Surrey Foam, 54 Croydon Road, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Surrey denizens are so proud of their county they even name foam shops after it.
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.
Fagin’s House Clearance, 105 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2001 • Dickensian name and address for a Dickensian line of work. Became clothes shop Valerio.
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.
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 Been replaced by a pub, unusually.
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Bungalows Cafe, 80 Mare Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2007 • Another cafe with handily-placed church. Still there but not as attractive.
Marshfield Farm, St Nicholas Church, Pett Level Road, Hastings, East Sussex, 2015 • Handy snack-church combo, also incorporating jumble sale, on the long beach between Hastings and Rye.
Blessed, Peter Thomson Solicitor, 203 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9 • Traditional Brixton, getting harder to find.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Indian’s Unisex Hair Salon, 82-84 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, SE5, 2015 • The scary weaponised hairdresser geezers date from an earlier sign, which Google’s magic wayback view shows was “a fine […]
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 […]
Seagull Launderette, 212 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2015 • In the backwoods of Brixton, far from gentrification, a tiny wistful name with an elegant flourish.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
J.T. Brush E.G. Brush & Son, 24 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • That’s what I call a name, though they should be chimney sweeps. It’s just a plain gate […]
J. Seal Quality Butcher, 7 Barnes High Street, Borough of Richmond upon Thames, London SW13, 2006 • Not only named in Profil, but in tiles. The butcher and tiles are […]
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 […]
Barry S Rivers Radio Television, 57 Cinque Ports Street, Rye, East Sussex, 2015 • RYE 3179 says the phone number, in my fave old shop font – Profil, aka Decorated 035. There […]
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.
Toys, Whitechapel Audio Time Ltd, 69 Whitechapel High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • A fine Toys sign, but Audio Time ran out of time. It’s now AB […]
Citytex (UK) Ltd., 30-30a Commercial Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Maybe tex stands for textiles. Now knocked-down-tex.
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 […]
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 […]
‘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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Lowestoft Army & Navy Stores, 183 London Road North, Lowestoft, Sussex, 2007 • Lowestoft’s one of those places where practically every shop belongs on this blog. In 2007 this cloudy old clock […]
Microcola Computers, House Sign & Decorative Painter, 27a&b The Belvedere, […]
Look-In, Aylesbury ex-Odeon, 48 and 44 Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 2010 • The TV shop shares a name with a popular 1970s kids’ TV mag, and apparently closed down 2005-ish. That’s Aylesbury’s ex-Odeon […]
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.
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.
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 […]
Private Shop (Manchester), 54 Oldham Street, Manchester, 2009 • Still life with scanties and framed landscape – looks rather like an art installation by Cathy Wilkes.
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 […]
Fatal Attraction Bridal Centre, 171 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Interesting name for a bridal shop. Didn’t the film Fatal Attraction feature bunny boiling? By 2009 the premises had […]
Nimbus Lighting, 144 High Sfreet, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • Discotastic logo.
Capon’s of Rochester, 177 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • I got to Rochester too late to catch this venerable butcher, est 1944. There’s a bit more info on the […]
Repairwise, 322 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • I always enjoy a bunker-like facade.
Spemco Manufacturing Ltd (Intra), 337-341 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • Defunct electrical products company behind a zigzaggy deco frontage. Intra is an arts venue and studio complex that now occupies the premises.
J.N. Weatherby (Heating) Ltd., 133 Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Traditional engineer’s office in Tudor pile.
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.
Miller Morgan Electric Co Ltd, 20 Regent Place, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, 2005 • Decoratively decaying disappeared engineer in same building as yesterday’s Thomas Newey, all smart offices now.
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.
Gem Tool (Mfg) Co. Ltd., 6 Regent Place, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, 2005 • Old workshop in Brum’s fascinating Jewellery Quarter. Now gone; Google Street View shows a faded patch where […]
Ashton Eng Co Ltd, 20 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, 2014 • Garage equipment business in crumbly riverside industrial estate being colonised by creative types.
Pinkney Engineering, Fairbridge House, Ferry Street, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Attractive rivetted ghost sign on what is now a Prince’s Trust site.
Carem Plumbing & Heating Supplies, 177 Trafalgar Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • Old-school plumbing signs with interesting USP. Still there, very faded.
Thomas Fox & Co. Ltd., Arse Factory Removals, 42 Hoxton […]
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 […]