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Pompey on a Roll

Pompey on a Roll, 210 Albert Road, Southsea, City of Portsmouth, 2016 • Punning eaterie with optimistic Portsmouth FC-themed name. No one seems to know why Portsmouth is called Pompey, […]
Pompey on a Roll

Stride-In

Stride-In, 23 Octagon Parade, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, 2008 • Great name and 1970s-style wooden signboard for a men’s fashion shop undoubtedly specialising in ‘gear’ and ‘clobber’. Later moved and rebranded Stride […]
Stride-In

The Hexham Courant

The Hexham Courant, Beaumont Street, Hexham, Northumberland, 2016 • Historic name for a local rag, founded in 1864 and probably what the old lady at the bus stand in the previous post […]
The Hexham Courant

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

H.C. Pretty

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.
H.C. Pretty

Luigi of Mayfair

Luigi of Mayfair, 55 High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, 2005 • Luigi of Mayfair of Shoreham, complete with random word-spacing – the essence of 1950s gentility. Not surprisingly it’s long-gone; […]
Luigi of Mayfair

Video Scene

Video Scene, 33 Station Road, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 2006 • Love the random word spacing on this. I’m not saying Birchington’s old-fashioned, but it probably does still have a video scene. 
Video Scene

Odds & Sods

Odds & Sods, 81 Goldsmiths Row, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 • Amusingly uncompromising name, with the qualification that “almost” anything is traded (including E.C.T.) – that’s quite a get-out […]
Odds & Sods

Empire Milk Bar

Empire Milk Bar, Picadilly Circus Tube Station, City of Westminster, London W1, 1988 • True fact – there was a 1930s-style milk bar operational in the orange-columned depths of Piccadilly Circus tube […]
Empire Milk Bar

Olympia Dining Rooms

Olympia Dining Rooms, 5-6 Wincott Parade, Kennington Road, Kennington, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 1988 • An original ‘Dining Rooms’ photographed just as it was closing down. Who knew that […]
Olympia Dining Rooms

Woo Lot

Woo Lot, 592 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, Borough of WalthamForest, London E10, 2016 • Great name, great (literally) sign.
Woo Lot

Famished Cafe

Famished Cafe, 2 Kilburn Bridge, Kilburn, Borough of Brent, London NW6, 2012 • Nice name on a colourful frontage, now replaced by Roosters Piri Piri.  
Famished Cafe

Jedediah Strutt

Jedediah Strutt shop, corner of Exchange Street and St Peters Street, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Empty Grade II listed former Boots building (info here) with statues of four notable locals. […]
Jedediah Strutt

Gray and Lowe

Gray and Lowe, 91 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Amazing giant sign with random letter spacing. Their “blog-site” says they’ve been going […]
Gray and Lowe

Shepherd and Flock

Shepherd and Flock, 84 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Built 1869, a traditional Irish sports pub hanging on in an area popular with […]
Shepherd and Flock

Book’s

Book’s, 230 High Street, Gateshead, Tyneside, 2005 • Not a bookshop or a typo, it’s a fashion shop run by someone named Book (and shot in the dark and rain). I […]
Book’s

J.H. Pepperell (Zack)

J.H. Pepperell (Zack), 63 Great Titchfield Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2008 • Early example of hipsterish-vintage-sign-revelation (not sure of the technical term for that). It was still there […]
J.H. Pepperell (Zack)

Englishman’s Castle

Englishman’s Castle, 9-17 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Purveyor of Surrey-style furnishings for over 50 years, and still there, albeit with updated logo.  There’s a vid of the interior […]
Englishman’s Castle

Hansid

Hansid, 121 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • To me a pleasing name, though possibly once part of a greater whole. The unit has since been knocked down; […]
Hansid

Robert A. Grummitt

Robert A. Grummitt, High Street, Caterham, Surrey CR3, 2001 • Suitably resonant name for a maker, repairer and restorer of violins, bows, guitars and mandolins. Established in 1971 and still in business; […]
Robert A. Grummitt

Nitters Needs

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 […]
Nitters Needs

Grimwade Services

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.
Grimwade Services

Quickie Heel Bar

Quickie Heel Bar, 198 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Brilliant name, as featured in the book Formerly (right). No longer there, of course.
Quickie Heel Bar

Kabra Kebabra

Kabra Kebabra, 58 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE5, 2015 • Coldharbour Lane seems to specialise in bonkers shop names. This one’s already quite famous on the internet. Not to […]
Kabra Kebabra

Crown & Glory

Crown & Glory, 10 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE5, 2015 • Upper case italic script, always a bold move. A holdout from the bland new signage infecting the […]
Crown & Glory

Aslamtex

Aslamtex, 24 High Street, Gravesend, Kent, 2015 • Another unusual name, writ extremely large – presumably the owner is called Aslam. Looks like there’s a big demand for shopping trolleys in […]
Aslamtex

‘Agape’ £ Shop

‘Agape’ £ Shop, 88 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • An unusual name, with added poignancy given Greece’s financial woes. Although it suggests a mouth agog at the low prices, ‘Agape’ is […]
‘Agape’ £ Shop

99p-+ Awamz Store

99p-+ Awamz Store, 82 Rye Lane, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Splendidly-clad punter outside a bargain shop whose ‘-+’ allows infinite leeway in pricing. Now a Lycamobile-branded […]
99p-+ Awamz Store

Valentine

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, […]
Valentine

Herbert Sports

Herbert Sports, 12 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • According to the dictionary, Herbert is slang for “an undistinguished or foolish man or youth”, so it’s a brave name […]
Herbert Sports

Zoom the Loom

Zoom the Loom, 165 High Street, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • I always like a traditional net curtain shop, and this one’s also blessed with an unusual name and sign. I’m […]
Zoom the Loom

Knapp’s News

Knapp’s News, 60 Plumstead Common Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • A good old-fashioned name, with wonky sign writing, a name check somewhere on the premises for every single newspaper […]
Knapp’s News

Moor News

Moor News, 20 Killigrew Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, 2012 • Moor News, as opposed to yesterday’s Little News, geddit? I like a proud local newspaper name, and the West Briton is as […]
Moor News

Little News

Little News, 9 Little Turnstile, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Unfortunate choice of name for a newsagent, albeit based on the name of its ancient London alley. It’s still there, […]
Little News

Hargoss

Hargoss, 56 High Street, Walton-on-Thames. Surrey, 2002 • Great name, great font. Now ‘The Local’ off licence.
Hargoss

L.W. Haggis

L.W. Haggis, 171 Brighton Road, South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • What a brilliant name! Although it looks like someone chopped the bottom of their sign off. […]
L.W. Haggis

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

W.H. Wellbeloved

W.H. Wellbeloved, 31 Tanner’s Hill, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • A sculptural gable end for a wonderful name, established in 1829. Note hand-painted sign offering “surloin”, and the jaunty van […]
W.H. Wellbeloved

Brute Menswear

Brute Menswear, 73 Wentworth Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • Interesting choice of name, especially as the other side of the sign says Brute Menswar.
Brute Menswear

Celine

Celine, 293 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Giant and elegant patisserie logo, somewhat at odds with the cartoony “perfect spud” underneath. It later got covered by a […]
Celine

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

Dyer

Dyer, 32 North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, 2003 • Photocopy centre and fax bureau – how quickly hi tech becomes quaint. Their website says Dyer was established 1916 and is now run […]
Dyer

The Grub Shop

The Grub Shop, 178 Lambeth Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2006 • Another great name, on a cafe which used to change colour every year. It’s now called The Corner […]
The Grub Shop

Paradise Cottage

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 […]
Paradise Cottage

Muslin

Muslin, 256 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • A very specific offering. Later became Sterling de Vere, a posh-looking letting agent (albeit still in a ruinous […]
Muslin

G.H. Theobald

G.H. Theobald, 99 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2003 • Just a nice old bit of signwriting. The shop’s still there but called Jim’s Family Butchers, with a cute “new-old-style” sign.
G.H. Theobald

Keys

Keys, 42 Theobalds Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2008 • Not a key shop but a cafe, next to an ornate doorway. Became a badly-reviewed Ethiopian restaurant called, no less surreally, […]
Keys

The Tap & Die Co

The Tap & Die Co, 445 West Green Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2014 • Yikes – don’t tap that phone! According to the firm’s intricate website, they do indeed supply […]
The Tap & Die Co

Arkle Pharmacy

Arkle Pharmacy, 39 Junction Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 • A good old-fashioned name and address next door to yesterday’s De Marco. Now just called Pharmacy (incorporating […]
Arkle Pharmacy

Blunts

Blunts, 8-9 West Castle Atreet, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Unmissable old shoe shop, reinvented for the eBay generation.
Blunts

T.W. Stigant

T.W. Stigant, 24 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2014 • One-time hosier next door to yesterday’s breeches maker, also with original sign revealed. There’s a bit more historical info here.
T.W. Stigant

Trussons Menswear

Trussons Menswear, 31 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2008 • I’m so glad no-one’s ever felt the need to update this charming 1960s-style frontage, with a name as […]
Trussons Menswear

Wozencroft

Wozencroft, 59 Osmaston Road, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Lovely old script for Wozencroft, an Anglo Saxon name associated with Woolstencroft in Cheshire. Established in 1956, the shop is still there, and on […]
Wozencroft

H. Stain Ltd

H. Stain Ltd, 207 Victoria Street, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • What a pity marble shopfronts like this went out of fashion; happily this magnificent 1960s-style jewellers lives on still, just […]
H. Stain Ltd

Zita Sandwich Bar

Zita Sandwich Bar, 232 Shaftesbury Avenue, City of Westminster, London WC1, 2002 • One of those old-school West End cafes you always took for granted – until it was suddenly gone. […]
Zita Sandwich Bar

Ideal

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 […]
Ideal

Paragon Arcade

Paragon Arcade, Paragon Street, Hull, 2013 (top) and 2005 • Cute 1891 Gothic Revival arcade by Alfred Gelder. On the lower right of the very blurry 2005 shot you can see […]
Paragon Arcade

Paragon Heel Bar

Paragon Heel Bar, 175 Ferensway, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Classic old heel and key bar named grandly after nearby Paragon Street, which in turn may have been named after an […]
Paragon Heel Bar