Tag Archives: 1950s

New Malden – Store 672 / 2019

106-110 High Street, New Malden, Surrey KT3 4EY

Woolworths opened in a small store on New Malden High Street in 1936, then extending in 1939. You can see it below on the right, 3 stores down from Timothy Whites (which is now Boots).

New Malden Woolworths 1955

New Malden Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

In 1964, the store extended into the neighbouring building and was refurbished, modernised and converted to self-service.

New Malden Woolworths 1962

Woolworths New Malden 1964

Source: Pinterest, O’Malley N

New Malden Woolworths 1965

Woolworths New Malden 1965

Source: Francis Frith

There was further modernisation in 1978.

In 2000 the store was converted to a Woolworths General Store format, with a new store number 2019. Two years later it went back to being a normal Woolworths, and was then upgraded to a 10/10 store. It closed down in December 2008.

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Woolworths New Malden 2008

Source: Flickr, Dawson F

The building was then taken over by a discount store who didn’t take the Woolworths fascia down! This photo was taken in 2010:

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Discount Store, New Malden Old Woolworths building, 2010

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

And now it is a Poundland.

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Poundland New Malden, 2012

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

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Crawley – Store 768

6 Grand Parade, High Street, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1BU

Woolworths opened on the High Street in Crawley on 26th July 1940. It was the last store in the chain to open for another 6 years, due to World War 2. Below you can see it’s the building with the awning and a car parked in front of it. The Woolworth architects had designed an upper balcony and a small turret on the roof.

Crawley Woolworths 1940s

Crawley Woolworths 1940s

Source: Grandma P’s Ramblings

This store closed in 1957 when they moved to the ‘new town’. The building was subsequently occupied by a Halifax branch, and today it is a Wetherspoons pub – The Jubilee Oak. The building has not changed at all.

Crawley Jubilee Oak

The Jubilee Oak – Crawley (former Woolworths)

Source: Tripadvisor

17-19 Queens Square, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1EA

In the 1950s, Crawley was designated as a ‘new town’ by the government due to it’s rapidly expanding population. Woolworths moved from it’s small High St store to Queens Square where it opened as the largest self-service store of the 1950s.

Crawley Woolworths 1957

Crawleys Woolworths 1957

Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Here is an extract from the Woolworths Museum:

“In 1957 Woolworth bosses went a step further, opening a much larger self-service store in Crawley New Town. A small store in the High Street was replaced by a much larger branch in nearby Queen’s Square. Executives hoped that a halo effect from the marketing of the new town, which portrayed it as ultra-modern, would help to break down customer resistance to the new format. The store layout included a number of new display ideas, with fully redesigned fixtures and fittings. For the first time gondola islands were used, with shelving from top to bottom, without understocks cupboards at the base. This style of shelving remains the standard for most retailers in the twenty-first century. At the time it was a first and proved quite controversial. Some customers complained that they had to stoop to pick up items on the bottom two shelves, while company bosses worried that the stock cost to fill the Crawley store was almost double the level of a comparable personal-service store. Despite the reservations of some older customers, the overall feedback from the Crawley shoppers was positive. Most liked the layout and thought the store was very up-to-date.”
Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Now here’s something random. You can buy a 252 piece jigsaw puzzle of the Crawley Woolworths 1950s store front from Amazon here. Shipped from America. Weird!

Crawley Woolworths 1950s

Crawley Woolworths 1950s

Here you can see it in 1971, looking a bit shabby after 14 years.

Crawley Woolworths 1971

Crawley Woolworths 1971

Source: Flickr, JR James Archive

Another random fact, Chico did an instore signing of his single D.I.S.C.O in Crawley Woolworths in August 2006.

Here is the store in 2008, before it closed later that year.

Crawley Woolworths 2008

Crawley Woolworths 2008

Source: CrawleyTV

Today the building is occupied by Poundland. It was planned to demolish the building in 2013 as part of the Queens Square regeneration, but it is staying put and the actual square is being renovated now.

Crawley Poundland 2012

Crawley Poundland 2012

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

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

 

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

 

Middlesbrough – Store 8

51/67 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, Teeside TS1 5BT

The eighth Woolworths branch to open in the UK was at Middlesbrough, back in 1911. According to the 1913 Kelly’s Directory of North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, it originally opened at 91-93 Linthorpe Road, but then moved to bigger premises at 51 -67, as pictured below.

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1911

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1920s?

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Middlesbrough was bombed quite severely in WWII and Woolworths was hit. The store was rebuilt throughout the 1950s, reopening with a more modern look in 1959.

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1950s

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1959

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

It traded for another 20 years before closing down in the 1980s when Kingfisher took over.

The building was split into 3 units and occupied by Currys, Champion and Fosters in the 1980s.

Middlesbrough Currys Champion Fosters 1988

Middlesbrough Currys Champion Fosters 1988

Source: alamy

Today the building is now occupied by USC and River Island – the closed down unit was Currys.digital until recently. You can see from the below photo how imposing a building it was. It would have been quite a large Woolworths store.

Middlesbrough USC and River Island 2012

Middlesbrough USC and River Island 2012

Source: ballysundriven

In the 2000s, Woolworths returned to Middlesbrough as store 1200, which I’ll cover in a separate post.

 

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 in 1984.

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

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

Hastings – Store 251

1-7 Wellington Place, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1NY

In July 1926, Woolworths bought the block of 2-6 Wellington Place and 15-20 Pelham. The buildings were demolished, and in their place a large ‘3 penny and 6 penny’ store was built (Source: Hastings Chronicle). This is how the store looked in the 1950s:

Hastings Woolworths 1950s

Hastings Woolworths 1950s

Source: Hastings & St Leonards Forum

Below is a photo of the store in 1982, where you can see there has been a major makeover – I am guessing this took place in the 1960s.

Hastings Woolworths 1982

Hastings Woolworths 1982

Source: Popkin, A

This photo was taken when the underground walkway was being built.

Hastings Woolworths 1988

Hastings Woolworths 1988

Source: gandalfthegrey, Flickr

This is a 1990s photo where you can see the Woolworths fascia has been updated.

Hastings Woolworths 1990s

Hastings Woolworths 1990s

Source: Goldsteinleigh Investments

Hastings Woolworths 2004

Hastings Woolworths 2004

Source: JJ justin, Flickr

A more recent photo here, just before the store closed for good on 2nd January 2009.

Hastings Woolworths 2008

Hastings Woolworths 2008

Source: Snapper Jude, Flickr

It soon became a Sports Direct – here’s a photo we took last week whilst on holiday in Hastings. It’s a large, prominent store – you can’t miss it. They have painted the blue tiles grey, but apart from that is looks exactly as it did as a Woolworths. And even the 4 little roof windows are recognisable from the earlier 1950s photo – a real piece of history.

Hastings Sports Direct 2015

Hastings Sports Direct 2015

Chippenham – Store 493

24-25 High Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 3ET

Woolworths opened on Chippenham High Street in April 1933.

Chippenham Woolworths 1930s

Chippenham Woolworths 1930s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

The store was modernised in 1957/58.

Chippenham Woolworths 1952

Chippenham Woolworths 1952

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Then in 1974, the store was converted to self-service, with further modernisation the following year. In 1977 a Garden Centre was added as an annex. This was when the recognisable single floor frontage was replaced with a smooth 2-floor frontage which you can see below.

Chippenham Woolworths 1970s

Chippenham Woolworths 1970s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Chippenham Woolworths was an Early Operation Focus comparison store, having a full refurbishment in 1986. In 1990, the Garden Centre annex  was closed and put up for sale. During the 1990s the store was used for concept development, pioneering the Heartland store format (which included reopening the Garden Centre as a salesfloor extension, giving space to reintroduce petcare, a limited range of toiletries and video rental). The store appeared in Analysts video in 1995 to illustrate how the business had changed and managed to generate £100m profit in a single year. Heartland elements were progressively dropped and the store narrowly escaped selection as a Woolworths General Store – instead it was upgraded to the latest 10/10 specification after demerger. (Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk)

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

Source: Wright J.

2008 photo from my Facebook group:

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

Chippenham Woolworths 2008

The store closed in January 2009. I took this photo when I visited Chippenham in April 2009:

Chippenham Woolworths 2009

Chippenham Woolworths 2009

Today the unit has been split into two stores – Poundland and Costa Coffee.

Poundland and Costa Coffee, Chippenham 2013

Poundland and Costa Coffee, Chippenham 2013

Source: ballysundriven, 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

Dawlish – Store 940

2 The Strand, Dawlish, Devon EX7 9PS

Woolworths came to the Devon seaside town of Dawlish quite late on, in 1956. The building they occupied was on the Strand, and was actually built in 1919. Designed in eye-catching black and white pseudo Elizabethan style, half of the building was occupied by Cridge’s Cafe (see photo below).

Dawlish E. Cridges Cafe 1920s

Dawlish E. Cridges Cafe 1920s

Source: dawlishhistory.org.uk

It later became Holman’s Cafe and then Brunt’s Cafe, until 1956 when it became Woolworths. When it opened, it was the first ‘self-service’ store in Dawlish, ie where you could pick the goods off the shelf rather than having to ask an assistant to get it for you from behind the counter. This was such a new concept that they had to have staff at the door explaining the self-service process! Here is the store in the swinging 60s:

Dawlish Woolworths 1960s

Dawlish Woolworths 1960s

Source: Kingsdude/Dave, Flickr

The 1970s:

Dawlish Woolworths 1976

Dawlish Woolworths 1976

Source: Rostance D, Flickr

And the 1980s:

Dawlish Woolworths Late 1980s

Dawlish Woolworths Late 1980s

Source: RMC1490, Flickr

This photo from my Facebook group was taken shortly before they closed:

Dawlish Woolworths 2008

Dawlish Woolworths 2008

On 2nd January 2009 Woolworths Dawlish closed down for good. It lay empty for a long time, falling apart and becoming quite an eyesore. This photo is from our south coast roadtrip of 2010.

Dawlish Woolworths (Closed) 2010

Dawlish Woolworths (Closed) 2010

In 2011 the Co-op next door extended into the Woolworths building where it now trades as one large store.

Dawlish Co-op 2011

Dawlish Co-op 2011

Source: JJ Justin, Flickr

Other Devon stores you may be interested in:
Torquay – Store 88
Paignton – Store 477

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

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

Nottingham Listergate – Store 36

22 – 26 and 34 – 38 Listergate, Nottingham NG1 7DG

Over 100 years ago in August 1914, Woolworths opened their first Nottingham store in historic Listergate. It possibly started off small, as between 1936-1937 F.W.Woolworth architects designed the most large-scale Art Deco front, extending the store to 22-26 Listergate. You can see how large it was in the below 1950s postcard.

Nottingham Listergate Woolworths 1950s

Nottingham Listergate Woolworths 1950s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In the 1960s, Woolworths extended into 34-38 Listergate, so there was a link from 22-26 on the ground floor through to 34-38. It was one giant store split in two. There was an enormous cafeteria that would seat approximately 500 people –  some say the cafe was larger than some shops on the high street! Here is what the new half looked like.

Nottingham Listergate Woolworths 1972

Nottingham Listergate Woolworths 1972

Source: Roberts, George L – Picture the Past

1972 was when the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre was being built. Below is a photo showing this, and you can see the two halves of the Woolworths in the background.

Nottingham Woolworths 1973

Nottingham Woolworths 1973

Source: Nottinghamshire County Council

In the mid-70s, the fascias were updated to the new red ‘Woolworth’ and logo.

Nottingham Woolworths 1980s

Nottingham Listergate Woolworths 1970s

Source: Baker, Reg – Picture the Past

Nottingham Listergate Woolworths 1980s

Nottingham Listergate Woolworths 1970s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1984 Kingfisher sold the store, as they were getting rid of large stores to get more capital. The Listergate stores were sold to Boots. By this time there were many other Woolworths branches scattered across Nottingham, and they reopened in the town centre in 1991 in the new Victoria Centre.

Today, 22-26 Listergate is occupied by M&S, and 34-38 Listergate is occupied by Poundland, Optical Express and WHSmith. Here they are, both buildings looking remarkably as they did in their heyday, with the Art Deco front still looking as elegant and grand on the M&S store.

Nottingham M&S 2015

Nottingham M&S 2015

Source: Soult, Graham

Nottingham 34 Listergate

Nottingham 34 Listergate – 2014

Source: HRH

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

Holloway – Store 240

442/446 Holloway Road, London N7 6QE

I had many fond memories of Holloway Road from the 1990s when I started my student life, but I did not recall a Woolworths. So when I saw it listed on the 1970s store list, the idea for this whole blog began…

Woolworths opened on the bustling Holloway Road in the 1920s, opposite the Nags Head public house of which the area is now named after. Here is a photo from the 1950s, when trolleybuses were in use – there was a bus stop directly outside the store. There were upper floors, so I would say this was quite a large Woolworths.

Holloway Woolworths 1950s

Holloway Woolworths 1950s

Source: Carter, C

Below are two photos from the 1960s, where we can see the neighbouring buildings were J Lyons tea shop and H Samuel jewellers. It appears the road has also been enlarged since the 1950s.

Holloway Woolworths 1960

Holloway Woolworths 1960

Source: Pask, Brian

Holloway Woolworths 1961

Holloway Woolworths 1961

Source: Bannister, Geoff

Somewhere along the line, there was a makeover, I am guessing in the mid-1960s from the look of the building today. Then the store closed, possibly in the 1980s when Kingfisher took over, I can only speculate. What I do know is that it was definitely an Iceland in 1997.

Here is a more recent image of this parade of shops from 2010, where we can clearly see Iceland is where Woolworths was. The J Lyon tea shop is now Mothercare, H Samuel is T-Mobile (although probably an EE store now), and Marks & Spencer is still there looking remarkably unchanged. How was that for a lovely trip back in time 🙂

Holloway Road 2010

Holloway Road 2010

Source: diamond geezer

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

Reading – Store 111/1180

61/64 Broad Street, Reading RG1 2AJ

Woolworths originally opened at 51 Broad Street, Reading in the Spring of 1922, which is where H&M is today. Some pretty fantastic vintage photos of the Reading store have been put up on www.reading-forum.co.uk by markjuk. (http://www.reading-forum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5709&p=51409)

THEN:

Reading Woolworths 1920s

Reading Woolworths 1920s

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1261402.PDF

NOW:

Reading H&M 2014

Reading H&M 2014

Source: http://uk-retail.pldbgw-dtz.maximalls.net/dynamic/image/2374271?x=340

The store was expanded to have entrances in Broad Street, Friar Street, Union Street and West Street, often used as a shortcut by shoppers to get from Friar Street to Broad Street. It sounds like it was MASSIVE, I can’t even imagine!

THEN:

Reading WW 1950

Reading Woolworths 1950

Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/pages/0111Reading-1950.htm

Reading Woolworths 1955

Reading Woolworths 1955

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1285592.pdf

According to the Wargrave Local History Society, “Woolworths had moved to their present position in 1939, having earlier been nearer Union Street, although for a period in the late 80’s it was a shopping mall, then becoming Woolworths again.” Source: http://www.wargravehistory.org.uk/nov98.html

Reading WW 1945

Reading Woolworths Interior 1945

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_Group#mediaviewer/File:A_Picture_of_a_Southern_Town-_Life_in_Wartime_Reading,_Berkshire,_England,_UK,_1945_D25360.jpg

Reading WW West Street Entrance 1979

Reading Woolworths West Street Entrance 1979

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1317811.PDF

Reading WW back

Reading Woolworths Friar Street Entrance 2013

Source: http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk/2013/03/16/pick-n-mixed-grill-the-ex-woolworths-that-are-now-wetherspoons/

Now this shopping mall concept sounds interesting. According to 100thbirthday.co.uk, it was originally a prototype for a new large store format called ‘Jupiter’, but they decided on ‘The Woolworth Mall’, piloting Ladybird clothing, the ‘Le Cafe’ restaurant, as well as opticians, show repair and estate agent concessions and selling large kitchen appliances! The mall used yellow and grey colours rather than the traditional red and white, although not for long as the concept was dropped quickly in favour of getting rid of huge city centre stores.

Reading Woolworths 1980

Reading Woolworths 1980

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1317805.PDF

Reading Woolworths 1980

Reading Woolworths 1980

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1304042.PDF

“The site was closed for redevelopment in 1989, closing on 17th June. When the development was complete Woolworths moved into a small store in part of its original footprint, which opened on the company’s 85th birthday, 5th November 1992 (Store 1180).” Extract from 100thbirthday.co.uk (Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/pages/0111Reading-1950.htm)

Reading WW 2008

Reading Woolworths 2008

When I took these photos, I did notice how new the building looked – definitely not an original. The Reading Forum clarified this – Markjuk recalls “that a fire in the early 90s caused by squatters who in habited the derelict building, set fire to it causing extensive damage to the old Broad Street entrance prompting it to be demolished a few months later. Rather than save this art deco architecture, it was demolished and replaced with a bog standard brick building of no significance.” (Source: http://www.reading-forum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5709&p=51409)

NOW:

Reading Clas Olsen 2014

Reading Clas Ohlson 2014

And today it is a shiny new Clas Ohlson, selling pretty much what Woolies used to sell. I do like their pastel coloured straws 🙂