12a Saville Street West, North Shields, Northumberland NE29 6QT
Woolworths opened in North Shields on the 13th September 1930. You can see the store on the right of the below photo with the canopies. It had opened in an existing building, next to Gregg’s Cafe.
Source: Soults Retail View
In November 1958 the store was extended – presumably to the rear as it looks quite unchanged in this 1970s photo. Note the upper section had two floors.
In June 1978 the store was modernised and refurbished – and in the next photo you will see that the upper section has lost the top floor. Perhaps as part of this refurbishment, they decided to cut it off? In May 1987 it became a Convenience Concept Store. With all of these changes, it is a relief to see that this branch never lost its 1930s windows – look at the curve and the thin metal window frames.
Source: Chronicle Live
The store lasted until the end, closing in December 2008. It became a textiles store for a very short while, but more permanently it has become Franks – a carpet store. And the beautiful 1930s Woolies windows still remain. Next time you are in North Shields, do take a look.
73 – 75 High Street West, Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland
Woolworths opened in Wallsend in 1929. It was originally at 73 – 75 High Street West and they traded here until 1959. There are no photos online of the early Woolworths store, but the building today is a vacant one.
2 – 4 High Street East, Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland NE28 8PQ
In 1959 Woolworths moved to their new purpose-built premised at 2 – 4 High Street East, which was much larger, and very distinctively 1960s looking in style.
The fascia was updated in the 1980s.
And again another logo update in the 1990s.
Source: Newcastle Journal
Google Maps still shows Woolworths open if you click the year button back to 2008, but I’m sure this will disappear very soon. So I have saved some of the images here. We can see the doors were wooden right until the end, and there’s a ‘Back to School’ stand outside the entrance that says ‘Pick up a FREE catalogue’. This was in August 2008. Folders had a Price Drop to 74p, and the A-Board advertises NEW WorthIt CARDS from 29p.
The corner windows advertised a Price Drop on Project Books to £2.23, and the Alcatel OT-V212 Zebra, only at Woolies, for £14.99. This was a basic mobile that was good for kids, tying in with the Back to School products. I don’t think kids these days would be happy with it though – no touch screen?!
The side entrance at the back of the store was a Fire Exit, and looking through the window I can see suitcases on a shelf high up – not sure how safe that was.
There was a delivery taking place when these photos were taken, explaining the open doors. Look at this Woolworths delivery truck.
The store closed after the chain went bust in December 2008.
It became a copycat store called ‘Well Worth It’, and they even kept the ‘W’ swirls on the doors.
Well Worth It didn’t last long though, and today Heron Foods is in the building. They closed up the doors on the left, putting in their own black mosaics under the new windows. The rest of the doors and windows are exactly how they were when it was a Woolworths.
238 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, Northumberland NE26 2TD
Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Whitley Bay in 1927. I can’t find any photos from the early decades. The earliest is from 1987. From the style of the building, we can estimate this store was built in the 1950s. It was a large store with another smaller entrance at the back.
This store lasted right until the end, closing after the chain went into administration in December 2008. Clare Gallagher-Rigg was the Store Manager of 277 Whitley Bay when they closed. She says she still misses it and her team.
The store became a B&M, and as with most B&M stores, the frontage has remained the same. Can you spot the Woolworths peppermint green door handles?
76 – 80 Marygate, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland
Woolworths opened in the historic Elizabethan walled town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed on 28th August 1926, somewhere along Marygate. In March 1937, a new building was built at numbers 76 – 80 with an Art Deco facade, where Woolworths moved to.
Source: Soult G.
Below is a close-up from 1959 – this must have been after closing time as there are gates in front of the entrances. Note the three-wheeled car – apparently they had no reverse gear, so had to be pushed into the parking space.
In more recent years, you will recognise the Woolworths logo, but the fascia is brown, and it looks like a slight red illumination around the letters. Presumably Marygate is in a conservation area and the shops had to fit in.
Berwick Woolworth’s had a 10/10 refurb that Marianne Ellis from the Dunfermline store helped out with. She remembers Sharon Hancock being the manager, and then Philip Burn.
After the store closed in December 2008, Home Bargains moved in. They first had a really bright fascia, then a muted dark red one – again presumably to fit in with the area. But recently it has gone back to a bright fascia! Anyway, look above the store and you will see the original Woolworths architecture.
Berwick Former Woolworths – Home Bargains
14 – 18 Station Road, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9UL
Woolworths opened in the former mining town of Ashington in 1926. A lovely Art Deco building was built on Station Road – see on the left of this photo.
It was quite a large store as you can see from the size of the frontage.
The store lasted to the end, and closed in January 2009. I felt like I had seen a ghost when I went onto Google Street View, if you take the date back to 2009, there it is!
The store was split into two units – the left side Heron Foods. The right side was vacant, then it was a charity shop, and now it is vacant again. But look up and you’ll see the Woolworths Art Deco architecture, and the mosaic pillar are still there.
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.
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.
Source: Woolworths Museum
The building stayed relatively unchanged through the decades.
Source: Co Curate
Source: Newcastle Libraries
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.
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.
Then it was a Peacocks store.
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!
Next time you are in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, do have a look up above Sports Direct.