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Jeffrey Johnson’s Favourite Signs

March 19, 2019
by the gentle author

Enigmatic Photographer Jeffrey Johnson deposited a stack of his pictures from the seventies and eighties with Archivist Stefan Dickers at the Bishopsgate Institute, including these photos of signs and ghost signs. Sharing Jeffrey’s relish at this magnificent array, I cannot resist the feeling that he is one after my own heart in savouring both the poetry and aesthetics of London’s old signage.

Win her affections with A1 Confections

Temporary office staff urgently required

Permanent waving clubs held here

More news than in any other daily paper

English clock system

Barry Lampert – Your choice for Hackney

The best food for the whole family sold here

Home cured haddocks & bloaters

The noted house for paper bags

£40 worth for four shillings weekly

Families and dealers supplied

Harris the sign king

Headache draughts

Progressive working class catering

For that natural just combed look

Radio London wireless said ‘The cosy fish bar in Whitecross St serves the best quality fish & chips in London.’

See the light…taste the light

We specialies in suits, donkey coats, officers uniforms, belts & braces, sailors clothing…

Laying out & measuring up undertaken

Photographs copyright © Jeffrey Johnson

You may also like to took at

Jeffrey Johnson’s Favourite Spots

Jeffrey Johnson’s Favourite Pubs

16 Responses leave one →
  1. March 19, 2019

    What a glorious collection of photographs! I love things like this.

  2. Jill Wilson permalink
    March 19, 2019

    A magnificent array indeed!

  3. March 19, 2019

    What a fantastic collection.

  4. March 19, 2019

    Jay’s Furniture is still visible on Clarenden Rise, London SE13. Thank you for sharing this fabulous collection.

  5. Hilary permalink
    March 19, 2019

    And you can still get Yorkshire Stingo beer!

  6. Elaine Dale permalink
    March 19, 2019

    A wonderful post! I’d have to say the photographer is a man after my own heart as well. He has a great eye for the details of the past.

  7. March 19, 2019

    Oh, that Guardian clock! Surely it must have been a regular meeting place. “Meet you at the clock.” As an American, I so enjoyed/admired the plea for consideration: “Less Noise Please”.
    Back in the Seventies, I knew a transplanted British art director who covered the walls of his
    office with signs from home. He must have had at least 50 “WAY OUT” signs, all sizes, in addition to so many others.

  8. Susan permalink
    March 19, 2019

    I wish someone would try to “win my affections with A1 confections!”

  9. March 19, 2019

    Where [and why] was the fascia with the Festival of Brittain symbol?

  10. Jill permalink
    March 19, 2019

    I love all the different lettering.
    Also the fab ‘puns’ in use for carpet fitters hearse in the last picture …..’dead cheap, laying out’ and ‘measuring undertaken’…… made me

  11. Jill permalink
    March 19, 2019


  12. Georgina Briody permalink
    March 19, 2019

    They bring a smile to my face, some I remember well!!

  13. March 19, 2019

    The Festival of Britain symbol is above what’s now a branch of Zara at the junction of Oxford Steet and Hills Place. Why I’ve no idea.

  14. Marcia Jane Howard permalink
    March 20, 2019

    Absolutely FABULOUS! The images do however leave me feeling slightly saddened, for all that we’ve lost over the years. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  15. Dave R permalink
    March 20, 2019

    Lovely shots of a recently departed past. I have a photo of the yellow and green TEA ROOMS facade from August 2004 showing it as semi-derelict and full of builder’s materials. Have no record of the location though. The “commit no nuisance” cartouche is still there on Great Guildford Street, around the corner from its pair in Doyce Street. They embellish the rear of the Borough Welsh Congregational Chapel. Commit no nuisance indeed.

  16. March 20, 2019

    Thanks Bob Davenport, i’ll look next time I go to the Photographers Gallery

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