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classic plastic

Khubsoorat

Khubsoorat, 540 North Circular Road, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2016 • Bollywood name in a Hollywood font. There’s a famous 1980 Bollywood film called Khubsoorat  – in which […]
Khubsoorat

W.J. Armstrong Ltd

W.J. Armstrong Ltd, 12 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Classic Sandeman sign – port one side, sherry the other – featuring its famous fedora and cloak-clad ‘Don’ […]
W.J. Armstrong Ltd

Jim’s Cafe

Jim’s Cafe, 59 Chatsworth Road, Clapton, Borough of Hackney, London E5, 2011 • Italian cafe from the 1960s that once housed an ice cream factory, and closed circa 2008 when the […]
Jim’s Cafe

JJ Williams

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 […]
JJ Williams

Suit Yourself

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 […]
Suit Yourself

Percy Harrison

Percy Harrison, 117 Elm Grove, Southsea, City of Portsmouth, 2016 • 1950s-style optician that looks too perfect to be real, but it is. I though it was closing down, but […]
Percy Harrison

Sew Fantastic!, Tintype

Sew Fantastic!, Tintype, 107 Essex Road, Islington, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2012 and 2016 • Grubby but grand Sew Fantastic (top pic) is now scrubbed clean as Tintype art gallery (second pic). The punters […]
Sew Fantastic!, Tintype

Broadway Hair Stylist

Broadway Hair Stylist, 344 Muswell Hill Broadway, Muswell Hill, Borough of Haringey, London N10, 2016 • A proper early 1960s hair stylist’s fascia, complete with modernist mosaic – very rare these days. […]
Broadway Hair Stylist

Gray and Lowe

Gray and Lowe, 91 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Amazing giant sign with random letter spacing. Their “blog-site” says they’ve been going […]
Gray and Lowe

Stuarts

Stuarts, 75 High Street Whitstable, Kent, 2002 (top) and 85 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent 2004 (bottom) • Flowery plastic branding carried all the way through their decor. The Whitstable branch […]
Stuarts

Grants

Grants, 32 Earlsdon Sreet, Coventry, Warwickshire, 2013 • Minimalistic plastic elegance for this 1960s-style hairdressing facade, still there in 2015.
Grants

Fenhams

Fenhams, 119 and 11c Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2005 • Beautiful 1960s sign for this electonics stall – not sure if it’s there any more.
Fenhams

John Turnbull

John Turnbull, 483 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2005 • Bullish old newsie with eponymous plastic illustration, seen from bus. Later became Babylon Supermarket.
John Turnbull

Biman

Biman, 49 Counduit Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2016 • A Mayfair airline office that’s still there, with classic 1960s-style sign – they’ve even got the regulation model plane.
Biman

Olympic Airways

Olympic Airways, 11 Conduit Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2015 • Current state of a once-proud airline office, with classic plastic logo. Here it is open in 2008. There used to […]
Olympic Airways

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

Donor Kebab House

Donor Kebab House, 36 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • There’s something rather delicate about this sign, it looks more like a knitting shop. Now, I think, Hot Chillis halal […]
Donor Kebab House

Antiques

Antiques, 130 Bold Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 (top) and 2014 • Ah, groovy Davida font. Amazing how much of central Liverpool is still derelict, this was the same in 2003 and […]
Antiques

Open

Open, 48-56 Church Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Tiny Elvis impersonator in front of grand clothes shop building, now a Primark.
Open

Olan Mills

Olan Mills, 18 Lord Street, Liverpool L2, 2003 • That’s Olan, not Alan on the vast old-school sign. Knocked down to make way for Liverpool One shopping quarter and is […]
Olan Mills

Deeplex

Deeplex, 21 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice name in giant Cooper Black Italic – a great font. It’s still there but with a duller logo.
Deeplex

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

More Blessing

More Blessing, 8 Cobb Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Interestingly, Moreblessing can be a person’s name in Africa – there’s a list of similar unusual names (eg […]
More Blessing

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

Surrey Sports

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.
Surrey Sports

Bishops Stores

Bishops Stores, 365 New King’s Road, Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Nice bit of cheery acrylic signage, alongside newer coke-sponsored sign. Still there, complete with apostrophe […]
Bishops Stores

Rock Steady Eddies

Rock Steady Eddies, 2a Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE5 • Longstanding Camberwell landmark, famed as the nearest cheap cafe to Maudsley ‘mental hospital’ (to use the 1980s term). Reviews could […]
Rock Steady Eddies

Sheer Elégance

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 […]
Sheer Elégance

Elizabeths Restaurant

Elizabeths Restaurant, 30 Bridge Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Apostrophe-free diner that appears as traditional inside as out. That looks like the remnants of a shiny Brilliant-style Vitrolite facade under the […]
Elizabeths Restaurant

Zoom the Loom

Zoom the Loom, 165 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • I always like a traditional net curtain shop, and this one’s also blessed with an unusual name and sign. I’m […]
Zoom the Loom

A.P. Welsh

A.P. Welsh, 71-73 Robertson Street, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Not Wales, but Scotland: old shipping office housing a wide variety of businesses, with great signage.
A.P. Welsh

Stitch & Sew

Stitch & Sew, 11 New Broadway, Tarrring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Beautiful old-lady shop, complete with flotilla of knitted ducklings in the window. The opening times sign on […]
Stitch & Sew

Lethers

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 […]
Lethers

Diamond Laundry

Diamond Laundry, 190 Finchley Road, Borough of Camden, London NW3, 2014 • It’s getting harder to find laundries in central London these days, especially ones named after precious stones.
Diamond Laundry

Broadway Wines

Broadway Wines, 56 Broadway Market, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2006 • Now for a few Broadways (the non-New York kind). Here’s a Y by Eine on a wine shop, […]
Broadway Wines

Pound + Store

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 + Store

Chiplins

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.  
Chiplins

D. McKay

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 […]
D. McKay

Street Value

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 […]
Street Value

Paradise Cottage

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 […]
Paradise Cottage

Same Day

Same Day, 19 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • I have a soft spot for these 1960s-style wood-slat signboards. This jaunty example may look like a hipster pastiche, but it’s the […]
Same Day

Muslin

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 […]
Muslin

Smokers World

Smokers World, 344 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Fags, mags and net curtains – interesting mix. It was still there in 2012, not sure […]
Smokers World

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

Pal Cargo

Pal Cargo Service Ltd., 36 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 •  Yet another gem from the decaying wonderland of Toynbee Street. Glad to see they deliver “doors […]
Pal Cargo

Crown House (Subway)

35 St Mary’s Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Not everything in Shrewsbury is half-timbered: here’s a classic new town-style 1960s precinct, not enhanced by Subway. The block sold for £1.5m in […]
Crown House (Subway)

Halon

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, […]
Halon

Computerama

Computerama, 13a Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • A few clashing layers of history: defunct tech shop with 1960s facade (note Italian-themed mosaic pillars) in Tudorbethan house which says “1908” […]
Computerama

Dreamland

Dreamland, Marine Terrace, Margate, Kent, 2014 • I couldn’t leave Margate without photographing this famed old amusement park, which was nearly destroyed by arson in 2008. It’s currently shuttered, but is […]
Dreamland

Panay Fashions

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 […]
Panay Fashions

Trussons Menswear

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 […]
Trussons Menswear

Wozencroft

Wozencroft, 59 Osmaston Road, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Lovely old script for Wozencroft, an Anglo Saxon name associated with Woolstencroft in Cheshire. Established in 1956, the shop is still there, and on […]
Wozencroft

H. Stain Ltd

H. Stain Ltd, 207 Victoria Street, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • What a pity marble shopfronts like this went out of fashion; happily this magnificent 1960s-style jewellers lives on still, just […]
H. Stain Ltd