Reading – Store 111/1180

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)

THEN:

Reading Woolworths 1920s

Reading Woolworths 1920s

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1261402.PDF

NOW:

Reading H&M 2014

Reading H&M 2014

Source: http://uk-retail.pldbgw-dtz.maximalls.net/dynamic/image/2374271?x=340

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!

THEN:

Reading WW 1950

Reading Woolworths 1950

Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/pages/0111Reading-1950.htm

Reading Woolworths 1955

Reading Woolworths 1955

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1285592.pdf

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

Reading WW 1945

Reading Woolworths Interior 1945

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_Group#mediaviewer/File:A_Picture_of_a_Southern_Town-_Life_in_Wartime_Reading,_Berkshire,_England,_UK,_1945_D25360.jpg

Reading WW West Street Entrance 1979

Reading Woolworths West Street Entrance 1979

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1317811.PDF

Reading WW back

Reading Woolworths Friar Street Entrance 2013

Source: http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk/2013/03/16/pick-n-mixed-grill-the-ex-woolworths-that-are-now-wetherspoons/

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.

Reading Woolworths 1980

Reading Woolworths 1980

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1317805.PDF

Reading Woolworths 1980

Reading Woolworths 1980

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1304042.PDF

“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)

Reading WW 2008

Reading Woolworths 2008

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)

NOW:

Reading Clas Olsen 2014

Reading Clas Ohlson 2014

And today it is a shiny new Clas Ohlson, selling pretty much what Woolies used to sell. I do like their pastel coloured straws 🙂

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One response

  1. […] Fore Street. Also the new store number 1189 would have been allocated in the 1990s, similar to the Reading […]

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