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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Rober L’Pool Ltd, 14 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1, 2003 • A neighbour of of Hollinshead & Walker, with mysterious truncated name. Became stylish dog grooming parlour Dog One.
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 […]
Bargain Booze, 22-24 Vauxhall Road, Liverpool L3, 2014 • Bargain booze, bargain sign.
The Puzzle, Connection Point, Silverberg Opticians, 30 Whitechapel, Liverpool L1, […]
H. Coleman, Spy Shop, Richie Tattoo Artist, Max Spielmann, 24 […]
Las Vegas Amusements, 2-12 Bolton Street, Liverpool L3, 2003 • Glamorous neon signage (despite faded coins) on a utilitarian unit next to Lime Street Station. Now a minimart.
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 […]
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 […]
Nige’s Lunchbox and Groceries, 32 Scale Lane, Kingston upon Hull, 2004 • A faded handwritten sign says: ‘Niges rugs + “carpets” no under lay though’, with a smaller note qualifying […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Barry S Rivers Radio Television, 57 Cinque Ports Street, Rye, East Sussex, 2015 • RYE 3179 says the phone number, in my fave old shop font – Profil, aka Decorated 035. There […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Miller Morgan Electric Co Ltd, 20 Regent Place, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, 2005 • Decoratively decaying disappeared engineer in same building as yesterday’s Thomas Newey, all smart offices now.
Thomas Fox & Co. Ltd., Arse Factory Removals, 42 Hoxton […]
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.
H. Samuel Everite Time clock, Central Market, St Mary Street, Cardiff, Wales, 2012 • Now that’s what I call a clock, albeit handless and ‘everwrong’. It’s pictured earlier with hands here, […]
F.O.T.O.P. Friends of the Old People, 4 Middle Street, Hastings, East Sussex, 2014 • Net-curtained cafe for the elderly. I thought it was closed down, but Google shows it later on […]
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.
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. […]
Inglis and Roffey Opticians, 8 High Street, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • End days of a slightly funereal opticians. It got knocked down replaced by a big ugly block of […]
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.
Mann Countrywide, 171 Lewisham High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2010 • Wishful thinking, but that oval looks like it could once have held a Boots sign.
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 […]
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 […]
HGV Apply Here, 10 Church Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, 2015 • Mmm, professional. And the top windows just say “GV”.
A.Z. Halal. Butchers, 83 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Huge wavy pediment dwarfing a mini meat emporium.
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.
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 […]
D.M. Sutton, 58 High Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Still a traditional butcher, but now called G.R. Rushman & Son.
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.
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 […]
Nicholas Printers (Baldwins), 481A Green Lanes, Borough of Haringey, London N8, 2014 • A multi-named palimpsest in colourful Green Lanes.
Fancy Fabric Stores, 109 Digbeth, Birmingham, 2005 • Finally from fascinating Digbeth, a glimpse of its more work-a-day side. This is still there, but they mended the sign.
G.W. & A.E. Thomson Ltd (Navals Jewellers), 228 Kilburn High […]
J.R. Hobson & Co The Drinking Glass Centre, Nursery Street, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
F.L. Pettman Ltd. Depository, 52 Athelstan Road, Margate, Kent, 2014 • Now for a week of finds from Margate, a once-wealthy town which still has many interesting buildings, such as this grand […]
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.
Frederick Pratt & Son, 32 Brighton Road, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • Good old-fashioned name, but now even the car in front is knackered. Founded 1948 and shuttered 2003, it used […]
‘Floor Cover’ ghost sign, Chicken Cottage, 177-179 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Presumably a larger sign was pulled away complete with plaster, revealing the ghost sign beneath […]
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 […]
CMaster, Cumsers (Cutmasters), 202-204 Merton High Street, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • Bizarre signage which almost looks like a rude joke. They’ve now got a “proper” sign but the […]
Rank Hovis Clarence Mill, Clarence Street, Hull, 2013 • And this is the reason I went to Hull – to catch this monolith before it gets knocked down, which is due […]
Albert Hall (The Fair & Square Club), 12 Midland Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Practically opposite yesterday’s stunning Tower, another fun palace in far worse condition – a Victorian music […]
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 […]
Boots (Oxford Street), 151 (I think) Oxford Street, London W1, City of Westminster, 2002 • Sorry to harp on about Boots, but this wouldn’t have happened with their old-school stone signs […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Christmas Bargain Store (Dewhurst), 135 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Ah, the grim pursuit of festive cheer. Everyone looks fed up. The baby’s bum is hanging out. The D of […]
Clerkenwell Screws, 109 Clerkenwell Rd, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2004 • Another esteemed purveyor of screws, unchanged to this day (including the scrubbed-out lettering).
£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?
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Clapham School of Motoring, 6 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • Confidence-inspiring driving school, handily sited next to a pub. For some reason it didn’t […]
H. Samuel, 7-7A upper Mall, Arndale Centre, High Street, Manchester, 2009 • Tiled 1970s bunker with missing letter – a stirring brutalist sight. The U was still missing three years later; […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Pier Road Snack Bar, Pier Road, North Woolwich, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2005 • Blimey, they put the road sign on the cafe sign! Interesting workmanship.
London Rd Cafe and Snack B, 170 London Road, Norbiton, Surrey, 2002 • Cheery but name-truncated eaterie which was demolished along with the Donald Judd-style shop posted yesterday. Note how sign […]
T.V.s Are “Us”, 54 Streatham Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2001 • Yeah, I’d definitely buy my quality ex-rental TV here. Nice car!
W.G. Sullivan Bespoke Tailor, 181 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • First the letters fell off, as they tend to in Caledonian Road; and then it […]
William Amusement Burger Bar, 26 Station Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • Channelling the groovy Wimpy vibe. By 2012 was called The New Cafe, with the same net in the door, and […]
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.
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…
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.
C&A, 200-211 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001 • Dubbed “Cheap & Awful”, it quit the UK in 2000 but is still big in Europe. This ex-store now houses […]
W.E. Savage & Son, 72 Wilmot Street, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • By 2012 this was still there, decaying away near the memorably-named Lara Croft Way.
Blackwall Aggregates Limited, 295-303 Tunnel Avenue, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2005 • Classic view of Canary Wharf from behind O2 (the ex-Millennium Dome); nowadays this yard is a neatly […]
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.
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 […]
J.A. The Kitchen & Bathroom Centre, circa 11 Leigh Hill, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, 2007 • I love the classic slab-serif lettering on this fascia, which eventually all disappeared leaving just shadows.
Burnards (B.J. Warrell), 38 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • This beautiful palimpsest probably remains beneath the huge blue fascia of later occupant Ever Fresh Food & […]
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).