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.
44 – 46 Spring Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6DB
Woolworths opened in Buxton on 1926, on part of the site of the former Shakespeare Hotel that was built in 1711. Similar to Store 208 Widnes, this store had the vintage F.W. Woolworth fascia on as late as the 1990s. It is rare you get to see so clearly how a store would have looked in the old days. Note the mosaic W on the flooring in the doorways, and the ‘Woolworth’ above the doors.
The window POS is very nineties: ‘£2 1/2 Million Music & Video Clearance’ – ‘Videos from £3.99’, ‘LPs and cassettes from 99p’ in the left window. On the right window: ‘Extra Value Here’ with paintbrushes on the wall and a display of what looks like storage buckets, bathroom scales.
Below is a photo from a decade later, with the store having been modernised – new fascia, new doors, mosaic tiled centre pillar, ‘Woolworth’ gone from above the doors, the ‘W’ gone from the top of the windows and the mosaic floor ‘W’ in the doorways gone.
Source: Emily and James
It looks like there was a 1/2 price sale, the left window says ‘Sale ends 3rd May’ and ‘The Giant Sale’ with what looks like CDs and DVDs/Videos. There is an ‘Offer of the Week’ side poster and in the right window it says ‘Save 20% all garden furniture’.
The store closed down on the 27th December 2008. It became a Mountain Warehouse shop.
The original archway from the Shakespeare Hotel is still to the left of the store – have a look at the original below and see. Pretty historic!
102 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 8HA
Woolworths opened in Ilkeston in 1923. In the 1930s the store had an update with an Art Deco facade added.
Source: Francis Frith
This Woolworths store was one of the few that kept it’s original 1930s features – the bronze window and door surrounds, the curved glass, the detailing above the door. Though the upper floor windows had been covered up.
Source: Historic England
Source: Ilkeston Town Walk
On the inside of the store, the floor had not been updated since the 1950s/60s.
After closure in December 2008, the building lay empty for many years. But recently The Project have restored the building, keeping the original Woolworths art deco detailing. This is a wonderful thing, and worth taking a visit to Ilkeston to see – you can even have a coffee there.
Source: The Project
27-32 Victoria Street, Derby, Derbyshire DE1 1EU
The twenty-ninth Woolworths store opened in Derby on Victoria Street. You can see it to the right of this postcard – it was quite a large store. The store got into trouble in the early years, when ‘Woolworths girls’ went on strike for habitually being made to work overtime, and for failing to give staff the correct half-day holiday in accordance with the Shops Act of 1911 (Woolworth’s 100 Years On the High Street, Morrison K.)
Source: Soult’s Retail View
The store traded here until 1975 when it moved into the Eagle Centre (now intu Derby, previously Westfield). It is rather a shame to see how the building looks today, divided up with ugly storefronts. It should be a beautiful building, but this side of Victoria Street is neglected due to all the shops being inside intu Derby. Nevertheless, if you pop into Savers, do take a look up at the original architecture.
In 1975, a huge Woolworths superstore with two floors was built inside the new Eagle Shopping Centre. There was a super modern cafe inside (well, modern for the 70s) – carpets and plush leatherette seating, with a warm orange-brown colour scheme, boldly patterned walls, individual lamps hanging over each table – it’s sounds like the retro styling that is back on trend now.
Source: Derby Telegraph
The store closed on 16th January 1988 when Woolworths decided it was too big – they planned to sub-divided the store into 10 units and lease out, with Woolworths Properties acting as landlord. I think the store was next to C&A, which closed down in 2001. It was boarded up for a while until Woolworths decided to come back to this Derby shopping centre as store 1242 (1 London Road) – but then it closed down in 2008. It is now Poundland – so I’m guessing the original Eagle Centre Woolworths unit would have been near that Poundland somewhere.
The next store – Store 30 – Edgware Road has already been written about, you can read all about that store here.