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handmade

New Star

New Star, 8a Holmesdale Road, Reigate, Surrey, 2002 • Unusual ‘evening lunch’ offer meets impressive 1960s door handle at a matching angle. New Star’s DIY branding remained completely unchanged until 2014, and though the […]
New Star

Sunfruit (Videotech)

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 […]
Sunfruit (Videotech)

Jim’ll Mix It

Jim’ll Mix It, Unit 1, Lusty Industrial Estate, Empson Street, Bromley-by-Bow, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2012 • Unfortunate Jimmy Savile-inspired name, not helped by being based on the Lusty […]
Jim’ll Mix It

Golden Horse, Weekes

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 […]
Golden Horse, Weekes

Amazon Hair

Amazon Hair, 92 Fowler Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, 2013 • A hair-cutter who’s cut out their window. Brilliant! It’s still there but now painted brown and white. Hope the eponymous online book-selling […]
Amazon Hair

Tony’s Hemp Corner

Tonys Hemp Corner, 10 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2010 • Creepy flower-child fascia for controversial cannabis cafe whose proprietor Tony Taylor supplied ‘medicinal’ marijuana to nearly 300 […]
Tony’s Hemp Corner

Dawn Crystal

Dawn Crystal, 3 HighStreet, Amblecote, Stourbridge, West Midlands, 2016 • Cute old shop opposite the Ruskin Glass Centre in Stourbridge, a West Midlands town that was once the world centre of the cut glass […]
Dawn Crystal

Bag Shop

Bag Shop, Union Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight, 2002 • Idiosyncratic and somewhat hippyish hand-made signs from the Isle of Wight – even the door gets labelled. Unusually I didn’t […]
Bag Shop

Alan’s

Alan’s, 61 High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Nice hand-made type for traditional florist. They have a website, but it says “Alan’s Florist Shop … is currently closed after many years […]
Alan’s

Cafe

Cafe, corner of Henry Street and Suffolk Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Wonky hand-lettering for this generic cafe, which was still a derelict corner in 2014, despite being almost in the city […]
Cafe

W.C.R. Dies

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.
W.C.R. Dies

Days Garage

Days Garage, 6 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Established 1919, still there, and they’ve kept the charming wooden telephone sign.
Days Garage

Ford Specialist

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 […]
Ford Specialist

Broacha Samy Ltd

Broacha Samy Ltd, 108 Mile End Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2015 • Demure frontage amidst a sea of gaudy plastic. “Manufacturers of lady dresses specialists in plus sizes” says the […]
Broacha Samy Ltd

Adans Travel Agency

Adans Travel Agency, 175a Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Sigh, the internet did away with travel agents sporting charming paintings of floppy planes and fruit-like ABTA […]
Adans Travel Agency

The Barge

The Barge, 271 Victoria Dock Road, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • I was attracted by the wonky painted wall sign of this once-grand docklands boozer, established as the Freemasons […]
The Barge

Paolina Thai

Paolina Thai Food Cafe & Takeaway, 181 Kings Cross Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Abject-looking takeaway with nice lettering on its pavement sign (bottom). It’s still there, […]
Paolina Thai

Autos

Autos, Arch 491/2, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • I love this angular DIY lettering. It’s under the viaduct featured yesterday and later demolished for the London […]
Autos

Badat Brothers Ltd

Badat Brothers Ltd, Dacca Caterers Ltd, Simco Caterers Ltd, 2-4 Cook’s Road, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2010 • Nest of caterers in an appropriately-named road, amidst development for the […]
Badat Brothers Ltd

Crowson & Sons Ltd

Crowson & Sons Ltd, 17-23 Farringdon Road, City of London, London EC1, 2004 • Nice mid-century building (note tiny replacement ‘s’ on ‘Sons’) selling fancy cheeses no more; it was knocked down […]
Crowson & Sons Ltd

L&D Motorcycles

L&D Motorcycles, 179 Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • A forest of for sale signs on this old-time motorbike store. Fitting therefore that it became an estate agent, […]
L&D Motorcycles

Anne

Anne, 62 High Street, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, 2014 • More genteel net, albeit in a rather minimalist setting.  
Anne

Lihiniya

Lihiniya, 70 Cricklewood Broadway, Borough of Barnet, London NW2, 2004 • Intricate Sri Lankan shopfront, now a Cats Protection charity shop.
Lihiniya

Alum Food Store

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.
Alum Food Store