20 – 22 Pride Hill, Shrewbury, Shropshire
Woolworths opened in Shrewbury in 1928. It was originally at 20 – 22 Pride Hill, taking over the premises of Bagnell and Blower grocers and Stewart Bros merchants. See the below photo, you can see it in the centre on the right. They traded here until 1963.
Source: Francis Frith
In 1960 Woolworths wanted to expand in the town, so they bought the Raven hotel, which was a popular hotel. But it was approved by the council to demolish the hotel and construct two superstores side by side – Littlewoods and Woolworths. The address of the new Woolworths was 11 Castle Street.
11 Castle Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 2BE
The new superstore opened on 30th October 1964, to coincide with the start of the Christmas season. It was the first store in town to install an escalator that was able to move 7000 customers an hour between the two floors.
It was a busy and popular store.
Source: Woolworths Museum
Shrewsbury store was the first to test out a new typeface for the Woolworths fascia in 1965 (see below photo). The lettering was named after the store and rolled out to other branches.
“In 1965 the sans serif lettering was superseded by blocky Egyptian lettering, called ‘Shrewsbury’ lettering, which could be red or yellow and often assumed a gigantic scale. From summer 1968 the full name of the company was dropped from new fascias and replaced with ‘WOOLWORTH’.” [Extract from Building our Past]
In May 1987, the store was renumbered to 1143 when it was extended, with the rear being incorporated into the new Darwin Shopping Centre. To celebrate the extension, Woolworths revamped their shopfront – which got them into trouble with planners.[Extract from Now That’s What I Call Shrewsbury – Trumper D.]
Looking at the photo below, I am guessing the doors and entrances were changed to wooden ones as part of the revamp.
21 years later, the store closed down for good on 3rd January 2008.
Today H&M is in the old Woolworths store on Castle Street. And the original store on Pride Hill was demolished (perhaps payback for demolishing the Raven Hotel). The entrance to the Darwin shopping centre and The Body Shop have replaced the original Woolworths store.