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 […]
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 […]
Opticians AXO (Scrivens), 36 Waingate, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Looks like an art installation or concrete poetry, but is actually a sign for Scrivens Opticians.
Vision Express, 7 St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, 2011 • Great old optician’s wall sign in central Bristol. I revisited recently and didn’t need glasses to see it was no longer […]
Vye & Son, side of 67 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Must have been hidden behind two smaller signs. Looks 1950s to me, so they’d presumably been going since […]
Lascelles Tickner & Co’s Entire (The George Inn), 124 Bridge […]
Lennon Bros Ltd. (Mr Simms), 15 Market Place, Rugby, Warwickshire, 2012 • A very substantial ghost sign, much longer resident than the faux-olde worlde Mr Simms sweetshop chain beneath (which was later replaced […]
Westfield Stratford City, Montfichet Road, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Borough of Newham, London E20, 2012 • Enormo shopping centre with a nice Olympic park attached, shown in full Olympics swing. […]
B&Q (Whetstone), 1201 High Road, Whetstone, Borough of Barnet, London N20, 2011 • Matching berries and sign, nice! They’ve since cut back the bush, the fools.
Taxi & cafe arches, canal towpath, beside bridge near Westbourne Park, Great Western Road, City of Westminster, London W9, 2011 • Towpath derelicton: it may be in Westminster, but gentrification […]
Hornsey Automatic Transmissions, 1 Stapleton Hall Road, Borough of Haringey, London N4, 2014 • I assumed this was closed down, but Google Street View shows it operational a month after I […]
J.F. Turner, wall above Ying’s, 125 Hanley Road, Borough of Islington, London N4, 2014 • Graffiti by moron over ghost sign for baker; both elements are still there.
Brilliant Neon Ltd., above Best-One, 218 Earls Court Road, B orough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW5, 2010 • Tiny reminder of a long-gone fascia, still hanging on above a minimart. It’s […]
Cafe, side of 886 Garratt Lane, Tooting, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17, 2006 • Subtle ghost sign which is still there. Typography suggests nineteen-teens.
Cafe, side of 181 Bow Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2006 • Became a tasteful wall ad for hairdresser Noor, minus – ironically or appropriately, depending on how you look at […]
Ford Specialist, 123 Fairfield Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2010 • Mmm, I must buy a Ford so I can take it there. (Checks Google Street View.) Blimey! It’s […]
Hand Car Wash, Corner Bow Road & Arnold Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E3, 2007 • Oops, back-to-front N alert. I had a Ferodo bridge behind me, I should […]
Home & Away Dog Grooming, Pest Clear UK Ltd, near […]
Picasso, 127 Kings Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3, 2003 • Glum fogies adorning a famed Kings Road coffee bar which over the course of 50 years catered to poshos and […]
Broadway Market, 42 Tooting High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17, 2006 • A hotspot for tattoos and “Kenkey” (whatever that is), this opened in 1936, and proclaims itself South London’s biggest […]