Category Archives: * F-J

Finchley – Store 727

105 Ballards Lane, Finchley, London N3 6JR

This store opened in 1938, in a familiar Woolworth architectural style (see far left):

Finchley Woolworths 1965 - Ballards Lane

Finchley Woolworths 1965 – Ballards Lane

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.

Finchley Superdrug 2017 - Former Woolworths

Finchley Superdrug 2017 – Former Woolworths

Source: Property Link

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High Wycombe – Store 214

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).

High Wycombe Woolworths 1926

High Wycombe Woolworths 1926

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.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1932

High Wycombe Woolworths 1932

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

High Wycombe Woolworths 1933

High Wycombe Woolworths 1933

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

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.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1935

High Wycombe Woolworths 1935

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

A 1940s view:

High Wycombe Woolworths 1948

High Wycombe Woolworths 1948

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

The store in 1971 just before moving to its new location on the High Street.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1971

High Wycombe Woolworths 1971

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

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.

High Wycombe Former Woolworths - YMCA Queens Square

High Wycombe Former Woolworths – YMCA Queens Square

And here is it today – let’s hope something nice moves in :/

Former Woolworths - Letting Unit 25, The Chilterns Centre, 5-6 Queens Square, High Wycombe

Former Woolworths – Letting Unit 25, The Chilterns Centre, 5-6 Queens Square, High Wycombe 2017

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.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1970s

High Wycombe Woolworths 1970s

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

High Wycombe Woolworths 1981

High Wycombe Woolworths 1981

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

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.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1987/88

High Wycombe Woolworths – former rear entrance 1987/88

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

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.

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

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.

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

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.

High Wycombe Iceland Poundworld 2017

High Wycombe Former Woolworths 2016

High Wycombe WW Iceland Poundworld 2017

High Wycombe Iceland and Poundworld 2017

High Wycombe Poundworld - Red Lion Statue 2017

High Wycombe Poundworld – Red Lion Statue 2017

Hastings – Store 251

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:

Hastings Woolworths 1950s

Hastings Woolworths 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.

Hastings Woolworths 1982

Hastings Woolworths 1982

Source: Popkin, A

This photo was taken when the underground walkway was being built.

Hastings Woolworths 1988

Hastings Woolworths 1988

Source: gandalfthegrey, Flickr

This is a 1990s photo where you can see the Woolworths fascia has been updated.

Hastings Woolworths 1990s

Hastings Woolworths 1990s

Source: Goldsteinleigh Investments

Hastings Woolworths 2004

Hastings Woolworths 2004

Source: JJ justin, Flickr

A more recent photo here, just before the store closed for good on 2nd January 2009.

Hastings Woolworths 2008

Hastings Woolworths 2008

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.

Hastings Sports Direct 2015

Hastings Sports Direct 2015

Holloway – Store 240

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.

Holloway Woolworths 1950s

Holloway Woolworths 1950s

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.

Holloway Woolworths 1960

Holloway Woolworths 1960

Source: Pask, Brian

Holloway Woolworths 1961

Holloway Woolworths 1961

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 🙂

Holloway Road 2010

Holloway Road 2010

Source: diamond geezer

Ilford – Store 1241

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.

Ilford Super Cinema 1920s

Ilford Super Cinema 1920s

Source: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/14414

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.

Ilford C&A 1960s

Ilford C&A 1970s

Source: Ilford in Pictures Facebook Group

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:

Ilford Woolworths 2008

Ilford Woolworths 2008

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.

Ilford Wilko 2014

Ilford Wilko 2014

Source: http://www.crossrail.co.uk

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.

Architects Impression of future Ilford

Architects Impression of future Ilford

Henley-on-Thames – Store 436

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.

THEN:

Henley Woolworths 2000

Henley Woolworths 2000

Source: http://henleyonthames.org/locations/details.asp?fldLocationID=4

Woolworths Henley 2006

Woolworths Henley 2006

Source: Baldock, James (used with permission)

Henley Woolworths 2008

Henley Woolworths 2008

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 🙂

NOW:

Henley Sainsburys 2014

Henley Sainsburys 2014

Harlesden – Store 11

37-41 High Street, Harlesden NW10 4NH

THEN:

“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)

Harlesden Woolworths 1920s

Harlesden Woolworths 1920s

Woolworths shared the premises with sister company Superdrug in the 80s and moved out in the 90s.

Woolworths Harlesden 1990

Woolworths Harlesden 1990

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartkew/8559943624

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.

Hayes – Store 541

53-55 Station Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 4BE

THEN

Hayes Woolworths 2008

Hayes Woolworths 2008

I took the above photo from my car in December 2008.

NOW

Hayes 99p Store 2014

Hayes 99p Store 2014

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45101643@N04/12789577975

Greenford – Store 512 / 2023

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

THEN:

Greenford Woolworths 1950

Greenford Woolworths 1950 (behind the bus!)

Source: www.flickr.com/photos/81184879@N08/8425883449/

Greenford  Woolworths 1965

Greenford Woolworths 1965  (on the left)

Source: http://www.francisfrith.com

Greenford Woolworths 1980

Greenford Woolworths 1980

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89207625@N06/8314641626/

Greenford Woolwoths 80s

Greenford Woolwoths 80s

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/61927816@N08/9876505754

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.”

Greenford Woolworths 2008

Greenford Woolworths 2008

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!”

NOW:

Greenford Iceland 2014

Greenford Iceland 2014

Source:  www.citikey.co.uk