Mick Darnalds, Vauxhall Walk, Borough of Lambeth, London SW11, 2011 • Guess McDonald’s trademark enforcers never got this far.
The Sign Shop, 392 Forest Road, Walthamstow, Borough of Waltham Forest, London E17, 2004 • Palimpsest of sign shop signage. By 2008 it had been turned into a house (2015, […]
Taylors, 22 Cleveland Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2005 • Giant button sign for a bespoke button emporium. It is still there today (though not looking so quaint), offering […]
Budget Tyres London Ltd, 338 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Gotta love the Michelin Man. Still there in 2017 (pictured 2012 here).
A to Z Wedding Services, 123 Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Scariest wedding dance ever.
City Confectionary, 105 Shoreditch High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2002 • Lovely quirky sign writing, with ‘confectionery’ spelled wrong on both sides.
Frederick W. Paine, 78 Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, 2002 • Taken over circa 2012 by funeral group Dignity, who kept the name but covered over the blue glass hanging […]
Charles Benner & Son, 22 Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • Nice door, but I don’t think they’re doing oaths any more.
ST Signs, 294 Grays Inn Road, Clerkenwell, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2002 • Wonderful old school sign shop offering light boxes, neon, window etching etc. By 2012 half had […]
Worthing & District TV, 147 Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Seaside signwriting with grocer’s apostrophe. The 1959-founded TV shop became Simpson Electrical, and Setyres is still there.
A. Simmonds, 94 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Chain of Kent jewellers with an attractive Edwardian style of logo that predates their founding around 40 years ago.
Adana, 162 Grays Inn Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2001 (top two images) & 2013. Beautiful art deco glass sign for Adana, a make of printer. It was retained […]
Fidan Kebab, St George’s Circus, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • That’s some fat kebab.
Concourse Burger Bar, Concourse House, Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Hand-drawn mixed messages on Scouse burger bar. The entire building was demolished to build new offices some time after […]
Johnsons Shoes, 28 High Street, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 2002 • Always like a pigeon spike.
More Shoe Upstairs, Wardour Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • It must have been a very big shoe…
Star of London, Link Cars, 3 Parade, Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • For an appointment phone Mr Asha on his 01 ghost number. In 2016 […]
H.W. Cooper, Willow Walk, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Colourful sign collage on a glass and perspex works. By 2017 the wonky drainpipes were still there, but […]
Pullman Motors, 142 Newport Street, Lambeth, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2015 (top) and 2016 • Self-styled “last garage in Vauxhall”, established 1948, in what was once an entire row […]
W.J. Armstrong Ltd, 12 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Classic Sandeman sign – port one side, sherry the other – featuring its famous fedora and cloak-clad ‘Don’ […]
Chatsworth Tyre Service, 114 Chatsworth Road, Clapton, Borough of Hackney, London E5, 2011 • Evocative signage on a garage shuttered in 2010 after 50 years of trading. I seem to […]
HH Muckers, Lordship Windows, c.481 Seven Sisters Road, Borough of Haringey, London N15, 2016 • HH Muckers – what a great name! Albeit partly obscured in what looks like a […]
Platform Cafe, Leicester North Station, The Sidings, Leicester LE4, 2016 • Cute cafe signs in heritage station that sends steam engines along the main line to Loughborough’s defunct Central Station. […]
Mama’s Discount Wholesalers, 305 St. Saviours Road. Leicester LE5, 2016 • Astonishing Aladdin’s cave of a shop which was even more packed inside than out. I’m wondering if the wall-mounted […]
C. Bain of Upminster, 164 Upminster Road, Upminster, Borough of Havering, London RM14, 2016 • Stunning old signage on a traditional removals business, who also have beautifully painted vans. Their […]
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 […]
London Center College, Cumming Street, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2006 • Impressive sign! Not only does it namecheck Oxford and Cambridge universities, it offers ‘assistance’ with visas. Hmmm.
Barbers Teas Always Please, side of CC’s Hair Design, 423 Witton Road, Aston, Birmingham B6, 2016 • Gorgeous carnivalesque ghost sign featuring Little Miss Barber with a tea pack hat, […]
Raymond Revuebar, 11 Walker’s Court , City of Westminster, London W1, 2015 • We saw this in its fading 2002 incarnation yesterday; in 2008 its owner Paul Raymond died, and his granddaughters inherited his Soho […]
Raymond Revuebar, 11 Walker’s Court , City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • The badly-letterspaced world centre of erotic entertainment, London’s historic Raymond Revuebar, home also of the famous Madame Jo-Jo’s […]
Chiffon (Engineering Services) Ltd, Almond Road, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Beautiful retro name and logo for an engineering firm.
Dental Surgery, 10 Station Way, Peckham, Borough of Southwark, London SE15, 2010 • Dusky pink decay with a charming spelled-out street number, and an upstairs window offering ‘Dental Surge’. This part […]
Ashley’s The Wool Shop, 62 Dyer Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 2007 • Superb old ‘wool’ sign – note colour reversal in frame.
Jacobean Corsetry, 53 Virginia Street, Merchant City, Glasgow G1, Scotland, 2010 • Giant golden ghost sign from a corsetry firm founded in 1946, whose wares have featured in Jack Vettriano paintings. Sales […]
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 […]
Tan’s Cafe, 3 Amersham Vale, New Cross, Borough of Lewisham, London SE14, 2010 • Gaudy mini-kingdom of breakfast opposite New Cross Station. Possibly the only greasy spoon with a loyalty […]
Famous Amusements Emporium (JG’s), 3-9 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Classic neon ghost sign on what was once the street’s oldest boot and shoe shop – there’s a photo of that here. By […]
Catford Centre, Rushey Green, Catford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE6, 2010 • Famous creepy cat, fronting brutalist mall the Catford Centre, developed by Owen Luder in 1974. Apparently it’s due for […]
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.
Hotel Splendide, 25 Mornington Crescent, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • You couldn’t make this up. But in fact it was made up, because according to the Shady Old Lady […]
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 […]
F.T.T.D, Joiners Shopfitters Builders, 20 Tanner’s Hill, Deptford. Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Ex-shopfitter’s enlivened by a quaint Victorian-style pointing hand sign (aka a manicule). It was for now-defunct signmakers Find […]
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 […]
Repos, arch next to 26a Oxford Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5, 2014 • Fragment of beautiful signwriting revealed on palimpsest gate under imposing railway viaduct.
Tyres Tyres (FWR), 330 Kennington Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • Unusual cross-shaped ghost sign for tyres, situated above motorcycle parts shop FWR. The sign had disappeared by 2008.
Sunshine Cafe, 36 Hanway Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • Cheerful back alley jerk joint hindered by London downpour. Later became Vinyl Bar, and developers knocked the other side […]
Hel’s Kitchen, Anchor Bay Industrial Estate, Manor Road, Erith, Kent, 2014 • Surely all food is hot in Hell? (Although it’s not that hellish, it’s got a food hygiene rating of […]
Marks & Spencer Simply Fool, Moto, Pinewood Service Station, Reading Road, Reading, Berkshire, 2011 • A simple but effective jape. Still makes me laugh when I see that sign, even […]
Avis Windscreens, 1 Creekside, Deptford, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • DIY hand-painted gate on the garage which hosted (and covered up) yesterday’s old Medina sign. It is now Greenwich MOT Centre, with […]
MF Design, Miracle Signs and Wonders Ministries, White Hart Lane, […]
Worthing Lido Coffee Bar, Marine Parade, Worthing, West Sussex, 2002 • Hand-painted signs from the days when no-one had a mobile phone, which also reveal a transition from ‘Coffee Bar’ (presumably too […]
Web Sites £100 N Up, circa 246 Battersea Park Road, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Websites sold via lamp post, four years before Facebook opened to the public. No […]
Designer Web Site’s, circa 26 Kingsland Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2002 • Ah, the heady days when websites (or should that be web site’s) were sold via flyposters […]
To The Weir, Lee’s Bakery, 107-109 Terrace Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, 2002 • Enigmatic sign that’s not a reference to Virginia Woolf, but nearby Courage pub The Weir. It’s alongside […]
Gene Pearl (Buttons) Ltd., 2 Bridge Road, Willesden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2004 • Apt name for a buttoneer, which sounds like a rock’n’roll singer, and looks like concrete poetry. It was […]
The Robert Sinclair Tobacco Coy Ltd, Blenheim House, 245-7 Westgate Road, Newcastle, 2013 • Est 1836 and once a major firm, Sinclair’s was noted for blends such as Ladies Twist, […]
Tobacco & Cigars (Thirtyone), 31 Kingsbury, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 2010 • Huge carcinogenic ghost sign, which remains in place while the restaurant below changes.
Nursery Thyme, Rabbit, 2 Bridge Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Unusual herby wordplay for a kids’ shop. Note sign for Rabbit (the upside-down R right of the centre window), an early mobile network that […]
Freshly Maid Cafe, 79 Lower Marsh, Borough of Lambeth, London SE1, 2003 • Hot Nasty – yum. Last gasp of the retro-signaged Freshly Maid Cafe. This seemingly jinxed corner site has since been […]
Sans’ Cafe, 2 Lightbody Street, Liverpool 3, 2008 • A famous greasy spoon for 40 years, albeit sans apostrophe knowledge. Owner Tseng Chikhao died in 2014; there’s a great article here. The […]
Miller Signs, 52 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I wonder if this business was behind some of the great signs in Liverpool, which can be seen either side. By 2008 it […]
Lee’s Girls, 15-17a Ranelagh Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Is that a play on Les Girls? Sci-fi-sounding procedures in Cooper Black Italic. Still there minus Cooper Black.
A. E. Walsby Opticians, 48 Renshaw Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • A family chain which lasted until one of the third generation was convicted of defrauding the NHS. It was […]
Hair Express, Faces, 40 Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Forbidding temples of beauty. Hair Express still has a small wall sign present, but both it and Faces have gone, […]
Barratt House, 45 Lord Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • I can’t find any history on this – but apparently it refers to Barratts shoes (not Barratt the builders. Whatever its origins, it still exists, unlike Cousins […]
Lewis’s, 40 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool, 2003 and 2010 • Grubby city centre monolith, slated to become a Lidl, featuring an imposing male nude statue (apparently known locally as Dickie Lewis) by […]
Personal Jesus sign, outside Shoreditch Grind, 213 Old Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2013 • Sign outside trendy coffee shop Shorditch Grind at London’s grotty mini tech hub, Old Street Roundabout.
Ju-Ju’s Gift Shop, West Kiosk, Brighton Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • Also called Ju-Ju’s Coconut Cabin. Probably named after someone called Julia, rather than the Nigerian faith. It became Coast Cafe […]
Care Assistant Training, Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Remember this kind of thing? No wonder there were care home scandals. How depressing.
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.
Boardmans Teleflora, The University of Manchester, 296 Oxford Road, Manchester, 2009 • Teleflora, that name’s a blast from the past. Looks like an pretty old sign to me, with its alphabetical […]
Streatham Skinworks, 4 Bridge Parade, Streatham High Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2002 • From the days before tattooing became a hipster boom trade. Pity they didn’t use Profil font for the […]
I. Paule Ltd, Merchant House, 24 Wentworth Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • There are many layers of the name over this alleyway in the Petticoat Lane area. A comment on […]
J.T. Brush E.G. Brush & Son, 24 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, 2001 • That’s what I call a name, though they should be chimney sweeps. It’s just a plain gate […]
Alan Sadick & Co, 3 The Promenade, Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware, Borough of Barnet, London HA8, 2004 • More Profil, all painted black. By 2014 the ‘C’ had fallen off the […]
Toys, Whitechapel Audio Time Ltd, 69 Whitechapel High Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2003 • A fine Toys sign, but Audio Time ran out of time. It’s now AB […]
Microcola Computers, House Sign & Decorative Painter, 27a&b The Belvedere, […]
J.N. Weatherby (Heating) Ltd., 133 Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Traditional engineer’s office in Tudor pile.
Gem Tool (Mfg) Co. Ltd., 6 Regent Place, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, 2005 • Old workshop in Brum’s fascinating Jewellery Quarter. Now gone; Google Street View shows a faded patch where […]
Pinkney Engineering, Fairbridge House, Ferry Street, Middlesbrough, 2013 • Attractive rivetted ghost sign on what is now a Prince’s Trust site.
Carem Plumbing & Heating Supplies, 177 Trafalgar Road, Borough of Greenwich, London SE10, 2002 • Old-school plumbing signs with interesting USP. Still there, very faded.
Works for You! clock (ex People Works), 8 Poole Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, 2004 • Bleak commentary on South Coast unemployment, or desecration of fine old clock? Both, probably. I don’t think […]
Marks & Spencer clock, 21 St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, 2010 • Pigeon-punishing old M&S clock on matching marbled mid-century building.
Rayner Opticians clock, above 57 New King’s Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW6, 2003 • Decaying timepiece still there, now above Harvey Jones Kitchens.
Chelsea Building Society clock, 7 Ashley Road, Epsom, Surrey, 2002 • Groovy swingin’ 70s-style timepiece. I wish I’d photographed the whole frontage, the Chelsea’s still around but the logo’s changed, and […]
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 […]
H. Samuel Everite Time clock, Central Market, St Mary Street, Cardiff, Wales, 2012 • Now that’s what I call a clock, albeit handless and ‘everwrong’. It’s pictured earlier with hands here, […]
H. Samuel clock, Unit 4, 167 Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • A stylish ‘golden eye’ clock that I thought looked too good to last, and I was right […]
H. Samuel clock, Clerkenwell House, 4 West Street, Horsham, West Sussex, 2003 • Old H. Samuel clock still telling the time, on an 1878 building named after Clerkenwell in London, […]
H+C clock, 159-173 St John Street, Clerkenwell, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2007 • And another 1950s-style Clerkenwell clock, advertising lift manufacturers Hammond & Champness, who inhabited this building until at least […]
EuroSensor clock, 20-24 Kirby Street, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2004 • Another period gem from Clerkenwell: EuroSensor was a big technical firm that occupied the building in the area’s pre-gentrification days. Threatened […]
Nameless wall clock, side of 85 Clerkenwell Road, Borough of Camden, London EC1, 2011 • For decades this giant octagonal clock rusted away high above Clerkenwell, but now it’s been […]
The Hallamshire Coal Supplies Ltd clock, Victoria Quay, Wharf Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Random old clock still adjoined to a renovated warehouse.
Herbert Brown clock, 24 Corn Market, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Those are stickers on the clock, with probably nicer writing beneath. Despite the ominous hoardings – whose sign suggests there are keys and […]
Matbro, Unit 1, Bridge Industrial Estate, Balcombe Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • This proud old sign on a sleepy industrial estate caught my eye for the unusual name. According to Wikipedia, it was a […]
T.A. Boxall & Co Ltd, 20 Balcombe Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • Retro signage for an engineering business established in 1935, according to their website. It’s still there but with a modernised facade.
The Home and Colonial Tea Stores (Tablet Gallery), 51a George […]
The Pantiles News, 66 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Now for a few days featuring newsagents, a dwindling resource I find fascinating for the way they sum up an […]
Days Garage, 6 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Established 1919, still there, and they’ve kept the charming wooden telephone sign.
Monroe Shock Absorbers Specialist, Newark Road (side of 173 Brighton Road), South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • I always like random old signs for no-nonsense things like […]