Mobile Shop N Go, 215 Mile End Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2015 • Shop N Gone, more like – “Development site with consent”, says the sign.
Broacha Samy Ltd, 108 Mile End Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2015 • Demure frontage amidst a sea of gaudy plastic. “Manufacturers of lady dresses specialists in plus sizes” says the […]
Broadleys, 34-40 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Genteel local department store, est 1896 and still there today. Can’t help thinking there’s something of the chemo ward about this window […]
Ravel, 184-188 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Remember Ravel shoe shops? Once ubiquitous, the 50-store chain closed down in 2007 after five years of losses. Founded in […]
Global London College (Ryman), 149 Fleet Street, City of London, EC4, 2015 • Maybe it’s a play on GLC (Greater London Council), a body which was abolished in 1986. This […]
Pret A Manger (Fleet Street), 143 Fleet Street, City of London, London EC4, 2015 • An executed Caledonian queen gazes down on hasty diners – for this building is Mary Queen […]
Virgo Clothing Big’n’Pretty, 156 Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Signs in the window warn big’n’pretty browsers to bring “No food or drink inside”. Curiously, big seems to be defined as “16 inches […]
Weisfelds (Goldbergs), Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • A portion of the once-beloved department store Goldbergs, which closed in 1991 and re-opened as cheapo clothes outlet Weisfelds in 1994. The Weisfelds […]
Pound Gate, 146-152 Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Not a reference to Watergate, but to the road, Trongate. Later got subsumed by “Scotland’s Biggest Leather Store”, aka its upstairs neighbour Leather Max. […]
Pound Planet, 19-21 Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Ambitious name meets Scottish flags and unflattering rendition of the Queen. It later became Home Land. Devolution subtext ahoy.
Safe £££ Pounds Store Plus, 595 Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow, Borough of Waltham Forest, London E10 6AJ, 2004 • As opposed to a dangerous pound store, I suppose. Now gone.
Pound + Store, 316 Neasden Lane, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Extremely crammed pound emporium with enormous Edwardian-style font. Not sure if the “plus” is part of their name, […]
Pound Stop, 32 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Genteel pound shop with DIY logo that looks like a dollar sign. It later moved (with same sign) a bit further […]
Pound Superstore, 125-127 Church Street, Borough of Camden, London NW8, 2003 • From the days when pound shops were one-branch, low-tech affairs. It’s still there, though it has to be […]
Poundland (Peterborough), 6 Bridge Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, 2015 • Initially depressing, but this is an interesting building – maybe it was a flagship store for someone else once. Poundland are in the […]
Yorkshire Bank (Peterborough), 10 Church Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, 2015 • Nice cartouche!
HGV Apply Here, 10 Church Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, 2015 • Mmm, professional. And the top windows just say “GV”.
Milletts Surplus Stores, 38 Cowgate, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, 2015 • The window writing suggests this was previously a beauty parlour, so the Milletts sign may be a recent revelation.
Smiths’ Grand Teas, Catmos Street, Oakham, Rutland, 2015 • “Imported direct from the finest tea gardens of India and Ceylon, and carefully blended to suit the water of the district.” […]
Wok This Way, 48 High Street, Oakham, Rutland, 2015 • Nice bushes! Less traditional than it looks – specials include Quorn and gluten-free dishes.
Touché Hair Productions, 2a High Street, Oakham, Rutland, 2015 • 1980s-style logo and matching plants for this ex-hairdresser, now with auction signs in the window.
Post Office & Savings Bank (Oakham), 2 Market Place, Oakham, Rutland, 2015 • Grand post office in England’s smallest county. It closed in 2014 and services moved into the local newsagent’s – which, unlike […]
Waywest Cafe, A1 Southbound, Darrington, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, 2015 • How strange, a crumbling neoclassical cafe at a bleak service station. Looks more like Italy than Yorkshire (apart from the weather).
Drink Store, 92 Streatham Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2002 • Another generically-titled offie, with bonus wonky word spacing. Unlike yesterday’s Drink Store, this was still the same in 2014, which […]
Your Local Drink Store, 371 Norwood Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE27, 2002 • I always like a generically-titled shop. Recalling Father Jack out of Father Ted, the little bottle […]
Chiplins, 18 Devonshire Road, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2002 • Oh no! The dancing dancing Charlie Chaplin chip has gone, ousted by the infinitely duller Oriental Brasserie.
Cosmo, 182 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 & 2012 • Ah, the static world of the traditional barber. I photographed this in 2002 (top) and 2012 (bottom) and […]
Bobe Communication Centre, 374 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • You may think this is just another boring old international call shop, but one day these will be […]
The Beano Cafe, 6 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 & 2003 • A tale of Kings Cross: in the course of a year, the Beano edged from decaying […]
Supermarket Day By Day, 224 Brixton Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2002 • Just a great old typeface. Later became hairdresser Asphair, with an equally wonky logo.
Adans Travel Agency, 175a Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Sigh, the internet did away with travel agents sporting charming paintings of floppy planes and fruit-like ABTA […]
Brigitte, 53 Linkfield Street, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • The other side of yesterday’s A.J. Massey – I always like a bit of black letter writing.
A.J. Massey, 53 Linkfield Street, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • Superannuated signwriting on what is now a deli.
Stevens Music Stores, side of 170 Mortimer Street (seen from Cavendish Road), Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • A ghost sign of indeterminate age, as seen from the side entrance of yesterday’s now-demolished Servowarm. On the side of […]
Servowarm (East Kent) Ltd, 174 Mortimer Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Modest unit taking the decorative Dutch gable to bonkers heights; even the side entrance (below) boasts a curved pediment. Sadly […]
A.Z. Halal. Butchers, 83 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Huge wavy pediment dwarfing a mini meat emporium.
Sheffield Engine Services Ltd, 100 Catch Bar Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Arched facade in classic fleapit cinema style, with added flagpole antennae. It’s next to the lovely Edwardian-style William Confection ghost […]
Purbeck Pottery, The Quay, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Fantastical quayside roofline for this 1966-founded pottery, which makes stoneware using clay from the nearby Purbeck Hills.
Quay Amusements, 25 The Quay, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Multi-angled quayside roofline providing a switchback for seagulls. It’s now just called Amusements.
Dougal & Co, 260 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Incongruous in a dull suburban street, a pointy oriental-style facade of a type more familiar on seaside parades. It later […]
Nameless ex-works, circa 36 Oxford Street, Birmingham, 2014 • A […]
Ridout & Son Printing Works, 4 Charles Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Old printer’s with nice typography fitted into the angled roofline. It later became authentically converted back into a house, which retained the ghost […]
S.N.H. Trade Centre, 7 The Store, Albion Road, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 2006 • A subtly asymmetric roofline on what is presumably an old grain or hop store. It’s a long structure with attractive chequered brickwork on the […]
W.H. Wellbeloved, 31 Tanner’s Hill, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A sculptural gable end for a wonderful name, established in 1829. Note hand-painted sign offering “surloin”, and the jaunty van […]
F.J. Thornton & Co. Ltd. Weighing Machine Manufacturers, 111 Fazeley […]
Brute Menswear, 73 Wentworth Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Interesting choice of name, especially as the other side of the sign says Brute Menswar.
Alberts, 88 Whitechapel High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2014 • Men’s clothier with a nifty sideline in Jack the Ripper t-shirts. The grand frontage once belonged to Blooms (note […]
Eastern Computers, Dairy Product Specalist, 370 & 368 Neasden Lane North, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Next door to yesterday’s Dairy Product, and equally weary. Together I thought […]
Dairy Product Specialist, 368 Neasden Lane North, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • I like the weary “etc. etc.” – maybe the person who specified the sign thought the […]
H.E. Pea, Zen-Shin, The Best Baguette, 180 High Street Deritend, Birmingham, 2014 • Next door to yesterday’s Deritend Fish & Chips, perhaps not coincidentally, a works entrance hidden by a […]
Deritend Fish & Chips, 181 High Street Deritend, Birmingham, 2014 • Always nice to find a Pepsi cafe, however faded. The leaping fish on the counter front are a cute touch.
Bangers & Mash, Tyre Shop, 1 Wellfit Street (off Hinton Rd), Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Once upon a time, deep in the backwoods of Brixton, stood a greasy spoon cafe […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Car & Truck Sales Service Car & Van Hire Parts, […]
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 […]
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, 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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Leisureland Motors, Albatross, Easington Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Imposing ruin that looks like it may have been a stables once upon a time. It’s part of an industrial estate that backs onto […]
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.
C&C Auto Services Limited, 13 Kingston Road, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • Another auto palimpsest – not sure what it is now, though it was still the same in […]
DRW Motor Spares, 30 The Watton, Brecon, Powys, Wales, 2014 • I always like these signboard palimpsests. This had obviously been an auto outlet for decades.
Sussex Automotive, Lyn’s Cars, 42 & 43a New broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • I thought there was something rather 1930s about the window on the right, though […]
Camden Auto Electrics, Greyhound Couriers, 2 Bayham Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • From the days when Kings Cross was a warren of auto workshops. It’s now been […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Lloyds Bank (Shrewsbury), 1 Pride Hill, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Elegant brutalist building in a mainly olde-worlde town. Note triangular Civic Trust award, I think it says 1969.
Lloyds TSB, 55 High Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Grand entrance for a small-town bank, although given the amount of money banks were flinging around at this point, they could […]
The Little Tea Room, 55 Marine Drive, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Oh no! It’s now called Sea of Spice. And doesn’t have net curtains.
D.M. Sutton, 58 High Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Still a traditional butcher, but now called G.R. Rushman & Son.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The Old Maids Pharmacy, 321 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • What a brilliant name. It’s still there, but with a newer, “posher” sign.
Dad’s Unisex Hair Salon, 96 Hoxton Street, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2006 • Maybe dad’s inside. Note unfortunate wire placement over the word “unisex”. It’s now something else, with […]
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 […]
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.
Chris & Chris Fashions (Crouch End Food Centre), 34-35 Broadway […]
Wm. Mooney & Sons Ltd., 20a College Lane, Liverpool, 2014 • Ex-builder’s premises looking set to become a barbers.
Supercigs, 20 Richmond Street, Liverpool, 2003 • Now, more politically-correctly, called Supernews.
John J. Denton Ltd., 7 Williamson Square, Liverpool, 2003 • Another nice old shop from this racketty and now part-demolished square. Neat gold lettering centred on the door window says simply […]
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 […]
Brown, Muff & Co. Ltd., 4 Ivegate, Bradford, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Not a dubious “private shop” but the last remains of an oddly-named department store once known as the Harrods […]
Potter Bros (Holland Broadbridge), Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • The faded writing on the white wall (second picture) says: “Frankwell Works Established 1855 Potter Bros”. I know because of […]