Belfast – Store 59

11-15 High Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT1 2AJ

Woolworths opened their 59th store in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1915. It suffered serious damage in 1928 when the upper floor cafe caught fire. The building was rebuilt together with Burton’s store next door on a much grander scale – you can see below how they carried on trading in the old store with the building works around it.

Belfast Woolworths 1928

Belfast Woolworths 1928

Source: Historic England

Woolworths collaborated with Burton’s to erect a composite building with an Empire Stone facade, displaying both their names at the top. The architecture resembles Burton’s house style more than Woolworths. Woolworths’ L-shaped store wrapped around Burton’s corner site and had two entrances (1-15 High Street and 2-10 Cornmarket). Woolworths preferred mid-block positions sandwiched between other shops, whereas Burtons preferred corner sites – this made them ideal partners.

Belfast Woolworths 1928

Belfast Woolworths 1928

Source: Historic England

Belfast Woolworths 1930

Belfast Woolworths 1930

Source: Pinterest

In 1974 and 1976 the store was badly damaged by fire when devices exploded. Terrorist attacks were a problem for all Irish stores.

Belfast Woolworths 1978

Belfast Woolworths 1978

Here are some photos of the inside from 1978 – the bright red cash and wrap desk, and the furniture department below.

Belfast Woolworths 1978 (inside)

Belfast Woolworths 1978 (inside)

This furniture department is very similar to the one that cause the deadly fire at Manchester (Store 4).

Belfast Woolworths Furniture Department 1978

Belfast Woolworths Furniture Department 1978

Source: Historic England

Belfast Woolworths closed in 2003 after the landlord sold the building for redevelopment. 90 of the staff were transferred to other branches, but the majority were given redundancy packages.

Belfast Woolworths 1998

Belfast Woolworths 1998

Source: CAIN

The whole building was taken over by Dunnes, and here is how it looks today. You can still see ‘Burton’ in the stone at the top of the building.

Belfast Former Woolworths - Dunnes

Belfast Former Woolworths – Dunnes

Source: Bridge, A.

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One response

  1. […] Woolworths opened their second Belfast store, Store 99, at 59 North Street in 1921. The first store was on the High Street (Store 59). […]

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