Monthly Archives: August, 2018

St Helens – Store 142

59 – 69 Church Street, St Helens, Lancashire

In 1923 Woolworths opened in St Helens on Church Street. It started off as a small store.

St Helens Woolworths 1924

St Helens Woolworths 1924

Source: Historic England

In 1960 the store was extended and had a huge makeover. Below you will see photos of the store over the decades.

St Helens Woolworths 1960

St Helens Woolworths 1960

Source: St Helens Local History and Archives Library

St Helens Woolworths 1963

St Helens Woolworths 1963

St Helens Woolworths 1960s

St Helens Woolworths 1960s

 

St Helens Woolworths 1982

St Helens Woolworths 1982

Source: Flickr

The store closed in December 2008.

St Helens Woolworths 2009

St Helens Woolworths 2009

Source: Flickr

It became a Poundland but this since moved into the nearby shopping centre, so the building is currently empty.

St Helens Former Woolworths

St Helens Former Woolworths

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Ilkeston – Store 141

102 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 8HA

Woolworths opened in Ilkeston in 1923. In the 1930s the store had an update with an Art Deco facade added.

Ilkeston Woolworths 1965

Ilkeston Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

Ilkeston Woolworths 1999

Ilkeston Woolworths 1999

This Woolworths store was one of the few that kept it’s original 1930s features – the bronze window and door surrounds, the curved glass, the detailing above the door. Though the upper floor windows had been covered up.

Ilkeston Woolworths Doorway Detail 1999

Ilkeston Woolworths Doorway Detail 1999

Source: Historic England

Ilkeston Woolworths 2005

Ilkeston Woolworths 2005

Source: Ilkeston Town Walk

Ilkeston Woolworths 2007

Ilkeston Woolworths 2007

Source: Flickr

On the inside of the store, the floor had not been updated since the 1950s/60s.

Ilkeston Woolworths 2008 - the floor

Ilkeston Woolworths 2008 – the floor

Source: Flickr

After closure in December 2008, the building lay empty for many years. But recently The Project have restored the building, keeping the original Woolworths art deco detailing. This is a wonderful thing, and worth taking a visit to Ilkeston to see – you can even have a coffee there.

Ilkeston Former Woolworths - The Project

Ilkeston Former Woolworths – The Project

Source: The Project

Merthyr Tydfil – Store 140

44 – 45 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, Glam.

The 140th Woolworths store opened in Wales in 1923, in a town called Merthyr Tydfil.

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1930s

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1930s

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1951

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1951

Source: Francis Frith

In the 1970s the store had a makeover, with this recognisable style. The makeover probably coincided with the conversion to self-service.

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1970s

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1970s

Source: Alan George

The store closed in December 2008.

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 2008

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 2008

Source: WalesOnline

It became a B&M Bargains, but they then moved to a retail park – so this building is sadly empty again.

Merthry Tydfil Former Woolworths - B&M

Merthry Tydfil Former Woolworths – B&M

Source: Flickr

Weymouth – Store 139

10 – 14 St Mary Street, Weymouth, Dorset

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Weymouth in 1923. It was a premier 1920s store, finished in Portland stone. The ornate look of stores like this was nicknamed the “cinema front”.

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Source: Historic England

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1938 the store was extended with a grand Art Deco makeover, rivalling other stores for its sheer style. “It’s deeply channelled faience facings and stretched window bays were counter-cut by broad clusters of vertical fluting and topped by a gleaming green roof.” – Woolworth’s 100 years on the High Street, Morrison K.

Weymouth Woolworths 1938

Weymouth Woolworths 1938

Source: Historic England

Unfortunately the store had to be rebuilt in 1985, after water entered through cracks in the faience and rusted the steelwork. A bid to list the building was rejected, but had the building survived, it would have been regarded as an art deco classic. Today you will see a brick building in its place, where Dorothy Perkins/Burton is in this photo.

Weymouth Former Woolworths - Dorothy Perkins Burton

Weymouth Former Woolworths – Dorothy Perkins Burton

In 1999 Woolworths moved to  New Bond street with a new store number 1219.

Weymouth Woolworths 2000

Weymouth Woolworths 2000

Source: Wikimapia

This is the one that closed when the chain went bust in December 2008.

Weymouth Woolworths 2008

Weymouth Woolworths 2008

Source: Talbot C.

Today TK Maxx is in this building.

Weymouth Former Woolworths - TK Maxx

Weymouth Former Woolworths – TK Maxx

Source: Talbot C

Gillingham – Store 138

118 – 122 High Street, Gillingham, Kent

Woolworths opened in Gillingham in 1923, opening in the building of former furniture store Jermyn Smart & Smith.

Gillingham Woolworths 1923

Gillingham Woolworths 1923

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was next to the Congregational church and hall, which you can see on the left of this photo – you can recognise the style of the Woolworths store in the centre left.

Gillingham Woolworths 1930s

Gillingham Woolworths 1930s

Source: Gillingham & Around From Old Photographs, B Joyce, S Miller

In 1971 this Woolworths store had a major makeover with an industrial style facade made of reinforced plastic panels and yellow illuminated letters. You can see ‘Fresh Fruit’ and ‘Fresh Foods’ signs on the wall, making the store look like a supermarket.

Gillingham Woolworths 1970

Gillingham Woolworths 1970

Source: Historic England

The logo was updated in the 1990s, and the store looked like this until its closure in 2008.

Gillingham Woolworths 1999

Gillingham Woolworths 1999

Source: Flickr

Gillingham Woolworths 2008

Gillingham Woolworths 2008

Source: Robinson D

After Woolworths closed, it soon became a 99p store. This caused a lot of excitement as this photo shows people queuing on the opening day.

Gillingham Former Woolworths - 99p store 2009

Gillingham Former Woolworths – 99p store 2009

Source: Robinson D

The 99p stores were bought by Poundland.

Gillingham Former Woolworths - Poundland

Poundland have now taken the panels off, but the windows, doors and floor are as they were when this was a Woolworths.

Gillingham Former Woolworths - Poundland

Gillingham Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: Google Maps

Birmingham Aston – Store 137

95 Aston Road North, Birmingham B6 4DA

Woolworths opened a third Birmingham store on Aston Road North, on the corner of Burlington Street, in 1923. It was near the Aston Hippodrome. The other stores were Store 103 and Store 266.

Birmingam Aston Woolworths 1950s

Birmingam Aston Woolworths 1950s

There are not many photos of the store. The Aston Hippodrome closed in the 1980s and became ‘The Drum’. We can guess the Woolworths store closed in the 1980s. Today it looks like this:

Birmingham Aston Woolworths 1950s

Birmingham Aston Woolworths 1950s

Source: Birmingham Post

Lancaster – Store 136

3 – 7 Penny Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1UA

Woolworths opened in Lancaster in 1923. The building was purpose-built with an Art Deco facade (see below on the left).

Lancaster Woolworths 1954

Lancaster Woolworths 1954

Source: Francis Frith

The store closed (in the 1980s?) and eventually a newer store was opened on Market Street (Store 1178). Today the O2 shop and Topshop/Topman are at the Penny Street location, and you can still see the Art Deco facade above.

Lancaster Former Woolworths - O2 and Topshop

Lancaster Former Woolworths – O2 and Topshop

Source: Place North West

 

Swansea – Store 135

242-246 Oxford Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 3BA

Woolworths must have done well in Swansea, as 11 years after opening their first store on the high street (Store 14), a second store was opened on nearby Oxford Street in 1923.

Swansea Woolworths 2008

I actually can’t find any information at all about this particular store, or how it looked between 1923 and 2008. But the style of this building does look 1960s/70s. Today Poundland is at this location.

Swansea Poundland 2017

If you have any old photos of the Swansea Oxford Street store that you don’t mind sharing, do let me know in the comments.

Great Yarmouth – Store 134

114 Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2AB

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Great Yarmouth in 1923 on Regent Road. It was located opposite the Regal Cinema, and it had the Luciana Billiards Hall on the upper floor.

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 1955

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 1956

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 1956

Source: Our Great Yarmouth

Woolworths moved from this site in 1959 to bigger premises on Market Place, and today you will find KFC and McDonalds in the old Regent Road building. If you look above, you will see the original architecture, and it looks like Lloyds Pharmacy is where the entrance to the billiards hall would have been.

 

Great Yarmouth Former Woolworths - KFC

Great Yarmouth Former Woolworths – KFC

Great Yarmouth Former Woolworths - McDonalds

Great Yarmouth Former Woolworths – McDonalds

23 – 24 Market Place, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 1LZ

In 1959 Woolworths moved to this purpose-built building, with its recognisable 50s style and pale blue panels. Here are some photos from across the decades.

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 1970s

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 1970s

Source: Historic England

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 2000

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 2000

Source: Historic England

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 2008

Great Yarmouth Woolworths 2008

Source: Evans K.

The store closed in January 2009, and today you will find Poundland located here.

Great Yarmouth Former Woolworths - Poundland

Great Yarmouth Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: Ballysundriven

Herne Bay – Store 133

155 – 157 Mortimer Street, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5HD

Woolworths opened in the Kent seaside town of Herne Bay in 1923. I can’t really find much information on the history of the store so I’m afraid this is going to be a short post. It is an interesting looking building, not a typical Woolies one. I would say this was not purpose-built for the store – though I could be wrong.

Herne Bay Woolworths 2007

Herne Bay Woolworths 2007

Source: Warrick M.

Today you will find Iceland in its place.

Herne Bay Former Woolworths - Iceland

Herne Bay Former Woolworths – Iceland

Source: Ballysundriven

Halifax – Store 132

9 King Edward Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 1PB

Woolworths opened in Halifax in 1923. It strangely did not have an upper floor, so there was just a small art deco design above the fascia.

Halifax Woolworths 1920s

Halifax Woolworths 1920s

Source: Historic England

In 1983 the east side of Market Street and Woolshops Shopping Centre was redeveloped. Woolworths and the neighbouring stores had a makeover harking back to the Victorian era with a wrought-iron entrance portico, arching light fittings and hanging signs in the style of a traditional arcade. Woolworths put in their red and gold fascia in the 80s, but more recently had the more familiar red and white, quite large too.

The store traded here until closure in December 2008.

Halifax Woolworths 2008

Halifax Woolworths 2008

Source: Flickr

The store briefly became Waremart but they also went bust. Today you will find Poundland in this location.

Halifax Former Woolworths - Poundland

Halifax Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: Flickr

Harrogate – Store 131

26 – 28 Cambridge Street, Harrogate, Yorkshire HG1 1RY

Woolworths opened in Harrogate in 1923. It had a corner location on Cambridge Street. They kept the structure of the previous shop, but put a grey facade up, perhaps it was cream coloured when it first went up.

Harrogate Woolworths 1965

Harrogate Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

Harrogate Woolworths 2000

Harrogate Woolworths 2000

Source: Historic England

The store was one of the last to close in the December 2008 closures.

Harrogate Woolworths 2008

Harrogate Woolworths 2008

Boots moved from across the road to occupy the building, and you can still see the Woolies architecture above.

Harrogate Former Woolworths - Boots

Harrogate Former Woolworths – Boots

Pontypool – Store 130

Crown Buildings, George Street, Gwent NP4 6YP

We are back in Wales with the 130th Woolworths store, that opened in Pontypool in 1923.

This photo shows the store in 1937, with a number of its staff outside celebrating the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The staff look so proud and happy, almost like cheerleaders.

Pontypool Woolworths 1937

Pontypool Woolworths 1937

Source: Freepresseries

The building does not look purpose-built, and the store was next door to the shoe shop Stead & Simpson.

Pontypool Woolworths 1940s

Pontypool Woolworths 1940s

Source: Pontypool Museum

Pontypool Woolworths 1950s

Pontypool Woolworths 1950s

Source: Pontypool Museum

“The staff of Woolworth Pontypool in Wales show off their spectacular display of dolls, nursery teaware and Easter Bunnies in 1951” Woolworths Museum

Pontypool Woolworths 1951

Pontypool Woolworths 1951

At some point the store was extended into the Stead & Simpson unit.

Pontypool Woolworths 2000s

Pontypool Woolworths 2000s

Source: Facebook

Pontypool Woolworths 2009 (after closure)

Pontypool Woolworths 2009 (after closure)

Source: Ballysundriven

And today it is Iceland.

Pontypool Former Woolworths - Iceland

Pontypool Former Woolworths – Iceland

Source: Jaggery

Leyton – Store 129 / 2024

612-614a Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7DL

One of the early London stores, this one opened in 1923 in the Bakers Arms district on Lea Bridge Road, with a striking Art Deco facade. It was an L-Shaped store with the main entrance on Lea Bridge Road, and a smaller side entrance on the High Road.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - front

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – front

In these photos taken in 1939, the windows had been neatly taped up for safety, to prepare for the war. As a result, both frontages stayed intact during the blitz.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - High Road side

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – High Road side

Somewhere along the line you can see the Woolworth fascia got a sixties makeover, just looking at the typeface used.

Leyton Woolworths 1967 - 1975

Leyton Woolworths 1967 – 1975

Above three photos – source: Historic England

In the 2000s, this was one of the stores chosen to be a general store, and had it’s store number renamed from 129 to 2024.

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Source: Lock, D.

Then it was tranformed back to a normal Woolworths until its closure in December 2008.

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Source: Flickr

Today the main part of the building is an Iceland, and it is pleasing to see the Art Deco facade remains.

Leyton Iceland Former Woolworths 2017

Leyton Iceland – Former Woolworths – 2017

Source: London Postcode Walks

The High Road side entrance is now a Greggs.

Leyton Greggs - High Road - former Woolworths

Leyton Greggs – High Road – former Woolworths

Source: All in London

Southampton – Store 128

64/66 Above Bar Street, Southampton SO9 5UD

Woolworths opened a branch on Above Bar Street on 7th February 1923, alongside the original Southampton Woolies on East Street (Store 24) which opened in 1913. This newer one was a larger store.

Southampton Woolworths 1930s

Southampton Woolworths 1930s

Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/images/0128Southampton-1930s.jpg

Former resident Margaret House remembers this store, “From memory, the original Woolies there was a long narrow shop, one storey, with a sloping floor. Had a cafe area at the far end of the shop where Mum would treat me to a Horlicks drink. That would have been late 40s early fifties.” Source: Southampton Memories: People and Places Facebook Group

Unfortunately this building got destroyed in the Blitz and had to be rebuilt. “The branch had re-opened in stages from 1949 until 1954. The final wave saw the opening of an upper salesfloor, with a customer restaurant and a large new clothing department. Garments were displayed hanging on the walls. The shopfit included new spotlighting to give extra prominence to the feature. For the first time customers were invited to select for themselves from the displays rather than asking an assistant for help. The product selection included a number of garments costing between twenty and forty shillings (£1 to £2).”
Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/1950s-i-fasion.htm

Below shows how the new building looked:

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

 Source: http://www.facebook.com/SouthamptonMemories

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

Source: Southampton Heritage Photos Facebook Group

Ex-Woolworths employee Ganesh Jillah who worked at Southampton from 1997-1999 says, “I remember when Titanic was released on video in October ’98. We were all working a late shift, and we had on Titanic t-shirts. The store was open as a special event from 9pm ’til 11pm on the Sunday, or maybe it was 8 ’til 12. There was a big queue of people outside the store all along the street! We had an orchestra playing like they had in the Titanic.” I asked him why Southampton in particular. He said it was because the Titanic had sailed from Southampton.

Woolworths Titanic Poster - Southampton

Titanic Poster – Southampton Woolworths

 

Southampton Woolworths 2006

Southampton Woolworths 2006

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/_moonpie/230871673

Southampton Woolworths 2007

Southampton Woolworths 2007

Source: http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/heritage/hampshireheritage

The store closed in September 2007 to the shock of many locals and employees, after the landlord offered them loads of money to end the lease 10 years early. TK Maxx and the Card Factory took it’s place. The canopies have gone but you can still see the same windows from the 1960s photo.

Southampton TK Maxx 2014

Southampton TK Maxx 2014

Source: www.192.com

Woolworths bosses then decided to open a new store in nearby Bitterne, in October 2008 (even though there was already a closed store in this area – store 1005, 401/403 Bitterne Road). Well this new one ended up being the last new store to be opened before the chain collapsed.

East Ham – Store 127

72/76 High Street North, East Ham London E6 2JL

Originally Woolworths opened in East Ham in the 1920s at 193 High Street. It can be seen in this photo opposite the Palace Theatre.

East Ham Woolworths 1937

East Ham Woolworths 1937

Source: The Newham Story Forums

East Ham was bombed severely in WW2, and the Woolworths was flattened on September 7th 1940 (Source: The First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940, by Peter Stansky)

The store was rebuilt at 72-26 High Street North on the corner of Skeffington Road, and this is what it looked like.

East Ham Woolworths 2008

East Ham Woolworths 2008

Source: bowroaduk, Flickr

This was my friend Ruksana’s local store from her childhood. She remembers it being a long store and her mum always buying her kitchenware from here, in particular Tefal. The store closed on 30th December 2008.

Shortly after it closed, Poundland took over the premises. This was one of 4 Poundlands that cut their prices to 97p in 2013 to undercut the many poundshops on the High Street! Today it is back to £1, as I popped in there to buy some chocolates. It definitely still has a Woolworths feel to it.

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland 2014

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

The original Woolworths which was at 193 High Street opposite East Ham station and the Palace (which became C&A, today a Lidl) is now Sports Direct.

20141228_131806

East Ham Sports Direct

 

 

 

Palmer’s Green – Store 126 / 2000

240 – 244 Green Lanes, Palmer’s Green, London N13 5TU

Woolworths opened in Green Lanes in Palmer’s Green, North London, in 1922. Green Lanes is an ancient route running from Stoke Newington to Enfield, running through quite a few North London neighbourhoods, each with their own shopping area. It was a good choice to put a Woolworths store here.

In the February 2000, Palmer’s Green became a pilot ‘General Store’ and was renumbered ‘2000’.

Palmers Green Woolworths 2008

Palmers Green Woolworths 2008

Source: Flickr

The ‘General Stores’ concept had actually been developed 15 years earlier, in 1985. It came alive in the year 2000, with the conversion of a few Woolworths stores to become convenience stores, selling food, health and beauty, having a pharmacy as well as photo processing, faxing and photocopying services.

I actually visited this store – I was at university and living in a student house in the area, and I remember walking into the store and feeling very disappointed. This was not a Woolworths!! Gone were the departments you would expect in a Woolworths, and instead were these tiny offerings. A bit of food, a bit of makeup. It looked very sparse.

The trial was called off in July 2002, as ‘at the end of the day, customers do not want to buy food from Woolworths’. All 22 general stores went back to being traditional Woolworths, but they did not bother to change the fascias back.

This Woolworths closed down for good in December 2008, and today it is an Iceland.

Palmers Green Former Woolworths - Iceland

Palmers Green Former Woolworths – Iceland

 

 

Gloucester – Store 125

32-34 Westgate St, Gloucester GL1 2NG

The 125th Woolworths store opened in the city centre of Gloucester in 1922. It opened on the site of the Palace Theatre on Westgate Street, which was demolished to create the store (on the middle right of this photo, next to Godsell & Sons).

Gloucester Woolworths 1923

Gloucester Woolworths 1923

Source: Francis Frith

And though it was purpose-built, I don’t quite know why they put a curved feature on the right of the store. Indeed in this below pre-Woolworths photo, you can see the building next to Godsell & Sons does look completely different, so it was demolished. Perhaps it was insisted on by the council, as Gloucester does have a certain historic look to it, that Art Deco styling was not permitted.

Gloucester Palace Theatre 1897

They traded from here until 1970. Brinkhorns then took over the building, and today it was, until just this December 2017, a Poundstretcher shop. But now this store has also closed down.

So if are ever on Westgate Street in Gloucester, do take a moment to look up at this building and the mystery curved feature on the right. Maybe you’ll want to buy it too, as the building is now for sale!

Gloucester Former Woolworths - Poundstretcher

Gloucester Former Woolworths – Poundstretcher

Source: John D. Wood

“32-34 Westgate Street is located in the pedestrianised section of Westgate Street, approximately 150 metres from The Cross, with the Cathedral directly to and visible from the rear of the property.

The property comprises a mid-terrace five storey building of brickwork elevations under a mix of pitched and flat roofs.

Internally, the premises comprise retail space to the ground and first floors with ancillary accommodation to the basement, second and third floors, which is capable of being divided to provide accommodation suitable for a variety of uses along with residential accommodation to the upper floors, subject to obtaining the necessary planning consent(s).

The upper floors and basement are accessible from a separate front access which leads to a stairwell to the rear of the building which accesses all floors. The ground floor retail space also has access to the rear stairwell, and a single staircase also links the ground and first floors directly.”

Extract from John Ryde Commercial

A second store opened in Gloucester in 1954 on Eastgate Street – Store 837, which will be covered in a separate blog post in the future.

 

Dunfermline – Store 124

52 – 58 High Street, Dunfermline, Fife

We’re in Scotland again! Store 124 was on the medieval High Street of Dunfermline, Fife, and it opened in 1922.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1922

Dunfermline Woolworths 1922

Source: Dunfermline Through Time – Simpson E., Robertson G.

In the 1939 they moved across the road and built a new store with an Art Deco facade, contrasting with the French Gothic neighbouring buildings.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1939

Dunfermline Woolworths 1939

Source: Postcard on Ebay

The store was the one that drew the crowds on this High Street.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1950s

Dunfermline Woolworths 1950s

Source: Flickr

This Woolworths closed in 1984, and today it is a Poundstretcher. And if you are ever shopping on Dunfermline High Street, do take a look above Poundstretcher. Though it looks like the windows have been covered up, you can still see the remains of the Woolworths Art Deco facade.

Dunfermline Former Woolworths - Poundstretcher

Dunfermline Former Woolworths – Poundstretcher

Source: Acuitus

Coventry – Store 123

Smithford Street, Coventry, Warwickshire

Woolworths opened in Coventry on 25th November 1922, on the main shopping area of Smithford Street. A building with an Art Deco facade was erected (see on the left in this photo).

Coventry Woolworths 1920s

Coventry Woolworths 1920s

The store was enlarge in 1931 (middle right of this photo).

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Coventry Woolworths 1930s

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Source: Historic England

There was a further enlargement in 1938, but some after there was an IRA attack in 1939 with minor damage. Then in 1940 the store was destroyed completely along with most of Smithford Street when bombs dropping during WW2.

A new shopping area had to be built over the old Smithford Street. This happened in the 1950s.

The Precinct, Coventry, Warwickshire CV1 1DT

A building called ‘The Precinct’ was built, and Woolworths occupied most of the building from Coventry Point to the Lower Precinct. The main entrance facing onto the Lower Precinct (pictured below). The photo does show it being called ‘The Woolworth Building’.  It was a massive superstore, with the ground floor being the length of the building, plus a basement floor and a gallery cafeteria at one end.

Coventry Woolworths 1953

Coventry Woolworths 1953

Source: Historic England

Coventry Woolworths 1961

Coventry Woolworths 1961

Source: Getty Images

Coventry Woolworths 1970s

Coventry Woolworths 1970s

Source: Coventry Telegraph

In the 1980s, the store suffered a downturn in trade and reduced its occupancy of the building to the market end basement, ground floor and gallery cafeteria.  The address was updated from ‘The Precinct’ to ’10-12 Market Way’ on the store list.

More recently it reduced space further by closing the basement.

Coventry Woolworths 2008

Coventry Woolworths 2008

Source: Gammie E.

The store closed in December 2008, and now Poundland occupies that unit.

Coventry Former Woolworths - Poundland

Coventry Former Woolworths – Poundland

As for how the whole ‘Lower Precinct’ building looks now, it actually looks the same as the 1953 photos, even the random balcony is still there. Trees have grown, there is now a roof shelter and a water fountain, plus the road has been pedestrianised. Boots is where the original 1950s Woolworth store was, and Sport Direct occupies the other half of it.

Coventry Former Woolworths - Boots

Coventry Former Woolworths – Boots

Source: Flickr