W.J. Fox & Sons, 37 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Battered tobacconist with ghost sign saying “Established 1863” and a deep arcade entrance. A contemporary gallery later moved in and […]
James Henry (Hampel & Sons), Victoria Buildings, 171 Elm Grove, Southsea, City of Portsmouth, 2016 • 1978-founded crimper beneath an even older ghost sign, in a grand tiled parade. Maybe […]
Imperial Dry Cleaners, 12 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, Borough of Waltham Forest, London E17, 2016 • Newly-painted faux ghost signage in a regeneration area.
Jesus Kingdom City, Cannon Street, Bristol BS1, 2013 • Ex-church school whose plaque reveals a Theseus’s Paradox of a history: “St James’ School. Instituted benevolent School 1790. Sunday school 1801. Reconstructed 1913. […]
Garage sign, side of Cancer Research UK, 17 Priestpopple, Hexham, Northumberland, 2016 • Ghost sign for a garage whose carriage gate is still there at the left of the Cancer […]
Chatsworth Tyre Service, 114 Chatsworth Road, Clapton, Borough of Hackney, London E5, 2011 • Evocative signage on a garage shuttered in 2010 after 50 years of trading. I seem to […]
Arthur Toms, 84 Chatsworth Road, Clapton, Borough of Hackney, London E5, 2011 • Until 2010 this was a Chinese takeaway called Friends, though clearly it had previously been an eel and […]
HH Muckers, Lordship Windows, c.481 Seven Sisters Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2016 • HH Muckers – what a great name! Albeit partly obscured in what looks like a […]
Daily News, 616 Seven Sisters Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2016 • According to Wikipedia, the Daily News was a radical left-leaning national newspaper founded in 1846 by Charles […]
Ellis’s Tearoom, Rothley Station, Great Central Railway, Rothley, Leicestershire, 2016 • Restored ghostsign for a Coke, Corn and Cake Merchants, now just selling cake on this heritage steam railway.
Wildt Mellor Bromley (Roti House), c.431 St. Saviours Road, Leicester LE5, 2016 • Imposing deco edifice that was once home to one of the world’s largest knitting machine manufacturers, which hit […]
Corona Machine Tool Works, 300 St. Saviours Road, Leicester LE5, 2016 • There’s no one left to raise the flags at this ornate works, sadly. Built in 1911 to a design by […]
Mama’s Discount Wholesalers, 305 St. Saviours Road. Leicester LE5, 2016 • Astonishing Aladdin’s cave of a shop which was even more packed inside than out. I’m wondering if the wall-mounted […]
Trim Time Barber Shop, 6 Northampton Street, Leicester LE1, 2016 • Best barber’s clock ever! And kicking off a series of photos from the very interesting city of Leicester (since […]
Golden Horse, Weekes, 178 Fawcett Road, Southsea, City of Portsmouth, 2016 • Fantastical handcrafted takeaway next to unit with 1950s-looking ghost sign. There was a garage elsewhere in Southsea called Weekes […]
The Chocolate Box, Farncombe Street, Farncombe, Godalming, Surrey, 2016 • Wooden-lettered ghost sign on what looks like a private house, but presumably used to be the local sweetshop. Love the way the car […]
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 […]
W.H. Walkers Livery & Bait Stables, 1 Minnis Road, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, CT7, 2006 • An intriguingly illegible palimpsest of a ghost sign. In full, what I can make out on the […]
Cabinet Benches, side of 2 Hoxton Street, London N1, 2006 • I have no idea what cabinet benches are, but they probably don’t make them any more. The ghost sign is still […]
Barbers Teas Always Please, side of CC’s Hair Design, 423 Witton Road, Aston, Birmingham B6, 2016 • Gorgeous carnivalesque ghost sign featuring Little Miss Barber with a tea pack hat, […]
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 […]
Johns the Baker, 5 Badcox, Frome, Somerset, 2008 • Ghost sign from the days when ‘golden brown’ didn’t mean heroin. The Hovis sign had gone by 2011, when it was still […]
Famous Amusements Emporium (JG’s), 3-9 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Classic neon ghost sign on what was once the street’s oldest boot and shoe shop – there’s a photo of that here. By […]
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 […]
Best Wishes, 13 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Ex-gift shop, now ex-charity shop, whose ghost sign has – like yesterday’s shop – a rather Edwardian feel. Note crowns on door handle […]
M.J. Davies, 10 New King Street, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Stripey ghost sign for what may have been a dairy (they often had Welsh names). Looks […]
Ex-Barclays Bank (Sutton), 238 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, 2002 • Aah, textures of grey and the ghost of an old-style Barclays Bank eagle logo.
Tyres Tyres (FWR), 330 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • Unusual cross-shaped ghost sign for tyres, situated above motorcycle parts shop FWR. The sign had disappeared by 2008.
Bransdon (CB News), 86 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Identikit newsagent-cum-homeless shelter retaining ghost sign for a previous occupant; you can see […]
A. Cooke’s, Joe Coral (Fabric House Ltd), 48, 46 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Founded 1899, and located at this address since 1934, […]
Medina, 1 Creekside, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A 1910s-looking typeface, advertising who knows what – but I’d guess auto related, as this is a long-standing garage site. […]
Yorkshire Bank (Middlesbrough), 303-7 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, 2013 • There’s nice steel detailing on this, which looks early 1960s. Yorkshire Bank is still going, though owned by National Australia Bank, who […]
Westminster Bank Limited, Kennington Park Road, Lambeth, London SE11, 2001 • Founded 1834, lasted till 1970 then became National Westminster. It’s still there, though the car isn’t – it’s my trusty […]
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.
A. E. Walsby Opticians, 48 Renshaw Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • A family chain which lasted until one of the third generation was convicted of defrauding the NHS. It was […]
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 […]
Toys, Whitechapel Audio Time Ltd, 69 Whitechapel High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • A fine Toys sign, but Audio Time ran out of time. It’s now AB […]
Microcola Computers, House Sign & Decorative Painter, 27a&b The Belvedere, […]
Capon’s of Rochester, 177 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • I got to Rochester too late to catch this venerable butcher, est 1944. There’s a bit more info on the […]
Pinkney Engineering, Fairbridge House, Ferry Street, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Attractive rivetted ghost sign on what is now a Prince’s Trust site.
Rayner Opticians clock, above 57 New King’s Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW6, 2003 • Decaying timepiece still there, now above Harvey Jones Kitchens.
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, […]
H+C clock, 159-173 St John Street, Clerkenwell, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2007 • And another 1950s-style Clerkenwell clock, advertising lift manufacturers Hammond & Champness, who inhabited this building until at least […]
EuroSensor clock, 20-24 Kirby Street, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2004 • Another period gem from Clerkenwell: EuroSensor was a big technical firm that occupied the building in the area’s pre-gentrification days. Threatened […]
Nameless wall clock, side of 85 Clerkenwell Road, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2011 • For decades this giant octagonal clock rusted away high above Clerkenwell, but now it’s been […]
The Hallamshire Coal Supplies Ltd clock, Victoria Quay, Wharf Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Random old clock still adjoined to a renovated warehouse.
The Home and Colonial Tea Stores (Tablet Gallery), 51a George […]
Monroe Shock Absorbers Specialist, Newark Road (side of 173 Brighton Road), South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • I always like random old signs for no-nonsense things like […]
Opticians AXO (Scrivens), 36 Waingate, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Looks like an art installation or concrete poetry, but is actually a sign for Scrivens Opticians.
Vision Express, 7 St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, 2011 • Great old optician’s wall sign in central Bristol. I revisited recently and didn’t need glasses to see it was no longer […]
Vye & Son, side of 67 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Must have been hidden behind two smaller signs. Looks 1950s to me, so they’d presumably been going since […]
Lascelles Tickner & Co’s Entire (The George Inn), 124 Bridge […]
Lennon Bros Ltd. (Mr Simms), 15 Market Place, Rugby, Warwickshire, 2012 • A very substantial ghost sign, much longer resident than the faux-olde worlde Mr Simms sweetshop chain beneath (which was later replaced […]
Hornsey Automatic Transmissions, 1 Stapleton Hall Road, Borough of Haringey, London N4, 2014 • I assumed this was closed down, but Google Street View shows it operational a month after I […]
J.F. Turner, wall above Ying’s, 125 Hanley Road, Borough of Islington, London N4, 2014 • Graffiti by moron over ghost sign for baker; both elements are still there.
Brilliant Neon Ltd., above Best-One, 218 Earls Court Road, B orough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW5, 2010 • Tiny reminder of a long-gone fascia, still hanging on above a minimart. It’s […]
Cafe, side of 886 Garratt Lane, Tooting, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17, 2006 • Subtle ghost sign which is still there. Typography suggests nineteen-teens.
Cafe, side of 181 Bow Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2006 • Became a tasteful wall ad for hairdresser Noor, minus – ironically or appropriately, depending on how you look at […]
Stevens Music Stores, side of 170 Mortimer Street (seen from Cavendish Road), Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • A ghost sign of indeterminate age, as seen from the side entrance of yesterday’s now-demolished Servowarm. On the side of […]
F.J. Thornton & Co. Ltd. Weighing Machine Manufacturers, 111 Fazeley […]
H.E. Pea, Zen-Shin, The Best Baguette, 180 High Street Deritend, Birmingham, 2014 • Next door to yesterday’s Deritend Fish & Chips, perhaps not coincidentally, a works entrance hidden by a […]
Ferodo, bridge ad, near Blackmore Drive, North Circular Road, Stonebridge, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Ferodo got taken over in 1998, and stopped paying fees for their bridge ads – […]
Cooper’s Motor Mart, Coopers Studios, 14-18 Westgate Road, Newcastle, 2013 • Ghost sign on trendy studios. The1897 building is a rare example of a multi-story horse and cart repository – here’s a history here.
Sussex Automotive, Lyn’s Cars, 42 & 43a New broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • I thought there was something rather 1930s about the window on the right, though […]
Ashfield Motors, Caroline Street, Birmingham, 2005 • What gorgeous typography – it almost looks like a pastiche, but this was a real garage. There’s now a new-build block jammed up against […]
William High Class Confection, side of 212 Middlewood Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • That’s enough dodgy graffiti, here’s some wall art with a bit more staying power, having […]
Bile Beans, Bob Trotter’s, 18 and 13-15 Lord Mayor’s Walk , York, North Yorkshire, 2011 • A famous digestive fluid-related ghost sign, now (somewhat off-puttingly) on the side of a […]
John Hirst & Co, Thornes Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Despite its decaying Venetian loveliness, this “corn cake & barley merchants” warehouse opposite the Hepworth Wakefield gallery is surrounded by […]
S.E. & A. Ridley Ltd., Bridge Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • And now to the unusual two-tiered town of Bridgnorth in lovely Shropshire. This seed merchant was established in the year […]
Williams Brothers of Sheffield (Williams Fasteners), Green Lane and Dun […]
Thanet Times, Vera’s Kitchen, 11 Broad Street, Margate, Kent, 2014 • A striking old ghost sign on an ex-newspaper office, which features on the Ghostsigns calendar here. The building dates from 1760, […]
‘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 […]
Ons, Ltd, 128 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Scarred and illlegible ghost sign for something ending in ‘ons’ (Sons?) adding a touch of looming darkness to the local market. There’s also […]
Stuarts Your Do it Yourself Flooring Centre, 35 Victoria Road, Surbiton, Surrey, 2006 • I was driving through snoring Surbiton late at night and just had to pull over to snap […]
Sylvia’s, Prime English Rabbits, 12 Westoe Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, 2013 • Unusual ghost sign offering ‘fresh fish daily eggs prime English rabbits’. What more could you want?
Cocketts Corner (Wahab Balti), 33 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • A more modest sponsored corner than yesterday’s, named for Cocketts Matresses, founded 1928 and sited opposite. The Cocketts sign […]
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 […]
W. & J. Oliver. (Stead & Smith Engineering), 153 Wincolmlee, […]
Kingston Tavern, 76 Paragon Street, Hull, 2013 • Delicate tiled ghost sign (look at that intricate ‘O’) on the side of a closed-down city centre hostelry.
Ideal, 14 Midland Road, Hull, 2013 • Next to the falling-down Albert Hall, an old printing works that currently offers motorcycle training. I love the tiny black arched windows at the […]
The Tool Box, ghost sign above 3 Church Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Faded wooden ghost sign on a boarded up shop. Not all of Hull is boarded up – […]
Co-op Mosaic (BHS), 32-38 Jameson Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Immense 1963 “three ships” mural by Alan Boyson, on what was then a super-duper new Co-Op building. There’s a huge […]
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 […]
Tower (Tokyo Hull), 52 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • A rather grubby topless lady keeps vigil over this magnificent 1914 cinema designed by H Percival Binks, which has been […]
Boots (Golders Green), 638 Finchley Road, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • Another vintage Boots sign, this one now gone though the shop’s still there.
Boots (Pret A Manger), 7 Parade, Canterbury, Kent 2013 • Yet another parade of boots – this time, evidence of an earlier occupant of this ancient-looking building.
Pickering & Mayell Ltd Reliance Works, 41-42 Caroline Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, West Midlands, 2013 • Founded in 1913, this jewellery packaging firm merged with1941-founded local rival Talbots and moved to […]
London Laundry, 120 Upper Spon Street, Coventry, West Midlands, 2013 • Part of Black Swan Terrace, a row of historic cottages that was derelict in the 1990s, and now restored to […]
Coast News, 9 East Parade, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, 2013 • Wonder if it’s just serendipity that the old sign matches up with the new(ish) one?
SpiceNite, 23 Exeter Road, Exmouth, Devon, 2009 • SpiceNite’s pretty dull-looking, but the tiled shopfront it’s set into certainly isn’t.
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 […]
H. Snuggs & Co. (Trafik), 331 Old Street, Borough of Hackney, London N1, 2004 • The superbly-named H. (aka Henry) Snuggs bowed out in 1899 – there’s a contemporary report in […]
Twice the Siren, 28 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 • Giant specs, presumably from a departed optician’s, keeping watch over a Waterloo gift shop.
A & E Scott and South Bank Grocery, 69 The Cut, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2010 and 2002 (bottom) • An earlier identity as a greengrocer revealed during transformation […]
Cash Supply Stores, Furniture, ghost signs behind 23 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • More ghost signs, next to yesterday’s music roll emporium. By the […]
The Music Roll Exchange., ghost sign behind Premier Food & Wine, 29 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • Secondhand music rolls, the superannuated CDs of […]
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 […]
CH N.Katz, 92 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • A reminder of the days when Brick Lane was full of Jewish rather than Bangladeshi / hipster […]
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 […]