Skip to content

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

That’s It

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 […]
That’s It

Rogers (Autocolor)

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.
Rogers (Autocolor)

Eric’s (Emm’s)

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.
Eric’s (Emm’s)

Georges Diner

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 […]
Georges Diner

Ruby Handbags

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 […]
Ruby Handbags

Jai Amibika

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 […]
Jai Amibika

Call Saver

Call Saver, 20 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2010 • A colourful closure; there’s a great pic of the premises open here. 
Call Saver

Adam & Eve

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, […]
Adam & Eve

Clover Dairies Limited

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 […]
Clover Dairies Limited

The Gin Palace

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, […]
The Gin Palace

Happy Days

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 […]
Happy Days

Yum Yum’s

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, […]
Yum Yum’s

Yuk Chuen

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.
Yuk Chuen

Val del Taro Cafe

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 […]
Val del Taro Cafe

Nasons

Nasons, 47 High Street, Canterbury, Kent, 2013 • More slab serif lettering on another old independent department store.
Nasons

Anjay Displays Ltd

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.
Anjay Displays Ltd

Star Dry Cleaners

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.
Star Dry Cleaners

Cosmetics & Co

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.
Cosmetics & Co

Fancy Goods

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.
Fancy Goods

Cost to Cost

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 […]
Cost to Cost

Costprice

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.
Costprice

Costa Dorada

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 […]
Costa Dorada

Ian Allen

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.
Ian Allen