Monthly Archives: September, 2015

Croydon – Store 12

60/68 North End, Croydon CR9 1SL

The Croydon store was the 12th Woolworths store to open in the UK and the 4th London store. It was opened by Frank Woolworth himself on 4th May 1912 on North End, right at the heart of the town. He had visited and shortlisted Croydon earlier, noting that the South East London location was “fine, progressive and bustling”.

Croydon Woolworths 1912

Croydon Woolworths 1912

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store shared its premises with the local cinema, Pyke’s Cinematograph, which was a popular destination for Edwardian Croydon residents. Woolworths made the most of the opportunity, opening late to line up with films on the silver screen and offering popcorn, ice cream and many magazines and sheets of music associated with the movies. (Source: Croydon Guardian)

Croydon Woolworths 1918

Croydon Woolworths 1918

Source: Flickr, pepandtim

1n 1929, Woolworths tooks over the cinema building next door and extended to a larger store.

Croydon Woolworths 1940s

Croydon Woolworths 1940s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Then in 1968, it was further extended into the Whitgift shopping centre in to make it the large size most residents today will remember. This was the North End road entrance:

Croydon Woolworths 1980s

Croydon Woolworths 1980s

Source: Flickr, BRG2

And this was the new Whitgift Shopping Centre entrance:

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift 1968

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift Entrance 1968

Source: Seaton, P

The store in 1989:

Croydon Woolworths 1989

Croydon Woolworths 1989

Source: Flickr, BRG2

The final photo from December 2008, shared to my Facebook group just before it closed for good.

Croydon Woolworths 2008

Croydon Woolworths 2008

And the Whitgift entrance:

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift 2008

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift Entrance 2008

Today the building is occupied by H&M, but you can clearly recognise the building from the architecture above. Quite a historic building.

Croydon H&M 2010

Croydon H&M 2010

Source: Flickr, ballysundriven

Woolwich – Store 9

18/28 Hare Street, Woolwich, London SE18 6ND

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

In 1911, the second London Woolworths store to open was in the South East – Woolwich. It opened on Hare Street, the area chosen for being very industrial. (Photo source: WoolworthsMuseum.co.uk

Below are a series of photos of the Woolwich store through the decades.

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

Source: Michael L, WoolworthsMuseum.co.uk

Woolwich Woolworths 1930s

Woolwich Woolworths 1930s

Source: Chris Mansfield Photos

Woolwich Woolworths 1950s

Woolwich Woolworths 1950s

Source: Chris Mansfield Photos

Woolwich Woolworths 1970s

Woolwich Woolworths 1970s

Source: King, J A, Chris Mansfield Photos

In the 1980s, the new Woolworths management decided on a drastic disposal of stores to cut costs, and sadly Woolwich was one of the ones to go. It closed down in 1984.

Today the building is occupied by Primark. Boots is still next door, and that BHS is now a Peacocks store.

Primark, Woolowich 2013

Primark, Woolwich 2013

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

Banbury – Store 428 / 1203

7 High Street, Banbury, Oxfordshire

Woolworths opened on Banbury High Street in 1931, according to the Banbury Guardian. It was built on the site of the Red Lion Hotel, below on the left, which was demolished to make way for the new store.

Banbury Red Lion Hotel 1921

Banbury Red Lion Hotel 1921

Source: Francis Frith

Here you can see the Woolworths store on the right of the photo in the 1960s.

Banbury Woolworths 1960s

Banbury Woolworths 1960s

Source: Francis Frith

Here are some wonderful photos of the interior from a lady who spent 30 years of her life working for “The old Woolworths”, courtesy of EddFrostDaughters Ltd.

Banbury Woolworths Inside 1960s -3 Banbury Woolworths Inside 1960s -2 Banbury Woolworths Inside 1960s

In the 1970s store list, the address is listed as 7a, so the store must have been halved, and the Woolworths store was kept open on the right side (that’s the Abbey National side in the below photo). Mothercare may well have been there since the 1970s, as their first stores opened in the 1960s. Woolworths closed on the High Street in the 1980s. So there was a period of time when Banbury had no Woolworths. Abbey National moved into 7a.

Banbury Mothercare and Abbey National 2000s

Banbury Mothercare and Abbey National 2000s

Source: Ancestry.com

7a High Street today is Santander, and you can clearly see from the windows above that this was the Woolworths building.

Banbury Santander 2015

Banbury Santander 2015

Source: iOxfordshire

Unit 51, Castle Quay Shopping Centre, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 8UP

The Castle Quay shopping centre was first built in 1977. In 1999, it underwent an £85 million redevelopment and this was when Woolworths moved in. It had a new store number 1203. It was the second store you saw as you walked inside, so a good position, and it backed on to the canal.

Banbury Woolworths 2005

Banbury Woolworths 2005

Source: Flickr, BRG2

The store closed in December 2008, and when I visited the town in September 2009, the Woolworths fascias were still up, but it was being converted into an H&M, so it must have opened soon after. I visited Banbury again last week, and this is how the former Woolworths looks today from the inside of the shopping centre.

H&M Banbury, 2015

H&M Banbury, 2015