Category Archives: Cheshire

Nantwich – Store 383

10 Swine Market, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5LW

Woolworths opened in Nantwich in 1930 – you can see it in the below photo on the right side.

Nantwich Woolworths 1955

Nantwich Woolworths 1955

In the 1960s the area was redeveloped and a larger Woolworths opened. Note the oversized letters.

Nantwich Woolworths 1970s

Nantwich Woolworths 1970

The store lasted until the end, closing in December 2008.

Nantwich Woolworths 2008

Nantwich Woolworths 2008

It soon became a B&M, which it still is today.

Nantwich Former Woolworths

Nantwich Former Woolworths

And look closer, and you’ll see the original 1960s Woolworths doors still in use.

Nantwich Former Woolworths Doors

Nantwich Former Woolworths Doors

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Wallasey – Store 381

286 – 288 Liscard Road, Wallasey, Cheshire L44 5TU

Woolworths opened in Wallasey in 1930 on the site of Harrop’s Coal Yard. Originally at number 288, it was a small store, purpose-built with the recognisable Woolworths architecture, central pediment at the top. It was later extended into number 286 (if you look at the photo of Poundland at the end of this post, you can clearly see where it was extended). This photo below shows a bit of Woolworths on the left in 1960, with the canopies open.

Wallasey Woolworths 1960

Wallasey Woolworths 1960

The road was pedestrianised in the 1970s and renamed Liscard Way. Woolworths did not move but their address changed to this:

42 Liscard Way, Wallasey, Wirral, Merseyside CH44 5TU

Former employee Natalie Kay worked at Wallasey Woolworths towards the end, and she has kindly shared her memories, “I worked on 381 Wallasey for ten years starting in 1997. My aunties worked there and my cousins too. I have many memories of ‘family and friends evenings’ before I worked there, where the kids were entertained upstairs with videos and sweets! During my ten years there I met the love of my life and we were together for seven years. While there I was also diagnosed with cancer and happily beat it. All my colleagues clubbed together to give me and my boyfriend spends as we were going to Florida. We really were a family and you don’t find that these days. My best memories are always of hanging the Christmas garlands and decorating the Christmas trees.”

Such a heartwarming story, it sounds like Wallasey Woolworths was a lovely place to work at. The store lasted until the end, closing in December 2008, complete with their original 1970s doors.

Wallasey Woolworths 2008

Wallasey Woolworths 2008

Source: Facebook

Today it is Poundland, but look up and you’ll see the classic Woolworths architecture.

Wallasey Former Woolworths

Wallasey Former Woolworths

Congleton – Store 290

35 – 37 High Street, Congleton, Cheshire CW12 1AX

Woolworths opened in Congleton in 1927. It was a small store with a typical Woolworths look to the first floor – see below.

Congleton Woolworths 1956

Congleton Woolworths 1956

Source: Congleton Through Time, Alcock J.

In 1968 Woolworths bought The Bears Head Hotel and Farrell’s Sweet Shop next door. They were demolished along with Banks Car Garage on Market Street to build a Woolworths superstore. At the time Mr. G. Lamb was the store manager, pictured below with his staff.  These photos were in The New Bond (The House Journal of F. W. Woolworth and Co. Limited) June/July 1970 – kindly sent in by Richard Northover. He says “This was the forerunner of Woolworths/Woolies News, which was all about people and stores – not the political rag that was Woolies News!! It was named after the original head office in New Bond Street London, which opened after the head office moved from Liverpool.”

Congleton Woolworths staff photo 1970s

Congleton Woolworths staff photo 1970s

Congleton Woolworths staff photo 1970s

Congleton Woolworths staff photo 1970s

Congleton was a unique store in that it was chosen to trial the first franchise Post Office in the 1990s. Colin Higgins managed the project at Regional level in conjunction with the HO store planning team. “Another store we tried it in was 608 Huntingdon around 1995. They were never successfully financially, as the big fee earners for PO operation, such as the BVP, were being phased out at that time.”

According to the Warrington Guardian there were three trial franchise Post Office stores, and Woolworths decided to end the trial in 1999.

The store continued to trade well as a normal Woolworths, lasting until the end. It closed in December 2008.

Congleton Woolworths 2008

Congleton Woolworths 2008

Shortly after closing, B&M moved in and they are still trading there today.

Congleton Former Woolworths

Congleton Former Woolworths

Source: Ballysundriven

Macclesfield – Store 265

27 – 29 Mill Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6NF

Woolworths opened their 265th store in Macclesfield in 1927. It was on Mill Street, a couple of doors down from Marks & Spencer. From the photo below, you will recognise the Woolworths style of building. You’ll also see a window poster showing The Simpsons Movie being released on DVD for £12.99 back in 2007.

Macclesfield Woolworths 2007

Macclesfield Woolworths 2007

Source: Tarboat

Former employee Paul Broome says “There’s a great story about 265 regarding a burglary by an ex Assistant Manager. In the ’90s he was previously dismissed from the company, but one evening he hid in the store at closing time, and then emptied the safe after disarming the alarm codes which had not been changed after his dismissal.” Shocking!

The majority of staff were good people though, and they were a close-knit team. This note was put on the door after the store closed in January 2009.

Macclesfield Woolworths Goodbye Note

Macclesfield Woolworths Goodbye Note

Today Iceland is in the building, and if you look up, you’ll see the familiar Woolworths architecture.

Macclesfield Former Woolworths - Iceland

Macclesfield Former Woolworths – Iceland

Northwich – Store 219

26 – 28 Witton Street, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 5AL

Wooworths opened in the historic town on Northwich in 1926. Below you can see how the store looked, on the left of this photo. I am not sure if this was purpose-built or an existing building. Most of Witton Street is timber-framed, which today gives it a charming look.

Northwich Woolworths 1930s

Northwich Woolworths 1930s

This photo shows the 1930s store managers and his staff in front of the store.

Northwich Woolworths 1930s

Northwich Woolworths 1930s

Source: Woolworths Museum

The photo below shows the store in 1969, with Woolworth in giant letters – it does rather overshadow Marks & Spencer next door. You can see the building is different from the original, so they must have moved, probably to have bigger premises.

Northwich Woolworths 1969

Northwich Woolworths 1969

Woolworths stayed here until the end.

Northwich Woolworths 2008

Northwich Woolworths 2008

Northwich Woolworths 2008

Northwich Woolworths 2008

Northwich Woolworths 2008

Northwich Woolworths 2008

This photos shows the final lock up by Bob the store manager.

Northwich Woolworths 2008

Northwich Woolworths 2008

Today you will find Quality Save in the building.

Northwich Former Woolworths - Quality Save

Northwich Former Woolworths – Quality Save

Source: Northwich Townscape Heritage Project

Widnes – Store 208

2 – 4 Albert Road, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 6JF

Widnes was the first Woolworths store to open in the year of 1926. The store was on the corner of Albert Road and Winfield Way. It was not a purpose-built store as the building was part of a parade of shops. But the actual shopfront was Woolworths style with the store wrapping around the corner (see on the left of this photo).

Widnes Woolworths 1955

Widnes Woolworths 1955

The store was a long, narrow store that went quite far back, and quite a unique store as it had it’s original fascia well into the 1990s!

Carl Meredith worked at the store in the 90s and he has some interesting facts:

“The store sign was never updated from the original “F W Woolworths & Co Ltd” until the store had its convenience refurb in the summer of 1994, when it got its more modern “WOOLWORTHS” sign. It never had the any other version of the sign through the 70s and 80s – so no curly “W” or the big capitals letters version of the sign.

Notice as well, no shutters on the store at this time in history – unfortunately, with the rise in the popularity of video games in the mid-90s, the store had multiple break-ins through the store front window. After this, shutters were installed.”

Widnes Woolworths 1990s

Widnes Woolworths 1990s

Source: Flickr

The store lasted until the end, when Woolworths went bust in 2008. This picture was taken by Carl a couple of days before closing in December 2008. He says, “The 3D letters of the sign which the store had in the 90s were replaced in the early 00s with this flat, plain (dare I say cheaper?) version of the store sign.”

Widnes Woolworths 2008

Widnes Woolworths 2008

Source: Meredith C.

Two months later, the store became a B&M.

Widnes Former Woolworths - B&M

Widnes Former Woolworths – B&M

More recently, B&M closed their store down (as there is also a huge Home Store in the town). In October 2018, Heron Foods opened in the building. If you are ever in town, take a closer look and you’ll recognise the Woolworths doors and windows.

Widnes Former Woolworths - Heron Foods

Widnes Former Woolworths – Heron Foods

Source: Meredith C.

 

Crewe – Store 199

59 – 67 High Street, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 2HA

Woolworths opened their 199th store in October 1925 in the town of Crewe. The store they built had a grand Art Deco style, as you can see in the photo below. It spanned from numbers 59 to 67 of the High Street.

Crewe Woolworths 1960

Crewe Woolworths 1960

Source: Francis Frith

The store closed in 1984, another casualty of the Kingfisher closures. Today you’ll find Poundland here, and you’ll happy to see the Art Deco frontage is still there, but it seems to have lost the top floor (compare it to the 1960s photo to see!).

Crewe Former Woolworths - Poundland

Crewe Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: Ballysundriven

Chester – Store 163

37 – 43 Eastgate, Chester, CH1 1LL

Woolworths opened in the historic city of Chester, near Liverpool, in 1924. They took over a genuine timber-framed building.

Chester Woolworths 1960s

Chester Woolworths 1960s

In 1961 an extension was made to the right in half-timbered English oak. The sales floor was linked at the back of House of Bewley and Kardomah.

Chester Woolworth 1961

Chester Woolworth 1961

The store had a mezzanine cafeteria that had a glass screen bearing the city’s coat of arms. The cafeteria gave direct access to the city walls and offered a view over the cathedral gardens.

Chester Woolworths 1970s

Chester Woolworths 1970s

Source: Chester Chronicle

Chester Woolworths 1970s

Chester Woolworths 1970s

Source: Woolworth Museum

The store closed sometime in the 1970s or 80s. Today Next and New Look are in the buildings.

Chester Former Woolworths - Next and New Look

Chester Former Woolworths – Next and New Look

Woolworths came back to Chester in the 2000s on Foregate Street, as store 1237. This was the one that closed in December 2008, becoming  Primark.

 

Birkenhead – Store 152

220a Grange Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire L41 6EQ

Woolworths opened in Birkenhead in 1923. Although there are no early photos online, you can tell from this photo that this facade probably dates from the 1930s with it’s Art Deco design.

Birkenhead Woolworths 2008

Birkenhead Woolworths 2008

Source: Tiger

It was a store where there were reportings of ghosts being seen in the basement, where there was a crypt. Spooky.

This photo shows the inside of the store on the closing day.

Birkenhead Woolworths The Last Day 2008

Birkenhead Woolworths The Last Day 2008

Source: Wooley J.

And this is the last staff photograph. Thank you to Julie for sharing these.

Birkenhead Woolworths Staff Photo 2008

Birkenhead Woolworths Staff Photo 2008

Source: Wooley J.

Primark was already next door. When Woolworths closed in December 2008, they extended into this space creating a mega superstore Primark. They covered up the windows on the upper floors too – it looks like they have been painted over.

Birkenhead Former Woolworths - Primark

Birkenhead Former Woolworths – Primark

Source: Mayer P

Still, next time you are shopping at Primark in Birkenhead, take a look up and admire the Woolies Art Deco facade (minus windows!).

Stockport – Store 48

35-39 Princes Street, Stockport, Cheshire SK1 1SY

Store 48 was Stockport which opened in 1915. The store had a temporary shopfront for several years after World War One. Then a new purpose-built store was built in the 1930s.

In the 1930s a road was built above and along the River Mersey – before that the river cut the town in half. Woolworth and M&S were one of the few stores that lay along its route.

Stockport Woolworths 1960s
Stockport Woolworths 1965

Source: Pinterest

Then in 1965, the Merseyway Shopping Centre above the river, where the road was. The shopping centre is held up by concrete arches above the river! You can see Woolworths in this video of when the shopping centre was built – there are some rare photos here:

The UK’s first outdoor travelator was installed here, n front of Woolworths.

Stockport Woolworths 1965

Stockport Woolworths 1965

Source: Wild, S

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Source: Pinterest

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s or 80s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s or 80s

In the 1985 an experimental V-Shaped red-framed entrance to the store was made, designed to funnel customers into the store. They kept this until the end.

Stockport Woolworths 2007

Stockport Woolworths 2007

Source: Emily and James

The store closed for good when Woolworths went bust at the end of 2008. The unit was split into 3 and is now occupied by River Island, Deichmann and Costa Coffee. If you ever go shopping at Merseyway in Stockport, do have a look above these stores, and have a latte in the corner of the old Woolworths.

Stockport Former Woolworths - River Island Deichmann Costa Coffee

Stockport Former Woolworths – River Island Deichmann Costa Coffee

Source: England, G.

Warrington – Store 22

19/21 Sankey Street, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1SB    

Woolworths opened its twenty-second store in Warrington in rather ornate building in 1913. The Grade II Listed building was designed by the Chester architect John Douglas and was one of his earliest works. It was constructed in 1864 as the showrooms for the furniture makers Robert Garnett and Sons, whose factory was directly behind the shop.

 

Warrington Woolworths 1913

Warrington Woolworths 1913

Source: Warrington WorldWide Forum

There was an upstairs floor, a cafe and a rear entrance. It had rear stairs that were closed off in the late 1980s.

Warrington Woolworths 1970s

Warrington Woolworths 1970s

Source: Warrington WorldWide Forum

Warrington Woolworths 1974

Warrington Woolworths 1974

Source: H Wells

Some more recent photos here – you can see the peppermint blue window and door frames.

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Source: Mayer P.

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Source: Ely M.

After the store closed, a supermarket called Asco took it’s place, but it did not last long. It went bust after 6 months.

Warrington Former Woolworths - Asco 2009

Warrington Former Woolworths – Asco 2009

Today the building is occupied by Poundland, and you can still see the ornate architecture above, and the familiar Woolworths mosaic tiling on the pillars.

Warrington Former Woolworths - Poundland 2017

Warrington Former Woolworths – Poundland 2017

Source: Movehut