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159 Newsagents

159 Newsagents, 159 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • This one hasn’t even got a name, just a number, and some superannuated Pepsi sponsorship. After the glory days […]
159 Newsagents

The Drink Box

The Drink Box, 159 Camberwell New Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE5, 2001 • Looks like it’s called Off Licence, but tiny ornate handwriting reveals its true identity. It’s been […]
The Drink Box

Waywest Cafe

Waywest Cafe, A1 Southbound, Darrington, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, 2015 • How strange, a crumbling neoclassical cafe at a bleak service station. Looks more like Italy than Yorkshire (apart from the weather).
Waywest Cafe

Drink Store

Drink Store, 92 Streatham Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2002 • Another generically-titled offie, with bonus wonky word spacing. Unlike yesterday’s Drink Store, this was still the same in 2014, which […]
Drink Store

Food & Wine

Food & Wine, 49 Upper Street, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2011 • Colourful generic minimart with oversized finials suggesting a grander past.
Food & Wine

Xmas Trees

Xmas Trees, Near Sandford Hotel, Sandford Road (A351), Wareham, Dorset, 2004 • I always like a hand-written sign so I pulled over in the middle of a long drive to snap […]
Xmas Trees

J.P. Wheeler

J.P. Wheeler, 55 Westway, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • An amazing old-fashioned emporium packed with a huge range of non-printing sundries, but displaying the usual parsimonious Surrey approach to Christmas lights. Google […]
J.P. Wheeler

Sandwich Bar Cafe

Sandwich Bar Cafe, 4-5 Hatfields, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2001 • Fine old-school cafe with spurious tinsel and customer in festive green hat. The ruched curtains, painted ivy and […]
Sandwich Bar Cafe

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

Wools

Wools, 124 Essex Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • The building has been renovated into flats, and this became simply… a door. Albeit one sandwiched between Food City and a Pound Stop.
Wools

Shampoo

Shampoo, 10 Furzehill Parade, Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, 2010 • Borehamwood is in the British filmland belt near Elstree Studios, so I like to think this utilitarian old hairdresser’s sign is […]
Shampoo

Copy Copy

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.
Copy Copy

Copy Shop

Copy Shop, 25 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • Colourful village copy shop no more – an early victim of the burgeoning internet? Was still to let in 2012.
Copy Shop

KJ’s Cafe

KJ’s Cafe, 2 Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Classic railway cafe-hut next to West Worthing station in what remains an old-fashioned area. Now the netless and less scrumptious Scrumptious […]
KJ’s Cafe

Auto Electrical

Auto Electrical, 223 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Last glimpse of classic signwriting prior to replacement with jerrybuilt-looking office block.
Auto Electrical

Scampi Bar

Scampi Bar, 107 Mitcham Lane, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW16, 2001 • 1970s-style culinary sophistication, with sign reading “property of Schweppes”. Now replaced by Far East Kitchen.
Scampi Bar

Budget Carpets

Budget Carpets, 1a Penrose Street, Walworth, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Incongruously grand classical facade for a budget emporium, still in business today.
Budget Carpets

Bespoke Windows

Bespoke Windows, Great Suffolk Street (sign for 70 Ewer Street), Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Nice take on the then-new Tate Modern. The area’s got too posh for light […]
Bespoke Windows

Martinis Café

Martinis, 226a Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2003 • This once had a superb yellow plastic facade, which I shall post another time. It’s now gone completely.
Martinis Café

The Bacon Shop

The Bacon Shop, 6 Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 2009 • A shop just for bacon! It closed in 2008 but there’s a nice Flickr set of its 1970-80s glory days here.
The Bacon Shop

Gents

Gents Hairdressing for Men, 10d East Street, Epsom, Surrey, 2002 • A dangerously generic title; I like the way it has to qualify its function as non-gents-toilet…
Gents

Chemist

Chemist, 182 Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • The word chemist is falling from use; this is now a pharmacy.
Chemist

Café – Restaurant

Café – Restaurant, 187 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Boasts ridiculously tiny accent on Café. Astonishingly, this still looked exactly the same (minus flags) in […]
Café – Restaurant

Heel Bar

Heel Bar, 73 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A proudly upbeat old acrylic sign, still there in 2012, along with cheerful shutter mural.
Heel Bar

Scrap Metal Wanted

Scrap Metal Wanted, Arch 488, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • This whole Dickensian viaduct was razed for the swanky new Overground; by 2012 site […]
Scrap Metal Wanted

Glass Mirrors

Glass Mirrors, 205 Grange Road, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • As opposed to plastic mirrors, perhaps. Still derelict by 2012, though sans name boards and bearing a […]
Glass Mirrors

Chemist.

Chemist. NHS Prescriptions Dispenced, 165 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A classic: generic name, random full stop, spelling issues, misplaced security fears. Became Hair by […]
Chemist.