Monthly Archives: April, 2015

Rhyl – Store 308

1-4 East Parade, Rhyl, Flintshre LL18 3AD

On 10th March 1928 Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Rhyl in North Wales. It was on the High Street, a small single-storey store. They extended on 23rd May 1931.

In 1956, Woolworths built much larger, prominent seafront premises on the site of the Royal Cafe, which they demolished. You couldn’t really miss it – the store was huge, with a modern restaurant. They moved in there on 29th June 1956, becoming the department store destination of Rhyl. (It’s on the far right in the below photo)

Rhyl Woolworths 1960s

Rhyl Woolworths 1960s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

On 17th May 1974, the store was modernised and converted to self service.

Rhyl Woolworths 1970s

Rhyl Woolworths 1970s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1987 it was refurbished to become a comparison store (without the restaurant), re-opening on 3rd April.

In the 2000s, the store became a 10/10 store, which you can see in the below photo. Although it looks closed in the below photo, Woolworths had in fact covered the windows in blue, presumably so they could put shelving up against the windows inside – but not looking so nice from the outside. It was a smaller store now, as the top floors were now occupied by Gala Bingo.

Rhyl Woolworths 2006

Rhyl Woolworths 2006

Source: The Roberts Organisation, Flickr

Today B&M Bargains operates from this premises. But there’s still a little something that gives away it’s history…

B&M Bargains, Rhyl 2010

B&M Bargains, Rhyl 2010

Source: Alex Liivet, Flickr

If you enjoyed this, I also found the history of Rhyl Marks and Spencer online (now Poundland). Written by Rhyl History Club, it’s quite fascinating – read about it here.

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Basingstoke – Store 107

5 – 7 London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7AB

Woolworths originally opened at 5 London Street in Basingstoke Old Town on 19th November 1921, taking over the premises of William Cannon, the butchers. They extended in 1935 into part of the drapery shop of J Boyer next door, making a larger store.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1950

Basingstoke Woolworths 1950

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In Febraury 1959 the store was extended and modernised further. Below is how the new store looked.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1966

Basingstoke Woolworths 1966

Source: R L Brown, Sense of Place South East

1/13 Chiswick House, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 7LD

On 23rd October 1970 they relocated to Basingstoke’s new shopping centre, opening a HUGE new self-service store, with a restaurant, in a 3-storey building called Chiswick House. The Post Office moved into the empty London Street store. From this photo it looks as though it was all an indoor shopping centre, but today that ceiling has been opened up.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1970

Basingstoke Woolworths 1970

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

The move to self-service was a big deal in the 70s. On February 1971 they celebrated “D” Day – when half of all Woolworths stores had moved to self-service and decimalisation. Here is the cash wrap desk upstairs in the Clothing department at Basingstoke.

Basingstoke Clothing Tills 1971

Basingstoke Clothing Tills 1971

Source: Woolworths Museum

1993 the store was cut to half its size, and other stores opened up in Chiswick House. Today Poundland, Vision Express and Specsavers trade from that side.

In the 2000s it was one of the stores chosen to be a 10/10 store, still trading with a cafe, until it’s closure in December 2008.

Basingstoke Woolworths 2008

Basingstoke Woolworths 2008

Source: Talbot, C

TODAY:

The Post Office is still trading from the London Street location.

Basingstoke Post Office

Basingstoke Post Office

And the Chiswick House Woolies has been split into 2 units. Greggs and a clothes store called Internacionale (I think) trade from there. Apologies for the grainy image, I actually took a photo of the wrong store (Poundland!), so have had to screenshot this off my vlog.

Chiswick House, Basingstoke 2015

Chiswick House, Basingstoke 2015

Other sources: Basingstoke Gazette

Other Hampshire Woolworths you may be interested in:
Portsmouth – Store 35Southsea – Store 50

Bristol Broadmead – Store 10

87/91 Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3DU

In 1911, Woolworth opened their first store in Bristol, located at Castle Street. It was a busy and bustling street as you can see from this 1930s postcard. Sadly this store was destroyed along with the whole of Castle Street in WW2.

Bristol Woolworths, Castle Street, 1930s

Bristol Woolworths, Castle Street, 1930s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1950, Bristol rebuilt the worn-torn area, and Woolworths reopened on Broadmead. Stores built after the war were of a new look – bigger and brighter, and made with modern materials such as stainless steel and marble, instead of wooden doors and wooden floorboards. Bristol became the chain’s largest multi-floor store.

Bristol Woolworths 1950s

Bristol Woolworths 1952

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Bristol Woolworths, 1950s

Bristol Woolworths, 1950s

Source: Townsend, Paul

Here is it in the 1970s with it’s updated fascia, and you can see Swears & Wells became Thomas Cook and H Samuel is to the left (you can recognise the clock).

Bristol Woolworths, 1970s

Bristol Woolworths, 1970s

Source: Townsend, Paul

Bristol Woolworths 1970s

Bristol Woolworths 1970s

Source: Townsend, Paul

Bristol Broadmead was quite a unique Woolworths – it was the one chosen to be a trial new concept store in 1982 called ‘21st Century Shopping’. It took all the Woolworths branding out – the idea was to attract city commuters to be able to have a ‘quick’ shop. Inside you had sports ranges at the front (from sister brand Footlocker), then a middle section of Women’s fashion and then a small grocery section. Sounds a bit random to me. The whole of Bristol scoffed at it – City workers did not use it, and loyal Woolies shoppers were upset – an epic fail.

Woolworths 21st Century Shopping, Bristol, 1983

Woolworths 21st Century Shopping, Bristol, 1982

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1983 the store was reinstated to Woolworths again, although they carried on using the leftover 21st Century carrier bags for a long time.

Bristol Woolworths 1986

Bristol Woolworths 1986

Source: pepperrn1, flickr

In 1988 the store had to close as the Galleries Shopping Centre was to be built – so the building got demolished! Here it is just before demolition.

Woolworths moved into the new shopping centre, which you can read about here: Bristol -The Galleries – Store 1174

Bristol Woolworths 1988

Bristol Woolworths 1988

Source: Hobbs, Neil

Truro – Store 836

13-15 Princes Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2RF

One of the later stores, Woolworths opened during the 1950s in the only city of Cornwall (and place of my birth) – Truro. It was located in quite a prominent area, next to the City Hall, and opposite the Trustee Savings Bank (ie TSB) and a rather important looking statue.

Truro Woolworths 1960

Truro Woolworths 1960

Source: Francis Frith

I couldn’t find much information about the store, apart from the fact it was massive! With its front entrance on Prince’s Street, it stretched the length of a road leading to a back entrance on Back Quay, off Lemon Quay. I would guess from these photos that the Prince’s Street building is something original from before Woolies’ time, and the back entrance on Lemon Quay was built by Woolworths as you can recognise the building style. Here is the front entrance shortly before it closed down.

Truro Woolworths 2008

Truro Woolworths 2008

Source: alamy.com

The store closed down on 5th January 2009. Here’s a pic of me at the back entrance from when I visited a few months later.

Truro Woolworths 2009

On 25th June 2009 it reopened as a Poundland. They temporarily took the whole site, but then found it was too large for their needs, so split it into 2 units – Poundland taking the front and Cotswold Outdoors taking the back. You can also see the TSB bank is now Pizza Express.

Truro Poundland 2009

Truro Poundland 2009

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

Truro Cotswold 2011

Truro Cotswold 2011

Source: Soult’s Retail View

Other Cornish stores you may be interested in:
St Ives – Store 863