • Purveyor of stationery supplies to the meat trade. Still there, along with conjoined neighbour Smithfield Cafe, featured yesterday.
Evans & Witt

Smithfield Cafe

Smithfield Cafe, 59 Long Lane, Smithfield, City of London, EC1, 2004 • 24-hour pit-stop for Smithfield’s traders and, more recently, hipsters. I think it’s still there, though the area is changing swiftly. […]
Smithfield Cafe

G.H. Theobald

G.H. Theobald, 99 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2003 • Just a nice old bit of signwriting. The shop’s still there but called Jim’s Family Butchers, with a cute “new-old-style” sign.
G.H. Theobald

N.H. Pearson,

N.H. Pearson, 75 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Now there’s character: a comma at the end of its name, and brief technical notes in the minimalist window display. Norman’s business didn’t […]
N.H. Pearson,

Alan R. Powell

Alan R. Powell, c. 25 Broad Street, Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, 2014 • Picturesque workshop in a town noted for bookshops (maybe Alan provided the miles of bookshelves therein).
Alan R. Powell

Morrow

Morrow, 41 High Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, 2014 • I have no idea what this is – those look like spotlights in the window. It’s a listed 16th century building which […]
Morrow

Burton (Abergavenny)

Burton, 16-17 High Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, 2014 • A classic Burton that’s still in use, albeit somewhat grimy and with inferior modern logo tacked on. The company’s founder Montague […]
Burton (Abergavenny)

Picart Gallery

Picart Gallery, 27 The Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Spotted during Folkestone’s first art Triennial, when the town seemed to have a programme of revealing the original signs […]
Picart Gallery

Keys

Keys, 42 Theobalds Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2008 • Not a key shop but a cafe, next to an ornate doorway. Became a badly-reviewed Ethiopian restaurant called, no less surreally, […]
Keys

The Tap & Die Co

The Tap & Die Co, 445 West Green Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2014 • Yikes – don’t tap that phone! According to the firm’s intricate website, they do indeed supply […]
The Tap & Die Co

Romanys

Romanys, 51 Brewer Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2014 • Example of a useful old Soho shop that’s still there, a rapidly diminishing group. I included the bloke because […]
Romanys

Euro Sandwich Bar

Euro Sandwich Bar, 20a Swallow Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2004 & 2014 (bottom) • Much lamented classic caff from the days before Swallow Street housed champagne bars. Bottom […]
Euro Sandwich Bar

Sergios

Sergios, 3 Eagle Place, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2003 • Classic caff next door to yesterday’s M. Landaw, and likewise gone. Wish I’d got a better pic, they had […]
Sergios

M. Landaw

M. Landaw, 5 Eagle Place, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2003 & 2014 (bottom) • Stylish alleyway newsagent looking straight out of Vienna. Not only has it disappeared, the entire […]
M. Landaw

Kosher King

Kosher King, 293 Hale Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • What a magnificent sign! Sadly it’s now minus crown and called, rather randomly, KosherNet – I guess they sell […]
Kosher King

Kings Pharmacy

Kings Pharmacy, 104 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • It’s nice when a regal name has a suitably noble sign. Judging by the dual crowns and lack of […]
Kings Pharmacy

Empress Coaches

Empress Coaches, 3 Corbridge Crescent, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2012 • Long-lived business on the banks of the Regent Canal, complete with vintage Derv pumps and exuberant foliage. Founded […]
Empress Coaches

L&D Motorcycles

L&D Motorcycles, 179 Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • A forest of for sale signs on this old-time motorbike store. Fitting therefore that it became an estate agent, […]
L&D Motorcycles

Anne

Anne, 62 High Street, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, 2014 • More genteel net, albeit in a rather minimalist setting.  
Anne

Dolly’s Diner

Dolly’s Diner, 177 London Road North, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • The sign looks newer than the net – I bet the previous one was nicer. Still much the same by 2012; […]
Dolly’s Diner

R-H-Leather

R-H-Leather, 36 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Slightly less glamorous than yesterday’s clothes shop. Later became Gaba Unique Fashions Ltd, whose unique fashion statement was that it also […]
R-H-Leather

Margot Gowns

Margot Gowns, 4 William Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Essence of seaside town, a symphony in pink. Google street view shows it looking just the same in 2009, except […]
Margot Gowns

J & M Smith

J & M Smith, 64 North Street, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • A very sad shop which suggested to me that its owner had died. Although I didn’t know it when […]
J & M Smith

Porky’s Pantry

Porky’s Pantry, 49 Chandos Place, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2003 • Nice lettering, shame about the scary pig paintings. Later on they changed the sign, but kept the horrible […]
Porky’s Pantry

Thomas Brothers

Thomas Brothers, 798-804 Holloway Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 and 2014 (bottom image) • Enormous and long-standing corner builders’ merchant with great 3D plastic lettering that just […]
Thomas Brothers

Arkle Pharmacy

Arkle Pharmacy, 39 Junction Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 • A good old-fashioned name and address next door to yesterday’s De Marco. Now just called Pharmacy (incorporating […]
Arkle Pharmacy

De Marco

De Marco, 37 Junction Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 • More superannuated Italy, in the eternally down-at-heel backwaters of Archway. It’s now estate agent Barstow Eves, so perhaps gentrification beckons.
De Marco

New Piccadilly

New Piccadilly, 8 Denman Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • This Italian institution was so famous I thought plenty of other people would record it (and I was right […]
New Piccadilly

Lina Stores Ltd.

Lina Stores Ltd., 18 Brewer Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Famous Italian food store, established 1944 and largely unchanged from the days when Soho was about the […]
Lina Stores Ltd.

Knight & Compy.

Knight & Compy., 47 Fisherton Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 2007 • More art nouveau green tiles spared the chipper on this game mart-turned-charity shop, which by 2011 had become a vintage clothes store.  
Knight & Compy.

Masham Hotel

Masham Hotel, Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Once one of the town’s most popular pubs, this listed building became a failed shoe shop, then in 2013 was turned into a small […]
Masham Hotel

Poole Arms

Poole Arms, 19 The Quay, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • More green tiles, this time on the oldest pub on Poole Quay: it dates from 1600s (though not the tiling, which […]
Poole Arms

The 3 Crowns

The 3 Crowns, 8 East Road, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2013 • Nicely-tiled Shoreditch pub which appears to have been rescued by hipsters in mid-destruction. There’s a picture of how […]
The 3 Crowns

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle, 104 St Anns Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London W11, 2002 • Unusual post-war council estate pub on the fringes of posh Holland Park. By 2012 it was painted blue and much […]
Kenilworth Castle

Bridge Hotel

Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2013 • Forbidding but fantastic pub built into Newcastle’s old town walls and perched high above the river Tyne, bracketed by two of the city’s spectacular bridges. […]
Bridge Hotel

S. Sadler

S. Sadler, 192 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2006 • Beautiful glass sign briefly revealed before being smothered by a tacky-looking Mexican joint, Loco Mojito.
S. Sadler

Time Peace (UK) ltd.

Time Peace (UK) ltd., 43-45 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Picturesquely bonkers watch outlet with a mis-spelt essay of punning signage and impenetrably boxed entrance. “Please […]
Time Peace (UK) ltd.

Simone

Simone, 12 Whitchurch Parade, Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • Ah, the sadness of suburbia. Google shows this as still there in 2015 – and indeed looking […]
Simone

Silver and Edgington

Silver and Edgington, 18 Arwenack Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, 2010 • I caught Falmouth’s premier camping-cum-tailoring emporium just on its way out – wish I’d witnessed it in its tents-and-flags glory […]
Silver and Edgington

Radway

Radway cinema, Radway Place, Sidmouth, Devon, 2013 • Modestly restrained deco cinema in the non-multi-screen bastion of Sidmouth. It opened in 1928 as a theatre, but has been showing films since the […]
Radway