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

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5 responses

  1. […] – it used to be where Mothercare and Santander are now on the High Street. Have a read here if you […]

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  2. Richard Northover | Reply

    I was a trainee manager here in 1980 , the store manager was a Welshman called Peter Davies , the store occupied the entire building which in the late 1970’s had an extension
    which doubled the size at the back this was subsequently demolished after the store was one of 40 sold after ‘paternoster’ bought FW Woolworth UK from the American parent. I had a happy year in this store before moving to Torquay

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    1. Hi Richard, so that is what happened in the 70s. It must have been quite a large store. Glad to hear you had a happy year there, thanks for sharing your story 🙂

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  3. My Nan worked in the old building behind the home lighting counter. Her name was Minnie Winderidge. I can just remember visiting her there with my Mother. It was so nice to see a picture of this counter above. Happy memories of Woolies. Ahhhh the pick and mix!!

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    1. Ahh that’s lovely to hear. I wish I could go back in time and visit the old counter!

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