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trad signpainting

Star of London

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 […]
Star of London

Pullman Motors

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 […]
Pullman Motors

R.M. Pugh & Co

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 […]
R.M. Pugh & Co

Ellis’s Tearoom

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.
Ellis’s Tearoom

Container Link

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.
Container Link

Platform Cafe

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. […]
Platform Cafe

Southern TV Services

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 […]
Southern TV Services

Michael de Carle

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 […]
Michael de Carle

Kenon

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 […]
Kenon

Olympia Dining Rooms

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 […]
Olympia Dining Rooms

Jan & Charlie’s

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 […]
Jan & Charlie’s

Dawn Crystal

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 […]
Dawn Crystal

Repos

Repos, arch next to 26a Oxford Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5, 2014 • Fragment of beautiful signwriting revealed on palimpsest gate under imposing railway viaduct.
Repos

Tyres Tyres (FWR)

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.
Tyres Tyres (FWR)

Coe Electrical

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.
Coe Electrical

J.H. Pepperell (Zack)

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 […]
J.H. Pepperell (Zack)

Family Butchers

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.   […]
Family Butchers

Adam Fashions

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 […]
Adam Fashions

Julia’s Emporium

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 […]
Julia’s Emporium

Robert A. Grummitt

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; […]
Robert A. Grummitt

G. Horton Ltd

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. 
G. Horton Ltd

G.J. Petts

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.
G.J. Petts

P.C. Royce

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 […]
P.C. Royce

Princess Dry Cleaning

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 […]
Princess Dry Cleaning

I. Paule Ltd

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 […]
I. Paule Ltd

Rightpower Ltd

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. 
Rightpower Ltd

Thomas Newey Limited

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.
Thomas Newey Limited

Abba Electronics

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 […]
Abba Electronics

Broacha Samy Ltd

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 […]
Broacha Samy Ltd

Cosmo

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 […]
Cosmo

Stevens Music Stores

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 […]
Stevens Music Stores

W.H. Wellbeloved

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 […]
W.H. Wellbeloved

H.E. Pea

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 […]
H.E. Pea

The Barge

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 […]
The Barge

Ferodo (Southwark)

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, […]
Ferodo (Southwark)

Badat Brothers Ltd

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 […]
Badat Brothers Ltd

S.R. Kay & Sons

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. 
S.R. Kay & Sons

Geo. Watts & Son

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 […]
Geo. Watts & Son

The Grub Shop

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 […]
The Grub Shop

Raynsford’s

Raynsford’s, 153 Battersea High Street, Borough of Wandsworth, London SW11, 2002 • Nice signwriting; still looked the same in 2012, not sure about now.
Raynsford’s

Avenue Garage

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 […]
Avenue Garage

Ashfield Motors

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 […]
Ashfield Motors

G.H. Theobald

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.
G.H. Theobald

N.H. Pearson,

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 […]
N.H. Pearson,

Margot Gowns

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 […]
Margot Gowns

Lina Stores Ltd.

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 […]
Lina Stores Ltd.

That’s It

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 […]
That’s It

Eric’s (Emm’s)

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.
Eric’s (Emm’s)

Frank

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 […]
Frank

S.C. Price & Sons

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 […]
S.C. Price & Sons

Boss

Boss, 4 Criterion Buildings, Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey, 2002 • Looked as if it was for the chop in 2002 but is still there, now with a new sign but retaining […]
Boss

Parkers

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; […]
Parkers

Ons, Ltd

Ons, Ltd, 128 High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 2007 • Scarred and illlegible ghost sign for something ending in ‘ons’ (Sons?) adding a touch of looming darkness to the local market. There’s also […]
Ons, Ltd

Stuarts

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 […]
Stuarts

Maizecor

Maizecor, 141 Wincolmlee, Hull, 2013 • A maize milling company inhabits this imposing complex, whose immense walls are studded with wrought iron bearing plate rosettes (more about those here). The historic […]
Maizecor

Ideal

Ideal, 14 Midland Road, Hull, 2013 • Next to the falling-down Albert Hall, an old printing works that currently offers motorcycle training. I love the tiny black arched windows at the […]
Ideal