Take Cover, 376 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • Giant plastic curtain sign with accompanying essay. Possibly a relative of yesterday’s Take Cover, which was just round […]
Take Cover, 142 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • Faded bed painting meets saggy awning, not a great advert for its services. By 2016 it had long […]
Hair Talk, 12 High Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, 2004 • Seaside crimper with eyeless 1960s woman in its sign, and giant-haired 1970s woman in its window. It was beneath a faded […]
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 […]
Grants, 32 Earlsdon Sreet, Coventry, Warwickshire, 2013 • Minimalistic plastic elegance for this 1960s-style hairdressing facade, still there in 2015.
Grant’s Fish Bar, 14 Upper High Street, Epsom, Surrey, 2002 • Notable for its mutant fish illustration. By 2015 it was chicken joint Maxy Express.
John Turnbull, 483 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2005 • Bullish old newsie with eponymous plastic illustration, seen from bus. Later became Babylon Supermarket.
Vassos Shoe Repairs, 47 Church Street, City of Westminster, London NW8, 2003 • Talk about waiting for the other shoe to drop; this was still there in 2015 but with right shoe gone, […]
Alans Naturally, 13 South Street, Hull, 2013 • Old-school loose goods purveyor next door to yesterday’s Alan’s Fruiterers, and presumably the same Alan, albeit without apostrophe. Both shops are still there – […]
Alan’s Fruiterers, 9 South Street, Hull, 2013 • Immense and striking faux fruit machine frontage in Hull, famed (sort of) for its now-artsy fruit market district.
North Garden Restaurant, 30 Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Liverpool’s Chinatown used to have decorative frontages with nice neon, but signage has got more functional over the years. This restaurant is still there, but the neon […]
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 […]
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 […]
Supergrows Cosmetic, 405 Mare Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2010 • Yargh, nightmare on Mare Street. That’s some cosmetic (bottom pic).
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 […]
Beder Telecom, 207 Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • Beder than a Lycamobile shopfront, anyway, despite the wired phone. Been replaced by a pub, unusually.
Blessed, Peter Thomson Solicitor, 203 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9 • Traditional Brixton, getting harder to find.
Indian’s Unisex Hair Salon, 82-84 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, SE5, 2015 • The scary weaponised hairdresser geezers date from an earlier sign, which Google’s magic wayback view shows was “a fine […]
Amaraché, 96 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5 • Some quite impressive wiring here. Note accented ‘e’ in different font. Google can’t translate the name, so I don’t know […]
Aladdin’s Cave, 194 Middlewood Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Plucky use of mixed visual metaphors. Despite the magical name, Colonel Sanders is a reflection, he’s not actually in the shop.
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 […]
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 […]
Herbert Best Kebabs & Pizza, 64 Herbert Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Bold sign bearing the name of its superb old-school shopping road. Now called, more boringly, Delight.
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.
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 […]
Clarke Motorcycles, 63 Osmaston Road, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • All motorcycle shops should be like this. It’s still there, just off the fabulously-named Lara Croft Way.
Bikeshire Racing, 15 New Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Charmingly naive motorbike murals, long gone. A small disclaimer under “Free Fitting” reads “(to loose wheels)”. Now a block of […]
Inglis and Roffey Opticians, 8 High Street, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • End days of a slightly funereal opticians. It got knocked down replaced by a big ugly block of […]
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.
Chris Ruocco Tailors, 17 Fortess Road, Borough of Camden, London NW5, 2012 • In the 1980s they catered to the likes of Wham!, Bananarama and Spandau Ballet. There’s a painting of it […]
Broadway Bagel Bakery, 394 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • The front fascia is pretty crap, but I like the golden-bagels-from-hell wall sign. It’s now called Bagels Etc, […]
Pound Planet, 19-21 Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Ambitious name meets Scottish flags and unflattering rendition of the Queen. It later became Home Land. Devolution subtext ahoy.
Pound Superstore, 125-127 Church Street, Borough of Camden, London NW8, 2003 • From the days when pound shops were one-branch, low-tech affairs. It’s still there, though it has to be […]
Your Local Drink Store, 371 Norwood Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE27, 2002 • I always like a generically-titled shop. Recalling Father Jack out of Father Ted, the little bottle […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Starr Racing, 144 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2002 • Nice name, illustrations and tiles on this 1970s-era bookie, which looks like a set from The Sweeney. It’s […]
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 […]
Geo. Watts & Son, 93 St. James’s Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • I was attracted by the surrealist, slightly melancholy, window display. Founded in 1966, it closed in 2013 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Fair City Cars, 125 Digbeth Road, Birmingham, 2005 • Poignant name and home-made chauffeur logo tacked onto a handsome premises which has since been demolished, along with the adjoining Hennessey’s Bar (which […]
The Rose of Denmark, 78 Shirley Street, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • Looks more like the Rose of Beirut, but is in fact at the head of London’s […]
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 […]
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 […]
Mercury Discount, Cambridge Heath Appliances, 274-278 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2002 (top two) & 2006 • Beautiful signwiting, caught on its way out. Now a […]
J & Sons Unisex Hair Salon, 501 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Ambitious hand-painted lettering depicting a mysterious pater/materfamilias (it’s hard to tell which from […]
Time Peace (UK) ltd., 43-45 Goulston Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Picturesquely bonkers watch outlet with a mis-spelt essay of punning signage and impenetrably boxed entrance. “Please […]
First Class Dry Cleaning, Beckenham Junction Station, Beckenham, Kent, 2010 • A power-dressing duo from David Bowie’s old stomping ground. Being mouthless, it’s apt they’re representing the rather faceless kiosk below. […]
Maestro Records, Mobiles Phone, 61 Rye Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Poignant collision of old and new tech divided by a fat conductor, in a typically ruinous […]
Call Saver, 20 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2010 • A colourful closure; there’s a great pic of the premises open here.
Rampdale Insurance Brokers Ltd, 127 High Road, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • More wonky perspex vehicles. The firm’s no longer there – it looks like they moved to Hatfield.
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 […]
E D of London, 9 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Meet E D (or possibly Ed), next-door neighbour of yesterday’s Frank – notable for cramming […]
MKC Sewing Machine Specialists, 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Eyecatching DIY-style 3D sign for another occupant of Leeds’ oldest street.
Jeeves & Jericho, Corn Exchange, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • 1920s flat-cap geezer meets 1990s Mancs baggy in cartoon collision of two tea-pouring Northern stereotypes. And […]
Brian Mellor Fishing Tackle, 30-32 Brunswick Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, 2010 • Now has a flashy new sign with a leaping fish, though I prefer this wonky stick man, with his […]
Thomsons TV, 7 King Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, 2013 • Nice acrylic sign for this much-admired family business, founded 1930. Closed 2013 to “avoid the ignominy of administration”, as shopping habits […]
Skeltons Bakery, 11-15 Trinity House Lane, Kingston upon Hull, 2005 • Founded 1931, this 43-branch bakery went into administration in 2007 – there are some photos from its heyday here. It was bought by […]
The Upper Crust Bakery, 4 Woolbrook Road, Sidmouth, Devon, 2013 • Nicely old-fashioned bakery from a nicely old-fashioned seaside town.
Campbells, 513 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Gotta love a logo made out of nuts and screws – and happily, it’s still there.
Belmont Fish & Chips, 43 Station Road, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, 2001 • Genteel take on the standard fish bar sign; note inverse text pyramid of offerings on right, and insouciant fishing […]
Karim, 155 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Sign features a fish and a burger flying at what looks like a chocolate milkshake. Now supplanted by Planet […]
Sunbird Travel, 341 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2002 • Lovely piece of acrylic art – the bird even has a tiny dot for its eye (bottom). Closed 2002 […]
Knitters Corner & Skin Raiders, 26 Railway Approach, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Knit your own tattoos: happy confluence of cat- and dog-themed shops, both gone now.
Eros Movieland, 1 Berwick Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Beware ancient Greeks bearing 1960s X-rated videos. All, including stairway to “model”, is now demolished.
Ann’s, 25a Shrubbery Road, Streatham, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • Genteel cameo logo for genteel-sounding Shrubbery Road. Now a book-keeping bureau called Figure Fact, but little changed.
Legs ‘n’ Co, 86 Maxwell Street, Glasgow G1, Scotland, 2012 • Defunct lap dancing joint named after dodgy 1970s Top of the Pops dance troupe, with suitably retro sign.
Suzanne, 70 Brixton Road, Oval, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • It was a sad day when this 1950s dressing table-style hairdresser, with what looks like a jungle inside, became […]
Chemist, 182 Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • The word chemist is falling from use; this is now a pharmacy.
African Prices, 390 Walworth Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2001 • As opposed to princes. By 2012 it had been renamed Sofisticats.
Good Man Chinese Food, 193 New Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Still there, despite bearing the unusually frank food message of jumbo, junk and horse.
The Deptford Cod Father’s & The Egg Shop, 47 & 49 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A popular punning fish shop name, next door to an equally […]