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H. Samuel (Manchester)

H. Samuel (Manchester), 7-7A upper Mall, Arndale Centre, High Street, Manchester, 2009 • Tiled 1970s bunker with missing letter – Manchester’s famous Arndale Centre, whose specially-commissioned beige ceramic facade was likened by Bill Bryson […]
H. Samuel (Manchester)

Hotel Splendide

Hotel Splendide, 25 Mornington Crescent, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • You couldn’t make this up. But in fact it was made up, because according to the Shady Old Lady […]
Hotel Splendide

Allworthy Bros

Allworthy Bros, 13, 15 Camden High Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • “Money advanced on pictures, bronzes, violins &c &c” says this wonderful old pawnbroker’s sign above a Dickensian-looking yard […]
Allworthy Bros

Camera Care

Camera Care, 20 Hanway Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2005 • The number’s so old it’s got a burglar alarm stuck over it. Part of a hippyish enclave behind Oxford Street […]
Camera Care

Gulf Air

Gulf Air, 10 Albemarle Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2004 • Another ex-airline office dating from the pre-mega-bling era of Mayfair. By 2015 this one was a Paul Smith menswear shop.
Gulf Air

Englishman’s Castle

Englishman’s Castle, 9-17 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Purveyor of Surrey-style furnishings for over 50 years, and still there, albeit with updated logo.  There’s a vid of the interior […]
Englishman’s Castle

Spencer’s Shoes

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 […]
Spencer’s Shoes

Nitters Needs

Nitters Needs, 36-38 Station Road, West Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR0, 2010 • Great name, with an even older sign peeping out behind it; the derelict shop still looked […]
Nitters Needs

Streatham Skinworks

Streatham Skinworks, 4 Bridge Parade, Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • From the days before tattooing became a hipster boom trade. Pity they didn’t use Profil font for the […]
Streatham Skinworks

G.J. Petts

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.
G.J. Petts

I. Paule Ltd

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 […]
I. Paule Ltd

Lifestyle

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 […]
Lifestyle

John Chawner

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 […]
John Chawner

Softys

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 […]
Softys

Thompson

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.
Thompson

Sidney Charles

Sidney Charles, 36 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Modern world passing an old one by – destined soon to become a Chinese supermarket.
Sidney Charles

L.W. Haggis

L.W. Haggis, 171 Brighton Road, South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • What a brilliant name! Although it looks like someone chopped the bottom of their sign off. […]
L.W. Haggis

Kings & Queens

Kings & Queens, 300 Lewisham High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2010 • Not very palace-like. Now has a plain purple sign, with windows by Lycamobile.
Kings & Queens

Ford Specialist

Ford Specialist, 123 Fairfield Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2010 • Mmm, I must buy a Ford so I can take it there. (Checks Google Street View.) Blimey! It’s […]
Ford Specialist

Brute Menswear

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.
Brute Menswear

Dyer

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 […]
Dyer

Hern Saddlers

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.
Hern Saddlers

Stoniers

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 […]
Stoniers

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

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)

Tee’s Diner

Tee’s Diner, Port Clarence Road, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Derelict diner lent drama by Middlesbrough’s magnificent transporter bridge, which looms above it.  
Tee’s Diner

Paradise Travel

Paradise Travel, circa 1 Brunswick Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, 2010 • Not likely to trouble Expedia – which was no doubt a part of its downfall.
Paradise Travel

Venus Pizza

Venus Pizza, 149 Whitecross Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2008 • Those Roman gods certainly live on, longer than this takeaway at least. This colourful old bit of  road got […]
Venus Pizza

Ex-Boots (Hull)

Ex-Boots, Hull, East Yorkshire, 2005 • Positively my final Boots for now, once again proving the brilliant recognisability of its longstanding logo (designed by Jesse Boot in 1883) – even when […]
Ex-Boots (Hull)

Little Mo Ca

Little Mo Ca, 219 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Known in full as Little Mo’s Cafe, this features in the rather wonderful website The London Review of […]
Little Mo Ca

Ionic

Ionic, 612 Finchley Road, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • A 1975 replacement for the original 1913 Ionic (great name!), which got crammed into a corner of the Sainsbury’s that […]
Ionic

Digbeth Cold Storage

Digbeth Cold Storage, 123-135 Digbeth, Birmingham, West Midlands, 2005 • One of many magnificent old Digbeth buildings, this leviathan was built in 1899 to serve the local markets. It’s grade 2 listed […]
Digbeth Cold Storage

Videovent Ltd.

Videovent Ltd., 124 Essex Road, Borough of Isligton, London N1, 2002 • To the right of yesterday’s Wools was this sad example of the decline of camera shops; it’s now a […]
Videovent Ltd.

Barbican Grill

Barbican Grill, 117 Whitecross Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2002 • Classic cafe from Barbican’s proletarian past, now a posh grey office of some sort.
Barbican Grill

Petre

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 […]
Petre

Hing Loong

Hing Loong, 59 Tower Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Faded takeaway with semi re-inked letters; it’s still there, with new sign.
Hing Loong

Imperial Wine Stores

Imperial Wine Stores, Watneys, 178 Lambeth Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2012 • Still there, an old-fashioned sign on an old-fashioned corner where the classic 1950s comedy Passport To Pimlico […]
Imperial Wine Stores

Moderne Buckles 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 […]
Moderne Buckles Ltd

Ber

Ber (part-demolished shop), circa 227 High Street, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • An ex-timber merchant? Now gone, along with the neighbouring warehouse and pub, on a corner totally […]
Ber

J.W. Ould

J.W. Ould, 35 Herbert Road, Plumstead, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Three layers of old signage here, though I can’t find out the full name. Later became Belleza Hair […]
J.W. Ould

Charles A

Charles A, David Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow G40, Scotland, 2012 • Superannuated sawtooth-roofed works unit with sawn-off name, now part of a tool hire establishment.
Charles A

Gardner & Finch

Gardner & Finch, 70 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2012 • Quali y Butch r – a classic old  frontage now at the letters-falling-off stage…
Gardner & Finch

A. & I. Lask

A. &  I. Lask, 60a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • From a stretch of road that was home to loads of ancient-looking shops, now nearly all gone.
A. & I. Lask

Alum Food Store

Alum Food Store, 100 Harper Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Splendid hand-made sign, though possibly misspelt as the name changed to Alom when they got a “proper” one.
Alum Food Store

Frake’s Ltd Mace

Frake’s Ltd Mace, 51 Leather Lane, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2001 & 2013 (bottom) • There’s something so quintessentially 1950s about this Mace sign. By 2013 all the black letters […]
Frake’s Ltd Mace

Christmas War

Christmas War, Queens Square, Crawley, West Sussex, April 2002 • Christmas War, still battling on in April in Crawley’s bunker-like mall (the height of modernity when I was a child).
Christmas War