Category Archives: Somerset

Bath – Store 207

13-15 Stall Street, Bath, Somerset BA1 1QA

Woolworths opened in Bath in 1925. The store, designed by William Priddle, was on the corner of Stall Street and Abbeygate Street. Local architects admired the building apart from ‘one conspicuous defect’ – the way the shopfront continued across the corner bay. Of course Woolworths favoured these corners.

Bath Woolworths 1925

Bath Woolworths 1925

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street – Morrison K.

Woolworths moved out of this building in 1963. It still exists though, even the little lion head motive, and recently has been HMV.

Bath Former Woolworths - HMV

Bath Former Woolworths – HMV

19 Stall Street, Bath, Somerset BA1 1QA

In 1963, Woolworths did move far, moving just a couple of shops along to number 19 Stall Street. Again this was a corner store, but much larger.

Bath Woolworths 1960s

Bath Woolworths 1960s

Bath Woolworths 1967

Bath Woolworths 1967

Bath Woolworths 1970s

Bath Woolworths 1970s

Source: Bath in Time

Bath Woolworths 1989

Bath Woolworths 1989

The store sadly closed in April 1989. There was another Woolworths store in the area though, at Oldfield Park (Store 918), which opened in 1956.

Marks and Spencers, who were next door to Woolworths at numbers 16-18, extended into the vacant Woolworths premises.

Bath Former Woolworths - M&S

Bath Former Woolworths – M&S

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Yeovil – Store 206

19 Middle Street, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1LF

Woolworths opened on Middle Street in Yeovil, opposite the George Inn, in November 1925. Middle Street was the main road from London to the West Country then, so it was a very busy area.

Yeovil Woolworths 1920s

Yeovil Woolworths 1920s

The store was extended in 1931, and then it looks as though it had a 1950s makeover from the look of the frontage in the below photo. Here’s an extract from ‘Yeovil in the 1960s‘, with Middle Street described by Roger Froude who was a teenager then, “of course FW Woolworth’s – still stuck in the 1950s with its wooden floorboards and the aroma of hot fresh roasted peanuts.” – so funny how Woolworths was never up-to-date!

Yeovil Woolworths 1965

Yeovil Woolworths 1965

Source: Osborn B, Flickr

The photo is from around 1965. You have to read the caption that accompanied it,

“I think we all mourn the passing of Woolies – but the interesting thing about this photo is the ‘footprint’ of the George Inn on the pavement.

So, the George was demolished to widen the road but some twat at the Council forgot to realise that they didn’t own the land (not much of a surprise there then) so the road couldn’t be widened after all. In any event within ten years the road was pedestrianised, so this wonderful 14th century building was, pretty much, wantonly destroyed for nothing.”

Here is a photo of the George, shame it was demolished. The 60s really was a decade of architectural crimes! This is where the 99p store stood recently – I guess it’s now Poundland. It was Primark for many years, but you’ll see where they moved to if you read on.

The George, Yeovil - c1962

The George, Yeovil – c1962

Source: Osborn B, Flickr

Back to Woolworths, and the store was modernised in 1973. Then in 1985, it was chosen to be one of the first prototype Woolworths Weekend comparison stores, including a Tea Bar restaurant. Penny White was the assistant manager at that time. She says it was the first to get the red walkway and the lighting was really expensive! They had a lovely team of people who made being away from home much nicer.

Moving on two decades and in the 2000s, it became one of the 10/10 trial stores. You can see it on the right of this 2007 photo, it looks as though there was a really strange red and yellow fascia. Opposite the Woolworths, you can see Primark on the left of the photo, on the site of the old George Inn – it too having a strange logo.

Yeovil Woolworths 2007

Yeovil Woolworths 2007

Source: The A-Z of Yeovil’s History

This photo was taken shortly before the store closed for good in December 2008.

Yeovil Woolworths 2008

Yeovil Woolworths 2008

Source: Smith S

The building lay empty for over 18 months, when it was announced that Primark would be moving from across the road to open a bigger contemporary store. The new Primark opened in 2011, with the 99p Store occupying the old Primark building opposite. It is still quite recognisable as a Woolies building.

Yeovil Primark 2015

Yeovil Primark 2015

Source: The A-Z of Yeovil’s History

Bridgwater – Store 115

18/20 Eastover, Bridgwater, Somerset

The 115th Woolworths store opened in the historic market town of Bridgwater, Somerset in 1922, on the corner of Eastover and New Road (number 27 Eastover). This was quite soon after opening in neighbouring Taunton – Store 110.

Bridgwater Woolworths 1955

Bridgwater Woolworths 1955

This is a 1940s-50s memory from a local:

 

Bridgewater Woolworths 1955

Bridgewater Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

Woolworths moved from this building in the 1956, and it is now the Post Office.

Bridgwater Former Woolworths - Post Office

Bridgwater Former Woolworths – Post Office

Source: Somerset Live

Presumably to have bigger premises, they moved to numbers 18-20, demolishing the existing shop and building a new store from scratch. This is a photo of the store being constructed in 1956.

Bridgwater Woolworths being constructed in 1956

Bridgwater Woolworths being constructed in 1956

Source: Ethridge T

Woolworths traded from this new location for just over 50 years

Bridgwater Woolworths 2007

Bridgwater Woolworths 2007

Source: Ethridge T

The architecture is nothing special, a simple brick front. Today the unit is occupied by Proper Job, and they have kept the Woolworths doors and tiles. If you are ever in Bridgwater and feeling nostalgic, take a look at this shop.

Bridgwater Former Woolworths - Proper Job

Bridgwater Former Woolworths – Proper Job

Source: Geograph