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.
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.
Source: McCulloch, S.
Here is the harbourside entrance from another angle.
Source: Godley, S.
After it closed down in December 2008, it became a Pine Valley store.
Source: Soult, G.
With the other side on Flowergate becoming The Wilderness Factory Outlet Store.
Source: Soult, G.
But today the whole building is occupied by Mountain Warehouse, which opened in 2013.
Source: Le Monde1
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:
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)
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.
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.
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.
(Photo from my Facebook group)
The store closed for good on 30th December 2008.
Source: White R., Flickr
The following year, Poundland opened, and here it is from when I visited the busy high street this week.
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.
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.
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.
Source: Chase, J., Museum of London
The store traded from here until it closed for good in 2008.
Now the building is occupied by New Look inside the shopping centre and H&M from the Broadway side.