2 The Strand, Dawlish, Devon EX7 9PS
Woolworths came to the Devon seaside town of Dawlish quite late on, in 1956. The building they occupied was on the Strand, and was actually built in 1919. Designed in eye-catching black and white pseudo Elizabethan style, half of the building was occupied by Cridge’s Cafe (see photo below).
It later became Holman’s Cafe and then Brunt’s Cafe, until 1956 when it became Woolworths. When it opened, it was the first ‘self-service’ store in Dawlish, ie where you could pick the goods off the shelf rather than having to ask an assistant to get it for you from behind the counter. This was such a new concept that they had to have staff at the door explaining the self-service process! Here is the store in the swinging 60s:
Source: Kingsdude/Dave, Flickr
Source: Rostance D, Flickr
And the 1980s:
Source: RMC1490, Flickr
This photo from my Facebook group was taken shortly before they closed:
On 2nd January 2009 Woolworths Dawlish closed down for good. It lay empty for a long time, falling apart and becoming quite an eyesore. This photo is from our south coast roadtrip of 2010.
In 2011 the Co-op next door extended into the Woolworths building where it now trades as one large store.
Source: JJ Justin, Flickr