Category Archives: * K-O

Mansfield – Store 100

16/18 Westgate, Mansfield, Notts

The 100th Woolworths store opened in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in 1921. It must have been very exciting to reach store number 100, but I don’t have any particularly exciting information on this store. It traded from Westgate all the way to the end in January 2009. From the architecture I would say there was a refurbishment in the 1950s/60s.

Mansfield Woolworths 1966

Mansfield Woolworths 1966

Source: Our Mansfield and area

And it looks as thought the store was halved in size over time, as there was a bank and Dorothy Perkins on the left side of the building when Woolworths closed down.

Mansfield Woolworths 2009

Mansfield Woolworths 2009

Source: Ballysundriven

Today New Look is trading from the site.

Mansfield Former Woolworths - New Look

Mansfield Former Woolworths – New Look

Source: Green & Partners

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Limerick – Store 97

37 – 39 O’Connell Street, Limerick, Ireland

The 97th Woolworths store opened in Limerick, Ireland on O’Connell Street in 1921. The building was the Limerick Furnishing Warehouse.

Limerick Woolworths 1930s

Limerick Woolworths 1930s

Source: Historic England

Extract from Limerick.com of Limerick Woolworths in the 1940s/50s:

“Woolworth’s now I can remember quite a number of stories about that store especially at Christmas. Going to shop with your 10/- shilling note to get presents for all your family. Purple bath salts in an ornate glass jar for a 1/- shilling, this was always for your Mother and 6d. hankies in a box for Dad. Counter loads of ‘sweets’ under the glass covers, biscuits lining the counter top from Jacob’s in their glass topped tins. You could buy a half pound of this kind and a half pound of another and you could also buy a pound of assorted broken biscuits for 3d.

Upstairs at Woolworth’s was always a winter wonderland at Christmas, at other times of the year this area held all the electrical and hardware goods for your home. But, Christmas was Santaland time, toys, decorations, christmas lights, sparklers and Christmas music playing are memories hard to forget. The boys chasing you to sprinkle you with ‘Jack Frost’. Do you remember?”

In 1963 the store was refurbished and had a brand new look.

Limerick Woolworths 1963

Limerick Woolworths 1963

Source: A Stroll Down Memory Lane

This was how the inside looked:

Limerick, A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Book 7 &emdash; 074 Woolworth, O'connell Street, Limerick
Limerick, A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Book 3 &emdash; O'Connell Street

Limerick Woolworths 1970

Limerick Woolworths 1970

Source: From Limerick with Love

Limerick Woolworths 1970s

Limerick Woolworths 1970s

Source: Memory Lane Limerick

The store closed with Woolworths left Ireland in 1984.

Today the build still exists, it could do with a clean, The store has been split into three units – Wokking Restaurant (which is on the upper floors), Marco Polo and Carraig Donn.

Limerick Former Woolworths

Limerick Former Woolworths

Dun Laoghaire (Kingstown) – Store 90

89 Lower Georges Street, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

The 90th Woolworths store opened in Kingstown in Ireland, in 1920. In 1921, the town got renamed Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dunleary). In the below photo you can see the store on the right with the three pointed roofs.

Kingstown Dun Laoghaire Woolworths 1920s

Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) Woolworths 1920

Source: Historical Picture Archive

The store traded here for 64 years until Woolworths left Ireland in 1984. Since Woolworths closed, the building has been an M&S Simply Food.

Dun Laoghaire Former Woolworths - M&S

Dun Laoghaire Former Woolworths – M&S 2009

Today it is occupied by a shop called Sostrene Grene.

Dun Laoghaire Former Woolworths - Sostrene Grene

Dun Laoghaire Former Woolworths – Sostrene Grene

Londonderry – Store 85

28 – 32 Ferryquay Street, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Woolworths opened in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in 1920 at number 32 Ferryquay Street, taking over a Victorian building that was a furniture shop. You can see it on the far right in this photo.

Londonderry-Woolworths-1935

Londonderry Woolworths 1935

Source: Foyle Civic Trust

In this 1955 photo, you can see an Art Deco style facade has been added.

Londonderry Woolworths 1955

Londonderry Woolworths 1955

Source: Foyle Civic Trust

In the 1960s the site was redeveloped to make a purpose-built store, taking over numbers 28 and 30 also. The lettering on the fascia was large, similar to Bromley’s 1960s store.

Londonderry Woolworths 1960s

Londonderry Woolworths 1960s

Source: Pinterest

Woolworths trading from here right until the end in 2008.

Londonderry Woolworths 2008

Londonderry Woolworths 2008

Source: BBC

Today the building is occupied by Poundland.

 

Londonderry Former Woolworths-Poundland

Londonderry Former Woolworths-Poundland

Source: Kenneth Allen

Manchester (Stretford Road) – Store 77

Store 77 opened in Stretford Road in Manchester in 1918. It is not on the 1972 store list so it must have closed down before then. The whole road is full of new build flats on Google Street View, so I see no sign of a Woolworths store. This is going to be a short post. If you know of any information on this store, please do comment and let us know.

Northampton Gold Street – Store 53

38 – 40 Gold Street, Northampton NN1 1RZ

Woolworths opened their 53rd store in Northampton on Gold Street in 1915. There is no written information about the store, but I found these two photos where you can see Woolworths on the left with the Art Deco frontage. We can assume the store was extended and the frontage added in the 1930s.

Northampton Woolworths Gold Street 1930s

Northampton Woolworths Gold Street 1930s

Source: Postcard from City Cards

And this is a photo from the 1940s, with Woolworths in the centre.

Northampton Woolworths Gold Street 1940s

Northampton Woolworths Gold Street 1940s

Source: Pinterest

There is also no information as to when this store closed. In 1929, a second Northampton store opened on nearby Abington Street (store 350). So we can guess, if it follows the pattern of other towns that had two Woolworths stores, the Gold Street store probably closed in the early 1970s, with the Abington Street store serving Northampton shoppers on its own.

Today the Art Deco building still exists on Gold Street – if you are ever in Northampton, take a look at Fame Fashions.

Northampton-Former-Woolworths-Gold-Street-2015

Northampton Former Woolworths Gold Street 2015 (Fame Fashions)

Northampton-Former-Woolworths-Gold-Street-2015-

 

Luton – Store 52

46-48 George Street, Luton, Beds LU1 2BA

The 52nd Woolworths store opened in Luton on George Street in 1915, occupying two shop units.

Luton Woolworths 1930s

Luton Woolworths 1930s

Source: Postcard from eBay

On 17th June 1933, the store reopened after a rebuild. The design was quite a chaste Art Deco one with a hint of ornamentation.

Luton Woolworths 1950s

Luton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1972 the Luton Arndale shopping centre opened, and Woolworths moved in, leaving the building on George Street. This is the exterior view of the shopping centre in the 70s.

Luton Woolworths 1978

Luton Woolworths 1978

Source: Luton Memories

In 1995 it became a prototype ‘City’ store, with a new ‘Kitchenshop’ department. The store closed in 2008.

Luton Woolworths 2006

Luton Woolworths 2006

Today the George Street building still exists – you can see the Art Deco beauty as it is now occupied by ‘Luton Mall’ – 10 units including McDonalds.

Luton Former Woolworths - Luton Mall McDonalds 2017

Luton Former Woolworths – Luton Mall McDonalds 2017

And as for the Arndale centre store, that is now M&S.

Luton Former Woolworths - M&S 2017

Luton Former Woolworths – M&S 2017

Source: symettrys

Leicester – Store 49

50a – 54 Gallowtree Gate, Leicester LE1 1DB

Woolworths opened their 49th store in Leicester on Gallowtree Gate in 1915. The store was substantially enlarged in the 1920s and 1930s, as it was a very popular store.

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Source: Leicester Memories

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Source: Soult’s Retail View

 

A new look F. W. Woolworth store opened in Gallowtree Gate, Leicester in 1965, having been upgraded without actually closing. It was a ‘store of the future, with a new look inside and out – new music (the first to get a “modern” record department), soft goods, grocery (food hall on first floor), fashion and sports counters and a first floor restaurant. It had two large salesfloors, each with a brightly polished terrazzo marble floor in the firm’s distinctive pink and grey chessboard pattern.

Leicester Woolworths 1960s

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was one of a few that pioneered new lighting, flooring and wooden ‘Clothing Tower’ fixtures. It had a sixty foot (18m) fashion counter featured garments in every colour of the rainbow. Nylon and Courtelle fabrics took the place of wool and cotton, but purchasers rarely returned for more, after finding the fabrics itchy and chafing.

Leicester Woolworths 1960s

Leicester Woolworths 1960s

Source: Leicester Mercury

In the 1980s, the Leicester store modernised again as a prototype ‘Weekend’ store and it was a hit with shoppers.

Leicester Woolworths 1980s

Leicester Woolworths 1980s

Source: Memories of Leicester

But shortly afterwards the building was sold to BHS when Kingsfisher took over and they were selling off city centre stores to make money. This store closed in 1984, there was a 2 year gap and then they opened a new store in Haymarket Shopping Centre in 1986 (Store 1141).

Leicester Former Woolworths - BHS 2010

Leicester Former Woolworths – BHS 2010

Source: Soult’s Retail View

Of course now BHS has also gone bust, so this building is vacant, still with the BHS fascia though. If you are in town, you can see the building, it’s next to The Works and Caffe Nero.

Norwich – Store 44

21-25 Rampant Horse Street, Norwich, Norfolf NOR 50E

In November 1914, the 44th Woolworths store opened in Norwich on Rampant Horse Street. The store was popular despite initial resistance to chain stores and national brands. Bigger premises were needed so in 1929, a larger store was built on the opposite side with a cafeteria on the first floor (pictured below).

Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1929

Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1929

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1937 Woolworths won the award for best dressed store in Norwich for the coronation of King George VI.

Norwich Woolworths 1937

Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1937

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store got destroyed in the Blitz of WW2 in 1942, and was rebuilt in the 1950s. While it was being rebuilt, staff were transferred to the Magdelen Street branch, store 556, where they worked for nearly a decade.

Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1950s

Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1950s

Source: Pinterest

The new Norwich store had a high ceiling, fluorescent lighting and a shiny terrazzo marble floor. The new stores significantly outperformed the old pre-war stores, which inspired a major upgrade programme during the Fifties and drove rapid sales growth.

Inside Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1951

Inside Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1951

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store closed shortly after the below photo was taken, when Woolworths moved into the shopping centre in the 1980s.

Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1986

Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1986

Source: Eastern Daily Press

Today it is part of M&S. The main part of M&S is to the left so this is almost the forgotten bit. Next time you are in Norwich, now you’ll know this was a Woolworths.

Norwich Former Woolworths now Marks and Spencer 2018

Norwich Former Woolworths now Marks and Spencer 2018

Source: Lees, I.

 

 

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne – Store 27

15/21 Northumberland Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 7BB

The twenty-seventh Woolworths store opened on 6th September 1913 at 17 Northumberland Street, next to the first Fenwicks department store. Every picture from the early years shows a Carter Paterson’s lorry or container – they brought up goods from the railway station to replenish the counters.

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1913

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1913

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was so successful that it trebled in size by 1936. The elegant, enlarged building was put up around the existing store so shopping could continue while works went on. The style was Art Deco with windows in trios.

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1936

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1936

Source: Woolworths Museum

The building stayed relatively unchanged through the decades.

Newcastle Woolworths 1960s

Newcastle Woolworths 1960s

Source: Co Curate

Newcastle Woolworths 1968

Newcastle Woolworths 1968

Source: Newcastle Libraries

Newcastle Woolworths 1971

Newcastle Woolworths 1971

Source: Co Curate

A new fascia was put on in the 1980s, but the store closed shortly after, when Woolworths disposed of city centre stores to save on costs.

Newcastle Woolworths 1984

Newcastle Woolworths 1984

Source: chroniclelive.co.uk

This store closed in 1984 and was pre-let to Next. But Virgin Megastores actually took on the site, which changed to Zavvi in 2007.

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Virgin Megastore 2007

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Virgin Megastore 2007

Source: Mankind

Then it was a Peacocks store.

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2010

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2010

Source: Citykey

and today it is Sports Direct. And despite all these shop changes, it is lovely to see the Art Deco architecture still intact, and looking bright and clean!

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Sports Direct

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Sports Direct

Source: Citykey

Next time you are in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, do have a look up above Sports Direct.

Lewisham – Store 20

142/148 High Street, Lewisham, London SE13 6JJ

Woolworths opened its twentieth store in Lewisham, South East London in 1913. I am guessing this is because of its location near a railway station. Below you can see how it first looked before it had a rebuild.

Lewisham-Woolworths-1937-before-rebuild

Lewisham Woolworths 1937 (before rebuild)

Source: Woolworth’s 100 years on the high street, Morrison K.

In 1937 the store was upgraded with a cinema front. The company was particularly proud of its galleried frontage. The neon lettering at the top of the building cost £50,000!

Lewisham-Woolworths-1937

Lewisham High Road Woolworths 1937

Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

When Lewisham Shopping Centre opened behind the Woolworths store in 1975, Woolworths made another entrance at the back to the shopping centre. In the 80s, the store was halved in size and that is when Superdrug moved in. Then in the 90s, the store was split again and they kept the shopping centre side, which had a new store number, until closure in 2008.

Today the building is shared by Superdrug and Currys, and somehow just does not look so grand anymore. Doesn’t it look huge in the old photos?? Maybe it’s the angle of the 1930s photo that makes it look bigger than it actually is. Still, it is great that the Art Deco front is still here – if you ever are on Lewisham High Street, do have a look out for it.

Lewisham Former Woolworths | Superdrug Currys 2012

Lewisham Former Woolworths | Superdrug Currys 2012

Source: The Lost Byway

 

Grimsby – Store 18

84a Freeman Street, Grimsby DN32 7AG

The eighteenth store to open in the UK, Grimsby opened in 1913, completing a line of stores from the northwest to the northeast coasts. Grimsby store was popular with fishermen and docksmen, selling more hunting knives and budget breakfasts than any other branch.

Grimsby Freeman Street Woolworths 1913

Grimsby Freeman Street Woolworths 1913

Source: Woolworths Museum

This is an image from a postcard being sold of eBay. There is no date but it looks very early on.

Grimsby-Freeman-Street-Woolworths-no-date

Grimsby-Freeman-Street-Woolworths-no-date

Source: Roy Sharkey Postcard Collection

In 1964 the store was ‘reskinned’. Located near the docks, this store was overshadowed by a new town centre store which had opened in September 1957.

Grimsby Freeman Street Woolworths 1950s

Grimsby Freeman Street Woolworths 1950s

Source: Grimsby Cleethorpes History Facebook group

This store closed in 1971, when the newer store had converted to self-service. Many towns with two Woolworths lost one in the 1970s.

The building is still around today, occupied by Grimsby Carpet Warehouse (GWC), which if you stick into Google, you get this lovely picture 😉

Grimsby Freeman Street Former Woolworths - GWC Grimsby Carpet Warehouse 2017

Grimsby Freeman Street Former Woolworths – GWC Grimsby Carpet Warehouse 2017

Source: Grimsby Telegraph

Leeds – Store 5

140/142 Briggate, Leeds LS1 6BU

The fifth UK store opened at The Exchange Buildings at 131 Briggate on the 8th March 1910. This was the first Woolworths in Yorkshire. The store was on the ground floor, whilst the upstairs were used as offices and bedrooms for the Grand Central Hotel next door.

Leeds Woolworths 1912

Leeds Woolworths 1912

Source: Woolworths Museum

It was a small Victorian-gothic building that looked quite grand. They hoped the store would attract society people as they passed on their way into the banking halls around the corner. The store did really well here, with the salesfloor packed to overflowing at peak times. Which meant the firm had to find bigger premises.

On 1st December 1928 the store relocated next door, building a brand new store with a grand Art Deco style facade, that replaced the Albion Hotel. (It’s the white building with the canopy in the middle of the below photo)

Leeds Briggate Woolworths c1948

Leeds Woolworths c1948

Source: Leodis

In 1959 the building was extended and modernised to be a superstore for Woolworth’s Golden Jubilee year, opening on 26th February 1959. The design is a recognisable Woolworths one – Portland Stone facade with a central section of aluminium with blue glass panels. The introduction of toughened armour-plated glass meant shopfronts could be more transparent. Displays of merchandised were moved from the centre to the side windows. The central window showed a double staircase to the lower ground floor, and an escalator leading up to the Foodmarket on the first floor. Escalators were the new thing at this time.

Leeds Woolworths 1959

Leeds Woolworths 1959

Source: Morrison K., Woolworth’s 100 Years on the High Street

In the above photo you can clearly see the staircase to the lower floor, looking quite grand. And in the below photo, there you can see the escalator going up to the self-service Foodmarket. There was also a 444-seater cafeteria on this floor. A novel feature of this store was a record department with listening booths.

Leeds Woolworths 1959

Leeds Woolworths 1959

Source: Morrison K., Woolworth’s 100 Years on the High Street

Leeds Briggate Woolworths 1965

Leeds Briggate Woolworths 1965

Source: Leodis | A Photographic Archive of Leeds – read the comments in this link, there are some lovely memories from locals.

The below photo was taken a few years before the store closed down in 1987, being one of the many city centre stores that were sold in the eighties.

Leeds Briggate Woolworths 1982

Leeds Briggate Woolworths 1982

Source: Yorkshire Post

In 1987,  a well-known department store in Leeds called Schofields and Rackhams moved their store here, and they became part of the House of Fraser chain – which brings us to today.

Leeds Briggate former Woolworths now House of Fraser

Leeds Briggate former Woolworths now House of Fraser

Source: Longbottom B.

It’s lovely to see the front is pretty much the same, just the windows on the upper floors seem to have posters in them now. The ground floor entrance doors have been moved to the centre with window displays on both sides. There’s still a cafe by the looks of it, though I wonder if the basement floor still exists.

If you are ever in Leeds, do go into House of Fraser and look for any clues of Woolworths past.

Manchester Piccadilly – Store 4

19-35 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 1LP

The fourth Woolworths store opened on Oldham Street in Manchester. It was the first store to open so close to a Marks and Spencer Penny Bazaar, and there ended up being a friendly rivalry between the two stores, with customers flocking to both.

Manchester Oldham Street Woolworths 1910

Manchester Oldham Street Woolworths 1910

Source: Woolworths Museum

The large two floor store became a training ground for future managers. In 1927 the store was moved to an iconic purpose-built building on the corner of Piccadilly, built of Portland Stone, that was to be the largest store in Europe.

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1937

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1937

Source: Wade, R.

1950s

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1955

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1955

Source: O’Brie, T.

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1956

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1956

Source: Pinterest

Between 1967 – 70 the store was modernised and reopened by one of Woolworths’ favourite celebrities, Opportunity Knocks host Hughie Green. It had four vast sales floor connected by escalators and a 208-seat Harvest House restaurant on the second floor, with prints of old Manchester adorning the walls. But it had no smoke detectors or sprinklers.

1970s

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1970s

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1970s

Source: Our Manchester

The Manchester Piccadilly store is one of the more famous stores for a devastatingly sad reason.  A deadly fire took hold of the store on the 8th May 1979, that killed 9 shoppers and one member of staff.  Windows on the upper floors had bars over them, people were trapped and firefighters lost time having to cut through the bars. The cause of the fire was from polyeurathane sofas, a new style of budget seating. The investigation concluded that their fabric had been set on fire, perhaps by a discarded cigarette or faulty electrical wires. It had smouldered until the flames reached the foam filling. This was highly inflammable and had burnt at 700oC, releasing a deadly cyanide gas. A single breath had been enough to kill.

The fire resulted in the routine installation of sprinkler systems and changes in the material used in soft furnishings. I don’t want to share any photos of the fire as it’s really sad to look at, but there are many photos online and you can read more about it here.

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths 1970s

Manchester Piccadilly Woolworths mid-70s

Source: Pinterest

The store was re-opened after the fire but closed in 1986. It was an amusement arcade for many years until recently when it was renovated to become a Travelodge, Morrisons, Zizzi and Nandos.

Manchester Piccadilly former Woolworths now Travelodge 2014

Manchester Piccadilly former Woolworths – Travelodge 2014

Source: Hamid, T.

 

 

Liverpool London Road – Store 3

93 London Road, Liverpool L3 8JD

The third Woolworths store to open in the UK was also in Liverpool, on London Road, just two miles away from the first store in Church Street. The building was offered at a low lease from Owen Owen (remember that department store!), whose owner was impressed by the product offerings in the Church Street store. It actually opened one day before Store 2 (there was a race between the stores as to which would be ready first), and they opened on 4th February 1910.

Liverpool London Road Woolworths 1910

Liverpool London Road Woolworths 1910

Source: Woolworths Museum

London Road was a distinct shopping area that attracted a fashionable clientele as well as students and academics, according to the Woolworths Musuem. But it was also reported that “on its first day the London Road store was mobbed by ‘shawlies’ – a name given to working-class Liverpool women who were usually elderly and of scruffy appearance – assistants fainted, counters were pushed around and many customers left having failed to pay for their purchases.” (Source: BBC Liverpool)

Liverpool London Road Woolworths Valentines Window Display 1937

Liverpool London Road Woolworths | Valentines Window Display | 1937

Source: National Museums Liverpool

From the caption in the below photo, it seems as though the original building may have been demolished, or they erected a new purpose-built store further along London Road, in 1962.

Liverpool London Road Woolworths 1962

Liverpool London Road Woolworths 1962

Source: Getty Images

The store closed down, possibly another one of the casualties of the 1980s closures. The building was an amusement arcade for a while – though they kept the back of the Woolworths store windows, doors and mosaic floor. This photo was taken in 2009.

Former Woolworths Liverpool London Road 2009

Former Woolworths Liverpool London Road 2009

Source: Mayer, P.

It’s all gone now, not a trace left, as a Tesco Express now takes the place of 91-93 London Road, Liverpool.

Former Woolworths Liverpool London Road 2015

Former Woolworths Liverpool London Road 2015

Source: Liverpool Echo

Liverpool – Store 1

22/36 Church Street, Liverpool L1 3AY

The first ever Woolworths store in the UK was opened on Church Street in Liverpool on the 5th November 1909. Liverpool was chosen due to it’s location, being a seaport and due to the fact it had an electric railway – in fact the next stores to open went along the railway track.

A Sixpenny Romance - Celebrating 100 years of value at Woolworth

Liverpool, Church Street – First Woolworths Store, 1909

This postcard is from the online Woolworths Museum and you can read more about the first store here. It used to be the entrance to the Tatler Cinema, and if you look on Google, you can find photos of the cinema where you can see the same windows. The store had three floors and was always packed with customers, with famously long queues. But there was no way to extend the store. They closed the store and built a new one. Today the old store is now Clarks.

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths First Store Clarks 2012

Liverpool Church Street, Woolworths First Store, Now Clarks, 2012

Source: Graham Soult, Soult’s Retail View

New flagship Woolworths Store, 22-36 Church Street, Liverpool 1923

New flagship Woolworths Store, 22-36 Church Street, Liverpool 1923

A huge new flagship store was built on 22 -36 Church Street (see above photo from the Woolworths Museum, building in the centre). It came out that Harrods were in talks to demolish a church and replace it with a department store, but they pulled out. That’s when Woolworths stepped in. The new flagship Woolworths store opened on 4th August 1923, and you can read more about that here.

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths 1980s

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths 1980s

Source: Chriscarma, Flickr

The store closed in the 1980s, and you can see in it’s glory from this amazing photo taken by Chriscarma on Flickr – such beautiful architecture. And below is a photo from the day it closed on 4th June 1983.

Liverpool Woolworths Church Street 1983

Liverpool Woolworths Church Street 1983

Source: Mayer, P.

And today the building still exists – it is Topshop, L’Occitane and the entrance to Liverpool One – a shopping arcade linking to Peter’s Lane.

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths TopShop Liverpool One 2016

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths, Now TopShop, L’Occitane and Liverpool One 2016

Source: Liverpool Echo

Next time you are shopping in Liverpool and you walk past Clarks or walk into Liverpool One, look up and see a part of Woolworths history.

Leyton – Store 129 / 2024

612-614a Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7DL

One of the early London stores, this one opened in 1923 in the Bakers Arms district on Lea Bridge Road, with a striking Art Deco facade. It was an L-Shaped store with the main entrance on Lea Bridge Road, and a smaller side entrance on the High Road.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - front

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – front

In these photos taken in 1939, the windows had been neatly taped up for safety, to prepare for the war. As a result, both frontages stayed intact during the blitz.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - High Road side

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – High Road side

Somewhere along the line you can see the Woolworth fascia got a sixties makeover, just looking at the typeface used.

Leyton Woolworths 1967 - 1975

Leyton Woolworths 1967 – 1975

Above three photos – source: Historic England

In the 2000s, this was one of the stores chosen to be a general store, and had it’s store number renamed from 129 to 2024.

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Source: Lock, D.

Then it was tranformed back to a normal Woolworths until its closure in December 2008.

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Source: Flickr

Today the main part of the building is an Iceland, and it is pleasing to see the Art Deco facade remains.

Leyton Iceland Former Woolworths 2017

Leyton Iceland – Former Woolworths – 2017

Source: London Postcode Walks

The High Road side entrance is now a Greggs.

Leyton Greggs - High Road - former Woolworths

Leyton Greggs – High Road – former Woolworths

Source: All in London

Marlow – Store 563

5 Market Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 3HH

This Woolworths store opened in part of the Crown Hotel on Market Square, Marlow around 1935. The building was formerly the town hall dating back from 1807. Here is a postcard of the whole building when it was the Crown Hotel in 1913.

Marlow Market Square Pre-Woolworths 1913

Marlow Market Square 1913

Source:  Postcards Then and Now

And here you can see the side that became Woolworths, this was in the 1950s.

Marlow Woolworths 1950s

Marlow Woolworths 1950s

Source: SWOP

Relatively unchanged in the 1970s.

Marlow Woolworths 1970s

Marlow Woolworths 1970s

Source: SWOP

Marlow Woolworths 1973

Marlow Woolworths 1973

Source: SWOP

I think the store closed in the 1980s when the company closed a lot of stores to cut costs, and since then it has been a Boots store. Here it is today.

Marlow Boots 2017

Source: RightMove

New Malden – Store 672 / 2019

106-110 High Street, New Malden, Surrey KT3 4EY

Woolworths opened in a small store on New Malden High Street in 1936, then extending in 1939. You can see it below on the right, 3 stores down from Timothy Whites (which is now Boots).

New Malden Woolworths 1955

New Malden Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

In 1964, the store extended into the neighbouring building and was refurbished, modernised and converted to self-service.

New Malden Woolworths 1962

Woolworths New Malden 1964

Source: Pinterest, O’Malley N

New Malden Woolworths 1965

Woolworths New Malden 1965

Source: Francis Frith

There was further modernisation in 1978.

In 2000 the store was converted to a Woolworths General Store format, with a new store number 2019. Two years later it went back to being a normal Woolworths, and was then upgraded to a 10/10 store. It closed down in December 2008.

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Woolworths New Malden 2008

Source: Flickr, Dawson F

The building was then taken over by a discount store who didn’t take the Woolworths fascia down! This photo was taken in 2010:

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Discount Store, New Malden Old Woolworths building, 2010

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

And now it is a Poundland.

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Poundland New Malden, 2012

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

Middlesbrough – Store 8

51/67 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, Teeside TS1 5BT

The eighth Woolworths branch to open in the UK was at Middlesbrough, back in 1911. According to the 1913 Kelly’s Directory of North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, it originally opened at 91-93 Linthorpe Road, but then moved to bigger premises at 51 -67 in 1926 (pictured below).

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1911

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1920s?

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Middlesbrough was bombed quite severely in WWII and Woolworths was hit. The store was rebuilt throughout the 1950s, reopening with a more modern look in 1959.

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1950s

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1959

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

It traded for another 20 years before closing down in the 1980s when Kingfisher took over.

The building was split into 3 units and occupied by Currys, Champion and Fosters in the 1980s.

Middlesbrough Currys Champion Fosters 1988

Middlesbrough Currys Champion Fosters 1988

Source: alamy

Today the building is now occupied by USC and River Island – the closed down unit was Currys.digital until recently. You can see from the below photo how imposing a building it was. It would have been quite a large Woolworths store.

Middlesbrough USC and River Island 2012

Middlesbrough USC and River Island 2012

Source: ballysundriven

In the 2000s, Woolworths returned to Middlesbrough as store 1200, which I’ll cover in a separate post.