Midland Auction Mart (Stan James), 16 Market Street, Leicester LE1, 2016 • From grand auctioneer to closed-down bookie. Designed in the Italianate style by Millican and Smith in 1876 (you […]
Radio Days, 87 Lower Marsh,Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2010 (top) & 2015 (bottom) • Original black Vitrolite on a long-established vintage emporium whose Biba-esque frontage and evocative 1940s soundtrack […]
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 […]
S. Cohen, 2 White Conduit Street, Islington, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2016 • No name for the second-hand shop, but the original costumier’s facade is still proudly showing.
Allworthy Bros, 13, 15 Camden High Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • “Money advanced on pictures, bronzes, violins &c &c” says this wonderful old pawnbroker’s sign above a Dickensian-looking yard […]
Chapel Furnitures, 4 Browning Street, Walworth, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Giant hand sign on charming chapel for the unusually-pluralised Chapel Furnitures (maybe the singular version’s web domain had […]
Best Wishes, 13 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Ex-gift shop, now ex-charity shop, whose ghost sign has – like yesterday’s shop – a rather Edwardian feel. Note crowns on door handle […]
I.B.S. Merseyside Ltd, 72 Waterloo Road (between Regent Street and Porter Street), Liverpool L3, 2008 • Interesting hand lettering with Ws like upside-down Ms and an 18th-century look. Google reckons […]
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 […]
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.
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.
John Chawner, 36 Station Approach, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 2006 • Essence of sleepy southeast summer afternoon, featuring a clock mender whose own clock has simply given up. Google shows the shop as still […]
Mobile 2K, 60a Bridge Street, Bolton, Lancashire, 2010 • The name probably seemed like a good idea in 2000. By 2014 it was an empty unit.
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. […]
The Cat Basket Rhodes Minnis Cat Sanctuary Shop, 16a Cheriton Place, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • All cat charity shops should be required by law to have net curtains like this […]
Furniture Arkade, 320 Lewisham High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE13, 2010 • Your one-stop spot for Bed’s, Ward Robe and Sofa. I think that’s Michael Jackson peeking out from the rug, […]
Bangers & Mash, Tyre Shop, 1 Wellfit Street (off Hinton Rd), Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Once upon a time, deep in the backwoods of Brixton, stood a greasy spoon cafe […]
N. Davalou Carpets, 372 Edgware Road, City of Westminster, London W2, 2003 • This antique shop sold weird stuff, but I was more fascinated by the old garage gates next […]
G. Makepeace (Dance Music Finder), Makepeace House, 136 Digbeth, Birmingham, 2005 • Dance music found via fax departs, but the original occupant lives on. According to Andy Foster’s Pevsner Architectural Guides: […]
G.W. & A.E. Thomson Ltd (Navals Jewellers), 228 Kilburn High […]
Footfall, Seconds Ahead, 16 & 12a Cross Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, 2014 • Footfall is an organisation that creatively re-occupies defunct shops; Seconds Ahead is a vintage clothes store, which may […]
Burton (Antique Warehouse), 9-14 Depford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • This grille, which I spotted at ground level, alerted me to photograph the shop above it, but if […]
Collectors Corner, 106 High Street, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, 2014 • Collecting dust, but not apostrophes.
Knight & Compy., 47 Fisherton Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 2007 • More art nouveau green tiles spared the chipper on this game mart-turned-charity shop, which by 2011 had become a vintage clothes store.
Blue Bell, Arcade Stamps, 104, 103 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Colourful but melancholy, because you just know the target audience is slipping off this mortal coil.
Junk’N’Disorderly, Weavealicious, 127,126 Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Enough faux Tudor shopfronts, this one’s the real deal – although the shop names don’t quite live up to their location…
The Black Horse, 257 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, 2014 • First licenced to sell beer in 1843, this ivy-capped wreck was once (reputedly) a major smuggling inn. By 1988 it was The […]
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.
F.L. Pettman Ltd. Depository, 52 Athelstan Road, Margate, Kent, 2014 • Now for a week of finds from Margate, a once-wealthy town which still has many interesting buildings, such as this grand […]
Kelly’s Records, Central Market, St Mary Street, Cardiff, 2012 • Scary festive Elvis at massive vintage vinyl emporium in Cardiff’s wonderful old covered market.
Petre, 5 Poole Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, 2004 • I think this strangely-named shop – in an enclave of tattered buildings housing small businesses both living and dead – may have been a […]
The Semiconductor Archives, 48 Deptford Broadway, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Forbidding-looking emporium claiming to source obsolete tech components. There’s even something sinister about using the word “facsimile” rather […]
Scratch n’ Dent, 211 Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • I love the wonky carpet of tiles, and it’s a great name for a shop, though now more poshly rebranded […]
The Music Roll Exchange., ghost sign behind Premier Food & Wine, 29 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • Secondhand music rolls, the superannuated CDs of […]
Devine Creations, Videotalk, 5 & 6 Teignmouth Parade, Perivale, Borough of […]
Hockeys’, 50 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, 2007 • Ex-antiques shop with name and appearance straight out of a tale by late local Roald Dahl. Note non-greencrocer’s apostrophe in Hockeys’ – […]
Roystons Curios, 88 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Is that as in creepy village Royston Vasey off TV’s ‘The League of Gentleman‘? Cheerful!
Wimbledon Metal Co. Ltd., 105-107 Brighton Road, Surbiton, Surrey, 2001 • I actually stopped the car while driving past in the middle of the night to photograph this – how sad. […]
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.
T.V.s Are “Us”, 54 Streatham Hill, Borough of Lambeth, London SW2, 2001 • Yeah, I’d definitely buy my quality ex-rental TV here. Nice car!
Euston Bookshop, 40 Eversholt Street, Euston, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2002 • The kind of bookshop that needs its windows blacked out. By 2012 was signed “To Let”, perhaps a […]
Car Spares, 31 Wallis Road, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2006 • Yeah, I’d definitely get my car parts here.
V Falber & Sons, Daddy Kool, The Soho Music Company, […]
Junk & Disorderly, 25 Old Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • The whole road was later junked for a massive new apartment quarter, Bermondsey Spa.
Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal Merchant, Islington Metal Works, 7 Torrens Street, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Still a metalworks, the old signs surviving to lend atmosphere to the attached […]
Scrap Metal Wanted, Arch 488, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • This whole Dickensian viaduct was razed for the swanky new Overground; by 2012 site […]