SOME of the most famous names in shopping have disappeared from the British high street in recent years.

Toys R Us and Maplin look to be the next additions to the sad list, after administrators for the retailers failed to find buyers.

Below, and in the pictures on these pages, you will find some of the vanished shops that once seemed as though they would be around forever.

Fine Fare, the supermarket chain promoted on TV by actor Gordon Jackson, disappeared in 1988. It had been sold to the Dee Corporation, later called Somerfield, with the newly-acquired stores rebranded as Gateway branches or closed.

Dewhurst, the chain of butchers owned by the Vestey Group, was axed in 1995 amid competition from supermarkets.

Fashion chain Principles, founded in 1984, was sold off from the mighty Arcadia Group and its stores disappeared following the collapse of the Mosaic Fashion in 2009. The brand name was bought by Debenhams and revived in 2010.

Freeman, Hardy and Willis, whose story started in 1875, was gone from the high street by 1996. Some of its 540 branches had been turned into Hush Puppies shops, while the others had been sold to a new owner whose business collapsed.

John Menzies still exists in the worlds of aviation and distribution. However, it sold its shops in 1998 to WHSmith, marking the end of branches such as those in Bournemouth’s Commercial Road and Poole’s Dolphin Shopping Centre.

C&A, the Dutch-owned fashion shop, withdrew from the UK in 2000. It had 109 branches, including those in the Dolphin Centre and Bournemouth’s Commercial Road.

Our Price Records, an institution for music lovers in the 1980s and 1990s, was for a long time owned by WH Smith, which also snapped up Virgin record shops. Both brands were sold to the Virgin Group while they were losing money, and Our Price disappeared as a brand name from 2000.

Britain’s fourth biggest supermarket, Safeway, was acquired by Morrisons in 2004. The brand disappeared the following year.

Dixons disappeared as a high street name in 2006, after 69 years, with many high street branches renamed The name lives on through Dixons Carphone.

Radio Rentals was the most famous high street name offering rented TVs and video recorders (Granada and Rediffusion were among its competitors). As the equipment became cheaper it disappeared from the high street and was merged into an online service, Boxclever.

MFI, which had been selling self-assembly furniture since 1964, struggled in a changing world and went into administration, with all 111 stores closing in 2008.

Woolworths was perhaps the biggest name to disappear from high streets, and a major casualty of the 2008 credit crunch. Its 807 shops were all gone by January 2009, along with 27,000 jobs.

Books, music and video retailer Borders arrived in the UK in 1998, and its large Bournemouth store had a busy schedule of events and author visits. But the chain entered administration in 2009 and was gone by 2011.

Electrical retailer Comet went into administration in November 2012 and its 236 stores were gone by the end of that year.

Past Times, which started selling retro goods mail order before becoming a chain, went into administration in 2012. The stores shut, although the brand name was bought by WH Smith.

Video rental chain Blockbuster survived going into administration in 2010, only to collapse for good in 2013.

Tie Rack, which once had 450 stores across the world, saw its 44 UK branches all closed at the end of 2013, after profits were hit by changing fashions, recession and online shopping.