In Oxford Mews, near Bexley Station, is a large but faded ghost sign headed 'George Mence Smith'. Fading and over-painting have made the rest tricky to read: there are at least two separate signs here. Distinguishable words include 'Italian warehouse ... a large assortment of' Tin Iron ... Bath & Carriage ... &c. &c. &c.' I rather like that final flourish: it nicely conveys a huge assortment of other goods awaiting the customer.
George Mence Smith was an oil and colour merchant who lived at Bexleyheath from 1863. He owned seventy hardware stores selling everything from oil to wallpaper to cutlery, a business which would fit well with the assorted words decipherable here. His shops were found throughout South London, including on Deptford Broadway, as well as on Tottenham Court Road, throughout the South East of England, and around Northampton. Although Mence Smith died in 1896, the shops continued to bear his name until 1944 when they were taken over by Timothy White's.
'Italian warehouse' was painted on the side of his shop in Bexleyheath, too. An eighteenth-century establishment described in this way sold a huge assortment of Italian luxury goods including silks, violin strings and wine, but I'm not sure whether it would have had the same connotations in late-Victorian Bexley. A photograph from Edwardian Hove has the name on a general hardware store which seems to be of a similar type to Mence Smith's.
Mence Smith was also the inventor of the Fearnought Safety Lamp. Lamps were a potential source of danger, since they were liable to catch fire if knocked over. However, advertising for the Fearnought claimed its 'safety element ... is a specially-constructed wick-tube, which possessed the property of preventing the oil from ascending or the heated air descending in the event of the lamp being upset either hastily or slowly. Moreover, immediately the lamp gets overturned the flame is extinguished'. This must have been a real boon to Victorian homes.