105 Ballards Lane, Finchley, London N3 6JR
This store opened in 1938, in a familiar Woolworth architectural style (see far left):
Source: Francis Frith
And here it is today, the top half unchanged and clearly recognisable – now Superdrug and what looks like a closed down bakery.
Source: Property Link
5-6 Queens Square, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
In 1926 Woolworths opened on Queens Square in High Wycombe, and I think it was a long store that went through to Priory Road with another entrance there (where Primark is today).
Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison
Here you can see the store on the right side of the photo on Queens Square, looking towards Frogmoor.
Here is the Priory Road entrance on the far left of the photo, decorated for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. – this is the junction with Church Street.
A 1940s view:
The store in 1971 just before moving to its new location on the High Street.
Recently it has been a YMCA chariity shop and sometime it was a First Choice Travel Agents. At the Priory Street side, this has become part of Primark I think.
And here is it today – let’s hope something nice moves in
Source: Realla Property Search Engine
9-10 High Street, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 2BT
In 1969 Woolworths bought the site of the Red Lion Hotel, keeping the famous Red Lion statue. The hotel was demolished and a new store built behind arches. Offices were also built on upper floors as Woolworths were trying to generate extra revenue by letting out this space. Below you can see the store just after it reopened.
Originally the store was arranged over 2 floors with two entrances, one fronting the High Street and the other Castle Street – it was a very large store. They then closed the Castle Street entrance. Below you can see a view of the former rear entrance (formerly the site of the Odeon Cinema) on Castle Street.
In 1984, High Wycombe Woolworths was one of nine stores that tested out the concept ‘Electronics World’ – trying to link Comet and Woolworths, but this was abandoned in 1987.
In the 2000s, High Wycombe Woolworths was a 10/10 store and had a cafe. It was also the store where the head office team would test out promotions before they went live.
Today the building has been split into two, one side is Iceland, the other is Poundworld. The hotel’s iconic red lion statue, a major High Wycombe landmark, still stands on the colonnade outside the store.
1-7 Wellington Place, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1NY
In July 1926, Woolworths bought the block of 2-6 Wellington Place and 15-20 Pelham. The buildings were demolished, and in their place a large ‘3 penny and 6 penny’ store was built (Source: Hastings Chronicle). This is how the store looked in the 1950s:
Source: Hastings & St Leonards Forum
Below is a photo of the store in 1982, where you can see there has been a major makeover – I am guessing this took place in the 1960s.
Source: Popkin, A
This photo was taken when the underground walkway was being built.
Source: gandalfthegrey, Flickr
This is a 1990s photo where you can see the Woolworths fascia has been updated.
Source: Goldsteinleigh Investments
Source: JJ justin, Flickr
A more recent photo here, just before the store closed for good on 2nd January 2009.
Source: Snapper Jude, Flickr
It soon became a Sports Direct – here’s a photo we took last week whilst on holiday in Hastings. It’s a large, prominent store – you can’t miss it. They have painted the blue tiles grey, but apart from that is looks exactly as it did as a Woolworths. And even the 4 little roof windows are recognisable from the earlier 1950s photo – a real piece of history.
442/446 Holloway Road, London N7 6QE
I had many fond memories of Holloway Road from the 1990s when I started my student life, but I did not recall a Woolworths. So when I saw it listed on the 1970s store list, the idea for this whole blog began…
Woolworths opened on the bustling Holloway Road in the 1920s, opposite the Nags Head public house of which the area is now named after. Here is a photo from the 1950s, when trolleybuses were in use – there was a bus stop directly outside the store. There were upper floors, so I would say this was quite a large Woolworths.
Source: Carter, C
Below are two photos from the 1960s, where we can see the neighbouring buildings were J Lyons tea shop and H Samuel jewellers. It appears the road has also been enlarged since the 1950s.
Source: Pask, Brian
Source: Bannister, Geoff
Somewhere along the line, there was a makeover, I am guessing in the mid-1960s from the look of the building today. Then the store closed, possibly in the 1980s when Kingfisher took over, I can only speculate. What I do know is that it was definitely an Iceland in 1997.
Here is a more recent image of this parade of shops from 2010, where we can clearly see Iceland is where Woolworths was. The J Lyon tea shop is now Mothercare, H Samuel is T-Mobile (although probably an EE store now), and Marks & Spencer is still there looking remarkably unchanged. How was that for a lovely trip back in time 🙂
Source: diamond geezer
4 Balfour Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 4JH
The Ilford store was a relatively new one in the history of Woolworths stores – but the address has a fascinating history. Originally it was the Ilford Super Cinema which opened on 14th October 1922. In WW2, Ilford suffered the most German V2 rocket hits and the cinema was one of the casualties in 1945 – the building had to be boarded up.
In 1959 – 14 years later – the cinema was demolished and a C&A built in it’s place – a pretty eye-catching C&A building too.
Then when all the C&As closed down in 2000, Woolworths took on the lease of 6 of them – Chester, Metro Gateshead, Wood Green, Derby, Slough and of course Ilford.
The building, together with its illuminated Woolworths signs, always caught my eye whenever we drove through Ilford to get to my cousin Rori’s house. As a young local, she was quite distraught when C&A closed and threw a tantrum in the new Woolworths store… so C&A had it’s fans too. Here is a photo she took:
Ex-Woolworths employee and local Kerry Phillips reminisces, “I worked there for a couple of Christmases and always remember lots of people frantically shopping for last minute sweets and chocolates. The year Leona Lewis won X Factor I remember that song got to number one and it was played in store all day! “
She also remembers buying a CD on it’s last weekend of trading and how upbeat everyone was being. The Ilford store closed on 2nd January 2009.
In October 2009, a Wilkinson’s opened in it’s place. So although this is not a traditional Woolworths building, it is an iconic one and will probably stay a part of Ilford for many years to come.
Actually, here is an architect’s impression of Ilford after the proposed ‘urban realm scheme’ – it looks like they want Wilko’s gone and a cinema or something movie-themed in it’s place, I’m guessing in homage to the original Ilford Super Cinema.
9/11 Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 2BA
Woolworths had been on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames for over 80 years according to the Henley Standard, before it closed on Tuesday 30th December 2008. So I estimate it opened in the late 1920s.
Source: Baldock, James (used with permission)
Above is the store just before it closed (picture from my facebook group).
It is now a teeny tiny Sainsbury’s, a really busy one too. That’s me with the apples below 🙂
37-41 High Street, Harlesden NW10 4NH
“Number 3 of the London stores, it opened in 1911 and closed in 1991 at the end of it’s lease. The original store was rather smaller, expanding to the below frontage in two stages in the 1920s and 1930s. The outlet took a little longer to get established than the first two London stores Brixton and Woolwich, but had built such a large clientele by the 1930s that it was doubled in size.”
(Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/1910s-london.html and http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/pages/0011Harlesden-1920s.htm)
Woolworths shared the premises with sister company Superdrug in the 80s and moved out in the 90s.
Quote from Pat (Moss) Hurwood who was born in Harlesden in 1947 and lived there until 1963. “Further along towards the Jubilee Clock was a fishmongers that would have blocks of ice delivered about 7.30 each morning. Close to this was a wonderful Woolworths where you could spend what little pocket money you had. This shop went on fire and my brother, who was a budding photographer, sold a photo of the fire.” Source: http://www.movethat.co.uk/London/My/Harlesden
My sister works in Harlesden now at Champion records. She said her boss always mentions there was a Woolworths in Harlesden, which I supposed must have been really important being a record company. That’s where the interest in this post stems from. We are going to take a photo of what is in the building in the near future, when we are brave enough! Apparently it is some random home store, after Superdrug moved to across the road.
53-55 Station Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 4BE
I took the above photo from my car in December 2008.
48- 50 The Broadway, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 9PT
“Opened as store #512 on 9 September 1933, it was later renumbered as #2023 in about 2000, at the point where it was converted to the new ‘Woolworths General Store’ format. Though that concept turned out to be shortlived, the store continued to trade – still under its General Store fascia – until Woolworths’ collapse.” Source: http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk
I spoke to ex-Greenford employee Ganesh Jillah, who worked there from 1995 – 2001, and took the below photo when it closed for good in 2008. He reminisced “I remember when we moved the entertainment counter from the left side to the right and then back to the left in all the store refits”. I said “What? How did you move a whole entertainment counter” He said “We was Woolworths. We coulda done anything. And we did.”
He also mentioned the presence of ghosts at Greenford. “One evening, me and Stewart were cashing up when we heard all the sound books go off, you know the kids books where you press a button and it makes a sound. And there was no one else in store, just me and Stewart”
I said “What, all of them?”
“Yes ALL of them. We thought we must be hearing things and carried on. Went upstairs, came back down to lock up, suddenly the books start going off again, and one flew off the shelf. We legged it!”