21 Burlington Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Woolworths opened in Chesterfield on 28th September 1929. It was in a purpose-built store, built on the site of the Picture Palace Cinema. There was a wide staircase to a lower floor with a brass handrail, and in the far corner of the lower floor was a cafe. In the early 1970s, an extension to the store was built to the right, as can be seen in this photo.
The stockroom in this Woolworths was reportedly haunted, with several staff members saying they “heard the sound of crying and screaming and smelt smoke. There was one particular room which staff refused to visit to fetch stock unless they were in pairs, as they found the room to be so cold and eerie. In 1975, workmen’s tools were mysteriously scattered all over the cellar floor and a single footprint was left in the newly laid concrete there.” (Hauntings W) In December 1911, five children tragically died in a fire at the Picture Palace cinema, which is where this Woolworths was built – the stockroom being where the dressing rooms would have been.
In 1976 the original Woolworths was demolished, and a new larger store was built.
This was how the back of the store looked.
In 1999 this Woolworths closed, and a new store opened on Vicar Lane (Store 1212) which I will cover in a separate post. This is a photo of Store 358 before it closed in 1999.
Source: Picture The Past
Today a vacant ex-Burger King restaurant is where the original Woolworths used to be – you can see the building next door to the left is the same in all the photos.