Category Archives: * P-T

Shoreditch – Store 982

142/146 Hoxton  Street, London N1 6SH

This is going to be the first of a few ‘short but sweet’ posts, as I find it fascinating that there were so many London Woolworths stores that we see day to day without realising. Here is the Shoreditch store, which opened in 1957. Hoxton Street was severely bombed in the Blitz, so many streets had to be rebuilt. Here it looks as though Woolworths purpose built this one in the late 50s. I don’t know when it closed, possibly in the 1980s. Today it is a Poundland.

Shoreditch Poundland 2017 Former Woolworths

Shoreditch Poundland 2017 – Former Woolworths

Source: LDS

Swansea – Store 14 / 135

Store 14:
239-242 High Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 1PL

The FIRST Welsh store to join the chain, this store opened in 1912 on Castle Street.

Swansea Woolworths 1912

Swansea Woolworths 1912

Source: Woolworths Museum

Swansea Woolworths 1927

Swansea Woolworths 1927

Source: Francis Frith

The store was so successful that they bought out the neighbouring Hotel Cameron premises in 1927 and moved there in 1928. The original premises vanished in a junction improvement scheme.

Swansea Woolworths 1930s

Swansea Woolworths 1930s

Source: Swansea Recalled

The building was demolished down to the first floor after being bombed in the Blitz.

Swansea Woolworths 1940s

Swansea Woolworths 1940s

Source: Swansea Recalled

It was then used up to the first store, without the use of the old upper floor offices which had proved difficult to sub-let in the Great Depression anyway. Here is how it looked in 1949. The Cafeteria signage was the same, but the 3d and 6d lettering was dropped.

Swansea Woolworths 1949

Swansea Woolworths 1949

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison

1n 1958-59, the store was rebuilt in a 60s style, as you can see in the photo below, opening on 16th November 1959. This is the building that Swansea locals will recognise as Argos today. On 28th June 1986 the store closed as part of cost-cutting back in the 1980s, and sold to Argos. Understandable as there was another Woolworths store just 5 minutes walk away from this site.

Swansea Woolworths 1959

Swansea Woolworths 1959

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison

Here is it as Argos today.

Swansea Woolworths-Argos-2017

Swansea Woolworths-Argos-2017

Store 135 :
242-246 Oxford Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 3BA

Meanwhile over at Oxford Street in Swansea, a Woolworths store opened in 1923.

Swansea Woolworths 2008

Swansea Woolworths 2008

I actually can’t find any information at all about this particular store, or how it looked between 1923 and 2008. This building is now Poundland.

Swansea Poundland 2017

Swansea Poundland 2017

If you have any old photos of the Oxford Street store that you don’t mind sharing, do let me know in the comments.

Redhill – Store 164

3-7 High Street, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1RE

Woolworths opened on Redhill High Street in 1924, two doors down from a public house (The Junction). You can see it below on the left side of this 1933 photo, the second shop in.

Redhill Woolworths 1933

Redhill Woolworths 1933

Source: Francis Frith

Here is a later photo from 1955, from another angle. Woolworths is on the right side and unchanged from 1933.

Redhill Woolworths 1955

Redhill Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

There are no more photos on the internet, but they expanded into the shops next door, so it spanned from 3 – 7 High Street. I would guess this happened in the 1970s when the high street was redeveloped.

In the 2000s, Redhill Woolworths was chosen to be a 10/10 trial store, which meant trying out the blue and red fascia and ‘ Woolworths’ in lower case as seen below. Personally I never liked this look. It was also a ‘Christmas store’ when head office would mock up what Christmas would look like instore when it was actually July.

Here it is on it’s last day of trading, 27th December 2008.

Redhill Woolworths 2008

Redhill Woolworths 2008

Source: ephotozine

Today the building is occupied by Wilkos, looking a lot brighter now the grime has been painted over!

Wilko Redhill

Wilko Redhil

Stoke Newington – Store 61

142/146 High Street, Stoke Newington, London N16 7JL

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened in the North London town of Stoke Newington in 1915. It was part of a parade of shops, not a specifically purpose-built store, and you can see it below through the decades looking relatively unchanged.

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1950s

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1950s

Source: Flickr, Hornbeam Arts

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1980s

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1980s

Source: Flickr, Hornbeam Arts

Stoke Newington Woolworths 2008

Stoke Newington Woolworths 2008

Photo from my Facebook group.

After Woolworths closed on 27th December 2008, Iceland bought the store in January 2009, where it is still trading today.

Stoke Newington Iceland 2012

Stoke Newington Iceland 2012

 

Sutton – Store 1192

71 High Street, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1DT

After Woolworths closed at 148/150 High Street, they moved down the road to 71 High Street.

71 High Street was quite a historical building in Sutton. It was where Sutton’s first department store was located, called Shinner’s Department store, built in 1935.

Shinner's Department Store, Sutton 1935

Shinner’s Department Store, Sutton 1935

Source: K Park Prints and Collectables

Shinner's Department Store, Sutton 1935

Shinner’s Department Store, Sutton 1935

Source: Old UK Photos

In 1979 Shinner’s was taken over by Allders, and they stayed in this building until 1991 when they moved into the new St Nicholas Shopping Centre (and then became Debenhams). Woolworths moved here in 1994, with a new store number 1192. It looks as though the building was rebuilt from the new-looking red brickwork, so perhaps this is why there was a 3-year gap. Woolworths traded here for 14 years until it closed in early January 2009.

Sutton Woolworths 2008

Sutton Woolworths 2008

Source: Featherstone, P.

Waterstones moved in, and it was the first Waterstones to trial their Cafe W concept. Meanwhile, the former Sutton Woolworths store manager teamed up with another store manager to open the toy shop Toy Barnhaus, which is still successfully trading today with 7 branches.

Sutton Waterstones 2015

Sutton Waterstones 2015

Source: Sutton Film Office

Sutton – Store 71

148/150 High Street, Sutton, Surrey

Sutton Woolworths was one of the very early stores of the chain. It opened in the High Street in 1916. In the below 1923 postcard, the Woolworths store can be seen on the right. It was next to the Surrey County Theatre which opened in 1921.

Sutton Woolworths 1923

Sutton Woolworths 1923

Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Below you can see the store to the far right. I’m estimating this to be in the 1930s from the cars.

Sutton Woolworths 1930s

Sutton Woolworths 1930s

Source: CinemaTreasures.org

Below is a 1935 postcard, where it can be seen that the store has had a refurbishment with an art deco cinema-style facade, quite suitable considering what the neighbouring building was.

Sutton Woolworths 1935

Sutton Woolworths 1935

Source: CinemaTreasures.org

This photo was taken shortly before Sutton High Street was pedestrianised in the early 1980s. Woolworths is on the left, where you can see the store’s 60s makeover – with the upper floors covered in what looks like concrete.

Woolworths Sutton Early-1980s

Woolworths Sutton Early-1980s

Source: Flickr, Simpson E.

Looking at the building today, yes it does seem to be some sort of grey concrete cladding, or maybe it’s metal. The store has been split into 2 units, a Burton/Dorothy Perkins and a Superdrug (I’ve merged two photos here from 192.com)

Sutton Burton Dorothy Perkins Superdrug 2015

Sutton Burton/Dorothy Perkins and Superdrug 2015

Source: 192.com

I don’t know the exact date Woolworths left this building, but I do know that the chain acquired Superdrug in 1988 and Woolworths opened in a new building at 71 High Street, Sutton in 1994.

I will cover the 71 High Street store (Store No. 1192) in a separate post.

Taunton – Store 110 / 1189

18a/19 East Street, Taunton, Somerset /
40-42 Fore Street, Taunton. Somerset TA1 1NE

The store address of the Taunton store is a bit of a mystery. From the store number 110, I can gather it opened in the spring of 1922. The 1970s store list says it was at 18a/19 East Street, of which the Woolworths Museum has the below photo.

Taunton Woolworths 1950s

Taunton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Woolworths Museum

This is a side angle from 1985.

Taunton Woolworths 1985

Taunton Woolworths 1985

Source: Hayman T.

These are more recent photos, where you can see the building is the same one as from the 1950s photo, but the address of the photos say it is Fore Street. Also the new store number 1189 would have been allocated in the 1990s, similar to the Reading store.

Taunton Woolworths 2003

Taunton Woolworths 2003

Source: cic

Taunton Woolworths closed on 5th January 2009. This photo from my Facebook group shows it before it closed:

Taunton Woolworths 2008

Taunton Woolworths 2008

TK Maxx opened in the building in 2009, with the address listed as 40 – 42 Fore Street.

Taunton TK Maxx 2013

Taunton TK Maxx 2013

Source: Ballysundriven

The building does not look like a 1950s building, it is certainly older, so perhaps the street numbering was changed sometime between the 1950s and today – I don’t know. 19 East Street today houses Sports Direct which looks like a new building. What I can say that the Woolworths building still looks grand, and it is easy to see why it was called the grandest Woolworths store in Somerset.

St Leonards-on-Sea – Store 832

10/11 Kings Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex TN37 6EA

There once was a Woolworths store at St Leonards-on-Sea, down the road from Hastings. It opened in the 1950s on Kings Road, quite close to St Leonards Warrior Square train station. It is on the right of the below photo – the building with the narrow arched windows.

St Leonards Woolworths

St Leonards Woolworths

Source: deslan, Flickr

I don’t know when it closed, but it wasn’t on the 2008 store list. Today the building is occupied by Kings Road Bazaar – quite appropriate as you could say Woolworths was sort of a bazaar of its own.

St Leonards Kings Road Bazaar

St Leonards Kings Road Bazaar

Source: Local Data Search

Teignmouth – Store 466

7 Bank Street, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8AN

Teignmouth Woolworths 1959

Teignmouth Woolworths 1959

Woolworths opened in the harbourside town of Teignmouth, Devon in March 1932. It was a small store that remained unmodernised in 1959 – apart from its fascia, it still had all of its original features. The high island counters were made of the best mahogany, while every shopper was greeted by the distinctive sweet aroma of the oil and felspar used to treat the wooden floor. (Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk)

It was a store that frequently got flooded, with water having to be brushed away by staff.

Teignmouth Woolworths 1960s

Teignmouth Woolworths 1960s

(Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk)

Top-selling products were seasonables in summer when thousands of holiday-makers descended upon the town, and Christmas seasonables. The store would order their stock a year in advance. Staff in the summer were made up of seasonal temps and Saturday staff  – a big job to manage. According to the Woolworths Museum, the store stayed behind the times in the 1960s, with customers still having to pay for products at different counters, and pic n mix having to be pointed at by the customer and measured by staff behind the counter. Customers were expecting self-service by now.

Teignmouth Woolworths 1960s

Teignmouth Woolworths 1960s

(Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk)

Smaller stores were given the least priority in the list of Woolworths stores getting a makeover. This made it difficult for the Teignmouth store to display new products – for example, having no hanging rails to display blouses, shirts and beachwear.

The store carried on trading successfully until 27th December 2008.

Teignmouth Woolworths 2008

Teignmouth Woolworths 2008

Source: Topp A., Pinterest

A Carpetright opened in its place. This is a photo I took in 2010 when we went on holiday there. I stepped inside and I just knew it was a Woolworths. The staff looked at me oddly 😉

Teignmouth Carpetwright 2010

Teignmouth Carpetwright 2010

The Carpetright then closed (I thought the fascia did look temporary), and an M&Co has opened in its place. They painted the top of the building pastel blue too, which looks quite good, a definite improvement.

Teignmouth M&Co 2015

Teignmouth M&Co 2015

Source: 192.com

 

Putney – Store 45 / 1264

45 – 53 Putney High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SZ

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened on Putney High Street sometime between 1914 – 1915. You can see it in the below photo – the fourth building along.

Putney Woolworths 1958

Putney Woolworths 1958

Source: Roll the Dice, Flickr

In the 1960s, they moved across the road. Today Robert Dyas and Boots are where the Woolworths used to be at 45 – 53.

Putney High Street 2015

Putney High Street 2015

Source: Roll the Dice, Flickr

60 – 62 High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SF

This was the new building, in classic 1960s style. They traded here at 60 – 62 High Street until they closed on 5th January 2009.

Putney Woolworths 2008

Putney Woolworths 2008

Source: citykey.co.uk

On 8th October 2009, a TK Maxx opened in its place.

TK Maxx Putney 2015

TK Maxx, Putney 2015

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

Peterborough – Store 62

62-64 Bridge Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE1 1DX

Woolworths opened on Bridge Street in Peterborough in December 1915, and amazingly there are two photos of the store from this time, the first being this one:

Peterborough Woolworths 1915

Peterborough Woolworths 1915

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

And this one, although this photo shows the ‘3d and 6d’ placed before the F.W.Woolworth on the fascia:

Peterborough Woolworths pre-1920s

Peterborough Woolworths pre-1920s

Source: Peterboroughimages.co.uk

They extended in 1931, and added a restaurant in 1935, which you can see here (the lighter coloured buliding on the left side of the road). There was a small shop called Dunn & Co on it’s right, and the City Cinema was next to it (that’s the building with the dome) – this later was demolished and M&S was built here.

Peterborough Woolworths 1938

Peterborough Woolworths 1938

Source: Peterboroughimages.co.uk

You can see it more clearly here in this 1949 photo:

Peterborough Woolworths 1949

Peterborough Woolworths 1949

Source: Peterboroughimages.co.uk

Peterborough Woolworths 1960s

Peterborough Woolworths 1960s

Source: Peterboroughimages.co,uk

Between 1969 and 1972, they had a major 60s-style makeover, reconstructing around the original shell. Interesting use of the logo in yellow. Some say this was the ugliest building in Bridge Street!

Peterborough Woolworths 1972

Peterborough Woolworths 1972

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

This newspaper ad is from 1982:

Peterborough Woolworths Ad 1982

Peterborough Woolworths Ad 1982

Source: Peterborough in Pictures

I love this 80s photos, doesn’t the Woolworth sign look massive?!

Peterborough Woolworths 1980s

Peterborough Woolworths 1980s

Source: Peterboroughinimages.co.uk

In 1988, 1991 and 1993, the store was reduced in size. Half of the building was let out to other stores, and more recently it has been shared with New Look.

Woolworths and New Look 2009

Woolworths and New Look 2009

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

Here is it shortly before it closed in 2008:

Peterborough Woolworths 2008

Peterborough Woolworths 2008

Source: Williams G M, Flickr

After 2 years vacant, TK Maxx took over the space in Spring 2011. Here it is, where you can see how large the buliding is, and how it must have been a huge Woolworths in the 1970s. And how those trees, which must been planted when the street was pedestrianised in the 80s, have really grown!

Peterborough TK Maxx 2011

Peterborough TK Maxx 2011

Source: Williams G M, Flickr

Penzance – Store 651

106-108 Market Jew Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 2LA

Woolworths came to Penzance in April 1936, opening on Market Jew Street. The store was extended in 1938. Below is a 1955 photo – Woolworths in the centre on the right hand side, with the triangle feature on the roof.

Penzance Woolworths 1955

Penzance Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

In 1972, the store was modernised, refurbished and converted to self-service, and then in 1986 there was an upgrade to the Comparison Store format.

Penzance Woolworths 1980s

Penzance Woolworths 1980s

Source: Hearson M, Flickr

There was a further refurb in 1993. Below is a photo in 2007, a year before they closed down.

Penzance Woolworths 2007

Penzance Woolworths 2007

Source: Burford R, Flickr

They closed for good on 27th December 2008. Here is when the letters were took off just before the annual Mazey Day celebrations.

Penzance Woolworths 2009

Penzance Woolworths 2009

Source: Hughs, R

In July 2009, a Poundland (surprise, surprise!) opened in this building. Here it is:

Penzance Poundland

Penzance Poundland

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

Dates source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

St Ives – Store 863

35-37 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HF

Woolworths arrived in the Cornish seaside town of St Ives in the mid-1950s. The building they chose was set in a hill by the harbour, with the front facing the busy shopping area of Fore Street, and the back facing the harbour on Wharf Road.

Here is the front of the store on Fore Street.

St Ives Woolworths 2005

St Ives Woolworths 2005

Source: Flickr, Rutter R

And this is the harbour side on Wharf Road.

St Ives Woolworths 2007

St Ives Woolworths 2007

Source: UKCoastline.com

St Ives Woolworths 2008

St Ives Woolworths 2008

Source: Scaysbrook C

This is 8 days before they closed down.

St Ives Woolworths 2008

St Ives Woolworths 2008

Source: Flickr, textlad

The store closed on 2nd January 2009, becoming a Mountain Warehouse store on Fore Street, and a Pizza Express on Wharf Road.

St Ives Mountain Warehouse 2015

St Ives Mountain Warehouse 2015

Source: geograph

St Ives Pizza Express 2015

St Ives Pizza Express 2015

Source: Lewis Investments

Other Cornish Stores you may be interested in:
Truro – Store 836

Salisbury – Store 273

22-30 High Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2NS

Woolworths opened in Salisbury in the autumn of 1927.

There really isn’t any information on the history of the store on the internet. What I do know for a fact is that it stood at 22 – 30 High Street in 1972. The building doesn’t have any old-style characteristics, so they may well have traded from another smaller premises in Salisbury in the early days. But that is just speculation.

This is a photo of the High Street in the 1950s, where if Woolworths was at 22-30 High Street, it would have been somewhere to right of the Crown Hotel.

Salisbury High Street 1950

Salisbury High Street 1950

Source: Francis Frith

Here s a photo from 2006:

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Source: Peter Facey [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Here is the store shortly before it closed in January 2009. You can see they had a refurb since 2006.

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Source: Chris Talbot [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

And today New Look trades from the building.

Salisbury New Look 2015

Salisbury New Look 2015

Source: 192.com

Swindon – Store 38

23-24 Regent Street, Swindon, Wiltshire

Woolworths opened in Swindon the 12th September 1914 on Regent Street where it traded in a small buildling which was then extended to the left (No, 23) in 1936.

Swindon Woolworths 1939

Swindon Woolworths 1939

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Here it is in the 1950s:

Swindon Woolworths 1950s

Swindon Woolworths 1950s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

And the 1960s:

Swindon Woolworths 1960s

Swindon Woolworths 1960s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

There was a refurb in 1973, which is when I presume they lost their beautiful Art Deco style facade. There was another refurb in 1980 and one more in 1995. It seems Swindon was the true trial store for the chain.

Swindon Woolworths 1995

Swindon Woolworths 1995

Source: Woolworths Museum

Extract from the Woolworths Museum: “As a prototype, the City store at Regent Street, Swindon, which had been one of Frank Woolworth’s first and favourite locations, was relaid, with new products and a new look. Unlike the work at Hounslow in 1994, the transformation was achieved cheaply and the result was spectacular. New ranges included a large cookshop, displayed on wooden tables as well as regular counters. It offered a more fashionable range, including kitchen appliances and a wider selection of china and glassware. Kids ranges were moved towards the front of the dual entrance store, in a carpeted area to the left hand side of the main gangway. The restaurant was moved down to the ground floor and given a new look. Swindon had the look and feel of a modern department store. The idea was repeated in Doncaster, Yorkshire and was refined further in the branch in the Arndale Centre at Luton, Bedfordshire.”

Here is the store in 2006. This is the image many head office folk will remember as we were sent on training courses in Swindon. It truly was enormous inside.

Swindon Woolworths 2006

Swindon Woolworths 2006

Source: Armin Grewe

The store closed down in January 2009, and a year later it reopened as a temporary BHS, while their site was demolished as part of the £25m ‘The Parade‘ redevelopment project that houses stores including BHS, Topshop and River Island. This is now complete.

Temp BHS Swindon 2010

Temp BHS Swindon 2010

Source: ballysundriven

Today the unit has been spilt and is occupied by the oh-so-glam Poundworld, DiscountUK and Peacocks. Priceless next door seems to have disappeared too.

Swindon 2014

Swindon 2014

Source: Property Link

Rhyl – Store 308

1-4 East Parade, Rhyl, Flintshre LL18 3AD

On 10th March 1928 Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Rhyl in North Wales. It was on the High Street, a small single-storey store. They extended on 23rd May 1931.

In 1956, Woolworths built much larger, prominent seafront premises on the site of the Royal Cafe, which they demolished. You couldn’t really miss it – the store was huge, with a modern restaurant. They moved in there on 29th June 1956, becoming the department store destination of Rhyl. (It’s on the far right in the below photo)

Rhyl Woolworths 1960s

Rhyl Woolworths 1960s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

On 17th May 1974, the store was modernised and converted to self service.

Rhyl Woolworths 1970s

Rhyl Woolworths 1970s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1987 it was refurbished to become a comparison store (without the restaurant), re-opening on 3rd April.

In the 2000s, the store became a 10/10 store, which you can see in the below photo. Although it looks closed in the below photo, Woolworths had in fact covered the windows in blue, presumably so they could put shelving up against the windows inside – but not looking so nice from the outside. It was a smaller store now, as the top floors were now occupied by Gala Bingo.

Rhyl Woolworths 2006

Rhyl Woolworths 2006

Source: The Roberts Organisation, Flickr

Today B&M Bargains operates from this premises. But there’s still a little something that gives away it’s history…

B&M Bargains, Rhyl 2010

B&M Bargains, Rhyl 2010

Source: Alex Liivet, Flickr

If you enjoyed this, I also found the history of Rhyl Marks and Spencer online (now Poundland). Written by Rhyl History Club, it’s quite fascinating – read about it here.

Truro – Store 836

13-15 Princes Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2RF

One of the later stores, Woolworths opened during the 1950s in the only city of Cornwall (and place of my birth) – Truro. It was located in quite a prominent area, next to the City Hall, and opposite the Trustee Savings Bank (ie TSB) and a rather important looking statue.

Truro Woolworths 1960

Truro Woolworths 1960

Source: Francis Frith

I couldn’t find much information about the store, apart from the fact it was massive! With its front entrance on Prince’s Street, it stretched the length of a road leading to a back entrance on Back Quay, off Lemon Quay. I would guess from these photos that the Prince’s Street building is something original from before Woolies’ time, and the back entrance on Lemon Quay was built by Woolworths as you can recognise the building style. Here is the front entrance shortly before it closed down.

Truro Woolworths 2008

Truro Woolworths 2008

Source: alamy.com

The store closed down on 5th January 2009. Here’s a pic of me at the back entrance from when I visited a few months later.

Truro Woolworths 2009

On 25th June 2009 it reopened as a Poundland. They temporarily took the whole site, but then found it was too large for their needs, so split it into 2 units – Poundland taking the front and Cotswold Outdoors taking the back. You can also see the TSB bank is now Pizza Express.

Truro Poundland 2009

Truro Poundland 2009

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

Truro Cotswold 2011

Truro Cotswold 2011

Source: Soult’s Retail View

Other Cornish stores you may be interested in:
St Ives – Store 863

Staines – Store 216

95/103 High Street, Staines, Middlesex

Woolworths opened at 101-103 Staines High Street in the 1920s, next to the old White Lion pub, as you can see in the below 1950s photo. The pub was demolished in 1956 when the one-way road system was built.

Staines Woolworths 1950s

Staines Woolworths 1950s

Source: pubshistory.com

This photo is from the 1960s, you can see Woolworths on the left next to the M&S clock.

Staines Woolworths 1960s

Staines Woolworths 1960s

Source – Did you live in Staines, Ashford or Sunbury Facebook Group

Between the 1960s and the noughties I could find no photos. Somewhere between these decades, Woolworths expanded into the neighbouring building (no 95-99). The Elmsleigh Shopping Centre opened in 1980, so I can guess a back extension took place around then, as there was another entrance to the store inside the shopping centre. This made it a VERY big Woolworths. Here it is shortly before closing for good on 3rd January 2009.

Staines Woolworths 2008

Staines Woolworths 2008

Source: Citykey

Poundland opened soon after at 95-99 High Street, but the main building remained empty until the end of 2010, with it’s fascia still bright and shiny throughout this time.

Staines Woolworths/Poundland 2009

Staines Woolworths/Poundland 2009

Source: Sharville, Ruth

In 2010, H&M announced they would be moving into the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre on a 10 year lease. Below are photos I took on 31st December 2014, the buildings still looking remarkably the same as they did in the 1950s, just with new retailers inside.

Staines H&M 2014

Staines H&M 2014

Staines Poundland 2014

Staines Poundland 2014

Portsmouth – Store 35

121/127 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 1D

100 years ago, on 22nd August 1914, Woolworths opened in the naval city of Portsmouth on Commercial Road, a year before the neighbouring Southsea branch opened. The premises started off small, but had a series of extensions in 1926, 1934 and 1938. Below is a postcard of Commercial Road in the 1920s, so you can imagine somewhere along this street stood the Woolworths.
Portsmouth Woolworths 1920s

Portsmouth Woolworths 1920s

Source: Postcards of the Past

With the city being a major naval port, it suffered terribly during WW2, and the Woolworths building was one of the casualties, being totally destroyed on 11th January 1941. The staff were moved to the nearby Fratton store.
A huge superstore was built in its place, reopening in stages from 1950 to 1953. Below is a photo that may possibly be one of the opening days from all the crowds outside.
Portsmouth Woolworths 1950s

Portsmouth Woolworths 1950s

Source: Flickr – The House of Blue Leaves

The size of the shop may have looked normal from the front, but from this birds eye view, you can see the scale of the store – massive.
Portsmouth Woolworths 1950s - birds eye view

Portsmouth Woolworths 1950s – birds eye view

The back of the store had a lovely curved feature with huge long windows. This was where the restaurant stood, on a mezzanine floor, with a spiral staircase by the windows leading up to the seating area. The restaurant had light flooding in from the windows, and there was rarely a seat free with it being so popular with customers.
Portsmouth Woolworths Back 1950s

Portsmouth Woolworths Back 1950s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Portsmouth Restaurant Seating Area

Portsmouth Restaurant Seating Area

Source: Woolworths Museum

Here is a photo of the finished store in the late 1950s, with Littlewoods next door in a similar styled building.

Portsmouth Woolworths 1950s

Portsmouth Woolworths 1950s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Below is a 1970s photo of Commercial Road from ‘A Tale of One City’, with Woolworths on the far left. This was shortly before the road was pedestrianised.

Portsmouth Woolworths 1972

Portsmouth Woolworths 1972

Source: A Tale of One City 

After the road was pedestrianised, Woolworths also had a 70s makeover, and below is a photo showing the new fascia.
Portsmouth  Woolworths 1970s

Portsmouth Woolworths 1970s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Between 1986-1989, the Cascades Shopping Centre was being built at the rear of the shops on Commercial Road, and Woolworths had to reduce its size as a result, and lose that lovely restaurant and those curved windows 😦
There wasn’t much change in the 1990s… My cousin worked there one Christmas – she reminisces “Yeah, it was fun”
Here is a photo from 2004, showing Woolworths really standing out with their signage. Littlewoods Extra is next door, but they closed down the year after and Primark took over that space.
Portsmouth Woolworths 2004

Portsmouth Woolworths 2004

Source: Woolworths Museum

Below are two photos from 2008 before Woolworths closed down, one from the High Street and the other from the Cascades shopping centre entrance.

Portsmouth Woolworths 2008 - front

Portsmouth Woolworths 2008 – front

Source: Flickr – Jainbow

Portsmouth Woolworths  2008 - back

Portsmouth Woolworths 2008 – back

Source: Flickr – Jainbow

Portsmouth Woolworths closed on 27th December 2008. The shop lay empty for 2 and a half years, possibly as it was such a large space. Then in 2011, neighbouring Primark announced they were planning to extend into the 30,000 sq ft space, creating one giant super-Primark.

Portsmouth Primark 2014

Portsmouth Primark 2014

Source: 192.com

Southsea – Store 50

19/23 Palmerston Road, Southsea, Hants PO5 3QA

The 50th Woolworths store to open in the UK was in the seaside town of Southsea (after the neighbouring Portsmouth branch opened a year earlier), opening on 26th June 1915 at Palmerston Road. Below is the road in 1925, one of these shops was the Woolworths.

Southsea 1925

Southsea 1925

Source: Past and Present Publications

As sales were good, the building was extended in March 1932. Unfortunately this was one of the 26 stores that got destroyed in World War 2, on 11th January 1941.

After the war, Palmerston Road was redesigned, and Woolworths moved to a new location at numbers 19-23, opening on 10th October 1951 with a newly designed store. The new building was more accessible, with wider step-free entrances, and was significantly larger and brighter.

Southsea Woolworths 1951

Southsea Woolworths 1951

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

From this photo you can see they even put a ‘Woolworth’ fascia above each set of doors.

Southsea Woolworths 1966

Southsea Woolworths 1966

Source: Baker, Richard

Southsea Woolworths was one of the last stores to convert to self-service in 1973, I presume it being a laid-back seaside town, they took their time 😉 In 1988 the building was split in half, with 22-23 given to Superdrug. Then the store was was modernised again in August 1992.

Southsea Woolworths 2004

Southsea Woolworths 2004

Source: Baldock, James (used with permission)

Southsea Woolworths closed on 2nd January 2009, looking pretty much as it did in 2004 in the photo above. It lay empty for over 2 years.

Southsea Woolworths 2008

Southsea Woolworths 2008

Source: Citykey

Then, making a change from the norm, the council decided to open a library at this site. Southsea Library opened on 29th July 2011, complete with a cafe serving coffees and cakes “and in honour of Woolworths’ memory, a themed pick and mix box for children.” (Source: Portsmouth Lib Dems)

What’s nice to see is that above the library and Superdrug, the building appears exactly as how it looked in 1951. If you ever visit Southsea, do have a look.

Southsea Library 2014

Southsea Library 2014

Source: Custodian Reit plc