Hartlepool – Store 322

Lynn Street, Hartlepool, Co. Durham

Woolowrths opened in Hartlepool on 7th July 1928. It was on Lynn and looks quite a large store from this photo.

Hartlepool Woolworths 1930s

Hartlepool Woolworths 1930s

Source: Facebook

Hartlepool Woolworths 1955

Hartlepool Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

Hartlepool Woolworths 1960s

Hartlepool Woolworths 1960s

Source: Hartlepool History Then and Now

Woolworths traded from Lynn Street for 40 years, until the building was to be demolished. Most of Lynn Street was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a new housing estate, with all the shops moving to the new shopping centre which opened in 1970.

Hartlepool Woolworths 1975 - Lynn Street demolition

Hartlepool Woolworths 1975 – Lynn Street demolition

Source: Facebook

94 The Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, Co. Durham TS24 7RN

Woolworths opened in the new Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, which was opened by Princess Anne on 27th May 1970 (pictured below). The shopping centre was open-air, with two floors and a spiral ramp in the centre to access the first floor. The store was a huge superstore over two floors, 3 entrances across the front and one on the left and right. It originally had 3 lifts and it had a Food Hall.

Hartlepool Woolworths 1970

Hartlepool Woolworths 1970

Source: Hartlepool History Then and Now

The Food Hall was removed in 1986, as it was in all Woolworths stores. In 1992 the shopping centre had a makeover with a roof installed so it was no longer open air. This was the time that Woolworths downsized. The released space is now occupied by Peacocks. Former store manager Carl Bartless started working here in 1992 as a Christmas temp, and was the manager when the store closed in December 2008. He has an amusing anecdote from 1993, when the store was in the local paper for a staff “baby boom”, as 9 of the team were all pregnant!

Have a look at the below photo and note the thick silver frame around the doors are the same in the 1970 photo – they lasted until the end!

Hartlepool Woolworths 2006

Hartlepool Woolworths 2006

Source: Facebook

Alex Wood has kindly shared his memories. “I spent a summer in 322 Hartlepool in about 2000-01 when Terry Jones was the store manager. He was my mentor when I was on the FTMS scheme. The upstairs was bigger than the shop floor from memory, with the old style Woolworths carpet through the main staff areas which had the red W logo on a striped background. You could tell how big the store one was from all the separate offices and the old manager dining rooms along the main corridor leading to the stockroom. The stockroom was enormous and reminded me of the scene out of Indiana Jones where the warehouse stretches into infinity!

I also recall the disused lift shaft. It started to give off an awful smell, and there seemed to be in influx of flies. It was only when someone went out onto the roof that it was found that the lift room door had been missing for some time and the pigeons had been using it as roosting space. Sadly, more than a few of them had passed away and fallen down into the shaft which was also full of stagnant water. They had to pump it out after the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre had closed due to the smell…”

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

Source: Hartlepool Mail

Hartlepool Woolworths closed after the chain went bust in December 2008.

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

The unit was empty for 2 and a half years, before finally being taken over by BHS. Of course we all now know that BHS also went bust. Today the unit is occupied by a brand new B&M store.

Hartlepool Former Woolworths

Hartlepool Former Woolworths

Source: Facebook

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One response

  1. Maurice White | Reply

    Back in the early 60’s the then Manager had an office with a Stable door entrance. The top was always bolted so that staff going into his office had to ‘bow’ on entering. Some ego or what !!!

    Liked by 1 person

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