48-50 High Road, Wood Green, London N22 6DG
The twenty-sixth Woolworths store opened in Wood Green in north London. It opened in the High Road in 1913. There’s not much information on the store from the early days, but in the 1950s Wood Green had 3 big department stores – Woolworths, BHS and Marks and Spencer (which opened in the late 1920s). I found this interesting extract about shopping in Wood Green in the 50s:
“One source of entertainment was the antics of the “spivs” who illegally sold things (possibly of doubtful origin) out of suitcases in front of the stores (Woolworths, BHS and M&S). They had a look-out hovering on the kerb who signalled the arrival of the patrolling policeman. The suitcases would then snapped shut and the spivs would quickly disappear into one of the stores only to re-appear again when the coast was clear. The day of reckoning came one day when the police came through the stores from the back entrances on Bury Road and several spivs were “nicked”.” Stephen Holliday
Source: Dowling M.
In the above photo you can see the Woolworths store just behind the bus in 1981. It was next to Marks and Spencer. The store had been extended sideways in 1973/4 so it went behind the other shops to the left and had a separate side entrance (around where Barclays Bank is today). On the reopening day of the new larger store, the pavement was packed with customers queueing to get in (Source: John, former employee)
There is no information on when the store closed. We do know that a new Woolworths opened in The Mall shopping centre – Store 1240 – which closed when Woolworths collapsed.
The building of Store 26 in more recent years was a Dorothy Perkins, which closed in 2016, and a bit of the frontage went to Sainsbury’s. The inside of Sainsbury’s is actually the old Woolworths – so it was quite a big store. The front of this building does look very 60s/70s, I would assume this happened when they did the big side extension in 1973/4.
Source: Google Street View
The Dorothy Perkins side became a Peacocks store. But now the store is vacant. Again.