Mr. Ben, 128 East Street, Bristol BS3, 2017 • Logo looks to date from around the same time as the early 1970s kids’ TV series (which was spelled Mr Benn).
Victoria Tandoori, 318 Vauxhall Bridge Road, City of Westminster, London SW1, 2004 • Grand yet gritty eaterie offering great signwriting and the “best curry in town”. By 2017 it was […]
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, […]
Noodle King, 36 Deptford Broadway, Borough of Greenwich, London SE8, 2002 • Noodling along with nice sign writing. No longer there.
C&S Builders Merchants, 15-17 Leytonstone Road, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • Great mix of fancy fonts and trad sign painting here. Last spotted in 2012 and by […]
Station Cars, Station Road North, Merstham, Surrey, 2001 • Taxi rank or murder hut? Hard to tell, because the windows are blocked with taxi parts. Demolished sometime after 2008.
Sharpes Wholesale Ltd., 97 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Wig shop sign painted with a delicate hand, similar to many other local shops, such as […]
The Egg Shop, 49 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Long-standing egg emporium with far-flung full stop, probably lettered by yesterday’s sign painter. It finally disappeared […]
J.C. Smith, 63 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2003 • Beautiful hand lettered sign matched by calligraphic graffiti tag. The sign was still there in 2017, but […]
S.H. Bargains, 2a Brookmill Road, Deptford, Borough of Greenwich, London SE8, 2002 • Nice sign writing, shame about the spelling. Became a hairdresser called Trio Style (2016), while the area […]
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.
Secondhand Racers, 231 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2003 • Apparently that’s a Triumph Vitesse. By 2016 the building was not so colourful, and selling used taxi tyres.
Flakes Catering, 46 Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Old geezer meets trad signwriting. Later became a Labour party office.
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 […]
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 […]
R.M. Pugh & Co, 35 Hylton Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B18, 2005 • Pugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, in the immortal words of Trumpton. The jewellery display specialist is no longer […]
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 […]
Ellis’s Tearoom, Rothley Station, Great Central Railway, Rothley, Leicestershire, 2016 • Restored ghostsign for a Coke, Corn and Cake Merchants, now just selling cake on this heritage steam railway.
Container Link, Loughborough Central Station, Great Central Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, 2016 • Peeling hand-painted logo for a superannuated container company in the Grand Central steam railway’s picturesque goods yard.
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. […]
Southern TV Services, 60 Albert Road, Southsea, City of Portsmouth, 2016 • Sunnily-signpainted TV shop, which like yesterday’s gem I first spotted via the Instagram feed of Steve Wilde (known as @SteveWild on both Instagram […]
Michael de Carle, 75 Hook Road, Surbiton, Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, London KT6, 2916 • Beautiful yet sad coiffeur found via a tweet from Phil Day aka @HappyPlums. He also tweeted an image […]
Kenon, 360 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2016 • Traditional plumber’s merchant with magnets in its logo (once a common hardware store motif), and an artistic display of […]
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 […]
Rang & Sons Ltd., 105 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2006 • Weathered old sign revealed by a newer one falling off, though it’s not clear what the full […]
W.H. Walkers Livery & Bait Stables, 1 Minnis Road, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, CT7, 2006 • An intriguingly illegible palimpsest of a ghost sign. In full, what I can make out on the […]
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, […]
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 […]
Jan & Charlie’s, 59 Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • End of days for an old-school fishmonger. Ironically it looks more old-fashioned these days, as Frizbee clothing; the entire frontage […]
New and S/Hand Tyres, 115 Dulwich Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SE24, 2001 • Textures of yellow with beautiful old signwriting. Later moved upmarket to house “heritage inspired” clothes label […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Cat & Cucumber Café, 182 Tower Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2003 • Nice name, wayward accent, grim rear aspect. Popular and still-extant greasy spoon once immortalised in […]
A. Cooke’s, Joe Coral (Fabric House Ltd), 48, 46 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Founded 1899, and located at this address since 1934, […]
Coe Electrical, 132 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Looks like the plug was pulled decades ago on this old-style electrical shop. By 2015 it was unrecognisable as Sew Fabric.
J.R. Blanche (Happy Shopper), 76 & 74 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2015 • Blimey, even minimarts are revealing hipsterish legacy signs now – believe it or not, this is part […]
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 […]
Clifford Shirt M’f’g. Co. Ltd., 37-43 Berry Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • ‘Royal’, what an evocative area code! This is my last Liverpool shopfront for now, in the red and green […]
Nameless green Chinese shop, Nelson Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Attractive decaying paint job in lucky Chinese colours. Now a house.
Supergrows Cosmetic, 405 Mare Street, Borough of Hackney, London E8, 2010 • Yargh, nightmare on Mare Street. That’s some cosmetic (bottom pic).
Family Butchers & Grocers, 99 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Same sign writer as yesterday’s Adam, surely. Still there but with more boring sign. […]
Adam Fashions, 81 Deptford High Street, Borough of Lewisham, London SE8, 2002 • Nice bit of signwriting for a Biblical name. It’s now Just 4 U grocer, whose next door neighbour AZ Halal […]
Julia’s Emporium, circa 10 Islington Green, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Sadly Islington Green’s too expensive for Tarot reading shops now. It’s totally disappeared – I think it’s the […]
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; […]
G. Horton Ltd, 7 Market Place, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 2007 • Not quite Profil font, but near enough. This old pharmacy actually looks more vintage now, as is the trend.
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.
G.J. Petts, 5 Westmoreland Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2001 • Unfortunate name for a butcher. Was still there in 2015, looking even more battered.
Indian’s Unisex Hair Salon, 82-84 Coldharbour Lane, Borough of Lambeth, SE5, 2015 • The scary weaponised hairdresser geezers date from an earlier sign, which Google’s magic wayback view shows was “a fine […]
P.C. Royce, 21 Hackney Road, Borough of Hackney, London E2, 2015 • There’s two layers of sign here. ‘Baker &’ it says at the left of the newer logo, so the […]
Princess Dry Cleaning, 19 Wellington Row, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2015 • Until recently the old ‘Valet Service’ sign was covered by an equally attractive 1960s plastic fascia saying Princess Laundrette (complete […]
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 […]
Microcola Computers, House Sign & Decorative Painter, 27a&b The Belvedere, […]
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 […]
Rightpower Ltd, Trafalgar Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • Note tiny, beautifully lettered instruction to slide the door. By 2015 the windows were still the same, but the painted signs had gone.
Thomas Newey Limited, Central Tool Works, 22 Regent Place, Birmingham, 2005 • Another long-lost Jewellery Quarter engineering works. It’s been turned into a smart building, with the door made into an archway.
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.
Gents Hairdresser D. Burns., 76 Herbert Road, Plumstead, Borough of Greenwich, London SE18, 2004 • Barber embedded in an old tiled grocer’s, and you can see an even older sign […]
St Keverne Newsagents, Lemon Street, St Keverne, Helston, Cornwall, 2012 • Perhaps this is why I like newsagents: this was my local newsie when I was a kid. Back then it […]
Abba Electronics, 236 Kentish Town Road, Borough of Camden, London NW5, 2012 • Now I’m going to spend a few weeks featuring London postcodes I’ve not published before (though there are […]
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 […]
Smiths’ Grand Teas, Catmos Street, Oakham, Rutland, 2015 • “Imported direct from the finest tea gardens of India and Ceylon, and carefully blended to suit the water of the district.” […]
Cosmo, 182 Caledonian Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 & 2012 • Ah, the static world of the traditional barber. I photographed this in 2002 (top) and 2012 (bottom) and […]
A.J. Massey, 53 Linkfield Street, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • Superannuated signwriting on what is now a deli.
Stevens Music Stores, side of 170 Mortimer Street (seen from Cavendish Road), Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • A ghost sign of indeterminate age, as seen from the side entrance of yesterday’s now-demolished Servowarm. On the side of […]
Ridout & Son Printing Works, 4 Charles Street, Herne Bay, Kent, 2004 • Old printer’s with nice typography fitted into the angled roofline. It later became authentically converted back into a house, which retained the ghost […]
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 […]
H.E. Pea, Zen-Shin, The Best Baguette, 180 High Street Deritend, Birmingham, 2014 • Next door to yesterday’s Deritend Fish & Chips, perhaps not coincidentally, a works entrance hidden by a […]
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 […]
Ferodo, bridge ad, Southwark Bridge Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • Ferodo, a century-old brake parts specialist, still exists, and with the same lovely logo. Sadly they’ve stopped doing painted bridge ads, […]
DRW Motor Spares, 30 The Watton, Brecon, Powys, Wales, 2014 • I always like these signboard palimpsests. This had obviously been an auto outlet for decades.
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 […]
S.R. Kay & Sons, 1 High Street, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Note the very old phone number. Much the same in 2012 but with subtly updated (but still old-fashioned) lettering.
Geo. Watts & Son, 93 St. James’s Street, Brighton, East Sussex, 2004 • I was attracted by the surrealist, slightly melancholy, window display. Founded in 1966, it closed in 2013 […]
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 […]
Chris & Chris Fashions (Crouch End Food Centre), 34-35 Broadway […]
Wm. Mooney & Sons Ltd., 20a College Lane, Liverpool, 2014 • Ex-builder’s premises looking set to become a barbers.
Potter Bros (Holland Broadbridge), Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • The faded writing on the white wall (second picture) says: “Frankwell Works Established 1855 Potter Bros”. I know because of […]
Raynsford’s, 153 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Nice signwriting; still looked the same in 2012, not sure about now.
Avenue Garage, next to 147b Earlsdon Avenue North (side in Westwood Road), Coventry, 2013 • Another West Midlands garage with period typography (and fuel pumps). Flickr shows it recently, about to become […]
Ashfield Motors, Caroline Street, Birmingham, 2005 • What gorgeous typography – it almost looks like a pastiche, but this was a real garage. There’s now a new-build block jammed up against […]
The Rose of Denmark, 78 Shirley Street, Borough of Newham, London E16, 2002 • Looks more like the Rose of Beirut, but is in fact at the head of London’s […]
Catering Meats (Smithfield), 308 London Central Markets, Smithfield, Charterhouse Street, London EC1, City of London, 2004 • A more utilitarian but no less period Smithfied frontage than yesterday’s. This one’s […]
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.
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 […]
N.H. Pearson, 75 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, 2004 • Now there’s character: a comma at the end of its name, and brief technical notes in the minimalist window display. Norman’s business didn’t […]
Art Worx Art Sale, Baptist Sunday School, Westbourne Baptist Church, North Street, Emsworth, Hampshire, 2003 • Village art sale in a nice old hall. A far cry from White Cube. […]
Mercury Discount, Cambridge Heath Appliances, 274-278 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2002 (top two) & 2006 • Beautiful signwiting, caught on its way out. Now a […]
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 […]
J & Sons Unisex Hair Salon, 501 Cambridge Heath Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2006 • Ambitious hand-painted lettering depicting a mysterious pater/materfamilias (it’s hard to tell which from […]
Lina Stores Ltd., 18 Brewer Street, City of Westminster, London W1, 2002 • Famous Italian food store, established 1944 and largely unchanged from the days when Soho was about the […]
That’s It, 44 High Road, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • Faded politesse and a mild yet fatalistic approach to dry cleaning in deepest North London. These old-style acrylic signs […]
Eric’s (Emm’s), 107 Leppings Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Strange mixture of old and new(ish) near Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground. Google street view shows a bunch of people sitting outside.
William High Class Confection, side of 212 Middlewood Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • That’s enough dodgy graffiti, here’s some wall art with a bit more staying power, having […]
Bile Beans, Bob Trotter’s, 18 and 13-15 Lord Mayor’s Walk , York, North Yorkshire, 2011 • A famous digestive fluid-related ghost sign, now (somewhat off-puttingly) on the side of a […]
Frank, 7 Toynbee Street, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E1, 2004 • From the 1950s until his death in 1966 aged just 47, this was the base of Frank Conway […]
S.C. Price & Sons, 7 Castle Street, Ludlow, Shropshire, 2014 • A beautiful sunray door in foodie Ludlow, and so traditional they call it a “confectioner” (which used to denote […]