20 Fore Street, Hexham, Northumberland, 2016 • Incredibly ornate ex-pharmacy repurposed as fashion outlet. The early 20th century fascia is listed for its magnificent carved woodwork by the Belgian refugee M. Cullmans. Amazingly, it was […]
JJ Williams, 168 Kings Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3, 2003 • Impressively large 3D zipper sign. The shop is still there and amazingly has the same lettering, but the zipper […]
Fashion House Ltd, Wakerley Centre, Margaret Road (off Gwendolen Road), Leicester LE5, 2016 • Bonkers mini-castle in a fascinating and unusual suburb developed by Leicester philanthropist/architect Arthur Wakerley, who pioneered council […]
Suit Yourself, 24 Belvoir Street, Leicester LE1, 2016 • Family firm in operation for around 40 years. Their modern website has a completely different logo, so maybe this old-school 3D plastic extravaganza is […]
Blunts Shoes, 128-132 Granby Street, Leicester LE1, 2016 • Immense deco bunker built in 1932 to house the Harris furniture store, and still with period fittings inside. Blunts (whose giant Shropshire signage […]
Pitchers (Caffe Nero), 91 High Street, Godalming, Surrey, 2016 • Attractive ghost-step for a knitwear emporium, now leading to a Caffe Nero. Pitchers was a sports sweater manufacturer founded in the 1880s […]
Marks and Spencer Ltd Original Penny Bazaar, Units 133-138, Grainger Market, Grainger Street, Newcastle NE1, 2016 • This is actually the oldest M&S in the world, still trading from its […]
Familywear, 10 Station Road, Redhill, Surrey, 1981 • A 1950s-looking shop closed down by the 1980s. And that’s the last ancient photo for now.
Jacobean Corsetry, 53 Virginia Street, Merchant City, Glasgow G1, Scotland, 2010 • Giant golden ghost sign from a corsetry firm founded in 1946, whose wares have featured in Jack Vettriano paintings. Sales […]
D’Posh, 103 Strand, City of Westminster, London WC2, 2011 • V posh Savoy surroundings for D’Posh clothes shop, which later became Laird Hatters.
S. Cohen, 2 White Conduit Street, Islington, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2016 • No name for the second-hand shop, but the original costumier’s facade is still proudly showing.
Dartmouth Boating Centre, 6S Embankment, Dartmouth, Devon, 2013 • Classic old-school ‘flying clothes’ display and almost-but-not-quite Profil font. The letters continued falling off, and by 2015 it was called Artmouth Boating […]
Book’s, 230 High Street, Gateshead, Tyneside, 2005 • Not a bookshop or a typo, it’s a fashion shop run by someone named Book (and shot in the dark and rain). I […]
Ian Munro, 10 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2002 • Marble and script for a men’s outfitter founded in 1956. This would have been an expensive shopfront in its day; the labyrinthine […]
J.H. Pepperell (Zack), 63 Great Titchfield Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2008 • Early example of hipsterish-vintage-sign-revelation (not sure of the technical term for that). It was still there […]
Mark Fisher Man’s Shop, 26 The Centre, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 2002 • More Profil, in Walton’s now-demolished 1960s shopping mall – there’s a photo of it in context here, with some pics of The Centre […]
W.E.H. Nunns Mens Wear, 16 Bridge Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • No-nonsense menswear emporium which looks like it had seen better days. Note classic lighted ‘ties’ sign inside. By 2009 it […]
Clifford Shirt M’f’g. Co. Ltd., 37-43 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • ‘Royal’, what an evocative area code! This is my last Liverpool shopfront for now, in the red and green […]
Europleasure International Ltd, 2-8 Duke Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 and 2013 • A name, like The Lux Company, that’s straight out of James Bond. This was derelict for ages, and looked much the […]
Society Brides, 35 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Girly dressings for squared 60s facade. Still there in 2015 with newer but broken sign. Clothes shop Greenwoods below (est 1860) […]
Open, 48-56 Church Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Tiny Elvis impersonator in front of grand clothes shop building, now a Primark.
Barratt House, 45 Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I can’t find any history on this – but apparently it refers to Barratts shoes (not Barratt the builders. Whatever its origins, it still exists, unlike Cousins […]
Adam Fashions, 81 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice bit of signwriting for a Biblical name. It’s now Just 4 U grocer, whose next door neighbour AZ Halal […]
Spencer’s Shoes, 99 Peckham High Street, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Wish I’d caught this 1960s throwback while it was still open. It’s now Bilex Money Transfer, and […]
Blessed Assurance Co., 201 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Truly blessed, as it was still there over a decade later.
Religion, 154 Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2011 • The glazed green tiles suggest this was once a food business, or maybe a pub. It’s apt name for Brick Lane – across […]
Faith, 192-194 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Now for a few posts on the subject of faith. This conjunction of signs caught my eye every time […]
Surrey Sports, 67 High Street, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 2002 • I love this OTT discotastic font. The shop’s still there, but with much more boring logo.
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 […]
Citytex (UK) Ltd., 30-30a Commercial Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Maybe tex stands for textiles. Now knocked-down-tex.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Lethers, 56 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • A saddlers and riding wear shop, though it’s hard to tell from the random window. Now Juniors family hair salon, with a horrible […]
Retail Therapy, 80 High Street, Poole, Dorest, 2004 • A very distinctive art deco frontage – I wonder if this used to be a Burtons?
PriceLess Shoes, 45 Tooting High Street, Tooting, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17, 2006 • Budget shoe chain with socking great logo, which I always liked for its basic brashness. It […]
R. Soles, 109a Kings Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3, 2003 • Punning purveyor of cowboy boots to the already well-heeled, founded in 1975.
Chris Ruocco Tailors, 17 Fortess Road, Borough of Camden, London NW5, 2012 • In the 1980s they catered to the likes of Wham!, Bananarama and Spandau Ballet. There’s a painting of it […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Chris & Chris Fashions (Crouch End Food Centre), 34-35 Broadway […]
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 […]
G. Makepeace (Dance Music Finder), Makepeace House, 136 Digbeth, Birmingham, 2005 • Dance music found via fax departs, but the original occupant lives on. According to Andy Foster’s Pevsner Architectural Guides: […]
Footfall, Seconds Ahead, 16 & 12a Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • Footfall is an organisation that creatively re-occupies defunct shops; Seconds Ahead is a vintage clothes store, which may […]
Sports Direct.com, 12-15 Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • Another re-used facade from Oswestry, which seems to specialise in downmarket shops in grand crumbly buildings. This one looks like it […]
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, 12 Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • A market hall by Thomas Penson, built in 1842 (more info here) and demolished in the 1960s except for this […]
Burton (Antique Warehouse), 9-14 Depford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • This grille, which I spotted at ground level, alerted me to photograph the shop above it, but if […]
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, Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, circa 29 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • According to the article here the local council refused permission to demolish this frontage and made the developer take […]
Margaretta Rickards (Arthouse Deli), 46 Topsfield Parade, Tottenham Lane, Crouch End, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2014 • I thought this was a gallery when I photographed it, but it’s […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Dorothy Goodall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Scattergun scanties in traditional cabinet at the market’s entrance.
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 […]
Blunts, 8-9 West Castle Atreet, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Unmissable old shoe shop, reinvented for the eBay generation.
Halon, 46-47 High Sreet, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Superb gentleman’s outfitters, founded 1905 in Manchester. Belying its art nouveau / deco detailing, this branch opened in 1951. It’s got a groovy website, […]
O. & C. Butcher, 129-131 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, 2014 • Established over 100 years ago and still supplying red trousers to the locals, a handsome traditional emporium of a type […]
Panay Fashions, 9 Marine Gardens, Margate, Kent, 2014 • Somewhat less romantic than the last two Margate fashion emporia, but I like the 1970s lettering, and the way the door window […]
T.W. Stigant, 24 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2014 • One-time hosier next door to yesterday’s breeches maker, also with original sign revealed. There’s a bit more historical info here.
H.B. Smith, 28-30 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2014 • This used to be the dowdy Ye Old Town Launderette (featured here), but now has the original “Tailor and Breeches Maker” sign […]
Trussons Menswear, 31 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2008 • I’m so glad no-one’s ever felt the need to update this charming 1960s-style frontage, with a name as […]
D.R. Warehouse Ltd, Crowngate House, 60-64 Great Hampton Street, Birmingham, 2013 • One of many magnificent Jewellery Quarter buildings, a grade II listed ex-factory by Dunn, Dallas & Lloyd circa 1912. Currently […]
Hawkes, 99b High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • High quality 1960s frontage, complete with a tiled hawk sign on the floor (just visible) and some French onions outside. Once the largest […]
Suppelle Couture, 46 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Immense range of woollen skull caps plus designer jeans – interesting fashion mix. Now knocked down, I think.I
Wainwright & Sons (Risborough) Ltd., 69 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, 2007 • Formerly Grover, according to the doorstep, and in its last days here. Google Street View showes it vacant […]
Clueless, 88b East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Not the ideal name for a boutique. Now called “CD’s DVD’s“, which also lacks an air of longevity.
W. & J. Oliver. (Stead & Smith Engineering), 153 Wincolmlee, […]
Rich Rags & Well Suited, 41 & 43 Alnaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Aptly named duo with old-school signage on the raggle-taggle architectural wonderland of Anlaby Road.
Paragon Heel Bar, 175 Ferensway, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Classic old heel and key bar named grandly after nearby Paragon Street, which in turn may have been named after an […]
M Yman Ho Repair (ex- Suleyman Shoe repair shop), 162 Chatsworth Road, Borough of Hackney, London E5, 2011 • Looks like an art installation but it’s the real deal – apparently […]
Chainstore Massacre, 152 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Closed for crimes against fashion, perhaps. Appropriately, the burglar alarm has a picture of a judge on it. Later became a […]
James Smith & Sons, Hazelwood House, 53 New Oxford St, London WC1, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2011 • A new Year’s present of London’s most famous old shop, an impossibly […]
Fancy Dress @ Party! Party!, 225-227 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, 2011 • Not much party cheer here – ambitious punctuation and nice tiles weren’t enough to save it. Still closed in […]
Honour, 86 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2005 • Festive fetish gear at this stalwart of the rubberwear and bondage scene, still there today if you’re interested…
£1,000,000 Bankrupt Stock, circa 16 Richmond Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Really? There’s a million quid’s worth of watches, shirts and slippers in there?
L & N Cohen, 27 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2002 (top) & 2003 • Battered building housing a discount clothes stall, now smartly restored as posh grocer […]
Conway Trading Co., 15 Toynbee Street, Shoreditch, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2010 (top) and 2004 • I’ve got a feeling this tinned-up row of old traders is still lingering […]
Virgin, Republic, 18-22 & 16-18 respectively, Walsall, West Midlands, 2005 • Another grand Walsall building – it certainly outlasted Virgin.
Petre, 5 Poole Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, 2004 • I think this strangely-named shop – in an enclave of tattered buildings housing small businesses both living and dead – may have been a […]
Sarshire Ltd, F. Holt, 41 and 41a Brick Lane, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • A palimpsest of old Brick Lane’s small-trader past; now depersonalised as a generic Costprice […]
Mamas & Papas (Family Discount Store), 94 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2002 • A splendid old mama and papa indeed. The shop’s still there, but with […]
Copy Copy, 181 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • To some boring, to me charmingly mundane, with witty double name. Later became AM DIY Builders Ltd.
Moderne Buckles Ltd, 123 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Dodgy shooters meet leather goods in a traditional East End mix. The listed Shoreditch warehouse […]
Collingwood Batchellor, 46-48 Victoria Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • Local department stores are an endangered breed, but this small Surrey-Sussex chain still seems to be doing fine. I love the creepily […]