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.
Source: K Park Prints and Collectables
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.
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.
Source: Sutton Film Office
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.
Below you can see the store to the far right. I’m estimating this to be in the 1930s from the cars.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
In Febraury 1959 the store was extended and modernised further. Below is how the new store looked.
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.
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.
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.
Source: Talbot, C
The Post Office is still trading from the London Street location.
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.
Other sources: Basingstoke Gazette
168-176 Edgware Road, London, W2 2DX
Woolworths opened on Edgware Road on 21st March 1914, the 30th store to be opened in the UK.
The above photo is from 100thbirthday.co.uk and is a “photo taken on a colleagues Woolworths sixpenny camera. It shows the funeral cortege of the late H.M. King George V passing the store front in 1935.”
The store was extended in 1936 to quite a large size, which was when an Art Deco facade was added.
Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Morrison K.
In June 1986 it was one of the first ‘Operation Focus’ comparison stores, where a peppermint blue colour scheme was rolled out. Possibly this was when they extended into the shop next door on the right. As it was the closest store to Head Office, it often had trials taking place here.
In 2000 it became a Woolworths General Store, being one of the early pilots for this scheme, and was re-numbered to 2031.
Source: Barras, Jamie
Somewhere between 2007 and 2008, the powers that be decided to change the fascia back to the traditional red Woolworths one – a bit late as it stopped being a General Store long before 2008.
Then they decided to close the store anyway! This was in July 2008 when 4 London stores were chosen to stop trading, before the whole chain went bust at the end of the year. Here’s a picture I took just before it closed down.
Quite soon afterwards, Waitrose took over the building, so it wasn’t empty for long. Here it is last week when I was on my way to Oxford Street. Still got the Woolworths flagpole up, minus flag 😛