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.
M.A.M. Auto • 23 Midland Road, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2002 • Garages down the side of St Pancras station, in its days ofgrimy pre-restoration grandeur.
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 […]
Nearly New Electrics, 97 Albert Road, Southsea, City of Portsmouth, 2016 • Colourful car key purveyor – one of many charming old-fashioned shopfronts on this stretch of road.
Imperial Cinema (Peugeot Crawley Down), 5 Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, 2002 • Car showroom behind the facade of a 1928 movie theatre, which closed after WW2. The dealership has now gone […]
Zoe’s Gobble & Go, Westgate Terrace, Folkestone, Kent, 2002 • Immobilised mobile snack bar with less-than-enticing name. I found it somewhere round here.
Garage sign, side of Cancer Research UK, 17 Priestpopple, Hexham, Northumberland, 2016 • Ghost sign for a garage whose carriage gate is still there at the left of the Cancer […]
Hexham Old Bus Station, Priestpopple, Hexham, Northumberland, 2016 • Charming but doomed little art deco bus stand at the centre of an old-fashioned parade in the wonderfully named Priestpopple. There’s now […]
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 […]
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. […]
City Motors, 7 Wadsworth Road, Perivale, Borough of Ealing, London UB6, 2006 • Classical portal for car wreck specialist. The door is still there, but the sign has gone, and […]
D.C. Auto Electrics, 429 Hornsey Road, Borough of Islington, London N19, 2010 • Grand pillars, graphic colour scheme, and a well-signposted post box. Still there, too.
Falcon Print Transport, 310 High Street, Stratford, Borough of Newham, London E15, 2006 • Mini art deco print transport HQ, next to the fabulous West Ham Labour Party building. Now […]
Milly’s Mini Mart, Angel City Cars, 49 Upper Street, Islington, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2016 • I featured these ridiculously over-the-top console brackets back in 2014, when the shop was crumbly but colourful and appeared to be […]
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 […]
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.
Olympic Private Hire, 153 Kingston Road, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • The kind of business that Uber is now seeing off. By 2015 it was a closed-down florist.
Yes Win No Fee, 451-3 North Circular Road, Neasden, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Hard-to-parse name for a dispiriting modern service. The heavily armoured door is a relic of previous occupant National […]
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 […]
Be’L’ievers Limited, 141 Stoke Newington Road, Borough of Hackney, London N16, 2002 • Note use of tiny letter ‘C’s for inverted commas. Still rocking the scare quotes as tailor Stitch “N” Time.
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.
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 […]
Thomas Fox & Co. Ltd., Arse Factory Removals, 42 Hoxton […]
Thompson, 5 Gloucester Road, Avonmouth, Bristol, 2009 • Nice type on old ex-bike repair shop (aka Thomson Bros) in the Bristol boondocks. Now completely boarded up.
Days Garage, 6 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • Established 1919, still there, and they’ve kept the charming wooden telephone sign.
B&L. Stevens and Roger’s Gents Barbers, 51 and 51a Walton Street, Walton-on-the-Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Charming little bike shop from the days before they got all hipster (and still the […]
A.P. Welsh, 71-73 Robertson Street, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • Not Wales, but Scotland: old shipping office housing a wide variety of businesses, with great signage.
Cat Automotive Parts Express, 177-179 Brighton Road, South Croydon, Borough of Croydon, London CR2, 2003 • Maybe yesterday’s shock absorber sign belonged to this nearby auto business, successfully rocking the […]
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 […]
Clarke Motorcycles, 63 Osmaston Road, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • All motorcycle shops should be like this. It’s still there, just off the fabulously-named Lara Croft Way.
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 […]
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 […]
Holloway Service Station T/A Sparsholt, 23-27 Crouch Hill, Borough of Islington, London N4, 2014 • A neat high street corner garage housing Swiss Cheese plants and a TUX-reg Roller – it’s like London in a […]
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 […]
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 […]
HGV Apply Here, 10 Church Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, 2015 • Mmm, professional. And the top windows just say “GV”.
Sheffield Engine Services Ltd, 100 Catch Bar Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 2010 • Arched facade in classic fleapit cinema style, with added flagpole antennae. It’s next to the lovely Edwardian-style William Confection ghost […]
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 […]
Autos, Arch 491/2, King John Court, Shoreditch, Borough of Hackney, London EC2, 2004 • I love this angular DIY lettering. It’s under the viaduct featured yesterday and later demolished for the London […]
Car & Truck Sales Service Car & Van Hire Parts, […]
Ferodo, bridge ad, near Blackmore Drive, North Circular Road, Stonebridge, Borough of Brent, London NW10, 2014 • Ferodo got taken over in 1998, and stopped paying fees for their bridge ads – […]
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, […]
JacLen, 18 Dockley Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • I love the typography on this DIY doorway, deep in a Dickensian Bermondsey viaduct. It’s presumably named after Jack and […]
City Tyres, 2 Malcolm Place, Bethnal Green, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2007 • Mellow yellow, plus old tyres. Stayed there till around 2015 then moved to another road nearby (see […]
Auto Electrics, Canal Road, Leeds, 2014 • Picturesque Northern gloom high above the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and opposite the satanic-mill-like Armley Mills Industrial Museum.
Leisureland Motors, Albatross, Easington Street, Sunderland, 2013 • Imposing ruin that looks like it may have been a stables once upon a time. It’s part of an industrial estate that backs onto […]
Cooper’s Motor Mart, Coopers Studios, 14-18 Westgate Road, Newcastle, 2013 • Ghost sign on trendy studios. The1897 building is a rare example of a multi-story horse and cart repository – here’s a history here.
C&C Auto Services Limited, 13 Kingston Road, Borough of Merton, London SW19, 2010 • Another auto palimpsest – not sure what it is now, though it was still the same in […]
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.
Sussex Automotive, Lyn’s Cars, 42 & 43a New broadway, Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, 2003 • I thought there was something rather 1930s about the window on the right, though […]
Camden Auto Electrics, Greyhound Couriers, 2 Bayham Street, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2003 • From the days when Kings Cross was a warren of auto workshops. It’s now been […]
Tadcars, The Avenue, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Not wishing to diss wooden huts, but this looks like the set for a horror movie (note splatterproof curtains made of M&S carrier bags). It looked even less […]
Seel Street Garage, 92 Seel Street, Liverpool, 2014 • Garage for sale in Liverpool’s raucous and rapidly redeveloping nightclub quarter. Probably won’t be there for much longer.
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 Smithfield Garage Ltd, opposite 38 Meriden Street, Birmingham, 2005 • According to the history here this was built by Harry Weedon, an architect known for Art Deco factories and […]
Fair City Cars, 125 Digbeth Road, Birmingham, 2005 • Poignant name and home-made chauffeur logo tacked onto a handsome premises which has since been demolished, along with the adjoining Hennessey’s Bar (which […]
F.W. Thornton & Son, 57 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • A purveyor of vintage engine parts, primarily pistons it seems. Founded 1922, they moved to this shop in 1939 […]
Motor Budget Centre, 1 Yattendon Road, Horley, Surrey, 2002 • Still there and with the same stuff in the window in 2012. Presumably a going concern as Google Street View shows […]
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 […]
Empress Coaches, 3 Corbridge Crescent, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2012 • Long-lived business on the banks of the Regent Canal, complete with vintage Derv pumps and exuberant foliage. Founded […]
L&D Motorcycles, 179 Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SE11, 2005 • A forest of for sale signs on this old-time motorbike store. Fitting therefore that it became an estate agent, […]
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 […]
Rampdale Insurance Brokers Ltd, 127 High Road, Finchley, Borough of Barnet, London N2, 2003 • More wonky perspex vehicles. The firm’s no longer there – it looks like they moved to Hatfield.
Kennington Car Hire, 56 Brixton Road, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2001 • Another colourful business “under new management”. This appears to house a taxi firm, SSS Hair Salon, an afro-carribean […]
The Winding House Tea Rooms, Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Cute but closed tea-room with amazing funicular attached (England’s oldest and steepest, opened 1892). There’s a gallery of […]
Morris Lubricants, circa 68 Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Beautiful Victorian HQ for this long-lived business, founded in 1869 and still speeding the plough (there’s a history on their website here). […]
The Walton Road Garage, 34 Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, 2002 • Part of a big old garage complex with a logo that looks like it dates from the 1920s, and […]
Frederick Pratt & Son, 32 Brighton Road, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey, 2002 • Good old-fashioned name, but now even the car in front is knackered. Founded 1948 and shuttered 2003, it used […]
Baker Street Garage, Mark C. Brown & Son Ltd, 22-24, […]
Clapham School of Motoring, 6 Clapham High Street, Clapham North, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • Confidence-inspiring driving school, handily sited next to a pub. For some reason it didn’t […]
R.E. Harris Motor Engineers, 1a Doughty Mews, Borough of Camden, Holborn, London WC1, 2003 • Angry epitaph on doomed garage, now demolished in favour of apartments in this exceedingly expensive area.
Bloomsbury Service Station, 6 Store Street and 2-8 Ridgmount Street, Bloomsbury, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2002 • Another quaint garage, founded 1926, which by 2002 must have been London’s most […]
Chequers Lane Garage, 3-5 Chequers Lane, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, 2003 • Attractive old-style garage (website here), founded 1991 but making sympathetic use of a facade from the dawn […]
Auto Electrical, 223 Old Kent Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE17, 2002 • Last glimpse of classic signwriting prior to replacement with jerrybuilt-looking office block.
Eddy’s Cars, 18 Mitcham Lane, Borough of Lambeth, London SW16, 2001 & 2002 • A fantastially ramshackle office with classic signwriting: note tiny afterthought apostrophe in name. Shown operational in 2001 […]
AM & Son Auto Electrician, 25 Midland Road, Borough of Camden, London NW1, 2002 • One of of a series of decaying garages subsumed into the vast, posh ramparts of the […]
Car Spares, 31 Wallis Road, Borough of Hackney, London E9, 2006 • Yeah, I’d definitely get my car parts here.
The Tyre Shop, 100 Balls Pond Road, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2002 • Not a tyre in sight, but a nice hand-crafted two-tone paint job. Later became an office of […]
Voltaire Motors, 2-4 Voltaire Road, Clapham, Borough of Lambeth, London SW4, 2002 • As poetic as its name, and nearly as long-gone. Later became Secondo, a glass-fronted “vintage and retro cafe-bar”.
Capital Taxi’s, 28 Great Suffolk Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2001 & 2010 (bottom) • Ah, the greengrocer’s apostrophe. By 2012 just a patch of striped wall remained and the […]
America St Testing Stn, 39 America Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2002 • A lovely name, charmingly hand-painted. Was replaced by a far less cheerful-looking auto business.
Grilled Burgers – Jumbo Sausages, Bilton Towers NCP, 25 Great Cumberland Place, City of Westminster, London W1, 2003 • The burger stall and yellow NCP sign have gone, but the […]
Robinsons, 48 Old Jamaica Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2001 • Another casualty of the monolithic Bermondsey Spa development (see below).
Blessing & Success Fashions, Fleet Systems MOT, Island Buka, 25 […]