Monthly Archives: October, 2015

Whitby – Store 384

51-52 Flowergate, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3AT

Woolworths opened in the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby in 1930. It was in a interesting location, on a bend on a street called Flowergate. It backed on to St. Ann’s Straith which faced the harbour, and the land was on a hill going down on to the harbour. The architects designed the store in a way so that you couldn’t see the building’s steep incline from street level. The result was a recognisable Woolies frontage that looked a bit stretched.

This is the earliest photo I could find, from the 1980s. This is the Flowergate entrance, looking down the hill.

Whitby Woolworths 1980s

Whitby Woolworths 1980s

Source: Newble A.

And this is the other side of the building, facing the harbour, where you can see the frontage is taller than usual.

Whitby Woolworths 2008

Whitby Woolworths 2008

Source: McCulloch, S.

Here is the harbourside entrance from another angle.

Woolworths Whitby 2008

Woolworths Whitby 2008

Source: Godley, S.

After it closed down in December 2008, it became a Pine Valley store.

Whitby Pine Valley 2009

Whitby Pine Valley 2010

Source: Soult, G.

With the other side on Flowergate becoming The Wilderness Factory Outlet Store.

Whitby The Wilderness 2010

Whitby The Wilderness 2010

Source: Soult, G.

But today the whole building is occupied by Mountain Warehouse, which opened in 2013.

Whitby Mountain Warehouse 2013

Whitby Mountain Warehouse 2013

Source: Le Monde1

Chatham – Store 17

184/190 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4AX

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened on Chatham High Street in 1913. There aren’t any photos of the original store, and sadly it was one of 26 Woolworths stores that got completely destroyed in World War II.

1n 1948 rebuilding work began, and Chatham got the iconic cinema-style look for their store, as seen below:

Chatham Woolworths 1948

Chatham Woolworths 1948

Source: Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre

Move forward to 2008, and you can see the building itself had not changed at all. (Photo from my facebook group)

Chatham Woolworths 2008

Chatham Woolworths 2008

The store closed down in December 2008. Today the building houses one half of the mega-Primark in Chatham (the other half is in the old BHS building. A cafe splits the two, but they are linked at the rear.) If you’re ever shopping in Chatham, look up and you’ll see a bit of Woolies history there.

Chatham Primark 2015

Chatham Primark 2015

Source: Cradick.co.uk

Weston-super-Mare – Store 81

64 High Street, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset BS23 1HX

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare very early on, in 1919. You can see the building before it was a Woolworths in the below photo – in the centre with the roof windows.

Weston-Super-Mare High Street 1901

Weston-super-Mare High Street 1901

Source: Past and Present Publications

Here is a photo of the Woolworths store when it was trading. You can see they did not change the building at all, apart from removing the roof windows. Quite interesting, perhaps they were not allowed to demolish and build in their own style, as they had in other towns. It is a beautiful building, so I’d say this was a good thing. Bhs next door had demolished their building, replacing it with a rather 50s looking building.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2008

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2008

(Photo from my Facebook group)

The store closed for good on 30th December 2008.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Source: White R., Flickr

The following year, Poundland opened, and here it is from when I visited the busy high street this week.

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Bexleyheath – Store 390 / 1226

93/105 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7JN

Woolworths originally opened in Bexleyheath at 93 The Broadway in 1930. This is a photo of the Broadway in 1935, the Woolworth store is possibly one of these buildings.

Bexleyheath Broadway 1935

Bexleyheath Broadway 1935

Source: Idealhomes.org.uk

In 1984 the Broadway Shopping Centre was built. The whole parade of shops on the Broadway was demolished and Woolworths moved into the centre, with a very large store with an entrance facing the Broadway at no. 77 (which is Argos today) and an entrance facing the inside of the shopping centre.

Argos Bexleyheath 2014

Argos Bexleyheath 2014 (was Woolworths)

Source: Local Data Company

1n 1990 the store was cut in half.  The half they gave up was split into 3 units – one became Miss Selfridge, then HMV and then Select, the second unit became Superdrug, and the third became Argos. Woolworths traded as a smaller store from the other half.

In 2000 Woolworths relocated across the shopping centre into the old Safeway unit, which was funnily enough back at 93 The Broadway. It had a new store number – 1226.

Woolworths Bexleyheath 2008

Woolworths Bexleyheath 2008

Source: Chase, J., Museum of London

The store traded from here until it closed for good in 2008.

Bexleyheath Woolworths 2009

Bexleyheath Woolworths 2009

Source: Flickr

Now the building is occupied by New Look inside the shopping centre and H&M from the Broadway side.

H&M Bexleyheath 2014

H&M Bexleyheath 2014

Source: Flickr