please empty your brain below

Everything about that first picture is A1. Ooooh, I love it.
Real London geography again, my favourite theme. And a section of road of which I have many memories, mostly driving, with occasional bits I have walked, cycled, trolleybussed or been driven along.
It's an A1 walk, in every sense. I've walked every step too, but never on the same day nor for the same purpose.
I've also visited every current pubs you namecheck, and the one pictured that was an ABC cinema when I first was taken there.
Intrigued about the shop that can't spell its name properly. Do tell us more.
There is a Starbucks opposite Angel tube, just out of shot in your third picture that used to be a cinema. It seems astonishing now that in 1954 my loving, caring parents allowed me and a couple of chums to walk at the age of six up St John’s Street unaccompanied by adults to watch Hopalong Cassidy, Buck Rogers and a baddie called The Scorpion at “Saturday Morning Pictures”.
Essex Road does lead to Essex. It's the A104, the other end of which is firmly in Essex, at the Wake Arms Roundabout, at the border of Waltham Abbey and Loughton.

dg writes: updated thanks.
petras409 - if only there was some kind of freely available map where you can view for yourself the junction in question and easily spot the shop that cannot spell its own name.
A couple of mildly nerdy Barbican-area comments :

I think that the tower in your first image is Lauderdale rather than Shakespeare (west to east the three Barbican Estate high-rises go Lauderdale, Shakespeare, Cromwell). Although the (unmentioned) presence of the Shakespeare pub just north of the Beech Street tunnel may create confusion.

And the tunnel is sadly not currently a zero-emissions street at any time of the day or week. The statutory instrument by which the City imposed the restrictions back in 2020 was successfully challenged by a local residents group after only a year or so in operation, on some legal technicality or other, and so Beech Street was restored to its proud position as London's finest fume-choked hell hole some time ago, as this Guardian article confirms.

dg writes: updated thanks.
Aylmer Parade may be “terribly ordinary”, but, being where it is, does include The London Dog Walking Company — “because they’re woof it” — alongside the usual hairdressers, restaurants and takeaways, just for variety.

dg writes: alas closed (and shop up for rent).
There is a fantastic Victorian writer by the name of Charles Harper who wrote travelogues of all the main roads in England. You can find his books for free on Project Gutenberg or the Internet Archive.
Not to say road geeks are fools, but I wonder whether the list really was published on 1st April. The English Catalogue of Books for 1923 lists the publication date as June and it went unnoticed in The Times until June 15.

Anyway, how exotic to see a full stop between the classification letter and the number in early publications. The Trunk Roads Act 1936 even has a full stop and a space separating each “Ministry of Transport Classification Number” into distinct halves, though amendments to it lack the space. Nowadays signs are supposed to have two-fifths of a standard-width space between the letter and the digits but the bustle of modern life is not conducive to such nicety.
A. 1 → A.1 → A 1 → A1: a century of progress, more or less.
Great post, as above proper London geography. Helps that is my old stomping ground.

The next section of the A1 is also fascinating going past Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Village and probably London’s poshest Jewish parade of shops. Driven through many time but don’t actually know what it’s called!
Nice one. If 60s planners had got their way, then the A1 north of the Hornsey Lane would have been a lot wider and less pleasant to walk along.
I grew up in a village in Co Durham with the A1 going right through the middle. I've now lived for many years just off the A1 in north London.
The ordinary shops on Aylmer Parade used to contain a shoe shop where I could peer down a tube and see the X-ray image of my foot bones, with holes on either side where my mother and the shoe man could also look to check that there was the right amount of room in the (Clarks) shoes for my precious toes.
The A103 and A104 have low numbers because 3 digit roads are numbered in order of distance from their "hub" - hence the A100 is Tower Bridge and the A199 is in East Lothian.

Same applies to 2-digit roads: e.g A10 starts in the City, A19 starts at Doncaster.

Although most mail went by rail in 1923, it is probably not a coincidence that the two termini of the A1 were originally the General Post Office HQs in London and Edinburgh

The A1/A40 junction, which my office used to overlook, is the only place in Great Britain where there is both a direct A-road to Scotland and another direct A-road to Wales
Thanks to this interesting feature I just realised I unintentionally went on the A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 on a visit to London the week before last. Holloway Road was by far the most interesting, and the only one done on foot. At one point there was a terrible commotion coming from across the road - it was a Saturday morning session of the National Youth Theatre, it seems.
When I was young, there was a BATA shoe shop near the railway bridge on the Holloway Road. It also had an X-ray gadget (if you watch the Michael Caine film, "Billion Dollar Brain", you will see him using one).

The shop opened at 9am Mon to Sat, but the doors were always locked at 3pm, and children only admitted with parents. It was like that on Saturdays too.
Yesterday AI.
Today A1.
Tomorrow 3-toed sloths?
"sports glove deodoriser magnate"

TridentScan | Privacy Policy