More from Essex. My sisyphean quest to hold a driving licence often finds me out in Woodford. There’s something a bit Betjeman about the place, with its Tudorbethan semis, pipe-smoking tramp, Hornby trainset Tube station and neat parade of shops. Along with pubs, Chemists are often great survivors and there’s a nice old one here.
On my last visit, the hardware shop opposite had vanished (moved, rather than closed) and building works had revealed this old sign, which looks as fresh as the day it was hand painted, and soon to be recovered by the 21st century plastic of a Sainsbury’s Local. There are still surprises in the suburbs.