Tag Archives: 1970s

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Exeter – Store 151

190/191 High Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX

Woolworths first opened in Exeter on 1st December 1923 on Fore Street, in former tobacconist building H C Lloyd & Son Ltd.

In 1934 they moved on to the High Street, purchasing 190 and 191, which were Garton & King and Pinder & Tuckwell. The two buildings were put together with an impressive Monks Park Stonework facade, installed by the Bath and Portland Stone Firms Ltd, which you can see below.

Exeter Woolworths 1930s

Exeter Woolworths 1930s

Source: Exeter Memories

In 1976 they moved out of this building into the then new shopping centre. Today this building is occupied by McDonalds and MenKind.

Exeter McDonalds Menkind 2013

Exeter McDonalds Menkind 2013

Source: Exeter Express and Echo

Unit 100, Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX

The new Guildhall Shopping Centre was built in the 1970s, and Woolworths moved into a 2-storey unit in 1976. Their site was on the North Street side, with entrances on Waterbeer Street and Trickhay Street. There was a cafe on the top floor, with a third entrance/exit which led to the first floor of the shopping centre.

Exeter Woolworths 2008

Exeter Woolworths 2008

Source: Exeter Memories

The store closed in December 2008. Soon afterwards, Wilko took over the building, where it is still trading today. This is a view from inside the shopping centre.

Exeter Wilko 2015

Exeter Wilko 2015

Source: 192.com

 

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

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

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

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

Rhyl – Store 308

1-4 East Parade, Rhyl, Flintshre LL18 3AD

On 10th March 1928 Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Rhyl in North Wales. It was on the High Street, a small single-storey store. They extended on 23rd May 1931.

In 1956, Woolworths built much larger, prominent seafront premises on the site of the Royal Cafe, which they demolished. You couldn’t really miss it – the store was huge, with a modern restaurant. They moved in there on 29th June 1956, becoming the department store destination of Rhyl. (It’s on the far right in the below photo)

Rhyl Woolworths 1960s

Rhyl Woolworths 1960s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

On 17th May 1974, the store was modernised and converted to self service.

Rhyl Woolworths 1970s

Rhyl Woolworths 1970s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1987 it was refurbished to become a comparison store (without the restaurant), re-opening on 3rd April.

In the 2000s, the store became a 10/10 store, which you can see in the below photo. Although it looks closed in the below photo, Woolworths had in fact covered the windows in blue, presumably so they could put shelving up against the windows inside – but not looking so nice from the outside. It was a smaller store now, as the top floors were now occupied by Gala Bingo.

Rhyl Woolworths 2006

Rhyl Woolworths 2006

Source: The Roberts Organisation, Flickr

Today B&M Bargains operates from this premises. But there’s still a little something that gives away it’s history…

B&M Bargains, Rhyl 2010

B&M Bargains, Rhyl 2010

Source: Alex Liivet, Flickr

If you enjoyed this, I also found the history of Rhyl Marks and Spencer online (now Poundland). Written by Rhyl History Club, it’s quite fascinating – read about it here.

Market Harborough – Store 301

19 High Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 7NW

Woolworths opened in Market Harborough on the site of an old motor garage at 19 High Street in 1928. The garage was demolished and the Woolworths store was built in their recognisable style.

Market Harborough Woolworths 1965

Market Harborough Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith 

They traded here until the 1970s. Today a Savers store trades from this site, which opened there in the 2010s. You can tell it was a Woolworth store from the style of the upper floor.

Savers, Market Harborough, 2012

Savers, Market Harborough, 2012

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

Woolworths relocated to 43-51 The Square, which is just down the road from it’s first location on the High Street.

Woolworths, Market Harborough, 2008

Woolworths, Market Harborough, 2008

Source: citykey

You may notice that the Woolworths logo is different from the usual. This is because this was a 10/10 store, where a new look was trialled in 2002/03. Market Harborough was the lucky store that got chosen to try out the new design for the smaller stores. Unfortunately it didn’t work as well as it did in the larger stores – the store became too congested and customers found it hard to get to the back of the shop on busy days. So the design wasn’t rolled out to the rest of the small Woolworths and they were left looking a bit tatty 😦

Market Harborough Woolworths closed on 27th December 2008. Here is it after it closed down:

Market Harborough Woolworths 2009

Market Harborough Woolworths 2009

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

In late 2009 it became a New Look. Last year they changed their fascia from black to white and here it is:

New Look, Market Harborough, 2014

New Look, Market Harborough, 2014

Source: Cynthia Hilsden, Flickr

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?

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

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

Ilford – Store 1241

4 Balfour Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 4JH

The Ilford store was a relatively new one in the history of Woolworths stores – but the address has a fascinating history. Originally it was the Ilford Super Cinema which opened on 14th October 1922. In WW2, Ilford suffered the most German V2 rocket hits and the cinema was one of the casualties in 1945 – the building had to be boarded up.

Ilford Super Cinema 1920s

Ilford Super Cinema 1920s

Source: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/14414

In 1959 – 14 years later – the cinema was demolished and a C&A built in it’s place – a pretty eye-catching C&A building too.

Ilford C&A 1960s

Ilford C&A 1970s

Source: Ilford in Pictures Facebook Group

Then when all the C&As closed down in 2000, Woolworths took on the lease of 6 of them – Chester, Metro Gateshead, Wood Green, Derby, Slough and of course Ilford.

The building, together with its illuminated Woolworths signs, always caught my eye whenever we drove through Ilford to get to my cousin Rori’s house.  As a young local, she was quite distraught when C&A closed and threw a tantrum in the new Woolworths store… so C&A had it’s fans too. Here is a photo she took:

Ilford Woolworths 2008

Ilford Woolworths 2008

Ex-Woolworths employee and local Kerry Phillips reminisces, “I worked there for a couple of Christmases and always remember lots of people frantically shopping for last minute sweets and chocolates. The year Leona Lewis won X Factor I remember that song got to number one and it was played in store all day! “

She also remembers buying a CD on it’s last weekend of trading and how upbeat everyone was being. The Ilford store closed on 2nd January 2009.

In October 2009, a Wilkinson’s opened in it’s place. So although this is not a traditional Woolworths building, it is an iconic one and will probably stay a part of Ilford for many years to come.

Ilford Wilko 2014

Ilford Wilko 2014

Source: http://www.crossrail.co.uk

Actually, here is an architect’s impression of Ilford after the proposed ‘urban realm scheme’ – it looks like they want Wilko’s gone and a cinema or something movie-themed in it’s place, I’m guessing in homage to the original Ilford Super Cinema.

Architects Impression of future Ilford

Architects Impression of future Ilford

Paignton – Store 477

63 Victoria Street, Paignton, Devon TQ4 5ED

On 22nd July 1932, Woolworths opened in Paignton, ‘the family resort of picturesque Torbay’ as the town is described on vintage railway posters. This was 12 years after the neighbouring Torquay branch opened. Paignton Woolies opened on the former Dellers Hotel site next to the level crossing at Paignton Station, with the Gerston Hotel on its right.

Paignton Woolworths 1950s

Paignton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Paignton in Pictures Facebook Group

After 30 years, the store had a makeover in 1966 to make it a huge superstore, featuring a cafe and deli upstairs complete with barstools and a big drinks machine!

Paignton Woolworths 1966

Paignton Woolworths 1966

Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/Pell/477Paignton-66.jpg

Below is the store in 1977 (in the background), looking the same as the 1966 photo but in colour.

paignton woolworths 1977

Paignton Woolworths 1977

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8050359@N07/5919037537/

Here is the store in 1998, with the more familiar Woolworths frontage.

Paignton Woolworths 1998

Paignton Woolworths 1998

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79716601@N02/8471075383/

Here is the store just before it closed on 30th December 2008. It left a big hole in Paignton, with the building laying empty for nearly a year.

Paignton Woolworths 2008

Paignton Woolworths 2008

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/argentem/3143848412/

Paignton Woolworths back of store

Paignton Woolworths back of store

Then on Saturday 12th December 2009, the 99p store had a grand opening – the Paignton 99p Store was the 123rd UK 99p Store and the 52nd ex-Woolworths store to be re-opened by the company. That’s a lot of 99p stores.(Source: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.ukThe upstairs became a Sports Direct. I read on a forum how some locals were disappointed that they got a 99p store whereas neighbouring Torquay got an H&M in their ex-Woolies building!

Paignton 99p store/Sports Direct

Paignton 99p store/Sports Direct

Now when we went to Paignton last week, the building was under scaffolding! Still I took the above photo to replicate the one from 1977 so you can see the before and after. Below is what it looks like under the scaffolding.

Paignton Wooworths 2014

Paignton 99p store/Sports Direct 2014

Source: http://statics.192.com/estreet/original/large/2256/22568211.jpg

Other Devon stores you may be interested in:
Torquay – Store 88
Dawlish – Store 940