The Spar, 1c Braganza Street, Kennington, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Colourful yet grim, with a DIY awning logo. It lasted till 2016 and was then redeveloped into […]
Tung Hing, 16 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2017 • Melancholy old-school Chinese.
Mid Wales Domestic Appliances, 1 Mount Street, Welshpool, Powys, Wales, 2017 • Rustic timber-framed appliance emporium.
J.E. Bailey, 67 Aston Street, Wem, Shropshire, 2017 • I started going to places in Shropshire just because of the weird names – Clun, Wem, New Invention (a real if […]
Robert Walker Cut Price Sweets Cigarettes, 75 Deptford High Street, Borough of Greenwich, London SE8, 2002 • Pastel-hued cheap fag emporium which had disappeared by 2014, and by 2017 was (bizarrely) […]
F.W. Holroyd, 9-11 George Street, Merchant City, Glasgow G1, 2012 • Dilapidated art gallery round the corner from yesterday’s demolished block. This was still there in 2017 and even tattier.
Station Cars, Station Road North, Merstham, Surrey, 2001 • Taxi rank or murder hut? Hard to tell, because the windows are blocked with taxi parts. Demolished sometime after 2008.
Post Shop, 115a Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Not the most reassuring-looking of post offices. It’s now been closed for a very long time and […]
Ice Cream Kiosk, Promenade, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, 2003 • Ah, the sunny south coast seaside (not).
Cardshops, 43 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2001, 2003 • Shabby souvenir shop in prime West End, pictured in 2001 and 2003 (bottom). By 2017 it had become […]
Happy Swan, 39 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Borough of Croydon, London, 2001 • Classic plastic sign and festive plant hierarchy in window. Still exactly the same in 2017 (minus Christmas […]
Shortlands, 34 High Street, Banstead, Surrey, 2001 • Old-school shoe shop rationing the Christmas lights. Still exists 2017, and also has a branch in Cobham. The 1970s logo has been “modernised” […]
Marcel, 31 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Borough of Croydon, London CR5, 2001 • Plucky festive cheer within peeling facade. Looks like a restaurant but, as its name suggests, is a […]
EuroBeuro, 175 High Street, Banstead, Surrey, 2001 • Santa wants his country back.
R.P. Metal Co. Ltd., 32 Station Road, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, 2001 • Industrial festive cheer, part 3.
RJS Heating, 26 Chipstead Station Parade, Chipstead, Surrey, 2001 • Industrial festive cheer, part 1.
A to Z Wedding Services, 123 Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Scariest wedding dance ever.
Cyclone, 6-8 Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • Not entirely convincing attempt at replicating a Greek temple. Later became a sports bar called Trilogy.
Silvertown Motel, 1-3 Silvertown Way, Canning Town, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • It looked even more depressing before they painted it blue. Long since knocked down and replace […]
Maysun Market, 869 Finchley Road, Golders Green, Borough of Barnet, London NW11, 2003 • Grimly green far east emporium.
Bensons for Beds, 79-80 Upper Mall, County Mall, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • New town modernism beset by pigeons (note hexagonal tiles beneath the netting).
Colours Sports Club, 1a Throwley Way, Sutton, Borough of Sutton, London SM1, 2002 • Bright yet grim. Later added fake ionic pillars and rebranded as The Grand Hall.
Nina’s Gifts, Marine Parade, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Rocking the Soviet kiosk look. It’s been suggested to me that this caravan-like affair is an ex-RAC edifice.
Spar Revitt, Alma Parade, 98 Chaldon Road, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Nice that they bothered with Christmas decorations.
Alandra, 143 Shoreditch High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2002 • Alandra – nice name for a grim-looking jewellery wholesaler, but it’s not there any more. By 2016 […]
Concourse Burger Bar, Concourse House, Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Hand-drawn mixed messages on Scouse burger bar. The entire building was demolished to build new offices some time after […]
Johnsons Shoes, 28 High Street, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 2002 • Always like a pigeon spike.
Launderette, Lidlington Place, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • Grimly decorative washeteria.
Norman Hart Optician, 6 Neasden Parade, 250 Neasden Lane, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2016 • Old school optician in grimy 1930s parade.
Capital Car Colours, 372 Neasden Lane North, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2016 • Scruffy car paint palimpsest with what looks like a brick wall inside the door.
Noko, 358 Neasden Lane North, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2016 • African food business within a decomposing facade. Pluvera chicken, aka “hard” chicken, is for stewing. It’s described […]
Neasden Shopping, 237 Neasden Lane, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2016 • Jam-packed array of international services under the peeling name of Neasden Shopping.
Neasden Parade, Neasden Lane, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2016 • Art deco parade that has seen better days. Even the ‘A’ is dropping off…
Sunfruit, The Centre, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 2002 • Sunny, yet grim. Not-entirely-convincing rebrand from videos to fruit that was part of a bleak, now-demolished 1960s mall, The Centre, which I think was replaced […]
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. […]
Jesus Saves, Heals and Re, County Street, Elephant and Castle, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2012 • No idea what Jesus’s last action was, but regenerates would have been apt – […]
H.C. Pretty, 101 Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE5, 2016 • What a great name, though the premises don’t exactly live up to it. It’s actually an engineering firm.
Afro Supermarket, 87 Gravel Street, Leicester LE1, 2016 • Multicultural modernist tiling in the brutalist quarter of this fascinating city.
Philip J. Hammond & Sons, 47 Friar Lane, Leicester LE1, 2016 • Grimly stylish marbled throwback, rocking the Barcelona Pavilion look.
Hanley Shopping Centre, East Precinct, East West Centre, Old Hall Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, 2010 • Classic grim 1960s new town-style shopping precinct, which by 2016 was completely derelict. There have been plans […]
New Peking Inn (Playpaint), Milroy Walk, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2011 (top) and 2001 (bottom two) • From Chinese food to fine art in grim 1970s precinct that’s now […]
Woolworths, Pizza Hut (Glasgow), 199-201 Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Jaunty red modernist corner abutting one of the last 200 Woolworths stores to close down. The fatal day was 6 Jan 2009; […]
Tony’s, 195-205 Union Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2011 • Not sure what service Tony offered – haircuts maybe – but the graffiti says, twice, that he’s a big […]
Hagan-Brown Dental Laboratories, 3-4 Burford Road, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • There’s something rather creepy about dental labs, especially when they include advertisements for crack.
Poundland (Reading), 118-119 Friar Street, Reading, Berrkshire, 2015 • Unusual arts and crafts-cum-brutalist building, an incongruous setting for a Poundland (apart from the weeds). It has an ecclesiastical look – […]
London Center College, Cumming Street, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2006 • Impressive sign! Not only does it namecheck Oxford and Cambridge universities, it offers ‘assistance’ with visas. Hmmm.
Raymond Revuebar, 11 Walker’s Court , City of Westminster, London W1, 2015 • We saw this in its fading 2002 incarnation yesterday; in 2008 its owner Paul Raymond died, and his granddaughters inherited his Soho […]
Funky Rooms, 499 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 • Grimly quaint concrete facade, which I originally thought housed a nightclub, but a commenter tells me was a furniture shop. […]
City Confectionery, 105 Shoreditch High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2006 & 2002 • Maybe the flat-dweller crept in under the angled shutter. The top photo is from 2006, when it […]
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 […]
The Love Shack, corner of Old Hall Street and Goodson Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, 2010 • A touch of gaudy grandeur amidst modernist monoliths in much-maligned Stoke, currently bidding to be the […]
Catford Mews, Winslade Way, off Rushey Green, Catford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE6, 2010 • Feline punning within the Catford Centre, featured yesterday. Catford Mews is an indoor market, as described in the […]
Catford Centre, Rushey Green, Catford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE6, 2010 • Famous creepy cat, fronting brutalist mall the Catford Centre, developed by Owen Luder in 1974. Apparently it’s due for […]
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.
Cat & Cucumber Café, 182 Tower Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2003 • Nice name, wayward accent, grim rear aspect. Popular and still-extant greasy spoon once immortalised in […]
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 […]
Happy Shopper (J.R. Blanche), 74 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • And here, for the sake of completeness, is what the J.R. Blanche Happy Shopper looked like […]
Ex-shop, corner Rennie Street and Stamford Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Abject festive window, incorporating faded giant wasps.
The Cleveland, corner of Paradise Street and Price Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Next to the Seamen’s Dispensary (gone) and opposite the Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen (to be redeveloped), this functional boozer catered to a salty […]
The Nook, 7 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Blimey, there’s a light on in there. Once renowned as Britain’s only ‘Chinese’ pub (interesting memoir by a 1960s bartender here), this scary-looking boozer […]
Bargain Booze, 22-24 Vauxhall Road, Liverpool L3, 2014 • Bargain booze, bargain sign.
David Pluck, The Blob Shop, 40 Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Pub beneath bookie beneath Yates’s Wine Lodge ghost sign, all still there. According to this Bad Pub Guide The Blob Shop […]
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 […]
The Commons, 59 Plumstead Common Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Grim-looking club whose name is a play on its politics and position – the local Conservative association and Plumstead Common, […]
Trayman Solicitors, 247 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Rather beautiful in an understated, random way: Doric portal, bathroom tiles, bottleglass windows, vintage street number […]
Inter Biz, 1d Blenheim Grove, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Wonkily hand-painted one-stop shop for a bewildering array of financial services. A note on the door says ‘Am down the […]
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 […]
The Corner Off-Licence, 18 Abbey Lane, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • More modernist grimness, in an area whose local landmark was at this point a sewer outfall, but is […]
Cumbernauld Shopping Centre, 10 Ettrick Walk, Cumbernauld, Scotland, 2012 • Famous 1960s brutalist edifice not improved by later additions, and now called the Antonine Centre. The only original part still […]
Public Toilets Dry Cleaning Key Cutting, St Ages Well, Old Street Underground Station, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2008 • A last redoubt of 1970s tubedom in a subterranean mall named after […]
Shirley Stores, 2-8 Shirley Street, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • Bleakness on the edge of Silvertown. Later became a Kwiksave.
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 […]
Care Assistant Training, Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Remember this kind of thing? No wonder there were care home scandals. How depressing.
Lloyds TSB (Oxford Street), 32 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • Now for a bit of summer shopping grimness, and where better to start than Europe’s busiest shopping […]
W.C.R. Dies, JW Print Finishers, Quicksilver Ltd, Fox Finishers, 27 Wallis Road, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2006 • Morbidly-named hive of industry which had gone by 2008, when Olympic projects swept into the area.
Grimwade Services, 262a Brixton Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2002 • Another Dickensian name from old Lambeth. I doubt there was much demand for ‘president’ signs.
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.
Christian Caring Ministries, 189 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Not sure if this is a church or a shop – God moves in mysterious ways. Now beauty […]
LJ’s Beach Bar, Brooklands, Jaywick Sands, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, 2013 • That’s barbed wire on top. Part of Jaywick Sands, apparently one of Britain’s most deprived areas, albeit with a vast […]
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 […]
Fatal Attraction Bridal Centre, 171 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Interesting name for a bridal shop. Didn’t the film Fatal Attraction feature bunny boiling? By 2009 the premises had […]
Repairwise, 322 High Street, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • I always enjoy a bunker-like facade.
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.
Valentine, 171 Long Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2011 • Scary pub squat with extreme name / appearance mismatch. It may have originally been called the Valentine & Orson, […]
Nameless works, Unit 1a, Bordesley Street, Birmingham, 2014 • Curious neoclassical portal leading to a lowly industrial unit. A while back, it housed an Auto Valet Centre.
Unique News, 118 East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Depressing news, more like it (note noose over door). It’s now, bizarrely, called Ozone Sauna Detoxification Booth – […]
Quality Food News & Wines, 91 Bloomfield Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • I wonder how much demand they get for the Financial News.
Totteridge Brasserie, 36 Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, Borough of Barnet, London N20, 2011 • So good they named it twice. Now the somewhat smarter Tiffin Tin.
Abbey Arms, Harry’s Mini Cabs, 31 & 31a Wilton Road, Abbey Wood, Borough of Greenwich, London SE2, 2014 • A pub in Abbey Wood that’s still standing. It doesn’t have […]
Ex-Drinks Cabin, 498 Abbey Wood Road, Abbey Wood, Borough of Bexley, London SE2, 2014 • The black bottle speaks of a booze store, which internet research suggests was called Drinks Cabin. Google Street View shows it […]
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 […]
Home & Away Dog Grooming, Pest Clear UK Ltd, near […]
Martins Refrigeration, 19 Fortess Road, Borough of Camden, London NW5, 2012 • A close-up of Chris Ruocco’s scary-looking neighbour. That looks like a Gustav Metzger artwork in the widow, but I […]
Broadway Cash ‘N’ Carry, 39 Deptford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Even having ads for Coke and Pepsi couldn’t save it. It’s now called Deptford Food & Wine, with […]
Broadleys, 34-40 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Genteel local department store, est 1896 and still there today. Can’t help thinking there’s something of the chemo ward about this window […]
Virgo Clothing Big’n’Pretty, 156 Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Signs in the window warn big’n’pretty browsers to bring “No food or drink inside”. Curiously, big seems to be defined as “16 inches […]
Weisfelds (Goldbergs), Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • A portion of the once-beloved department store Goldbergs, which closed in 1991 and re-opened as cheapo clothes outlet Weisfelds in 1994. The Weisfelds […]
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”.
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).