Category Archives: Uncategorized

Whitley Bay – Store 277

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.

Whitley Bay Woolworths 1987

Whitley Bay Woolworths 1987

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.

Whitley Bay Woolworths 2008

Whitley Bay Woolworths 2008

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?

Whitley Bay Former Woolworths

Whitley Bay Former Woolworths

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Tunbridge Wells – Store 261

13-17 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2TG

Woolworths opened in Tunbridge Wells in 1927. It was on Calverley Road, you can see it in the below photo. This photo was taken in 1935 during the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary, and Woolworths was decorated to celebrate. There would have been souvenirs on sale inside.

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 1935

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 1935

The building was updated after 1935, though the shop front doesn’t look much bigger. The upper floor windows have an Art Deco look to them.

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 1940s

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 1940s/50s

Here is a close up of the store in the 1990s. Where there were previously windows at the side, these have been removed and the wall covered in those recognisable cream tiles.

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 1990s

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 1990s

Kathryn Peddie worked at Tunbridge Wells Woolworths in the 90s. She reminisces “I was a shelf filler in Christmas 1992 or 1993 and was invited back the following Easter to be a Saturday girl and became Floor Designate on the lower floor (toys/childrens clothing). I remember one back to school weekend I took something like a quarter of the entire shop takings through my till and the managers were impressed with my speed and friendliness! I loved working there.”

In the 2000s, there was another makeover with a new fascia. Note Boots next door, as they had been in the 1935 photo (called Timothy Whites then).

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 2008

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 2008

The store closed in December 2008.

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 2008

Tunbridge Wells Woolworths 2008

Today Topshop and Topman are in the building – next time you are shopping in Tunbridge Wells, look up and see a bit of Woolworths architecture.

Tunbridge Wells Former Woolworths - Topshop Topman

Tunbridge Wells Former Woolworths – Topshop Topman

Birmingham Aston – Store 137

95 Aston Road North, Birmingham B6 4DA

Woolworths opened a third Birmingham store on Aston Road North, on the corner of Burlington Street, in 1923. It was near the Aston Hippodrome. The other stores were Store 103 and Store 266.

Birmingam Aston Woolworths 1950s

Birmingam Aston Woolworths 1950s

There are not many photos of the store. The Aston Hippodrome closed in the 1980s and became ‘The Drum’. We can guess the Woolworths store closed in the 1980s. Today it looks like this:

Birmingham Aston Woolworths 1950s

Birmingham Aston Woolworths 1950s

Source: Birmingham Post

Southampton – Store 128

64/66 Above Bar Street, Southampton SO9 5UD

Woolworths opened a branch on Above Bar Street on 7th February 1923, alongside the original Southampton Woolies on East Street (Store 24) which opened in 1913. This newer one was a larger store.

Southampton Woolworths 1930s

Southampton Woolworths 1930s

Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/images/0128Southampton-1930s.jpg

Former resident Margaret House remembers this store, “From memory, the original Woolies there was a long narrow shop, one storey, with a sloping floor. Had a cafe area at the far end of the shop where Mum would treat me to a Horlicks drink. That would have been late 40s early fifties.” Source: Southampton Memories: People and Places Facebook Group

Unfortunately this building got destroyed in the Blitz and had to be rebuilt. “The branch had re-opened in stages from 1949 until 1954. The final wave saw the opening of an upper salesfloor, with a customer restaurant and a large new clothing department. Garments were displayed hanging on the walls. The shopfit included new spotlighting to give extra prominence to the feature. For the first time customers were invited to select for themselves from the displays rather than asking an assistant for help. The product selection included a number of garments costing between twenty and forty shillings (£1 to £2).”
Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/1950s-i-fasion.htm

Below shows how the new building looked:

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

 Source: http://www.facebook.com/SouthamptonMemories

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

Southampton Woolworths 1960s

Source: Southampton Heritage Photos Facebook Group

Ex-Woolworths employee Ganesh Jillah who worked at Southampton from 1997-1999 says, “I remember when Titanic was released on video in October ’98. We were all working a late shift, and we had on Titanic t-shirts. The store was open as a special event from 9pm ’til 11pm on the Sunday, or maybe it was 8 ’til 12. There was a big queue of people outside the store all along the street! We had an orchestra playing like they had in the Titanic.” I asked him why Southampton in particular. He said it was because the Titanic had sailed from Southampton.

Woolworths Titanic Poster - Southampton

Titanic Poster – Southampton Woolworths

 

Southampton Woolworths 2006

Southampton Woolworths 2006

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/_moonpie/230871673

Southampton Woolworths 2007

Southampton Woolworths 2007

Source: http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/heritage/hampshireheritage

The store closed in September 2007 to the shock of many locals and employees, after the landlord offered them loads of money to end the lease 10 years early. TK Maxx and the Card Factory took it’s place. The canopies have gone but you can still see the same windows from the 1960s photo.

Southampton TK Maxx 2014

Southampton TK Maxx 2014

Source: www.192.com

Woolworths bosses then decided to open a new store in nearby Bitterne, in October 2008 (even though there was already a closed store in this area – store 1005, 401/403 Bitterne Road). Well this new one ended up being the last new store to be opened before the chain collapsed.

Dumbarton – Store 122

97 – 99 High Street, Dumbarton, Strathclyde G82 1PH

In 1922 Woolworths opened another Scottish store in the Glasgow area – in the town of Dumbarton. They opened next to the Earl of Glencairn’s Greit House of 1623 (the building with the arches on the left of this photo)

Dumbarton Woolworths 1922

Dumbarton Woolworths 1922

Source: Historic England

In the 1930s the store had an Art Deco update to its look. The fact that this was allowed shows the clout that Woolworths had in such towns with historic buildings.

Dumbarton Woolworths 1950s

Dumbarton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Pinterest

There were updates to the fascia through the years.

Dumbarton Woolworths 1971

Dumbarton Woolworths 1971

Source: Historic England

Dumbarton Woolworths 1979

Dumbarton Woolworths 1979

Source: West Dunbartonshire Council

It was branded a Woolworths ‘Local’ store until its last days in December 2008.

Dumbarton Woolworths 2008

Dumbarton Woolworths 2008

Source: Dunbartonshire Council

And today it is a Wetherspoons pub, the Art Deco facade is still there and you can sit and have a drink in this old Woolworths.

Dumbarton Former Woolworths - Wetherspoons

Dumbarton Former Woolworths – Wetherspoons

Source: Flickr

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.

Basingstoke – Store 107

5 – 7 London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7AB

Woolworths originally opened at 5 London Street in Basingstoke Old Town on 19th November 1921, taking over the premises of William Cannon, the butchers. They extended in 1935 into part of the drapery shop of J Boyer next door, making a larger store.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1950

Basingstoke Woolworths 1950

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In Febraury 1959 the store was extended and modernised further. Below is how the new store looked.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1966

Basingstoke Woolworths 1966

Source: R L Brown, Sense of Place South East

1/13 Chiswick House, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 7LD

On 23rd October 1970 they relocated to Basingstoke’s new shopping centre, opening a HUGE new self-service store, with a restaurant, in a 3-storey building called Chiswick House. The Post Office moved into the empty London Street store. From this photo it looks as though it was all an indoor shopping centre, but today that ceiling has been opened up.

Basingstoke Woolworths 1970

Basingstoke Woolworths 1970

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

The move to self-service was a big deal in the 70s. On February 1971 they celebrated “D” Day – when half of all Woolworths stores had moved to self-service and decimalisation. Here is the cash wrap desk upstairs in the Clothing department at Basingstoke.

Basingstoke Clothing Tills 1971

Basingstoke Clothing Tills 1971

Source: Woolworths Museum

1993 the store was cut to half its size, and other stores opened up in Chiswick House. Today Poundland, Vision Express and Specsavers trade from that side.

In the 2000s it was one of the stores chosen to be a 10/10 store, still trading with a cafe, until it’s closure in December 2008.

Basingstoke Woolworths 2008

Basingstoke Woolworths 2008

Source: Talbot, C

TODAY:

The Post Office is still trading from the London Street location.

Basingstoke Post Office

Basingstoke Post Office

And the Chiswick House Woolies has been split into 2 units. Greggs and a clothes store called Internacionale (I think) trade from there. Apologies for the grainy image, I actually took a photo of the wrong store (Poundland!), so have had to screenshot this off my vlog.

Chiswick House, Basingstoke 2015

Chiswick House, Basingstoke 2015

Other sources: Basingstoke Gazette

Other Hampshire Woolworths you may be interested in:
Portsmouth – Store 35Southsea – Store 50

Birmingham Bull Ring – Store 103

105/107 The Bull Ring Centre, Birmingham B5 4QN

Originally, Woolworths opened in Birmingham City Centre on Spiceal Street in 1921, 6 years before the nearby New Street branch opened.

THEN:

Birmingham Woolworths Spiceal Street 1921

Birmingham Woolworths Spiceal Street 1921

Source: Woolworths Museum

It was hugely successful in this location – sales were amongst the highest in the country in the 1930s – so they doubled it in size, with the addition of a large restaurant, and then made further enhancements in the 1950s. You can see below how it is over 2 stores.

Birmingham Woolworths Spiceal Street 1959

Birmingham Woolworths Spiceal Street 1959

Source: Nicklin, Phyllis http://epapers.bham.ac.uk/263/

Major changes were to come in the 1960s – “Woolworths own construction department worked closely with town planners and Taylor Woodrow to devise a massive redevelopment scheme for the City Centre. By releasing land owned by Woolworths they traded both for cash and a brand new store in a new shopping precinct to be known as the Bull Ring Centre. Half of the original Bullring store was demolished to allow for development, with a new ultra-modern Woolies built in its place. Woolworths then swapped into the new site allowing the rest of the old store to be redeveloped.” Source: 100thbirthday,co.uk 

I have included the below photo so you can see the location of the St Martin church – this is how we can work out what is in the same location today. This is in 1962 when the new Bull Ring Centre store is being contructed with the old store next door still trading.

Birmingham Woolworths 1962

Birmingham Woolworths 1962

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffsimages/7161080582/

The Bull Ring Centre was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in May 1964. Linked by escalators and stairs, with 23 acres of space, air-conditioning, valet parking and tropical plants(!), it was the biggest indoor shopping centre in Europe, with the largest Woolworths in Europe. Watch this video for a nostalgic insight into the building: Bull Ring Opening Video

Below is a photo from 1966, showing the ultra-modern new flagship Woolworths. It was the superstore of its time, with modernised ranges and shop-fittings, featuring a large foodhall, an extended clothing range, plus a top floor cafe where they had a ‘never seen before’ iced water machine.

Birmingham Bull Ring Woolworths 1966

Birmingham Bull Ring Woolworths 1966

Source: Dowling, Geoff 

Unfortunately, just 20 years later, in 1983 the store closed for business, when the board decided to sell larger stores to release capital – “The Bull Ring store was one of the first to be disposed by Kingfisher in 1983 to another developer planning to raise the whole site to the ground and replace it with something architecturally significant.” (Source: 100thbirthday,co.ukThere wasn’t a Woolies in the City Centre until the 1990s when they re-opened in the Pallasades Shopping Centre.

Birmingham Woolworths 1983

Birmingham Woolworths 1983

Source: Birmingham City Centre Past Facebook group

Some forums say Mark One traded from this building in the 1990s, but this was on the other side of the ramp – so I am presuming it lay empty for decades, before the Bull Ring Centre was demolished in 2000. The new Bullring shopping centre was then built, opening in September 2003.

Birmingham Bull Ring Woolworths Demolition 2000s

Birmingham Bull Ring Woolworths Demolition 2000s

Source: Wilde, Brett

Below is a photo from 2007 after the new shopping centre was opened with the new Selfridges chain-mail building in the foreground. Behind the church is Borders which looks as though this was where the original Woolworths building would have been. Borders have since closed down.

Birmingham Bullring from north 2007

Birmingham Bullring from north 2007

Source: Warrins, Gavin 

In 2011, the Bullring was extended to have a new ‘Spiceal Street’ centre with restaurants (see below). So I would say this corner is where the Bull Ring Woolworths once stood.

NOW:

Birmingham Bullring 2011

Birmingham Bullring 2011

Source: http://bigcityplan.birmingham.gov.uk/spiceal-street-opening/

 

Wakefield – Store 92

45 Kirkgate, Wakefield, Yorkshire

The 92nd Woolworths store opened in Wakefield in 1920 at number 45 Kirkgate. The building was previously S. Stephenson’s furniture dealers.

In the 1950s there was a huge redevelopement scheme of Lower Kirkgate, with buildings being demolished and roads widened. This photo from 1955 shows the old Wakefield Woolworths building prior to being demolished.

Wakefield Woolworths 1955

Wakefield Woolworths 1955

Source: Twixt Aire and Calder

In 1956 the new modern Woolworths opened. Railings were installed on the edge of the pavement to protect pedestrians from traffic.

Wakefield Woolworths 1958

Wakefield Woolworths 1958

Source: Twixt Aire and Calder

In the late 1970s the store was modernised.

Wakefield Woolworths 1980s

Wakefield Woolworths 1980s

Source: Twixt Aire and Calder

Below you can see the fascia has been updated for the 1990s, so we can assume the store was modernised again.

Wakefield Woolworths 1996

Wakefield Woolworths 1996

Source: Twixt Aire and Calder

The store closed for good when the chain went bust in December 2008.

 

Source: Mike Kirby

Today the building is occupied by Iceland.

Former Wakefield Woolworths - Iceland

Former Wakefield Woolworths – Iceland

Weston-super-Mare – Store 81

64 High Street, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset BS23 1HX

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare very early on, in 1919. You can see the building before it was a Woolworths in the below photo – in the centre with the roof windows.

Weston-Super-Mare High Street 1901

Weston-super-Mare High Street 1901

Source: Past and Present Publications

Here is a photo of the Woolworths store when it was trading. You can see they did not change the building at all, apart from removing the roof windows. Quite interesting, perhaps they were not allowed to demolish and build in their own style, as they had in other towns. It is a beautiful building, so I’d say this was a good thing. Bhs next door had demolished their building, replacing it with a rather 50s looking building.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2008

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2008

(Photo from my Facebook group)

The store closed for good on 30th December 2008.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Source: White R., Flickr

The following year, Poundland opened, and here it is from when I visited the busy high street this week.

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Aberdeen – Store 79

48/52 St Nicholas Street, Aberdeen AB9 1DD

Affectionately known as ‘Wee Woolies’, this was the first store to open in Aberdeen on 18th October 1919, at 48-52 St Nicholas Street.

Aberbeen Woolworths 1919

Aberdeen Woolworths 1919

Source: The Doric Columns

It was next to Vogue on the corner of Flourmill Brae.

Aberbeen Woolworths 1919

Aberdeen Woolworths 1919

Source: The Doric Columns

Locals called it “Wee Woolies” or “Little Woolies”, as it was the smaller Aberdeen store with one floor, compared to the 3-storey branch on nearby Union Street, which had opened in 1926. Here is Wee Woolies in the 1970s, with Vogue having become Just Pants Plus, and the Easiephit Shoe Shop to it’s left.

Aberdeen Woolworths 1970s

Aberdeen Woolworths 1970s

Source: The Doric Columns and Happy Memories

The store closed in the 1980s, and this whole parade of shops got demolished to make way for the new St Nicholas Shopping Centre, which opened in 1985. Here is it just prior to demolition in 1982.

Aberdeen Woolworths 1982

Aberdeen Woolworths 1982

Source: Milne, Jame L

Here’s another angle of it from 1982:

Aberdeen Woolworths 1982

Aberdeen Woolworths 1982

Source: Elder, Neale

Here is a recent photo of St Nicholas Shopping shopping centre – the parade of shops where Woolworths stood would have been to the left of M&S, as that is 22 St Nicholas Street.

St Nicholas Centre, Aberdeen 2009

St Nicholas Centre, Aberdeen 2009

Source: Henderson, Iain

Do you remember Wee Woolies in Aberdeen?

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.

Aberdare – Store 75

4-5 Commercial Street, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan CF44 7RN

Woolworths opened in Aberdare in 1919. This store was the third one to open in Wales. In the below photo from 1965, you can see the store on the left.

Aberdare Woolworths 1965

Aberdare Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

Shortly after they changed to fascia to the new 1970s style.

Aberdare Woolworths 1970s

Aberdare Woolworths 1970s

Source: Media Wales Photos

Aberdare Woolworths 1990s

Aberdare Woolworths 1990s

Source: Flickr

This photo was taken 5 days before it closed in December 2008.

Aberdare Woolworths 2008

Aberdare Woolworths 2008

Source: alamy.com

The building didn’t stay empty for long and was soon taken over by B&M Bargains.

Aberdare B&M Bargains 2014

Aberdare B&M Bargains 2014

Source: geolocation

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.

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.

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

Bournemouth – Store 54

18/20 Commercial Road, The Square, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5LZ

Six years after the first Woolworths opened in the UK in 1909, the fifty-fourth store was opened at 18 Commercial Road, The Square, Bournemouth in 1915.

Bournemouth Woolworths 1920s

Bournemouth Woolworths 1920s

Source: Historic England

The store was extended to include 20 Commercial Road (previously Bon Marche, drapers and milliners) in 1931 with an impressive Art Deco “cinema frontage”.

Original 10" x 7" photograph from 1931. On the left is Montague Burton, Ltd (Burton Tailoring) at number 16. On the right is The British Shoe Co., Ltd., at number 22.

Bournemouth Woolworths 1931

Source: Ladell, A.

Bournemouth Woolworths 1931

Bournemouth Woolworths 1935

Source: Ladell, A.

Alas, this was destroyed by enemy action on 10th April, 1941, when a single oil bomb (incendiary bomb) gutted the building in the same raid that destroyed the new Art Deco Beale’s store. The site remained a gap for more than a decade before being reconstructed and reskinned in Portland stone in the 1950s.

18-20. One of the early buildings here was Waterloo House that underwent a bit of a facelift to become Woolworths in 1915. Rebuilt around 1930, the premises were severely damaged during an air raid in WW2 with these replacement premises opening in the 1950s. This branch of Woolworths closed in 1983 and became a branch of Boots.

Woolworths Bournemouth 1961

Source: Bournemouth Grant

It was a huge Woolworths store, with two staircases at the end, with a photo booth at the bottom. On the top floor was a cafe bar.

Bournemouth Woolworths 1964

Bournemouth Woolworths 1964

Source: Bournemouth Grant

bournemouth-woolworths-1976

Bournemouth Woolworths 1976

Source: Bournemouth Echo

In 1983 this store was sold to Boots (which relocated from Old Christchurch Road/Post Office Road) as part of Kingfisher’s asset disposals. It is still a Boots store today.

Boots Bournemouth 2008

Boots Bournemouth 2008

Source: Grant

Boots Bournemouth 2012

Boots Bournemouth 2012

Source: Ladell, A.

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-

 

Huddersfield – Store 51

49-57 New Street, Huddersfield HD1 2BL

Huddersfield Woolworths opened on New Street in 1915. It was expanded in 1934 to include an entrance on Victoria Lane. The upper trading floor retailed funiture and also had a cafeteria.

Huddersfield Woolworths 1955

Huddersfield Woolworths 1955

Source: Huddersfield Examiner

Huddersfield Woolworths 1956

Huddersfield Woolworths 1956

Source: Pinterest

The shop was expanded again in 1964 from two storeys to six.

Huddersfield Woolworths 1980s

Huddersfield Woolworths 1970s

Source: Pictures of England

In the mid-seventies, a Shoppers World floor opened at Huddersfield – this was Woolworths catalogue shop, like the first ever Argos.

Huddersfield Woolworths and Shoppers World 1970s

Huddersfield Woolworths and Shoppers World 1970s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Shoppers World was very successful but the American owners decided to sell as it wasn’t doing too well over there.

In 1980 the store was extended and refurbished at a cost of £750,000. The work included expanding the Victoria Lane entrance by acquiring two small shops next door.

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane Entrance 2006

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane Entrance 2006

Source: Flickr

In 1990, with the introduction of the business rate, Woolworths took the commercial decision to remove the two top floors to reduce their rating liability.  They also split the ground floor into two separate shop units and let them off. Woolworths, as a result traded only on the lower sales floor, which had a ‘frontage’ at the rear of the building onto a pedestrian area. They retained two entrances at front ground floor onto New Street level.

Huddersfield Woolworths New Street 2008

Huddersfield Woolworths New Street 2008

Source: Flickriver

This was the Victoria Lane entrance which used to be the back and is now the front of the store, as it faces the Piazza shopping centre.

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Source: Huddersfield Examiner

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Source: Flickr

The store closed in December 2008 when the chain went bust, and Poundland now occupies the building. Here is the New Street back entrance:

 

Huddersfield Former Woolworths New Street Poundland 2017

Huddersfield Former Woolworths New Street – Poundland 2017

And here is the Victoria Lane front entrance:

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane - Poundland 2017

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane – Poundland 2017

You can see how large a Woolworths store it would have been from this photo.

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane - Poundland 2017

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane – Poundland 2017

Source: Acuitus

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