Category Archives: * U-Z

Worksop – Store 178

60 – 62 Bridge Place, Worksop, Notts

We are into 1925 now, and the first Woolworths to open in this year was in Worksop. There are no photos of the store from the early years. This photo is from the 1970s after the store had a makeover with oversized letters.

Worksop Woolworths 1971

Worksop Woolworths 1971

Source: Worksop Guardian

There was an article from January 2009 in the Worksop Guardian with some memories from former employees:

Pensioner Sheila Jordan, 75, worked for seven years in Worksop’s Woolworths when she was a teenager and now her granddaughter faces unemployment having lost her job there.

“It used to be a great place to work, with a lovely atmosphere,” said Sheila, 75. “I started in 1948. I went there to work at Christmas, and they kept me on,” she said.

Sheila began working in the jewellery and toiletries department when she was 15-years old, before moving on to the ice cream parlour. Husband Stan said he first spotted his wife when she was working there. “I used to pop in and have a look and I thought ‘that’s for me’,” he said.

Sheila even starred on the front cover of Woolworths’ in-house national magazine when she was 19-years-old. “I was delighted when they picked me,” she said.

Mr Jordan said the whole family was really disappointed at the news of the closure. “You don’t expect a company like Woolworths to go,” he said.

Granddaughter Katy Jordan, 20, had been working in the offices for Woolworths for six months, and is now out of work. “We were all really disappointed when we heard it was closing,” said Katy, “We just kept thinking it wouldn’t happen. I think some people thought it could have been saved.”

Source: Worksop Guardian

Bridge Street was pedestrianised in 1989, and I am guessing that was when the Priory Shopping Centre was built. Woolworths stayed in its location on Bridge Place but had a rear entrance on the shopping centre side (pictured below).

Worksop Woolworths 2008

Worksop Woolworths 2008 (rear entrance)

Source: Sheffield History Forum

The store closed in December 2008, and it became a B&M. This is the front entrance.

Worksop Former Woolworths - B&M

Worksop Former Woolworths – B&M

And this is the rear entrance.

Worksop Former Woolworths (rear) - B&M

Worksop Former Woolworths (rear) – B&M

Source: Ballysundriven

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York – Store 171

2 Spurriergate, York YO1 1QS 

Woolworths opened in York in 1924, with a store on Spurriergate.

York Woolworths 1924

York Woolworths 1924

Source: Historic England

It was located next to the Picture House on Coney Street – you can see Woolworths on the far left of this photo.

York Woolworths 1930s

York Woolworths 1930s

Wooworths was severely damaged by bombing in the Second World War. A decade later, in 1955, the old Picture House was demolished and work started on extending the store. The new larger branch opened in November 1957. It included a Diamond Bar café.

York Woolworths 1957

York Woolworths 1957

Source: Historic England

The new store went across Spurriergate and Coney Street, as it was on the changeover point of the two roads. The building was actually 2 Spurriergate and 41 – 43 Coney Street combined. So some locals refered to the store as ‘Coney Street Woolworths’.

York Woolworths 1959

York Woolworths 1959

In May 1966 the store opened for the very first time on the Whitsun bank holiday. The “experiment” was declared a success. In August 1977 former boxer Henry Cooper met shoppers instore during a promotional tour of Yorkshire, and in August 1979 singer Lena Zavaroni, swamped by teenage fans, handed out autographed records at the store.

Former assistant manager Peter Taylor worked here in the early 1980s with store manager Ray Marriot (who is celebrating his 90th birthday next month!). He remembers everyone getting a day off when Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married. The stockroom was in the basement and backed on to the River Ouse, so it often flooded. As a result, the bottom three shelves of the stockroom were not used.

York Woolworths (inside) 1982

York Woolworths (inside) 1982

In this below photo you can see two road signs on the building – the far left sign said ‘Spurriergate’ and the middle sign said ‘ Coney Street’. These signs are still present today.

York Woolworths 1986

York Woolworths 1986

In 1986 this Woolworths had a £500,000 refurbishment, which saw it closed for six weeks. This is a photo of the store during the refurb.

York Woolworths 1986

York Woolworths 1986

In May 1986, there was a grand reopening. This is a photo of store manager Brian Fairburn with Miss York, Jade Campbell.

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

And this was the marketing director Mike Sommers at the opening.

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

In September 1987 Woolworths employees at York were told to work part-time or quit! The wrangle over Sunday opening continued into the early 1990s. A handful of major shops, including Woolworths, decided to regularly open on Sundays from 1992.

York Woolworths 1991

York Woolworths 1991

The store announces it was to stop selling vinyl record singles in June 1994. Former EUK rep Alex Wood for the York store in the 2000s remembers it also being the regional office. He says they had the most amazing wood panelled offices on the top floor, light oak coloured. But not as impressive as the wood panelled offices in WHSmith next door, which were Victorian!

York Woolworths 2006

York Woolworths 2006

Source: Emily and James

York Woolworths closed down in January 2008, earlier than the closure of the whole chain. They had received an offer for the building that could not be refused, which was why it closed.

York Woolworths 2008

York Woolworths 2008

Source: York P.

Shortly after closure, Boots moved into the building where it still is today. If you are ever shopping in York, take a look above the Boots store and admire the 1950s Woolworths architecture.

York Former Woolworths - Boots

York Former Woolworths – Boots

Sources: Most of the facts, dates and photos are from this excellent York Press article.

Weymouth – Store 139

10 – 14 St Mary Street, Weymouth, Dorset

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Weymouth in 1923. It was a premier 1920s store, finished in Portland stone. The ornate look of stores like this was nicknamed the “cinema front”.

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Source: Historic England

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Weymouth Woolworths 1923

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1938 the store was extended with a grand Art Deco makeover, rivalling other stores for its sheer style. “It’s deeply channelled faience facings and stretched window bays were counter-cut by broad clusters of vertical fluting and topped by a gleaming green roof.” – Woolworth’s 100 years on the High Street, Morrison K.

Weymouth Woolworths 1938

Weymouth Woolworths 1938

Source: Historic England

Unfortunately the store had to be rebuilt in 1985, after water entered through cracks in the faience and rusted the steelwork. A bid to list the building was rejected, but had the building survived, it would have been regarded as an art deco classic. Today you will see a brick building in its place, where Dorothy Perkins/Burton is in this photo.

Weymouth Former Woolworths - Dorothy Perkins Burton

Weymouth Former Woolworths – Dorothy Perkins Burton

In 1999 Woolworths moved to  New Bond street with a new store number 1219.

Weymouth Woolworths 2000

Weymouth Woolworths 2000

Source: Wikimapia

This is the one that closed when the chain went bust in December 2008.

Weymouth Woolworths 2008

Weymouth Woolworths 2008

Source: Talbot C.

Today TK Maxx is in this building.

Weymouth Former Woolworths - TK Maxx

Weymouth Former Woolworths – TK Maxx

Source: Talbot C

West Bromwich – Store 112

178 – 182 High Street, West Bromwich, Staffs

Woolworths opened in 1922 in West Bromwich. It had an Art Deco facade.

West Bromwich Woolworths 1930s

West Bromwich Woolworths 1930s

Source: Historic England

The store moved to 174-178 Princess Parade at some point, I am assuming the original buildings were demolished to create this parade on the High Street.

West Bromwich Woolworths 2011

West Bromwich Woolworths 2011

Source: Ballysundriven

The store closed in December 2008 and the unit is now occupied by Wilkos – I can’t get a photo as Google Streetview has the market stalls in front of it.

Worthing – Store 89

33 -35 – Montague Street, Worthing, Sussex

Woolworths first opened in Rowlands Road in Worthing on 28th August 1920.

Worthing Woolworths 1920s

Worthing Woolworths 1920s

Source: Pinterest

In 1930 the store was extended and a horizontal moderne Art Deco frontage was created. This was a style favoured for seaside towns such as Brighton, Bournemouth and Bexhill. Woolworths traded here for nearly 80 years, until the chain’s closure in 2008.

Worthing Woolworths 2009

Worthing Woolworths 2009

Source: Kidd. R

Today the Art Deco frontage still exists. If you are ever shopping in Worthing, take a look above H&M or the bookshop next door.

Worthing Former Woolworths - H&M

Worthing Former Woolworths – H&M

Source: ballysundriven


Previous store:

Torquay – Store 88

Walworth – Store 82

367 – 369 Walworth Road, London SE17 2AL

Woolworths opened their 82nd store in 1919 in Walworth, South East London. Unfortunately there are no photos online of this store. It did exist, as it is mentioned in the Woolworths Museum.

The store closed on 20th January 1990.

The store at the address today is Argos, which you can see below. The building itself matches the rest of the shopping parade, so this was a store where Woolworths did not change the architecture.

Walworth Former Woolworths - Argos

Walworth Former Woolworths – Argos

On a side note, try saying Walworth Woolworths really quickly. It’s a bit of a tongue twister.


Read about the previous store:

Weston-Super-Mare – Store 81

Walthamstow – Store 70

115 High Street, Walthamstow, London E17 7AA

Woolworths opened on Walthamstow High Street in 1916, at the top end on the junction with St James Street/Blackhorse Road, it was probably number 1 High Street. The store was opposite Burtons. It looks like it has a 1930s art deco update from the below photo. There was a side entrance on Blackhorse Road.

Walthamstow Woolworths 1960s

Walthamstow Woolworths 1960s

Source: Walthamstow in Pictures Facebook Group

The store was on an awkward road bend, where Blackhorse Road became St James Street. The sharp bend sometimes caused trolley buses to come off their connectors.

Sadly the store was demolished to make the road less awkward.

If you compare the below image with the 1960s one, you can see on the right the LCS (Coop) building is still there. And in the background those 3 shops are still there. The road goes through where Woolworths was.

Walthamstow Former Woolworths

Walthamstow Former Woolworths

Woolworths moved up the High Street to 115, and built a huge superstore with a warehouse style look. This opened on 15th June 1972.

Walthamstow Woolworths 1972

Walthamstow Woolworths 1972

Source: Pinterest

The store lasted until the end, closing in 2008.

Walthamstow Woolworths 2008

Walthamstow Woolworths 2008

Today it is Wilko’s.

Walthamstow Former Woolworths Wilko

Walthamstow Former Woolworths Wilko

Source: Twitter


NEXT:

Store 71 – Sutton

Watford – Store 68

118 – 128 High Street, Watford, Herts WD1 2BH

Woolworths first came to Watford during World War One, when the fish and poultry shop owned by AE Smith at 124 High Street was replaced by “FW Woolworth and Co, bazaar” in 1916.

Watford Woolworths 1930s

Watford Woolworths 1930s

Over the years, the store expanded by taking over adjacent shops, and carried the “3d and 5d Stores” sign.

By the mid-1960s, the store had extended to the corner of King Street.

Watford Woolworths 1964

Watford Woolworths 1964

During a modernisation programme in the 1980s, a new shop was built on the corner of High Street and King Street.

Watford Woolworths 1981

Watford Woolworths 1981

Watford Woolworths 1983

Watford Woolworths 1983

Watford Woolworths 1984 - inside

Watford Woolworths 1984 – inside

Source: Guy, C.

However the store closed on 20th January 1990.

Watford was without a High Street Woolies for a decade, until the shop near Clarendon Road opened in 2000.

Information from the Watford Observer
Photos from Watford Museum

So what happened to the building? Well you wouldn’t recognise it but it is now McDonald’s, Waterstones and a TUI Holiday Shop.

Watford Former Woolworths - McDonalds Waterstones TUI

Watford Former Woolworths – McDonalds Waterstones TUI

Worcester – Store 65

41-44a High Street, Worcester WR1 2QD

Worcester Woolworths, Store 65, opened in 1916 on the High Street. You can see it on the left of Marks and Spencer in this photo.

Worcester Woolworths 1979

Worcester Woolworths 1979

Source: Pinterest

In June 1979 the store in Worcester was severely damaged in an arson attack , which started in foam filled pillows in the stockroom. No-one was hurt, but it took nine months to reinstate and re-open the store. When trading resumed the branch continued to carry a small range of foam filled furniture and pillows, albeit with very limited stocks and a state-of-the-art sprinkler and alarm system. (Source: Woolworths Museum)

Worcester Woolworths 1980

Worcester Woolworths 1980

Source: The Changing Face of Worcester

In 2008 M&S bought this building to make a superstore and Woolworths moved into numbers 48-50 High Street to become store 1270 – this store had a short life as the chain then went bust. This is how the original Woolworths Store 65 looks – today the M&S is gold.

Worcester Former Woolworths - Marks and Spencer 2008

Worcester Former Woolworths – Marks and Spencer 2008

Source: Halling P.

Wandsworth – Store 58

153 – 155 Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth, London SW18 4JB

Staying on the South London side, the fifth-eighth Woolworths store opened on Wandsworth High Street in 1915. Below you can see the store on the left in the 1950s – it looks like it was a small one. The frontage is interesting with the central roof feature and the sun rays flaring out of the circular window.

Wandsworth Woolworths 1950s

Wandsworth Woolworths 1950s

Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos

In 1971, the Wandsworth Arndale Centre opened (the biggest covered shopping centre at the time) and Woolworths moved inside there at numbers 35 – 37 Arndale Centre, facing Garratt Street. The store closed in May 1992.

Wandworth Woolworths 1980s

Wandworth Woolworths 1980s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Today the original High Street building still exists and it is quite eye-catching. If you are ever in Wandsworth, take a look above the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical store.

Wandsworths Former Woolworths - British Heart Foundation Furniture Shop

Wandsworths Former Woolworths – British Heart Foundation Furniture Shop

Walsall – Store 46

16 – 22 Park Street, Walsall, Staffs WS1 1NQ

Woolworths opened its 46th store in Walsall in 1915 on Park Street. Some time in the 1920s-30s, a new store was built on the site – the earliest frontage in art deco style to be designed by Woolworths staff architects, incorporating an angular version of the lion-head logo (see them at the tops of the windows) – the lion’s head emphasised Woolworth’s efforts to stock goods of British manufacture in the aftermath of WW1.

Walsall Woolworths 1920 - 1940

Walsall Woolworths 1920 – 1940

Source: Historic England

In 1953 the store was decorated for the Queen’s Coronation.

Walsall Woolworths 1953

Walsall Woolworths 1953

Source: Walsall Council

The back of the store could be seen from the bus station.

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1965

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1965

Source: Fisher R.

In the 1970s the fascia was updated.

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1978

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1978

Source: Jones, S.

I found this comment from a former Saturday boy: “…Woolworths, where I once had a Saturday job. The building to the left used to be Boots. All us Woolies people envied the conditions of the Boots staff – they even had a staff hairdressing salon on the roof.”

Walsall Woolworths 1983

Walsall Woolworths 1983

Source: Black Country History

The store closed soon after the above photo was taken. Years later, a new Woolies opened elsewhere in Walsall Town Wharf (store 1194). The Park Street store became a Currys and Dixons in the 1980s.

Walsall Former Woolworths - Currys Dixons late 1980s

Walsall Former Woolworths – Currys Dixons late 1980s

Source: Pete

Today the building is occupied by Barclays and Diffusion, and you can still admire the elegance of the Woolworths architecture and lion heads above.

Walsall Former Woolworths - Barclays Diffusion 2017

Walsall Former Woolworths – Barclays Diffusion 2017

Source: Chertsey130 Blog

Wood Green – Store 26

48-50 High Road, Wood Green, London N22 6DG

The twenty-sixth Woolworths store opened in Wood Green in north London. It opened in the High Road in 1913. There’s not much information on the store from the early days, but in the 1950s Wood Green had 3 big department stores – Woolworths, BHS and Marks and Spencer (which opened in the late 1920s). I found this interesting extract about shopping in Wood Green in the 50s:

“One source of entertainment was the antics of the “spivs” who illegally sold things (possibly of doubtful origin) out of suitcases in front of the stores (Woolworths, BHS and M&S).  They had a look-out hovering on the kerb who signalled the arrival of the patrolling policeman.  The suitcases would then snapped shut and the spivs would quickly disappear into one of the stores only to re-appear again when the coast was clear.  The day of reckoning came one day when the police came through the stores from the back entrances on Bury Road and several spivs were “nicked”.” Stephen Holliday

Wood Green Woolworths 1981

Wood Green Woolworths 1981

Source: Dowling M.

In the above photo you can see the Woolworths store just behind the bus in 1981. It was next to Marks and Spencer. The store had been extended sideways in 1973/4 so it went behind the other shops to the left and had a separate side entrance (around where Barclays Bank is today). On the reopening day of the new larger store, the pavement was packed with customers queueing to get in (Source: John, former employee)

There is no information on when the store closed. We do know that a new Woolworths opened in The Mall shopping centre – Store 1240 – which closed when Woolworths collapsed.

The building of Store 26 in more recent years was a Dorothy Perkins, which closed in 2016, and a bit of the frontage went to Sainsbury’s. The inside of Sainsbury’s is actually the old Woolworths – so it was quite a big store. The front of this building does look very 60s/70s, I would assume this happened when they did the big side extension in 1973/4.

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Dorothy Perkins 2015

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Dorothy Perkins 2015

Source: Google Street View

The Dorothy Perkins side became a Peacocks store. But now the store is vacant. Again.

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2017

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2017

Source: smithprice.co.uk

Warrington – Store 22

19/21 Sankey Street, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1SB    

Woolworths opened its twenty-second store in Warrington in rather ornate building in 1913. The Grade II Listed building was designed by the Chester architect John Douglas and was one of his earliest works. It was constructed in 1864 as the showrooms for the furniture makers Robert Garnett and Sons, whose factory was directly behind the shop.

 

Warrington Woolworths 1913

Warrington Woolworths 1913

Source: Warrington WorldWide Forum

There was an upstairs floor, a cafe and a rear entrance. It had rear stairs that were closed off in the late 1980s.

Warrington Woolworths 1970s

Warrington Woolworths 1970s

Source: Warrington WorldWide Forum

Warrington Woolworths 1974

Warrington Woolworths 1974

Source: H Wells

Some more recent photos here – you can see the peppermint blue window and door frames.

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Source: Mayer P.

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Warrington Woolworths 2008

Source: Ely M.

After the store closed, a supermarket called Asco took it’s place, but it did not last long. It went bust after 6 months.

Warrington Former Woolworths - Asco 2009

Warrington Former Woolworths – Asco 2009

Today the building is occupied by Poundland, and you can still see the ornate architecture above, and the familiar Woolworths mosaic tiling on the pillars.

Warrington Former Woolworths - Poundland 2017

Warrington Former Woolworths – Poundland 2017

Source: Movehut

Wimbledon – Store 21

65/69 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QY

The twenty-first Woolworths store opened in Wimbledon in South West London. Originally numbered 30 The Broadway, it was later renumbered 65. You can see the store to the right of this photo.

Wimbledon Woolworths 1913

Wimbledon Woolworths 1913

Source: Merton Memories

When Mackies the drapers closed in 1936, the store was extended to the corner of Gladstone Road. It was one of very few stores designed by Woolworths with exposed brickwork in a moderne style (styles of architecture popular from 1925 through to the 1940s).

Wimbledon Woolworths 1936

Wimbledon Woolworths 1936

Source: Historic England Archive

Somehow, Woolworths of Wimbledon survived the bombings of World War 2 intact despite direct hits on other buildings nearby in both The Broadway itself and Gladstone Road.

The worst day in the Wimbledon branch’s history came in 1981 when it was destroyed by fire. A small blaze was discovered in the stockroom and the premises quickly evacuated. However, staff and customers alike watched as the fire brigade appeared to bring the flames under control but too late to stop the building’s destruction. In the aftermath, while damping down, three firemen became disoriented and were trapped as the edifice collapsed. One died and the other two were taken to hospital. Source: Wimbledon Guardian

Wimbledon Woolworths 1981

Wimbledon Woolworths 1981

Source: Featherstone P.

After the fire, the store had to be rebuilt and did not reopen until 1982. The replacement was clad in red brick with vertical window panels and an attic floor disguised as a roof.

Wimbledon Woolworths 1982

Wimbledon Woolworths 1982

Source: Merton Memories

Wimbledon Woolworths 2008

Wimbledon Woolworths 2004

The store closed for good at the end of December 2008.

Wimbledon Woolworths 2008

Wimbledon Woolworths 2008

Source: Harris, S.

Today the building is occupied by TK Maxx.

Wimbledon Former Woolworths - TK Maxx 2017

Wimbledon Former Woolworths – TK Maxx 2017

Source: All in London

Wolverhampton Victoria Street – Store 13

58/59 Victoria Street, Wolverhamptons, Staffordshire WV1 3PE

The thirteenth UK store, Woolworths first opened in Wolverhampton on Victoria Street in June 1912, taking over an ornate tudor-style building that used to be occupied by John Cavitt & Sons. Proud of their prices, they had an eye-catching ‘Nothing in the store over 6d’ sign along the top of the windows. By this time huge Venetian-style glazing had become a company favourite, flooding the upper floor with light, offering shoppers commanding views of the displays from out in the street.

Wolverhampton Victoria Street Woolworths 1928

Wolverhampton Victoria Street Woolworths 1928

Source: Howe B, Flickr

The store became known affectionately by locals as ‘Little Woolies’ from the late 1920s onwards, as a second larger store had opened in Dudley Street (Store 186).

An extract from George and Kath Peck’s Memories of Wolverhampton“In the 1920s, Woolworths in Victoria Street was one of the most popular shops in the town. It was outstanding, everything was good quality and cost just 6 pence or under. They were the cheapest, nothing was over 6 pence. People bought knives, forks, spoons and things like that to build the household utensils up. There was an upstairs and downstairs and at the time there was just one Woolworths in the town, the other one came later.” 

In the 1930s, Woolworths had got rid of the tudor-style facade (a shame I think!) and built the below building (on the left).

Wolverhampton Woolworths Victoria Street 1930s

Wolverhampton Woolworths Victoria Street mid-late 1930s

Source: Claire, Flickr 

They traded here as ‘Little Woolies’ until the 1960s. With the new superstore Woolworths in the Mander Centre, they was no need for a second store in Wolverhampton.

From the 1970s, Barretts of Feckenham traded from here, they were a store selling outdoor and camping goods.

Today the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical shop is at 58-60 Victoria Street.

Wolverhampton British Heart Foundation

Wolverhampton British Heart Foundation Shop

Source: 192.com

 

Woolwich – Store 9

18/28 Hare Street, Woolwich, London SE18 6ND

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

In 1911, the second London Woolworths store to open was in the South East – Woolwich. It opened on Hare Street, the area chosen for being very industrial. (Photo source: WoolworthsMuseum.co.uk

Below are a series of photos of the Woolwich store through the decades.

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

Woolwich Woolworths 1911

Source: Michael L, WoolworthsMuseum.co.uk

Woolwich Woolworths 1930s

Woolwich Woolworths 1930s

Source: Chris Mansfield Photos

Woolwich Woolworths 1950s

Woolwich Woolworths 1950s

Source: Chris Mansfield Photos

Woolwich Woolworths 1970s

Woolwich Woolworths 1970s

Source: King, J A, Chris Mansfield Photos

In the 1980s, the new Woolworths management decided on a drastic disposal of stores to cut costs, and sadly Woolwich was one of the ones to go. It closed down on 26th April 1986.

Today the building is occupied by Primark. Boots is still next door, and that BHS is now a Peacocks store.

Primark, Woolowich 2013

Primark, Woolwich 2013

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

West Wickham – Store 561

87 High Street, West Wickham, Kent BR4 0NZ

Woolworths opened in West Wickham High Street in 1935. You can see it in the centre of this 1950s photo.

West Wickham Woolworths 1950s

West Wickham Woolworths 1950s

Source: Beckenham History Website

They traded from this site without much change to the exterior at all. This was one of the stores that had the doors to one side rather than in the centre. It closed on 30th December 2008.

West Wickham Woolworths 2008

West Wickham Woolworths 2008

Source: Flickr, Danny

Shortly after it’s closure, a Carpetright opened here, where it still trades today.

West Wickham Carpetright 2009

West Wickham Carpetright 2009

Source: Flickr, Mark

 

Whitby – Store 384

51-52 Flowergate, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3AT

Woolworths opened in the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby in 1930. It was in a interesting location, on a bend on a street called Flowergate. It backed on to St. Ann’s Straith which faced the harbour, and the land was on a hill going down on to the harbour. The architects designed the store in a way so that you couldn’t see the building’s steep incline from street level. The result was a recognisable Woolies frontage that looked a bit stretched.

This is the earliest photo I could find, from the 1980s. This is the Flowergate entrance, looking down the hill.

Whitby Woolworths 1980s

Whitby Woolworths 1980s

Source: Newble A.

And this is the other side of the building, facing the harbour, where you can see the frontage is taller than usual.

Whitby Woolworths 2008

Whitby Woolworths 2008

Source: McCulloch, S.

Here is the harbourside entrance from another angle.

Woolworths Whitby 2008

Woolworths Whitby 2008

Source: Godley, S.

After it closed down in December 2008, it became a Pine Valley store.

Whitby Pine Valley 2009

Whitby Pine Valley 2010

Source: Soult, G.

With the other side on Flowergate becoming The Wilderness Factory Outlet Store.

Whitby The Wilderness 2010

Whitby The Wilderness 2010

Source: Soult, G.

But today the whole building is occupied by Mountain Warehouse, which opened in 2013.

Whitby Mountain Warehouse 2013

Whitby Mountain Warehouse 2013

Source: Le Monde1

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

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

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 stands today. 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. 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 month, 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

Wolverhampton – Store 186

40/41 Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, Staffs WV1 3ES

This store was the second Woolworths in Wolverhampton, opening on 23rd May 1925 (The first Woolworths was in Victoria Street, Store 13, which opened in June 1912).

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1920s-30s

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1920s-30s

Source: Black Country History

The store was extended in 1927 and then in1930. See below on the far right, next to James Baker & Sons.

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1940s-50s

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1940s-50s

Source: Black Country History

In the 1960s it was part of a major town centre redevelopment scheme, with the building of the Mander Shopping Centre. A huge Woolworths superstore opened in stages between 1965 and 1968. This was when Wolverhampton store was the biggest Woolworths in the country! It boasted three floors, with the entire basement dedicated to fresh food, including a fresh fish counter. The ground floor had the more conventional Woolworths layout. The top floor was dedicated to furniture and carpets and had a large Harvester Restaurant!

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1968

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1968

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1974

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1974

Source: Howe B, Flickr

In 1985 Kingfisher experimented with an Electronic World store, but the withdrawal from food on 16th October 1986 left the store uneconomic. The store was cut down, with the restaurant closed and the upper two floors split off and re-let on 16th August 1988. Below is just before this happened. This floor became Boots.

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1988

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1988

Source: Black Country History

In 1989, Woolworths traded only from their basement floor, following a refurbishment, with their main entrance in the shopping centre and a door into Dudley Street atop a steep flight of steps. See below the small entrance next to the Boots which took over the unit.

Woolworths Dudley Street Entrance, Wolverhampton

Woolworths Dudley Street Entrance, Wolverhampton

In the 2000s, Wolverhampton Woolworths was converted to one of the 10/10 stores.

Wolverhampton Woolworths 2008

Wolverhampton Woolworths 2008

Source: Kidd R

The store closed in December 2008 and the unit remained empty for 4 years! In 2012 DiscountUK Home Store finally opened here:

Wolverhampton DiscountUK 2014

Wolverhampton DiscountUK 2014

Source: Express & Star

But the latest news for the Mander Centre, now that they have new owners, is that 10 discount stores are being ousted, including DiscountUK. Then they are going to turn 39 units into 11 larger units, including one 3-floor Debenhams, as part of a £25 million revamp (see artist’s impression below) – all to made it a better shopping experience for everyone. Wow a new 3-floor Debenhams, like there was a new 3-floor Woolworths in the 60s – history repeating itself!

Wolverhampton Mander Centre Revamp 2017 Estimated Opening

Wolverhampton Mander Centre Revamp – 2017 Estimated Opening

Source: Express & Star