Category Archives: * A-E

Caledonian Road – Store 892

259a Caledonian Road, London N1 1EE

Another short post for you, this store opened in 1955. Very similar in style to the Shoreditch store that opened 2 years later. Today it is an Iceland store.

Caledonian Road Iceland 2017 Former Woolworths

Caledonian Road Iceland 2017 – Former Woolworths

Source: LDS

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Bournemouth – Store 54

18/20 Commercial Road, The Square, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5LZ

Six years after the first Woolworths opened in the UK in 1909, the fifty-fourth store was opened at 18 Commercial Road, The Square, Bournemouth in 1915.

Original 10" x 7" photograph from 1931. On the left is Montague Burton, Ltd (Burton Tailoring) at number 16. On the right is The British Shoe Co., Ltd., at number 22.

Bournemouth Woolworths 1931

Source: Ladell, A.

The store was extended to include 20 Commercial Road (previously Bon Marche, drapers and milliners) in 1931 with an impressive Art Deco “cinema frontage”.

Bournemouth Woolworths 1931

Bournemouth Woolworths 1935

Source: Ladell, A.

Alas, this was destroyed by enemy action on 10th April, 1941, when a single oil bomb (incendiary bomb) gutted the building in the same raid that destroyed the new Art Deco Beale’s store. The site remained a gap for more than a decade before being reconstructed and reskinned in Portland stone in the 1950s.

18-20. One of the early buildings here was Waterloo House that underwent a bit of a facelift to become Woolworths in 1915. Rebuilt around 1930, the premises were severely damaged during an air raid in WW2 with these replacement premises opening in the 1950s. This branch of Woolworths closed in 1983 and became a branch of Boots.

Woolworths Bournemouth 1961

Source: Bournemouth Grant

It was a huge Woolworths store, with two staircases at the end, with a photo booth at the bottom. On the top floor was a cafe bar.

Bournemouth Woolworths 1964

Bournemouth Woolworths 1964

Source: Bournemouth Grant

bournemouth-woolworths-1976

Bournemouth Woolworths 1976

Source: Bournemouth Echo

In 1983 this store was sold to Boots (which relocated from Old Christchurch Road/Post Office Road) as part of Kingfisher’s asset disposals. It is still a Boots store today.

Boots Bournemouth 2008

Boots Bournemouth 2008

Source: Grant

Boots Bournemouth 2012

Boots Bournemouth 2012

Source: Ladell, A.

Crawley – Store 768

6 Grand Parade, High Street, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1BU

Woolworths opened on the High Street in Crawley on 26th July 1940. It was the last store in the chain to open for another 6 years, due to World War 2. Below you can see it’s the building with the awning and a car parked in front of it. The Woolworth architects had designed an upper balcony and a small turret on the roof.

Crawley Woolworths 1940s

Crawley Woolworths 1940s

Source: Grandma P’s Ramblings

This store closed in 1957 when they moved to the ‘new town’. The building was subsequently occupied by a Halifax branch, and today it is a Wetherspoons pub – The Jubilee Oak. The building has not changed at all.

Crawley Jubilee Oak

The Jubilee Oak – Crawley (former Woolworths)

Source: Tripadvisor

17-19 Queens Square, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1EA

In the 1950s, Crawley was designated as a ‘new town’ by the government due to it’s rapidly expanding population. Woolworths moved from it’s small High St store to Queens Square where it opened as the largest self-service store of the 1950s.

Crawley Woolworths 1957

Crawleys Woolworths 1957

Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Here is an extract from the Woolworths Museum:

“In 1957 Woolworth bosses went a step further, opening a much larger self-service store in Crawley New Town. A small store in the High Street was replaced by a much larger branch in nearby Queen’s Square. Executives hoped that a halo effect from the marketing of the new town, which portrayed it as ultra-modern, would help to break down customer resistance to the new format. The store layout included a number of new display ideas, with fully redesigned fixtures and fittings. For the first time gondola islands were used, with shelving from top to bottom, without understocks cupboards at the base. This style of shelving remains the standard for most retailers in the twenty-first century. At the time it was a first and proved quite controversial. Some customers complained that they had to stoop to pick up items on the bottom two shelves, while company bosses worried that the stock cost to fill the Crawley store was almost double the level of a comparable personal-service store. Despite the reservations of some older customers, the overall feedback from the Crawley shoppers was positive. Most liked the layout and thought the store was very up-to-date.”
Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Now here’s something random. You can buy a 252 piece jigsaw puzzle of the Crawley Woolworths 1950s store front from Amazon here. Shipped from America. Weird!

Crawley Woolworths 1950s

Crawley Woolworths 1950s

Here you can see it in 1971, looking a bit shabby after 14 years.

Crawley Woolworths 1971

Crawley Woolworths 1971

Source: Flickr, JR James Archive

Another random fact, Chico did an instore signing of his single D.I.S.C.O in Crawley Woolworths in August 2006.

Here is the store in 2008, before it closed later that year.

Crawley Woolworths 2008

Crawley Woolworths 2008

Source: CrawleyTV

Today the building is occupied by Poundland. It was planned to demolish the building in 2013 as part of the Queens Square regeneration, but it is staying put and the actual square is being renovated now.

Crawley Poundland 2012

Crawley Poundland 2012

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

Bognor Regis – Store 344

18-20 London Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO21 1QA

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Bognor Regis in 1928. I have found an undated postcard below of London Road and it looks as though the tall building in the centre, left side, is the F.W.Woolworth store.

Bognor Regis Woolworths London Road

Bognor Regis Woolworths London Road – Undated

Source: Gravelroots

The store had a 1950s makeover, but then in 1974 the store was set on fire when there was an IRA bomb. Woolworths would not be beaten and just 65 hours later the store reopened.

Bognor Regis Woolworths 1974 fire

Bognor Regis Woolworths 1974 fire

Source: Bognor Regis Museum

There’s not much info on the store, apart from its closure in December 2008.

Bognor Regis Woolworths 2009

Bognor Regis Woolworths 2009

Source: Flickr, Mark

Wilkos now occupy the building, and you can clearly recognise it as the upper facade is exactly the same – a bit of Woolies architecture still on the London Road.

Wilko Bognor Regis 2010

Wilko Bognor Regis 2010

Source: Flickr, ballysundriven

Exeter – Store 151

190/191 High Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX

Woolworths first opened in Exeter on 1st December 1923 on Fore Street, in former tobacconist building H C Lloyd & Son Ltd.

In 1934 they moved on to the High Street, purchasing 190 and 191, which were Garton & King and Pinder & Tuckwell. The two buildings were put together with an impressive Monks Park Stonework facade, installed by the Bath and Portland Stone Firms Ltd, which you can see below.

Exeter Woolworths 1930s

Exeter Woolworths 1930s

Source: Exeter Memories

In 1976 they moved out of this building into the then new shopping centre. Today this building is occupied by McDonalds and MenKind.

Exeter McDonalds Menkind 2013

Exeter McDonalds Menkind 2013

Source: Exeter Express and Echo

Unit 100, Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX

The new Guildhall Shopping Centre was built in the 1970s, and Woolworths moved into a 2-storey unit in 1976. Their site was on the North Street side, with entrances on Waterbeer Street and Trickhay Street. There was a cafe on the top floor, with a third entrance/exit which led to the first floor of the shopping centre.

Exeter Woolworths 2008

Exeter Woolworths 2008

Source: Exeter Memories

The store closed in December 2008. Soon afterwards, Wilko took over the building, where it is still trading today. This is a view from inside the shopping centre.

Exeter Wilko 2015

Exeter Wilko 2015

Source: 192.com

 

Chelmsford – Store 355

40/41 High Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1DF

Woolworths opened in the Essex town of Chelmsford in 1929. In the late 20s when Woolworths was rapidly expanding, the chain had started to take over old hotels. In Chelmsford they took over the site of the King’s Head Hotel, a building which had been in the High Street since the 15th Century. The building was demolished and the standard single storey Woolworths store was built in its place.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Source: Essex Record Office

Chelmsford residents fully embraced the new large store, believing the building improved the overall look of the High Street. You can see it below on the right of the photo, which shows the High Street junction with Springfield Road.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s-2

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Source: Essex Record Office

During the World War II, the store was hit. Wooden counters caught fire, but luckily there were staff inside to put the flames out, and the store reopened soon after.

In the 1960s, the store expanded, having obtained 6 units on Springfield Road, so that it became a large L-shaped corner store.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1982/3

Chelmsford Woolworths 1982/3

Source: Flickr, Sarah

Chelmsford Woolworths 1985

Chelmsford Woolworths 1985

Source: Flickr, Sarah

In 1987, there was a conversion to a Focus store and the more familiar fascia we all remember.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1996

Chelmsford Woolworths 1996

Source: Flickr, Sarah

Chelmsford Woolworths closed on Friday 2nd January 2009.

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008

(From my Facebook group)

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008Chelmsford Woolworths 2008 (Springfield Road)

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008 (Springfield Road)

Source: Flickr, Mathews T.

In 2010 Barclays Bank moved to the High Street side. The Entertainer and Lakeland moved into the Springfield Road side.

Chelmsford Barclays 2015

Barclays Bank 2015

Chelmsford Entertainer 2015

Chelmsford Entertainer 2015

Chelmsford Lakeland 2015

Chelmsford Lakeland 2015

Sources: 192.com

Erdington – Store 389

153-157 High Street, Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands B23 6TP

Woolworths opened in the Birmingham suburb of Erdington on the 8th November 1930. The store was on a corner plot on the High Street and on Barnabas Road. It was extended 5 years later in 1935. Below is a photo from 1950. The ground level was the sales floor with wooden flooring, and upstairs was the cafe.

Erdington Woolworths 1950s

Erdington Woolworths 1950s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1956 the store was extended again, with further expansion in 1968. Below is a view from 1960, looking across the High Street to the corner of Barnabas Road.

Erdington Woolworths 1960s

Erdington Woolworths 1960s

Source: Aston & Erdington Past & Present FB Group

Erdington Woolworths 1963

Erdington Woolworths 1963

Source: Aston & Erdington Past & Present FB Group

In 1982 the store was fully refurbished with a large food department, but then 4 years later food was withdrawn. There was another refurbishment in 1993, and in the 2000s it became a 10/10 store.

I asked local girl Christine Kapak what her favourite memories were from Erdington Woolies, and she said “CDs man, CDs…” – I’m sure we all remember buying our teenage music from Woolworths. Here is a photo a month before it sadly closed in January 2009.

Erdington Woolworths 2008

Erdington Woolworths 2008

Source: Hughes R

Today the building is occupied by a rather brash B&M Bargains, but you can still recognise the architecture above as a Woolies store. In fact it looks as though they have kept the Woolies doors and windows too, just putting a new B&M fascia on the front.

Erdington B&M Bargains 2012

Erdington B&M Bargains 2012

Source: ballysundriven

Aberdare – Store 75

4-5 Commercial Street, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan CF44 7RN

Woolworths opened in Aberdare in 1919. This store was the third one to open in Wales. In the below photo from 1965, you can see the store on the left.

Aberdare Woolworths 1965

Aberdare Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

Shortly after they changed to fascia to the new 1970s style.

Aberdare Woolworths 1970s

Aberdare Woolworths 1970s

Source: Media Wales Photos

Aberdare Woolworths 1990s

Aberdare Woolworths 1990s

Source: Flickr

This photo was taken 5 days before it closed in December 2008.

Aberdare Woolworths 2008

Aberdare Woolworths 2008

Source: alamy.com

The building didn’t stay empty for long and was soon taken over by B&M Bargains.

Aberdare B&M Bargains 2014

Aberdare B&M Bargains 2014

Source: geolocation

Chatham – Store 17

184/190 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4AX

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened on Chatham High Street in 1913. There aren’t any photos of the original store, and sadly it was one of 26 Woolworths stores that got completely destroyed in World War II.

1n 1948 rebuilding work began, and Chatham got the iconic cinema-style look for their store, as seen below:

Chatham Woolworths 1948

Chatham Woolworths 1948

Source: Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre

Move forward to 2008, and you can see the building itself had not changed at all. (Photo from my facebook group)

Chatham Woolworths 2008

Chatham Woolworths 2008

The store closed down in December 2008. Today the building houses one half of the mega-Primark in Chatham (the other half is in the old BHS building. A cafe splits the two, but they are linked at the rear.) If you’re ever shopping in Chatham, look up and you’ll see a bit of Woolies history there.

Chatham Primark 2015

Chatham Primark 2015

Source: Cradick.co.uk

Weston-super-Mare – Store 81

64 High Street, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset BS23 1HX

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare very early on, in 1919. You can see the building before it was a Woolworths in the below photo – in the centre with the roof windows.

Weston-Super-Mare High Street 1901

Weston-super-Mare High Street 1901

Source: Past and Present Publications

Here is a photo of the Woolworths store when it was trading. You can see they did not change the building at all, apart from removing the roof windows. Quite interesting, perhaps they were not allowed to demolish and build in their own style, as they had in other towns. It is a beautiful building, so I’d say this was a good thing. Bhs next door had demolished their building, replacing it with a rather 50s looking building.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2008

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2008

(Photo from my Facebook group)

The store closed for good on 30th December 2008.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Source: White R., Flickr

The following year, Poundland opened, and here it is from when I visited the busy high street this week.

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Bexleyheath – Store 390 / 1226

93/105 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7JN

Woolworths originally opened in Bexleyheath at 93 The Broadway in 1930. This is a photo of the Broadway in 1935, the Woolworth store is possibly one of these buildings.

Bexleyheath Broadway 1935

Bexleyheath Broadway 1935

Source: Idealhomes.org.uk

In 1984 the Broadway Shopping Centre was built. The whole parade of shops on the Broadway was demolished and Woolworths moved into the centre, with a very large store with an entrance facing the Broadway at no. 77 (which is Argos today) and an entrance facing the inside of the shopping centre.

Argos Bexleyheath 2014

Argos Bexleyheath 2014 (was Woolworths)

Source: Local Data Company

1n 1990 the store was cut in half.  The half they gave up was split into 3 units – one became Miss Selfridge, then HMV and then Select, the second unit became Superdrug, and the third became Argos. Woolworths traded as a smaller store from the other half.

In 2000 Woolworths relocated across the shopping centre into the old Safeway unit, which was funnily enough back at 93 The Broadway. It had a new store number – 1226.

Woolworths Bexleyheath 2008

Woolworths Bexleyheath 2008

Source: Chase, J., Museum of London

The store traded from here until it closed for good in 2008.

Bexleyheath Woolworths 2009

Bexleyheath Woolworths 2009

Source: Flickr

Now the building is occupied by New Look inside the shopping centre and H&M from the Broadway side.

H&M Bexleyheath 2014

H&M Bexleyheath 2014

Source: Flickr

 

Croydon – Store 12

60/68 North End, Croydon CR9 1SL

The Croydon store was the 12th Woolworths store to open in the UK and the 4th London store. It was opened by Frank Woolworth himself on 4th May 1912 on North End, right at the heart of the town. He had visited and shortlisted Croydon earlier, noting that the South East London location was “fine, progressive and bustling”.

Croydon Woolworths 1912

Croydon Woolworths 1912

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store shared its premises with the local cinema, Pyke’s Cinematograph, which was a popular destination for Edwardian Croydon residents. Woolworths made the most of the opportunity, opening late to line up with films on the silver screen and offering popcorn, ice cream and many magazines and sheets of music associated with the movies. (Source: Croydon Guardian)

Croydon Woolworths 1918

Croydon Woolworths 1918

Source: Flickr, pepandtim

1n 1929, Woolworths tooks over the cinema building next door and extended to a larger store.

Croydon Woolworths 1940s

Croydon Woolworths 1940s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Then in 1968, it was further extended into the Whitgift shopping centre in to make it the large size most residents today will remember. This was the North End road entrance:

Croydon Woolworths 1980s

Croydon Woolworths 1980s

Source: Flickr, BRG2

And this was the new Whitgift Shopping Centre entrance:

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift 1968

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift Entrance 1968

Source: Seaton, P

The store in 1989:

Croydon Woolworths 1989

Croydon Woolworths 1989

Source: Flickr, BRG2

The final photo from December 2008, shared to my Facebook group just before it closed for good.

Croydon Woolworths 2008

Croydon Woolworths 2008

And the Whitgift entrance:

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift 2008

Croydon Woolworths Whitgift Entrance 2008

Today the building is occupied by H&M, but you can clearly recognise the building from the architecture above. Quite a historic building.

Croydon H&M 2010

Croydon H&M 2010

Source: Flickr, ballysundriven

Banbury – Store 428 / 1203

7 High Street, Banbury, Oxfordshire

Woolworths opened on Banbury High Street in 1931, according to the Banbury Guardian. It was built on the site of the Red Lion Hotel, below on the left, which was demolished to make way for the new store.

Banbury Red Lion Hotel 1921

Banbury Red Lion Hotel 1921

Source: Francis Frith

Here you can see the Woolworths store on the right of the photo in the 1960s.

Banbury Woolworths 1960s

Banbury Woolworths 1960s

Source: Francis Frith

Here are some wonderful photos of the interior from a lady who spent 30 years of her life working for “The old Woolworths”, courtesy of EddFrostDaughters Ltd.

Banbury Woolworths Inside 1960s -3 Banbury Woolworths Inside 1960s -2 Banbury Woolworths Inside 1960s

In the 1970s store list, the address is listed as 7a, so the store must have been halved, and the Woolworths store was kept open on the right side (that’s the Abbey National side in the below photo). Mothercare may well have been there since the 1970s, as their first stores opened in the 1960s. Woolworths closed on the High Street in the 1980s. So there was a period of time when Banbury had no Woolworths. Abbey National moved into 7a.

Banbury Mothercare and Abbey National 2000s

Banbury Mothercare and Abbey National 2000s

Source: Ancestry.com

7a High Street today is Santander, and you can clearly see from the windows above that this was the Woolworths building.

Banbury Santander 2015

Banbury Santander 2015

Source: iOxfordshire

Unit 51, Castle Quay Shopping Centre, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 8UP

The Castle Quay shopping centre was first built in 1977. In 1999, it underwent an £85 million redevelopment and this was when Woolworths moved in. It had a new store number 1203. It was the second store you saw as you walked inside, so a good position, and it backed on to the canal.

Banbury Woolworths 2005

Banbury Woolworths 2005

Source: Flickr, BRG2

The store closed in December 2008, and when I visited the town in September 2009, the Woolworths fascias were still up, but it was being converted into an H&M, so it must have opened soon after. I visited Banbury again last week, and this is how the former Woolworths looks today from the inside of the shopping centre.

H&M Banbury, 2015

H&M Banbury, 2015

Eastbourne – Store 172

97-101 Terminus Road, Eastbourne, Sussex

In the 1920s, Woolworth’s headquarters in London would receive nomination letters every day, suggesting a town where the chain should open. One of those towns was Eastbourne, for which the architects created a rather grand design. The store opened in 1924 on Terminus Road.

Eastbourne Woolworths 1924

Eastbourne Woolworths, Terminus Road, 1924

Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

This photo was taken in the 1950s – we can tell by the number plate on the bus. In 1955, a second Woolworths store opened in Eastbourne in the old Regal Cinema building at 143 Seaside (Store 849)  – I’ll cover that store in a separate blog post.

Eastbourne Woolworths, Terminus Road, 1950s

Eastbourne Woolworths, Terminus Road, 1950s

Source: Godfrey G., Flickr

According to locals on The History of Eastbourne Facebook page, the back doors opened up on to Tideswell Road. There used to be an alley that ran along the left side of the store to this road. In 1980, the Arndale Shopping centre was built behind the shops on Terminus Road, and the back of the Woolworths store was knocked through to the new shopping centre.

Eastbourne Woolworths is not on the 2008 store list, so it closed before the company went into administration.

Today the building is occupied by Poundland at 97-99, and Thomas Cook is at 101.

Eastbourne Poundland 2011

Eastbourne Poundland and Thomas Cook, Terminus Road, 2011

Source: Fawcett Mead

Chippenham – Store 493

24-25 High Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 3ET

Woolworths opened on Chippenham High Street in April 1933.

Chippenham Woolworths 1930s

Chippenham Woolworths 1930s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

The store was modernised in 1957/58.

Chippenham Woolworths 1952

Chippenham Woolworths 1952

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Then in 1974, the store was converted to self-service, with further modernisation the following year. In 1977 a Garden Centre was added as an annex. This was when the recognisable single floor frontage was replaced with a smooth 2-floor frontage which you can see below.

Chippenham Woolworths 1970s

Chippenham Woolworths 1970s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Chippenham Woolworths was an Early Operation Focus comparison store, having a full refurbishment in 1986. In 1990, the Garden Centre annex  was closed and put up for sale. During the 1990s the store was used for concept development, pioneering the Heartland store format (which included reopening the Garden Centre as a salesfloor extension, giving space to reintroduce petcare, a limited range of toiletries and video rental). The store appeared in Analysts video in 1995 to illustrate how the business had changed and managed to generate £100m profit in a single year. Heartland elements were progressively dropped and the store narrowly escaped selection as a Woolworths General Store – instead it was upgraded to the latest 10/10 specification after demerger. (Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk)

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

Source: Wright J.

2008 photo from my Facebook group:

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

The store closed in January 2009. I took this photo when I visited Chippenham in April 2009:

Chippenham Woolworths 2009

Chippenham Woolworths 2009

Today the unit has been split into two stores – Poundland and Costa Coffee.

Poundland and Costa Coffee, Chippenham 2013

Poundland and Costa Coffee, Chippenham 2013

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

Billericay – Store 911

101 High Street, Billericay, Essex CM12 9AW

Woolworths opened in Billericay in 1955/1956. They took over the site of the Telephone Exchange on the High Street, which had been on this spot from 1929 – 1952. The Telephone Exchange was demolished and Woolworths built the store in the below photo. It opened at a time when Self Service was just being introduced to the High Street – you can see the sign above the doorway in the centre.

Billericay Woolworths 1950s

Billericay Woolworths 1950s

Source: Essex Record Office / Billericayhistory.org.uk

Here is a lovely memory of Billericay Woolworths in the 1950s:
“And there is Woolworths which when it arrived meant we had become a modern town. I can smell the newness of it still.  It was our first experience of a self-service store with bright lights and wooden floors and low counters. Later I got my first Saturday job there earning the princely sum of 12s and 9d  for the whole day. Mostly I remember my brother  and I selecting  a birthday gift there for mother with  great  love. We chose a pink plaster poodle standing appealingly on its hind legs, its collar studded with diamonds. We did not see its tawdriness just its cuteness and picking up a box paid for it and hurried home only to find the box was empty. It had taken us so long to save that shilling  and we rushed back the two miles  so distressed we were hardly able to speak, but the supervisor, Miss Lamb, was compassion  personified and mother got her birthday present after all.” Aileen Wortley, Billericayhistory.org.uk

The store traded here for over 50 years until it closed for good on 2nd January 2009.

Billericay Woolworths 2008

Billericay Woolworths 2008

Source: Tim@SW2008, Flickr

An Iceland opened in it’s place quite soon after.

Billericay Iceland

Billericay Iceland

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

Dawlish – Store 940

2 The Strand, Dawlish, Devon EX7 9PS

Woolworths came to the Devon seaside town of Dawlish quite late on, in 1956. The building they occupied was on the Strand, and was actually built in 1919. Designed in eye-catching black and white pseudo Elizabethan style, half of the building was occupied by Cridge’s Cafe (see photo below).

Dawlish E. Cridges Cafe 1920s

Dawlish E. Cridges Cafe 1920s

Source: dawlishhistory.org.uk

It later became Holman’s Cafe and then Brunt’s Cafe, until 1956 when it became Woolworths. When it opened, it was the first ‘self-service’ store in Dawlish, ie where you could pick the goods off the shelf rather than having to ask an assistant to get it for you from behind the counter. This was such a new concept that they had to have staff at the door explaining the self-service process! Here is the store in the swinging 60s:

Dawlish Woolworths 1960s

Dawlish Woolworths 1960s

Source: Kingsdude/Dave, Flickr

The 1970s:

Dawlish Woolworths 1976

Dawlish Woolworths 1976

Source: Rostance D, Flickr

And the 1980s:

Dawlish Woolworths Late 1980s

Dawlish Woolworths Late 1980s

Source: RMC1490, Flickr

This photo from my Facebook group was taken shortly before they closed:

Dawlish Woolworths 2008

Dawlish Woolworths 2008

On 2nd January 2009 Woolworths Dawlish closed down for good. It lay empty for a long time, falling apart and becoming quite an eyesore. This photo is from our south coast roadtrip of 2010.

Dawlish Woolworths (Closed) 2010

Dawlish Woolworths (Closed) 2010

In 2011 the Co-op next door extended into the Woolworths building where it now trades as one large store.

Dawlish Co-op 2011

Dawlish Co-op 2011

Source: JJ Justin, Flickr

Other Devon stores you may be interested in:
Torquay – Store 88
Paignton – Store 477

Wrexham – Store 445

56 Hope Street, Wrexham, Denbighshire LL11 1BE

Woolworths opened at 56 Hope Street in Wrexham on 25th July 1931, and extended 5 years later into neighbouring 58. They traded from this location for nearly 40 years. Below is a photo from 1965, and I have circled the Woolworths store on the right.

Wrexham Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

8- 10 Regent Street, Wrexham, Denbighshire LL11 1SF

On 12th November 1970, they relocated to the new larger premises on Regent Street, where it was 2 floors up, and had an escalator down to a basement floor.

Wrexham Woolworths 1971

Wrexham Woolworths 1971

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

It seems as though it was destined to be a trial store for the Woolworths group. In 1984, Wrexham was one of 20 stores that trialled the ‘Daily Provisions’ cornerstone strategy. They reopened with a grocery section, an up-scale offer of bread, cakes and take-away food, and a new delicatessen counter in the basement selling fresh fish and meat. Apparently there was an amazing giant model of a fish on the wall over the fish counter!

In 1988 it tried the comparison store format. Then in 1992 the store was refurbished. And finally in the 2000s, the store was one of the new style 10/10 stores until it closed on 5th January 2009.

Wrexham Woolworths 2011

Wrexham Woolworths 2011

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

Wrexham Woolworths back

Wrexham Woolworths (Lord Street back entrance)

Source: geograph

It lay empty from a long 2 and a half years, until August 2011 when Discount UK opened. Today Bargain Buys trades from this location, and The Chinese Buffet is in the basement with it’s entrance on Lord Street.

Wrexham Bargain Buys 2015

Wrexham Bargain Buys 2015

Source: 192.com

The Chinese Buffet, Wrexham

The Chinese Buffet, Wrexham

Source: Groupon

And as for the original Woolworths on Hope Street, this is now WHSmith. It’s a new building, as there was a huge fire in 2001 and the building had to be demolished. Here is how it looks today.

Wrexham WHSmith

WHSmith, Hope Street, Wrexham

 

If you liked reading this, you may enjoy reading about Rhyl – Store 308.

Basingstoke – Store 107

5 – 7 London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7AB

Woolworths originally opened at 5 London Street in Basingstoke Old Town on 19th November 1921, taking over the premises of William Cannon, the butchers. They extended in 1935 into part of the drapery shop of J Boyer next door, making a larger store.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1950

Basingstoke Woolworths 1950

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In Febraury 1959 the store was extended and modernised further. Below is how the new store looked.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1966

Basingstoke Woolworths 1966

Source: R L Brown, Sense of Place South East

1/13 Chiswick House, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 7LD

On 23rd October 1970 they relocated to Basingstoke’s new shopping centre, opening a HUGE new self-service store, with a restaurant, in a 3-storey building called Chiswick House. The Post Office moved into the empty London Street store. From this photo it looks as though it was all an indoor shopping centre, but today that ceiling has been opened up.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1970

Basingstoke Woolworths 1970

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

The move to self-service was a big deal in the 70s. On February 1971 they celebrated “D” Day – when half of all Woolworths stores had moved to self-service and decimalisation. Here is the cash wrap desk upstairs in the Clothing department at Basingstoke.

Basingstoke Clothing Tills 1971

Basingstoke Clothing Tills 1971

Source: Woolworths Museum

1993 the store was cut to half its size, and other stores opened up in Chiswick House. Today Poundland, Vision Express and Specsavers trade from that side.

In the 2000s it was one of the stores chosen to be a 10/10 store, still trading with a cafe, until it’s closure in December 2008.

Basingstoke Woolworths 2008

Basingstoke Woolworths 2008

Source: Talbot, C

TODAY:

The Post Office is still trading from the London Street location.

Basingstoke Post Office

Basingstoke Post Office

And the Chiswick House Woolies has been split into 2 units. Greggs and a clothes store called Internacionale (I think) trade from there. Apologies for the grainy image, I actually took a photo of the wrong store (Poundland!), so have had to screenshot this off my vlog.

Chiswick House, Basingstoke 2015

Chiswick House, Basingstoke 2015

Other sources: Basingstoke Gazette

Other Hampshire Woolworths you may be interested in:
Portsmouth – Store 35Southsea – Store 50

Bristol Broadmead – Store 10

87/91 Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3DU

In 1911, Woolworth opened their first store in Bristol, located at Castle Street. It was a busy and bustling street as you can see from this 1930s postcard. Sadly this store was destroyed along with the whole of Castle Street in WW2.

Bristol Woolworths, Castle Street, 1930s

Bristol Woolworths, Castle Street, 1930s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1950, Bristol rebuilt the worn-torn area, and Woolworths reopened on Broadmead. Stores built after the war were of a new look – bigger and brighter, and made with modern materials such as stainless steel and marble, instead of wooden doors and wooden floorboards. Bristol became the chain’s largest multi-floor store.

Bristol Woolworths 1950s

Bristol Woolworths 1952

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Bristol Woolworths, 1950s

Bristol Woolworths, 1950s

Source: Townsend, Paul

Here is it in the 1970s with it’s updated fascia, and you can see Swears & Wells became Thomas Cook and H Samuel is to the left (you can recognise the clock).

Bristol Woolworths, 1970s

Bristol Woolworths, 1970s

Source: Townsend, Paul

Bristol Woolworths 1970s

Bristol Woolworths 1970s

Source: Townsend, Paul

Bristol Broadmead was quite a unique Woolworths – it was the one chosen to be a trial new concept store in 1982 called ‘21st Century Shopping’. It took all the Woolworths branding out – the idea was to attract city commuters to be able to have a ‘quick’ shop. Inside you had sports ranges at the front (from sister brand Footlocker), then a middle section of Women’s fashion and then a small grocery section. Sounds a bit random to me. The whole of Bristol scoffed at it – City workers did not use it, and loyal Woolies shoppers were upset – an epic fail.

Woolworths 21st Century Shopping, Bristol, 1983

Woolworths 21st Century Shopping, Bristol, 1982

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1983 the store was reinstated to Woolworths again, although they carried on using the leftover 21st Century carrier bags for a long time.

Bristol Woolworths 1986

Bristol Woolworths 1986

Source: pepperrn1, flickr

In 1988 the store had to close as the Galleries Shopping Centre was to be built – so the building got demolished! Here it is just before demolition.

Woolworths moved into the new shopping centre, which you can read about here: Bristol -The Galleries – Store 1174

Bristol Woolworths 1988

Bristol Woolworths 1988

Source: Hobbs, Neil