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The Barge

The Barge, 271 Victoria Dock Road, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • I was attracted by the wonky painted wall sign of this once-grand docklands boozer, established as the Freemasons […]
The Barge

Starr Racing

Starr Racing, 144 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2002 • Nice name, illustrations and tiles on this 1970s-era bookie, which looks like a set from The Sweeney. It’s […]
Starr Racing

Bryce Lowe

Bryce Lowe, 228 Kingsland Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2002 • From the days (not so long ago) when Kingsland Road was scary rather than trendy. This ruinous immigration bureau later […]
Bryce Lowe

Paolina Thai

Paolina Thai Food Cafe & Takeaway, 181 Kings Cross Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Abject-looking takeaway with nice lettering on its pavement sign (bottom). It’s still there, […]
Paolina Thai

Celine

Celine, 293 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Giant and elegant patisserie logo, somewhat at odds with the cartoony “perfect spud” underneath. It later got covered by a […]
Celine

Cranes

Cranes, 11 Thrale Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW16, 2001 • How marvellous, a shop dedicated almost entirely to old lady shopping trolleys. You can see it here in 2014, looking […]
Cranes

Manny Thanks

Manny Thanks, 784 Fulham Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Doubtless this is a typo, but I like to think of it as the owner’s name. It’s now […]
Manny Thanks

To Let

To Let, Arch 485, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • Another relic from the demolished viaduct featured yesterday – I assume this was a short let. There […]
To Let

Autos

Autos, Arch 491/2, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • I love this angular DIY lettering. It’s under the viaduct featured yesterday and later demolished for the London […]
Autos

Bilton

Bilton, bridge ad, Bideford Avenue, Perivale, Borough of Ealing, London UB6, 2006 • Still there, though it’s obviously an old ad – note 081 phone number, and more recently-added height […]
Bilton

Ferodo (Stonebridge)

Ferodo, bridge ad, near Blackmore Drive, North Circular Road, Stonebridge, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Ferodo got taken over in 1998, and stopped paying fees for their bridge ads – […]
Ferodo (Stonebridge)

Ferodo (Southwark)

Ferodo, bridge ad, Southwark Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Ferodo, a century-old brake parts specialist, still exists, and with the same lovely logo.  Sadly they’ve stopped doing painted bridge ads, […]
Ferodo (Southwark)

JacLen

JacLen, 18 Dockley Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • I love the typography on this DIY doorway, deep in a Dickensian Bermondsey viaduct. It’s presumably named after Jack and […]
JacLen

City Tyres

City Tyres, 2 Malcolm Place, Bethnal Green, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2007 • Mellow yellow, plus old tyres. Stayed there till around 2015 then moved to another road nearby (see […]
City Tyres

Auto Electrics

Auto Electrics, Canal Road, Leeds, 2014 • Picturesque Northern gloom high above the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and opposite the satanic-mill-like Armley Mills Industrial Museum.
Auto Electrics

Cooper’s Motor Mart

Cooper’s Motor Mart, Coopers Studios, 14-18 Westgate Road, Newcastle, 2013 • Ghost sign on trendy studios. The1897 building is a rare example of a multi-story horse and cart repository – here’s a history here.
Cooper’s Motor Mart

Badat Brothers Ltd

Badat Brothers Ltd, Dacca Caterers Ltd, Simco Caterers Ltd, 2-4 Cook’s Road, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2010 • Nest of caterers in an appropriately-named road, amidst development for the […]
Badat Brothers Ltd

D. McKay

D. McKay, 19a Harrington Road, South Kensington, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW7, 2005 • Jewel box of a fruiterer in London’s “French” quarter. Still there 2012, not sure […]
D. McKay

Rowes

Rowes, 34-36 South Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2008 • Another traditional stationers with a good old no-nonsense sign. I think it’s still the same, though an awning hides it on Street […]
Rowes

Dyer

Dyer, 32 North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Photocopy centre and fax bureau – how quickly hi tech becomes quaint. Their website says Dyer was established 1916 and is now run […]
Dyer

S.R. Kay & Sons

S.R. Kay & Sons, 1 High Street, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Note the very old phone number. Much the same in 2012 but with subtly updated (but still old-fashioned) lettering. 
S.R. Kay & Sons

J.A. Corney

J.A. Corney, 81 High Street, Edgware, Borough of Brent, London HA8, 2004 • Established 1947, this was still there in 2015, looking closed down (albeit with straightened lettering). There’s an even older-looking […]
J.A. Corney

Geo. Watts & Son

Geo. Watts & Son, 93 St. James’s Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • I was attracted by the surrealist, slightly melancholy, window display. Founded in 1966, it closed in 2013 […]
Geo. Watts & Son

Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce, 9 South Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2002 • Arnold Bocklin font again, which is an unusual choice for a butcher. Nowadays it still has the same 1920s-looking shaped sign, but with “posher”, olde […]
Stuart Pearce

Street Value

Street Value, 7 The Broadway, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • Art Nouveau cut price shop in 1960s new town. The round-cornered window and discotastic Arnold Bocklin font were later replaced, according […]
Street Value

The Grub Shop

The Grub Shop, 178 Lambeth Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2006 • Another great name, on a cafe which used to change colour every year. It’s now called The Corner […]
The Grub Shop

Paradise Cottage

Paradise Cottage, 477 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • A colourful mixed metaphor in traditional plastic, complete with desert arch illustrations. By 2014 the shop was being […]
Paradise Cottage

New Experience

New Experience, 275 Eversholt Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • Probably quite an old experience. Now called Experience Massage (To Let), in what is still quite a run-down […]
New Experience

Hern Saddlers

Hern Saddlers, 54 Middle Road, Brockham, Dorking, Surrey, 2005 • Maybe it originally said Southern Saddlers. It’s now a house with porch where the shopfront was.
Hern Saddlers

Stoniers

Stoniers, Williamson Square, Liverpool, 2003 • Offering “a world of glass and china” no more, this famous Liverpool store once supplied crockery to the Titanic (and indeed the whole White Star Line, whose […]
Stoniers

Bills Cafe

Bills Cafe, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • No more bills to pay now. Part of an endangered quayside works, of which more tomorrow.
Bills Cafe

Same Day

Same Day, 19 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • I have a soft spot for these 1960s-style wood-slat signboards. This jaunty example may look like a hipster pastiche, but it’s the […]
Same Day

Cambridge Cafe

Cambridge Cafe, A23, Hooley, Coulsdon, Surrey, 2003 • Wooden slats again: I actually stopped off in the middle of a long drive (somewhere around here) to photograph this bleak slice of […]
Cambridge Cafe

J.A. Ibbotson

J.A. Ibbotson, The Forge, 72 Walton Street, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Looks more like Herefordshire than Surrey. To quote in full: J.A. Ibbotson R.S.S. A.W.C.F. Smith. […]
J.A. Ibbotson

Tadcars

Tadcars, The Avenue, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Not wishing to diss wooden huts, but this looks like the set for a horror movie (note splatterproof curtains made of M&S carrier bags). It looked even less […]
Tadcars

Raynsford’s

Raynsford’s, 153 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Nice signwriting; still looked the same in 2012, not sure about now.
Raynsford’s

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)