26-28 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1AX
Woolworths opened in Saffron Walden on the 29th June 1934, on the site of J. Wright’s garage. According to “Woolworth’s 100 Years on the High Street” by K. Morrison, it was purpose-built in a Georgian style. Which leads me to believe that Store 547 Forest Hill from yesterday’s post was also purpose-built, as it has the same look. This was probably to suit the historic high street, with two-tone brickwork and sash windows, rather than the usual art deco look.
Amazingly, Saffron Walden Woolworths kept its original 1930s features including the fascia as late as in the 1980s. Have a look at this photo. Now think of all the black-and-white photos throughout this whole blog and imagine them in colour. Woolworths would have really brightened up every town with that red fascia.
Source: Building our Past
The fascia was eventually updated to the one with the more recognisable logo, but the 1930s original shopfront still remained as you can see from the windows. The doors were post-war though.
Source: Evans, K.
Inside the store, the original tin (Steleonite) ceiling were still in use – see below photo.
Before the war, most Woolworth’s stores were fitted with tin (actually pressed steel) ceilings, stamped with the ‘Plastele’ pattern.[Extract from Heritage Calling]
Source: Heritage Calling
Source: Saffron Walden Reporter
The store closed in January 2009. It became a branch of QD, and the original Woolworths features still remain – painted a bright shade of red.