W H Smith may have settled for a rather uniform, corporate look today but their earlier shops had interesting and unusual facades. The North End, Croydon branch was built in Tudor revival style in the 1920s. Its exuberant and eclectic heraldic symbols share the same sort of approach as the (very different) decorations in Weston-Super-Mare.
The heraldic shields on the upper row refer to public schools. They are, from left to right: Rugby School, Harrow School, Eton College, Winchester College, and Wellington College.
The lower row alternates local references with the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, perhaps in an attempt to flatter Croydon as a learned town? The arms are, from left to right, those of the Borough of Croydon, the University of Oxford, Archbishop Whitgift (founder of Croydon's Whitgift foundation), and the University of Cambridge. The final panel, with three heraldic shields surrounded by lions, has assorted local connections. The gold-and-blue checks belonged to the Warrennes, Earls of Surrey, and have been adopted in the county in various heraldic contexts; the castle and lion can be found on Guildford's coat of arms; but the three fish have proved elusive!