13 March 2013

Wholesale electrical components, fluorescent lamps and switchgear

In June 2008 a friend alerted me to the unveiling of some lovely old hand-painted shop signs on 136 Grays Inn Road. The shop was being renovated and the plain wooden fascias that had been in place for decades had been removed to reveal some lovely lettering showing that in an earlier life the shop had been home to an electrical components retailer (see below, top left and top middle).
Later that same year I took some more photos when all the signs were more visible. Crackled paint, drop shadows. Lovely.
We hoped that these old signs would continue to be visible in the future but they were covered up again. I think they were initially covered with more boards. I think the site became a cafe. (Peter, please correct me here if I am wrong please!)
Two months ago I was in Grays Inn Road again. I stopped in my tracks when I saw what it looks like now – the shop is up for sale/rent, having spent a while as a hairdressers. White gloss has been applied straight over the top of the lovely old lettering and, at certain angles, the words can be seen ghosting through the paint. The bottom right image shows the 'components/switchgear' panel.
Is this progress?
I am sad. Very sad. :-(


  1. Unfortunately there is a lot of this "progress" around this area. All part of the KX redevelopment. Soon it will be unrecognisable

  2. Hello Jane

    I think they were painted over back then. It is a shame. Someone could have used them to their advantage to make the shop stand out. Or is it only people like us that notices these things?


  3. Hello… I think by using the florescent lamps, we can see so much progress in that area. These lamps are widely used in theaters, indoor and outdoor security purposes and landscape lighting as well. These lamps can provide more security and more brightness to the streets. By using these fluorescent lamps, look of that street is totally changed and it looks better.

  4. Change is really good especially if your doing this for your community, I think that it was just time to change for the better.

  5. I stopped in my tracks when I saw what it looks like now – the shop is up for sale/rent, having spent a while as a hairdressers.Home Safety Inspection Services

  6. Yes, I think this may be the third time it's been up for sale/rent since my photos. The really sad thing is that he old signs were there, albeit covered up for decades, then some muppet removed the front panels and for inexplicable reasons painted straight over the lovely hand lettering. And for what/why? grrr!!

  7. The shop has changed hands many more times since I wrote this, and with every new leaseholder new signage was applied. The Electrical Components shop signs will, I fear, never be seen again. Jane.


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Thanks, Jane