J & Sons Unisex Hair Salon, 501 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Ambitious hand-painted lettering depicting a mysterious pater/materfamilias (it’s hard to tell which from […]
The Pleasant Gent’s Hairdresser, 33 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • More fading pleasantry in Tunbridge Wells.
Pleasant Sandwich Bar, 7 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Seems like an underwhelming taste offer, but it’s actually the name of the road.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Sir Robert Peel, Krystals Express, 178 Bishopsgate, City of London, London EC2, 2004 • Something of an oddity – commemorative 1930s tiling on a circa 1900 pub named after the prime […]
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. […]
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.
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 […]
Teamfern Ltd Chardonay, 75 Commercial Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Randomly-named ‘fashion’ outlet whose front is only marginally less gritty than its side. By 2012 it had been […]
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 […]
First Class Dry Cleaning, Beckenham Junction Station, Beckenham, Kent, 2010 • A power-dressing duo from David Bowie’s old stomping ground. Being mouthless, it’s apt they’re representing the rather faceless kiosk below. […]
Economy of brighton, 82 St George’s Road, Brighton, East Sussex, 2010 • More mosaic, watched over by a weird disembodied burglar alarm eye (for more on which see my other […]
Ladywell Supermarket, 111 Ladywell Road, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2011 • The ladies of Ladywell, patronising a rather tatty shop in a fadedly genteel area. The mosaic pillars may indicate […]
F.P. Turner & Sons (Five Star Nails), 31 Victoria Road, Surbiton, Surrey, 2014 • An old sign kept on from a jeweller’s, established 1825 (though not at this premises, where they’d […]
Home & Ware Store, 149 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • I like the way this offers Home and Ware as opposed to mere Homeware. It used […]
Roy’s Furnishers, 147 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • More Peckham ruination: a superannuated sign somewhat at odds with the fashion emporium within. By 2012 it was […]
Maestro Records, Mobiles Phone, 61 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Poignant collision of old and new tech divided by a fat conductor, in a typically ruinous […]
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 […]
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 […]
Rolando’s Patisserie, 33 Tavistock Place, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2002 • Unrecognisable now, just a plain house – only the front door is the same.
That’s It, 44 High Road, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • Faded politesse and a mild yet fatalistic approach to dry cleaning in deepest North London. These old-style acrylic signs […]
Rogers (Autocolor), Deptford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Deptford’s an interesting place. This old shop was still the same 10 years later, albeit with more crap inside.
Eric’s (Emm’s), 107 Leppings Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Strange mixture of old and new(ish) near Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground. Google street view shows a bunch of people sitting outside.
William High Class Confection, side of 212 Middlewood Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • That’s enough dodgy graffiti, here’s some wall art with a bit more staying power, having […]
Georges Diner, 361-363 North Woolwich Road, Victoria Docks, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2012 • A patch of blasted loneliness on the Silvertown peninsula, once a strange and alien part […]
The Lord Napier, 25 White Post Lane, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2011 • An arty quarter slumbering in pre-Olympics dereliction. The pub actually closed in 1995, there’s some history […]
R & L Radio Ltd, Shoe Factors, 30, 28 Kingsland Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2002 • An old TV shop which has fallen victim to the well-known graffiti artist […]
Shoes & Matching Handbags, 87-91 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 • Another colourfully-graffitied “han bag” emporium near to yesterday’s. This was knocked down and replaced by new flats, which now […]
Ruby Handbags, 71-73 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 and 2007 • More Eine doors, though by 2007 (second down) the shop was being redeveloped. It now looks […]
Jai Amibika, 3 Great Eastern Street, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2006 • A colourful shutter by the street artist Eine, who at the time wasn’t famous. Painting doors paid […]
Call Saver, 20 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2010 • A colourful closure; there’s a great pic of the premises open here.
Z. Butt Textiles 2001, 24 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • Highly-regarded family business with swirly Davida logo and Simpsonesque name. Apparently in its 3rd generation, […]
Adam & Eve, 90 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Groovy curly type for a biblical name – note fig leaf. It was still there in 2008, […]
Clover Dairies Limited, circa 201-203 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • This attractive block next to yesterday’s Gin Palace was similarly demolished, to be replaced with bog-standard shop’n’flat […]
The Gin Palace, circa 205-9 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Legendarily dodgy boozer on the cheapest bit of the Monopoly board. Previously known as The Castle, […]
Happy Days, 44-46 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 (top two) and 2010 (bottom) • One for Samuel Beckett fans, and also beloved by pigeons (note bird emerging […]
Yum Yum’s, 5 Boot Parade, High Street, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • It looks like they may protest their yumminess too much on this nice vernacular acrylic sign, […]
Yuk Chuen, 36 Clapham Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW8, 2005 • With a name like ‘Yuk’, they needed to try a bit harder. Later morphed into Lontosa, a Chinese-Malaysian-Thai restaurant.
Tommy’s Tuc-Inn Cafe, 442 Forest Road, Walthamstow, Borough of Waltham Forest, London E17, 2004 • Oops, serious punctuation woes. It’s still got the same amusing name, but the grammar’s improved.
Val del Taro Cafe, 51 Camberwell New Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5, 2001 • Classic caff with stylish acrylic typography and a misplaced accent. Became unrecognisably carved up as […]
Nasons, 47 High Street, Canterbury, Kent, 2013 • More slab serif lettering on another old independent department store.
Lyons Complete Outfitters, 32 High Street, Lydd, Kent, 2007 • Big old traditional outfitters in tiny Romney Marsh town.
Blue Bell, Arcade Stamps, 104, 103 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Colourful but melancholy, because you just know the target audience is slipping off this mortal coil.
Anjay Displays Ltd, 227-229 Waterloo Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • I always like sad shop dummies. I think this shopfitter’s still there, though the road’s changing quickly.
Star Dry Cleaners, 32 Strutton Ground, City of Wesrminster, London SW1, 2014 • Glum traditional keycutter in a cheerful traditional street market near London’s Victoria station.
Criterion Restaurant, 129 Peckham High Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • No T outside, but plenty within, for this handsomely shabby caff with a fine old-fashioned name.
Victoria Station, Station Approach, Manchester, 2010 • Grand European cities like Vienna are stuffed with beautiful old commercial typography, but in the workaday UK, it’s rare indeed. Glad Manchester’s rather […]
Shoe Repairs, 28 Liverpool Street, City of London, London EC2, 2005 • Exuberant swirly 1970s-style logo for this generically-titled kiosk, now probably disappeared from the smartened-up Liverpool Street Station area.
Cosmetics & Co, 37 Market Place, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • I always like a cheerful 1960s-style swirly font: this one is the classic Victorian-retro Davida, designed in 1965.
Fancy Goods, 3-11 The Cut, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2013 • Earlier incarnation of a fairly gruesome ex-Costcutter, in transition to becoming a Tesco Express.
Cost to Cost, 227 Shoreditch High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2005 • Somewhat meaningless variation on the Costcutter theme. The Cost to Cost logo later got reduced to near […]
Costprice, 41 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2007 • Jaunty take on the Costcutter theme. It’s become more sedate since this was taken.
Costcutter Supermarket, 53-55 Chalton Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2005 • Unusually elegant art nouveau-style lettering for this understated minimart near Euston station, which is now a more strident […]
Costa Dorada, 47-55 Hanway Street, Borough of Camden, London W1, 2003 • When I first visited this late-nite Flamenco dive, I thought it was an ancient institution. Turns out it only […]
Bile Beans, Bob Trotter’s, 18 and 13-15 Lord Mayor’s Walk , York, North Yorkshire, 2011 • A famous digestive fluid-related ghost sign, now (somewhat off-puttingly) on the side of a […]
Ian Allen, 45-46 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2013 • “Futuristic” 1970s-style round-cornered windows distinguishing a railway enthusiasts’ book and model shop situated behind Waterloo station.
Highgate Stationers & Printers, 7 Highgate High Street, Borough of Camden, London N6, 2014 • A charming beige essay in 1970s-throwback typography, complete with swirly ampersands. Note also the mossy, almost-gone Post […]
Drury Lane High Class Fruiterers, 190 Drury Lane, Borough of Camden, London WC2, 2003 • Poignant peek back into a lovely wooden-shuttered hangover from Covent Garden’s fruit and veg market days. Now […]
J. W. Eve & Son, 14 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Not merely a butcher, but a purveyor of meat. Disappeared around 2006, and later housed a fancy […]
B. Saunders (J. & M. Cards), 133 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Always nice to see one of these “Brilliant”-style gold-under-glass signs surviving, even if the modern-day effort underneath […]
Rampdale Insurance Brokers Ltd, 127 High Road, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • More wonky perspex vehicles. The firm’s no longer there – it looks like they moved to Hatfield.
Pal Cargo Service Ltd., 36 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Yet another gem from the decaying wonderland of Toynbee Street. Glad to see they deliver “doors […]
Model Please Walk Up, 6 Peter Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • And this model’s likely not Cara Delevigne. The door with its impressive capital is still there, only looking […]
Model, 11 Berwick Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • I think we can assume it’s not Kate Moss. I managed to relocate this door on Google Street View, looking […]
The Dining Plaice (Young Model), 20 Berwick Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Chippie incorporating access to “young model”. It’s now got a different giant brown sign.
E D of London, 9 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Meet E D (or possibly Ed), next-door neighbour of yesterday’s Frank – notable for cramming […]
Frank, 7 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • From the 1950s until his death in 1966 aged just 47, this was the base of Frank Conway […]
Kennington Car Hire, 56 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Another colourful business “under new management”. This appears to house a taxi firm, SSS Hair Salon, an afro-carribean […]
Samiez Leathers, 140 Trongate, Townhead, Glasgow G1, 2008 • I just like this because it’s colourful, 1970s-looking, and in a decaying old building. Under new management, says a note in […]
John Hirst & Co, Thornes Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Despite its decaying Venetian loveliness, this “corn cake & barley merchants” warehouse opposite the Hepworth Wakefield gallery is surrounded by […]
Knight & Willson Ltd., 127-129 Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Another built-in clock, this time on an immense derelict printing works – no doubt an urban explorer’s delight – in a canal-side industrial area […]
Wine & Co., 20-22 Bridge End, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Accountant with built-in timer – useful!
Richer Sounds, 74 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Looks like a baddie’s castle, but is in fact a budget hi-fi store in a former public dispensary.
O’Neills, 26 George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Leeds is full of huge Victorian buildings, but this is unusual – a faux Irish pub in a neo-gothic ex-Masonic hall.
H.C. Atkinson Builders Merchant., 2-28 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Another name cast in stone, on an old warehouse that’s on sale for development.
Thornton & Co Ltd, 50-51 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Next door to M&S is this re-purposed HQ of an India rubber manufacturer. Moral: cast your name in stone if you […]
Marks & Spencer, 49 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Having expanded somewhat from yesterday’s stall, M&S now resides in this rather austere black marble art deco edifice – there’s a […]
Marks & Spencer, 1904 Hall, Kirkgate Market, 28-34 George Street, Leeds LS2, 2014 • Blimey – the first-ever M&S, opened 1884. And it’s still there! Actually, it isn’t – this […]
Malcolm Michaels, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Just one (or two) of a whole row of traditional butchers in this fantastic market.
Net stall, 1976 Hall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • I daresay this stall does have a name, but it looks rather nice closed down. A fitting occupant for […]
Dorothy Goodall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Scattergun scanties in traditional cabinet at the market’s entrance.
Market News, 14 Market Hall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Semi-circular hole-in-wall bracketing the entrance to Leeds’ wonderful Kirkgate Market.
Paula Hair Fashions, 93 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Superannuated sign for an earlier incarnation of this hairdresser.
MKC Sewing Machine Specialists, 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Eyecatching DIY-style 3D sign for another occupant of Leeds’ oldest street.
Kyro Fabrication, 97 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • The hoardings say this is Leeds’ oldest street, awaiting redevelopment. Fabrication was a crafts shop which has relocated elsewhere, but the […]
Jeeves & Jericho, Corn Exchange, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • 1920s flat-cap geezer meets 1990s Mancs baggy in cartoon collision of two tea-pouring Northern stereotypes. And […]
AJ’s Superstore, 19 Barrow Street, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 2014 • Yes, there really is a place called Much Wenlock – and this is its superstore.
E.J. Poynor, 88 Broad Street, Ludlow, Shropshire, 2014 • There’s been a drapers on this site since 1897, and a Poynor since 1917. Despite nearly closing due to rate hikes in 2012, it’s […]
S.C. Price & Sons, 7 Castle Street, Ludlow, Shropshire, 2014 • A beautiful sunray door in foodie Ludlow, and so traditional they call it a “confectioner” (which used to denote […]
The Winding House Tea Rooms, Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Cute but closed tea-room with amazing funicular attached (England’s oldest and steepest, opened 1892). There’s a gallery of […]