246-250 High Street, Dovercourt, Essex CO12 3PA
Woolworths opened in the small Essex seaside town of Dovercourt in 1934.
Known as the ‘3d 7 6d store’, the frontage increased by one half in 1937.
Source: Through the Shop Window – http://www.harwichanddovercourt.co.uk/shop-window/
17/18 Peascod Street, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1DX
Woolworths opened in Windsor quite soon after Slough, in the mid-1920s – the difference being that this was the Queen’s local Woolies:
“Her Majesty once told The Daily Mail that she had done her Christmas shopping at Woolworths. She was spotted occasionally in the large store in Peascod Street, just a short walk from Windsor Castle.” Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/xmas-adverts.htm
Below is a picture from 1968 – Woolworths is on the right hand side, next to Bala shoes.
Close up of Woolworths above, with ‘Sale’ sign on the door advertising ‘Stacker tumblers 5d each’ and ‘Brobat’ reduced to 1/-. Where the 60s ladies is walking is exactly where the man is standing in the Boots photo (see at the end of this post).
Above is the store in August 2008, still trading, before it finally closed in December that year. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dimikagi/2912132072
Now it’s a deceptively large Boots, with perfumes along the narrow front section of the store, leading on to a huge floorspace at the back – with a massive baby section. I read on a forum that back in the 60s when this was Woolworths, shoppers liked to go to this part of store to escape the fumes from the buses. Apparently M&S and Woolies were best for escaping the pollution. Good thing it’s all pedestrianised now.
Also I like how Boots have kept the little flagpost that used to hold the Woolworths Cafe sign 🙂
211/213 Portobello Road, London W11 1LX
Woolworths opened in Portobello Road, Notting Hill in 1928. The below photo from ‘The Library Time Machine’ shows the store in 1958.
In 1961, another Woolworths opened around the corner at Notting Hill Gate – store 1047. I will investigate this in a separate post, but I do wonder whether the two stores did compete with one another.
If you look above the Woolworths sign, the second window on the left is checked, which I assumed to be new. But if you look at the 1958 picture, it appears there also.
The freeholders wanted to demolish this building when the lease ran out in June 2008, but locals fiercely demonstrated against this (Source: http://www.standard.co.uk). Shame just 6 months later, it had to close anyway with the rest of them. This one closed on Saturday 27th December 2008.
I can happily report that the freeholders have kept the Victorian building, and it is now Poundland.
90/90a High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1PU
Opened in the 1920s, Maidenhead was one of the first stores called ‘Woolworths’ with a ‘s’, having been Woolworth before then. This happened in 1985 when it was chosen to be a ‘Cornerstone’ Store along with Orpington and Bedford, where they launched the Ladybird clothing range. The 6 cornerstones were DIY, Leisure and Play, Homewares, General Convenience, Clothing and Daily Provisions. (Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk)
Below are 2 pictures I took, as I used to work around the corner. First is before the closure announcement, second is when the store was closing down.
It is now a Wilko, which really brightens up the lifeless high street – no offence locals 😉 Why did they get rid of the benches??
9/11 Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 2BA
Woolworths had been on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames for over 80 years according to the Henley Standard, before it closed on Tuesday 30th December 2008. So I estimate it opened in the late 1920s.
Source: Baldock, James (used with permission)
Above is the store just before it closed (picture from my facebook group).
It is now a teeny tiny Sainsbury’s, a really busy one too. That’s me with the apples below 🙂
61/64 Broad Street, Reading RG1 2AJ
Woolworths originally opened at 51 Broad Street, Reading in the Spring of 1922, which is where H&M is today. Some pretty fantastic vintage photos of the Reading store have been put up on www.reading-forum.co.uk by markjuk. (http://www.reading-forum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5709&p=51409)
The store was expanded to have entrances in Broad Street, Friar Street, Union Street and West Street, often used as a shortcut by shoppers to get from Friar Street to Broad Street. It sounds like it was MASSIVE, I can’t even imagine!
According to the Wargrave Local History Society, “Woolworths had moved to their present position in 1939, having earlier been nearer Union Street, although for a period in the late 80’s it was a shopping mall, then becoming Woolworths again.” Source: http://www.wargravehistory.org.uk/nov98.html
Now this shopping mall concept sounds interesting. According to 100thbirthday.co.uk, it was originally a prototype for a new large store format called ‘Jupiter’, but they decided on ‘The Woolworth Mall’, piloting Ladybird clothing, the ‘Le Cafe’ restaurant, as well as opticians, show repair and estate agent concessions and selling large kitchen appliances! The mall used yellow and grey colours rather than the traditional red and white, although not for long as the concept was dropped quickly in favour of getting rid of huge city centre stores.
“The site was closed for redevelopment in 1989, closing on 17th June. When the development was complete Woolworths moved into a small store in part of its original footprint, which opened on the company’s 85th birthday, 5th November 1992 (Store 1180).” Extract from 100thbirthday.co.uk (Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/pages/0111Reading-1950.htm)
When I took these photos, I did notice how new the building looked – definitely not an original. The Reading Forum clarified this – Markjuk recalls “that a fire in the early 90s caused by squatters who in habited the derelict building, set fire to it causing extensive damage to the old Broad Street entrance prompting it to be demolished a few months later. Rather than save this art deco architecture, it was demolished and replaced with a bog standard brick building of no significance.” (Source: http://www.reading-forum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5709&p=51409)
And today it is a shiny new Clas Ohlson, selling pretty much what Woolies used to sell. I do like their pastel coloured straws 🙂
96 High Street, Yiewsley, Middlesex UB7 7DX
Woolworths Yiewsley was built in the 1930s, back when it was a nice, friendly village.
Move forward to the 80s, Yiewsley was not one of the safer stores, with robberies happening quite frequently. Still, I’d been in there quite a few times with my mum, as I used to have swimming lessons round the corner, seemed alright to me. Ex-Wooworths employee Ganesh Jillah did his cash office training there. He says ‘Nice’.
Woolworths in Yiewsley was demolished along with it’s neighbouring shops Lily’s Florists, D J Jewellers and Gordon’s, to create new ‘luxury’ apartments. The 1868 historic building, including Clare Villas above the shops, was wiped off the map in 2010 when Taylor Wimpey created this new-build called “Essence’. It wasn’t wanted on the High Street by locals, I remember this, I was there! In fact there was a petition called “Don’t Destroy our High Street” with locals saying we’d have a 5-storey monstrosity. Well here is it…
Source: Google Street View
What is was supposed to look like: