Category Archives: Durham

Consett – Store 388

32-38 Front Street, Consett, Co Durham DH8 5AJ

Woolworths opened in Consett in 1930 on Front Street in a purpose-built store.

Consett Woolworths 1930

Consett Woolworths 1930

Source: Twitter

The store was successful so it was extended to become almost double the size – this is a photo from the 1960s.

Consett Woolworths 1950s

Consett Woolworths 1960s

Source: Facebook

And this is a 1950s staff photo.

Consett Woolworths Staff 1957

Consett Woolworths Staff 1957

Source: Facebook

Below you can see how the store looked on the inside in the 1950s, with the individual counters.

Consett Woolworths (inside) 1958

Consett Woolworths (inside) 1958

Source: Facebook

Consett Woolworths 1959

Consett Woolworths 1959

Source: Twitter

Consett Woolworths - Artwork by Red Dust

Consett Woolworths – Artwork by Red Dust

Source: Facebook

Consett Woolworths 1970s

Consett Woolworths 1970s

Source: Facebook

Dee Hunter remembers Consett being her first store as a manager back in 1992. And Martin Talbot was the last ever manager at 388 Consett. He says it was a great store with a very crazy team, including Tracey Watson, Karen Rafferty, Annette McCormick and Laura Elliott. Karen says Martin Talbot was the funniest manager she’s ever known – “We had a great time and I wish I was still there”.  This is a photo of the team on the last day in December 2008.

Consett Woolworths Last Day 2008

Consett Woolworths Last Day 2008

Source: Talbot, K.

Consett Woolworths 2008

Consett Woolworths 2009

Today the building is still there and it is occupied by BrightHouse and Customer Access Point.

Consett Former Woolworths

Consett Former Woolworths

 

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Hartlepool – Store 322

Lynn Street, Hartlepool, Co. Durham

Woolowrths opened in Hartlepool on 7th July 1928. It was on Lynn and looks quite a large store from this photo.

Hartlepool Woolworths 1930s

Hartlepool Woolworths 1930s

Source: Facebook

Hartlepool Woolworths 1955

Hartlepool Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

Hartlepool Woolworths 1960s

Hartlepool Woolworths 1960s

Source: Hartlepool History Then and Now

Woolworths traded from Lynn Street for 40 years, until the building was to be demolished. Most of Lynn Street was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a new housing estate, with all the shops moving to the new shopping centre which opened in 1970.

Hartlepool Woolworths 1975 - Lynn Street demolition

Hartlepool Woolworths 1975 – Lynn Street demolition

Source: Facebook

94 The Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, Co. Durham TS24 7RN

Woolworths opened in the new Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, which was opened by Princess Anne on 27th May 1970 (pictured below). The shopping centre was open-air, with two floors and a spiral ramp in the centre to access the first floor. The store was a huge superstore over two floors, 3 entrances across the front and one on the left and right. It originally had 3 lifts and it had a Food Hall.

Hartlepool Woolworths 1970

Hartlepool Woolworths 1970

Source: Hartlepool History Then and Now

The Food Hall was removed in 1986, as it was in all Woolworths stores. In 1992 the shopping centre had a makeover with a roof installed so it was no longer open air. This was the time that Woolworths downsized. The released space is now occupied by Peacocks. Former store manager Carl Bartless started working here in 1992 as a Christmas temp, and was the manager when the store closed in December 2008. He has an amusing anecdote from 1993, when the store was in the local paper for a staff “baby boom”, as 9 of the team were all pregnant!

Have a look at the below photo and note the thick silver frame around the doors are the same in the 1970 photo – they lasted until the end!

Hartlepool Woolworths 2006

Hartlepool Woolworths 2006

Source: Facebook

Alex Wood has kindly shared his memories. “I spent a summer in 322 Hartlepool in about 2000-01 when Terry Jones was the store manager. He was my mentor when I was on the FTMS scheme. The upstairs was bigger than the shop floor from memory, with the old style Woolworths carpet through the main staff areas which had the red W logo on a striped background. You could tell how big the store one was from all the separate offices and the old manager dining rooms along the main corridor leading to the stockroom. The stockroom was enormous and reminded me of the scene out of Indiana Jones where the warehouse stretches into infinity!

I also recall the disused lift shaft. It started to give off an awful smell, and there seemed to be in influx of flies. It was only when someone went out onto the roof that it was found that the lift room door had been missing for some time and the pigeons had been using it as roosting space. Sadly, more than a few of them had passed away and fallen down into the shaft which was also full of stagnant water. They had to pump it out after the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre had closed due to the smell…”

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

Source: Hartlepool Mail

Hartlepool Woolworths closed after the chain went bust in December 2008.

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

Hartlepool Woolworths 2008

The unit was empty for 2 and a half years, before finally being taken over by BHS. Of course we all now know that BHS also went bust. Today the unit is occupied by a brand new B&M store.

Hartlepool Former Woolworths

Hartlepool Former Woolworths

Source: Facebook

Durham – Store 321

17 Market Place, Durham DH1 3NE

Woolworths opened in Durham in 1928. It was on Market Place, you can see it on the left of the photo, the white building.

Durham Woolworths 1950

Durham Woolworths 1950

Source: Worth Point

In May 1959 work started on building a new store to replace the existing one, and it was completed on 22nd June 1961. It had a facade of white Portland stone.

.1960s makeover

Durham Woolworths 1965

Durham Woolworths 1965

Source: Aviva

Durham Woolworths 1967

Durham Woolworths 1967

Source: Durham City in Colour 1960-1970 – Richardson, M.

Durham Woolworths 1973

Durham Woolworths 1973

Source: Now That’s What I Call Durham – Richardson, M.

In this 1978 photo, you can see the parking spaces in front of Woolworths in Market Place.

Durham Woolworths 1978

Durham Woolworths 1978

Source: Now That’s What I Call Durham – Richardson, M.

The street became pedestrianised and Woolworths traded here right until the end, closing when the chain went bust in December 2008.

Durham Woolworths 2008

Durham Woolworths 2008

Today the building is occupied by Tesco Metro, but look up and you’ll see the Woolworths Portland stone facade.

Durham Former Woolworths

Durham Former Woolworths

Source: Ballysundriven

Spennymoor – Store 278

37 – 39 High Street, Spennymoor, Co. Durham

Woolworths opened in Spennymoor in 1927. It originally opened on the High Street, which we know thanks to Graham Soult’s research here. He has worked out that the Woolworths may possibly be the second building on the left in this postcard, with the awning by the lamp post.

Spennymoor Woolworths 1920s

Spennymoor Woolworths 1920s

This building does not exist anymore as it was demolished to make way for a side road.

3 Parkwood Precinct (now Festival Walk), Spennymoor, Co. Durham 

Woolworths moved to a purpose-built store in the new shopping precinct in 1967. The 1972 store list calls it ‘Parkwood Precinct’ but today the road is called ‘Festival Walk’. Strangely I cannot find any photos of the store as a Woolworths.

In 1984 Kevin Alexander managed Spennymoor for 7 month. He has a story. ‘A guy came up to me in store and said “Can I buy some gift vouchers?” I said, “Sure, just pop to the till mate.” He said “I want £33,000 worth.” WHAT… he ran the leek competition in that area. I never knew there was so much money involved.’

A few decades later in 2003, Lee Pearson had his first store as a manager at Spennymoor. He says, ‘Great memories of a great store and team. Was only 23 (ages ago)!’

This Woolworths lasted until the end, closing after administration in December 2008. It soon became an Original Factory Shop. From this photo you can imagine how it looked as a Woolworths store.

Spennymoor Former Woolworths

Spennymoor Former Woolworths

Source: Ballysundriven

 

Chester-le-Street – Store 267

30 – 36 Front Street, Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham

Woolworths opened in Chester-le-Street in 1927. It was quite a large store on Front Street, purpose-built with an art deco facade. You can see it in the below 1950s photo, the white building with the canopies on the far right. Chester-le-Street looks busy and bustling here, you can’t see the pavement for the amount of people on it.

Chester Le Street Woolworths 1955

Chester Le Street Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

Dee Hunter was the store manager for 3 years, between 2002 and 2005, Chester-le-Street also being her home town. The local newspaper did a piece on the town’s history where Woolies was featured.

Former employee Katherine Talbot has kindly shared this team photo from 2003. This is when the store had a makeover and reopened as a 10/10 store. She tells us that Dee cut the ribbon to open the refurbished store, while Darren Bradley (STL and entertainment guru ;-)) had Tina Turner’s Simply The Best playing.

Chester Le Street Woolworths 2003

Chester Le Street Woolworths 2003

Source: Talbot K.

Katherine also met her husband whilst working at this store, and they have since had Woolies children. I’m sure there are a lot of Woolies children out there who never had the pleasure of shopping in a Woolworths store. The Chester-le-Street branch closed after the chain went bust in December 2008.

Chester Le Street Woolworths 2009

Chester Le Street Woolworths 2009

Source: Ballysundriven

The building was soon occupied by B&M. If you are ever shopping there, take a look up and admire the old Woolworths architecture.

Chester Le Street Woolworths 2009

Chester Le Street Woolworths 2009

Gateshead – Store 154

232 – 242 High Street, Gateshead, Co Durham NE8 1DL

In 1923 Woolworths opened on Gateshead High Street, on the site of the Queen’s Theatre that was fire damaged the previous year in 1922.

Sadly there are no photos of this Woolworths store when it was open, but from this photo it seems there was a 1950s makeover. And the facade to the right looks like it would have been a Burtons in the early days.

Former store manager Lee Pearson has fond memories of the store and the team, and took it through a 5/5 refit in the 2000s. He also remembers there being an Index catalogue shop next door.

The store closed when the chain went bust in December 2008.

Gateshead Woolworths 2009

Gateshead Woolworths 2009

Source: Ballysundriven

After 2 years of the store laying empty, Poundland opened there in September 2010. But this branch only stayed there until 2014, when they moved to Trinity Square.

Gateshead Former Woolworths - Poundland

Gateshead Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: Soult G

Today the Newbridge Studios have taken over the building, so it is a gallery and an artist’s studio – quite different from what usually happens to former Woolworths building. And if you look up, you can seen the Woolies architecture is still in place.

Gateshead Former Woolworths - Newbridge Studios

Gateshead Former Woolworths – Newbridge Studios

Bishop Auckland – Store 116

84 Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, County Durham

Woolworths opened Store 116 in Bishop Auckland in 1922. The architecture was of a standard Woolies style. You can see it has been kept the same through the years, with the fascia being updated.

Bishop Auckland Woolworths 1956

Bishop Auckland Woolworths 1956

Source: Northern Echo

In this photo you can see the canopy from the 1950s has gone, and the lettering is more chunky and all in caps.

Bishop Auckland Woolworths 1960

Bishop Auckland Woolworths 1960

Source: Northern Echo

In more recent years, tiling was put around the round pillars at the entrance, and the fascia was red and white. The store closed in December 2008.

Bishop Auckland Woolworths 2008

Bishop Auckland Woolworths 2008

Today it is Boyes, and if you are ever in Bishop Auckland, you will see the instantly recognisable Woolworths architecture above.

tle Bishop Auckland Former Woolworths - Boyes

Bishop Auckland Former Woolworths – Boyes

Source: Ballysundriven

 

South Shields – Store 104

100 – 108 King Street, South Shields, County Durham NE33 1JG

Woolworths opened in South Shields in 1921 on King Street. The town was heavily hit in World War II, and the store got destroyed. It took 8 years for it to be rebuilt.

South Shields Woolworths 1949

South Shields Woolworths 1949

The store lasted until the end in December 2008.

South Shields Woolworths 2007

South Shields Woolworths 2007

Source: Cornfoot R.

Today the building is occupied by Poundland and Peacocks (previously Store Twenty One pictured).

South Shields Former Woolworths - Poundland Peacocks

South Shields Former Woolworths – Poundland and Peacocks

 

 

Darlington – Store 28

78-79 Northgate, Darlington, Durham DL1 1TZ

The twenty-eighth Woolworths store was in Darlington. It opened on Northgate in 1913 with Frank W Woolworth personally opening it.

Darlington Woolworths 1913

Darlington Woolworths 1913

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was extended in 1927, and this is possibly when an Art Deco facade was added. Graham Soult did a lot of research to find out what the building is today, as it seems the street numbering changes across the decades – you can read more about that here. He worked out by looking at the location of building in old postcards, that the Woolworths store would have been next to BHS at 56-58, formerly Burtons, then a £5 store and now vacant.

Darlington-Former-Woolworths-_-Vacant-2017

Darlington Former Woolworths-Vacant 2017

Source: Google Maps

12-18 Northgate, Darlington, Durham DL1 1TZ

On 20th September 1940, the store relocated to bigger premises at numbers 12-18, joining togther three shops by the looks of it.

Darlington Woolworths 1983

Darlington Woolworths 1983

Source: The Durham Record

In the below photo, you can actually see the old store front further down the road.

Darlington Woolworths 1990s

Darlington Woolworths 1990s

Source: Darlington Local Studies Picture Collection

The store closed in December 2008.

Darlington Woolworths 2004

Darlington Woolworths 2004

Source: Darlington Library

Now this old Woolworths is occupied by Next and the smaller side to the left is occupied by Holland and Barratt (not pictured here).

Darlington Former Woolworths | Next 2012

Darlington Former Woolworths | Next 2012

Source: Soult G.