Broadway Hair Stylist, 344 Muswell Hill Broadway, Muswell Hill, Borough of Haringey, London N10, 2016 • A proper early 1960s hair stylist’s fascia, complete with modernist mosaic – very rare these days. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Ian Munro, 10 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, 2002 • Marble and script for a men’s outfitter founded in 1956. This would have been an expensive shopfront in its day; the labyrinthine […]
Vinces Snack Bar, 61 Red Lion Street, City of Westminster, London WC1, 2003 • Genuinely classic cafe, just crying out for an apostrophe. Apparently the period formica interior was ripped out […]
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 […]
Supergrows Cosmetic, 405 Mare Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2010 • Yargh, nightmare on Mare Street. That’s some cosmetic (bottom pic).
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; […]
Fagin’s House Clearance, 105 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2001 • Dickensian name and address for a Dickensian line of work. Became clothes shop Valerio.
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 […]
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 […]
Nimbus Lighting, 144 High Sfreet, Rochester, Kent, 2015 • Discotastic logo.
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 […]
Georges & Co. clock, 88-90 Hatton Garden, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2004 • I got hassled by security guards while snapping this in Hatton Garden, London’s diamond district. It’s […]
Coin Wash, 1 Victoria Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • Cute launderette, which by 2008 was looking very sad, and is now a house.
The Drink Box, 159 Camberwell New Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE5, 2001 • Looks like it’s called Off Licence, but tiny ornate handwriting reveals its true identity. It’s been […]
Lethers, 56 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Surrey, 2002 • A saddlers and riding wear shop, though it’s hard to tell from the random window. Now Juniors family hair salon, with a horrible […]
Totteridge Brasserie, 36 Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, Borough of Barnet, London N20, 2011 • So good they named it twice. Now the somewhat smarter Tiffin Tin.
Renoir, 244 Kentish Town Road, Borough of Camden, London NW5, 2012 • Renoir clearly neglected to trademark his logo. One of Kentish Town’s more genteel offerings, still there in 2014.
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 […]
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 […]
Touché Hair Productions, 2a High Street, Oakham, Rutland, 2015 • 1980s-style logo and matching plants for this ex-hairdresser, now with auction signs in the window.
A.J. Massey, 53 Linkfield Street, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • Superannuated signwriting on what is now a deli.
Dougal & Co, 260 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Incongruous in a dull suburban street, a pointy oriental-style facade of a type more familiar on seaside parades. It later […]
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 […]
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 […]
D. McKay, 19a Harrington Road, South Kensington, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW7, 2005 • Jewel box of a fruiterer in London’s “French” quarter. Still there 2012, not sure […]
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 […]
Raynsford’s, 153 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Nice signwriting; still looked the same in 2012, not sure about now.
Stones, circa 22 Atlantic Road, Brixton, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2014 • 1920s-style ghost logo for a Brixton business that’s long, long gone. There’s a great picture history on […]
A.J. Mountstephen Late Truscott, County House, New Street, Sidmouth, Devon, 2013 • That’s quite a mouthful of a monicker. Nice that they’ve kept this old sign (possibly dating from the founding […]
Margot Gowns, 4 William Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Essence of seaside town, a symphony in pink. Google street view shows it looking just the same in 2009, except […]
De Marco, 37 Junction Road, Archway, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2003 • More superannuated Italy, in the eternally down-at-heel backwaters of Archway. It’s now estate agent Barstow Eves, so perhaps gentrification beckons.
Rolando’s Patisserie, 33 Tavistock Place, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2002 • Unrecognisable now, just a plain house – only the front door is the same.
Paula Hair Fashions, 93 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Superannuated sign for an earlier incarnation of this hairdresser.
Parkers, 13 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • None of those namby-pamby filter tips for the salty seadogs of Folkestone. The gallery next door shows which way the wind was blowing; […]
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 […]
Gordons the Jewellers, 27 Strutton Ground, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2012 & 2007 • Last days for this old-style jeweller which looked on the verge of closure even five years […]
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 […]
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. […]
Wainwright & Sons (Risborough) Ltd., 69 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, 2007 • Formerly Grover, according to the doorstep, and in its last days here. Google Street View showes it vacant […]
Cousins Corner, Radio Rentals Ltd, Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Cousins was a local confectioner employing nearly 3,000 people, whose founder died aged 95 in 2010. Once a Liverpool meeting […]
Joplings, John Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Established in 1804 and rebuilt many times over its two centuries on this site, this long-lived department store closed for good in 2010. Known as […]
Clueless, 88b East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Not the ideal name for a boutique. Now called “CD’s DVD’s“, which also lacks an air of longevity.
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 […]
Thearne, 15 South Street, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Not all the old shops in Hull are run down, as this superbly-signed example shows.
Bargain Suites, 433 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, 2013 • Trad sign writing on a crumbling Victorian terrace opposite Hull’s KC Stadium.
Boots (Oxford Street), 151 (I think) Oxford Street, London W1, City of Westminster, 2002 • Sorry to harp on about Boots, but this wouldn’t have happened with their old-school stone signs […]
Boots Opticians (Horsham), 39 West Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003 • Modern variant of the last two days’ vintage 3D Boots signs, which, though cheapo-looking, shows the benefit of not giving […]
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.
Cameron Hair Fashions, 48 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • A poignant sight: you just know this is one of the last Christmases for this lovingly ruched and curlicued old coiffeur’s, which […]
Chalton Fish & Chip Shop, 61 Chalton Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2005 • Totally gone; it’s now been restored to a house and you’d never know the chippie was […]
Jason’s, 34 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Borough of Croydon, London CR5, 2001 • More old-style wood panelling (see Chunnel Bar, yesterday). Now Pizza Night, not made with pet food I hope.
Lloyd & Son, 42 Amwell Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2004 • High class dairy pictured open in 1978 here. From 2007-2012 it became organic grocery Unpackaged, who retained the frontage, albeit looking […]
Burma Fish Bar, 6 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2002 • More old-style Hoxton – note yummy £1 menu. Now reinvented as internet caff Burma@Access.
Sheila’s Aladins Cave & Wool Shop, 181 High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Two target customers bypassing a mis-spelled, yellow-filmed knitting shop channelling spirit of 1970s granny, as faded seaside […]
Mamas & Papas (Family Discount Store), 94 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2002 • A splendid old mama and papa indeed. The shop’s still there, but with […]
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 […]
Modern Furniture (Ego & Id Ltd.), 43 Rowlands Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2004 • Multilayered palimpsest of a ghost sign that’s still there, though the shop beneath has changed into The […]
M. Stephens., 44-46 Herbert Road, Plumstead, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • So good they named it twice: classic signwriting, and what looks like plans for a fancy “44” over […]
Hair Care by New Figaro Formerly Ronald Saxon, 164 High Road, East Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • Nice logo, confused naming hierarchy. Later became Leptos (UK), a Cypriot […]
Milborrow & Son Chimney Sweep, 62 High Street, Caterham on the Hill, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Because sweeps are lucky at weddings. No longer there, though there’s still a national firm […]
Auto Electrical, 223 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Last glimpse of classic signwriting prior to replacement with jerrybuilt-looking office block.
Mark of Mayfair, 7 Middle Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003 • That’s Mayfair of Horsham. Stylish 1960s slatted facade now redeveloped and unrecognisable as The Company Hairdressing.
F.H. Hannis, 65 Gloucester St, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 2007 • The note in the door suggests it was shuttered in 1999; in 2012 it became a posh deli, keeping the lovely mosaic […]
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.
Go Gay, 819 Fulham Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Yes, Go Gay dry cleaners was a chain. This one is now called Blue Sky Cleaning.
Go Gay, 120 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London SW6, 2001 • Fantastical sign for fantastical name, which lasted until 2012, amazingly.
Jack Hall, 150 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Charming old dining rooms, with “Brilliant” brand glass sign. Now houses a gallery of some kind, retaining the […]
Club Gear, 40 East Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Aaaw, he’s gone there looking for his club gear and it’s closed down!
Caffé Roma, 59 Westgate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, 2008 • Amazingly, this 1960s Italianesque beauty lasted till 2008, but it’s since been replaced by a North African cafe.
Ye Olde Town Launderette, 28-30 King Street, Margate, Kent, 2012 • Yeah, I’ll go to the launderette in the new town, thanks.
Harman’s Post Office & Savings Bank, Sutton Lane North, Chiswick, Borough of Hounslow, London W4, 2010 • Offering remarkably varied services, this old sign was still on display in 2012, along […]
Bob’s Shoe Repairs, 171 Blackfriars Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • Classic if wonky signwriting. Now a dry cleaner in a block due to be demolished.
The Lock Centre, 8 High Street, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, 2003 • Still there, but with beige walls and bland typography replacing this rich old-school signpainting.
Mazzini Garbaldi Club, 51 Red Lion Street, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2003 • Founded 1864, sold 2008, now an expanse of plate glass, with no trace of these Italian flag-coloured […]
George Staples, 2 West Lane, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • Now Hair Candy – not the same kind of sustenance at all.
Grilled Burgers – Jumbo Sausages, Bilton Towers NCP, 25 Great Cumberland Place, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • The burger stall and yellow NCP sign have gone, but the […]
Dilnot’s Bakers & Confectioners, 77 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • This looks like it should be a permanent fixture, but became a jewellers. What looks like an ex-Hovis sign, top […]
Fanny Adams Unisex, 10 West Lane, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • They probably didn’t know that Fanny Adams was an 8-year-old whose murderer tore her into pieces. […]
Costa’s Barbers., 165 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Infinitely preferable to a Costa coffee shop, this appeared to be undergoing refurbishment in 2012.
Kelvinator Launderama, 144 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • Launderettes stay happily old-fashioned. The wood got painted blue, but the retro sign remains.
Gerry’s Curtains, 56 East Street, Walworth, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Looks like Gerry left some outside. Unchanged by 2012 in old-school East Street market.
George’s Fruit & Veg, 273 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Metamorphosed into two shops: Brother’s Barbers and Dammy Stores.
J. Blundell & Sons, 199 Wardour Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • After over 150 years in Soho, moved to Hatton Garden in 2003, with a similar but […]
The Pot Company, 16-20 Raymouth Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • As in garden accessories, not drugs. Now obliterated: the arches were refurbished with anonymous blue units.
Kings Sandwich Bar, 6 Milroy Walk, South Bank, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 • In a not-so-regal brutalist mall beneath Kings Reach Tower (ex-home of IPC magazines), due for […]