Tag Archives: 1980s

Maidenhead – Store 202

90/90a High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1PU

Woolworths opened in the Berkshire town of Maidenhead in 1925, on the High Street. It was next to Barclays Bank (who are still there today, albeit in a more modern building).

Maidenhead Woolworths 1925

Maidenhead Woolworths 1925

Source: Postcards of Maidenhead

Maidenhead was one of the first stores called ‘Woolworths’ with a ‘s’, having been Woolworth before then. This happened in 1985 when it was chosen to be a ‘Cornerstone’ Store along with Orpington and Bedford, where they launched the Ladybird clothing range. The 6 cornerstones were DIY, Leisure and Play, Homewares, General Convenience, Clothing and Daily Provisions. In this photo, you can see ‘Quick Snacks’ and ‘Crusty Bread’ through the window.

Maidenhead Woolworths 1985

Maidenhead Woolworths 1985

Source: Woolworths Museum

Below are two pictures that I took myself, as I used to work around the corner. First is before the closure announcement, second is when the store was closing down.

Maidenhead Woolworths 2008

Maidenhead Woolworths 2008

Maidenhead Woolworths 2008

Maidenhead Woolworths 2008

Today you will find Wilkos in its place, but look up and you’ll see the original Woolworths architecture.

Maidenhead Wilko 2014

Maidenhead Wilko 2014

 

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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 🙂

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.

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

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

 

Wimbledon – Store 21

65/69 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QY

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

Wimbledon Woolworths 1913

Wimbledon Woolworths 1913

Source: Merton Memories

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

Wimbledon Woolworths 1936

Wimbledon Woolworths 1936

Source: Historic England Archive

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

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

Wimbledon Woolworths 1981

Wimbledon Woolworths 1981

Source: Featherstone P.

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

Wimbledon Woolworths 1982

Wimbledon Woolworths 1982

Source: Merton Memories

Wimbledon Woolworths 2008

Wimbledon Woolworths 2004

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

Wimbledon Woolworths 2008

Wimbledon Woolworths 2008

Source: Harris, S.

Today the building is occupied by TK Maxx.

Wimbledon Former Woolworths - TK Maxx 2017

Wimbledon Former Woolworths – TK Maxx 2017

Source: All in London

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 in 1926 (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.

 

Liverpool – Store 1

22/36 Church Street, Liverpool L1 3AY

The first ever Woolworths store in the UK was opened on Church Street in Liverpool on the 5th November 1909. Liverpool was chosen due to it’s location, being a seaport and due to the fact it had an electric railway – in fact the next stores to open went along the railway track.

A Sixpenny Romance - Celebrating 100 years of value at Woolworth

Liverpool, Church Street – First Woolworths Store, 1909

This postcard is from the online Woolworths Museum and you can read more about the first store here. It used to be the entrance to the Tatler Cinema, and if you look on Google, you can find photos of the cinema where you can see the same windows. The store had three floors and was always packed with customers, with famously long queues. But there was no way to extend the store. They closed the store and built a new one. Today the old store is now Clarks.

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths First Store Clarks 2012

Liverpool Church Street, Woolworths First Store, Now Clarks, 2012

Source: Graham Soult, Soult’s Retail View

New flagship Woolworths Store, 22-36 Church Street, Liverpool 1923

New flagship Woolworths Store, 22-36 Church Street, Liverpool 1923

A huge new flagship store was built on 22 -36 Church Street (see above photo from the Woolworths Museum, building in the centre). It came out that Harrods were in talks to demolish a church and replace it with a department store, but they pulled out. That’s when Woolworths stepped in. The new flagship Woolworths store opened on 4th August 1923, and you can read more about that here.

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths 1980s

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths 1980s

Source: Chriscarma, Flickr

The store closed in the 1980s, and you can see in it’s glory from this amazing photo taken by Chriscarma on Flickr – such beautiful architecture. And below is a photo from the day it closed on 4th June 1983.

Liverpool Woolworths Church Street 1983

Liverpool Woolworths Church Street 1983

Source: Mayer, P.

And today the building still exists – it is Topshop, L’Occitane and the entrance to Liverpool One – a shopping arcade linking to Peter’s Lane.

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths TopShop Liverpool One 2016

Liverpool Church Street Woolworths, Now TopShop, L’Occitane and Liverpool One 2016

Source: Liverpool Echo

Next time you are shopping in Liverpool and you walk past Clarks or walk into Liverpool One, look up and see a part of Woolworths history.

Chelmsford – Store 355

40/41 High Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1DF

Woolworths opened in the Essex town of Chelmsford in 1929. In the late 20s when Woolworths was rapidly expanding, the chain had started to take over old hotels. In Chelmsford they took over the site of the King’s Head Hotel, a building which had been in the High Street since the 15th Century. The building was demolished and the standard single storey Woolworths store was built in its place.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Source: Essex Record Office

Chelmsford residents fully embraced the new large store, believing the building improved the overall look of the High Street. You can see it below on the right of the photo, which shows the High Street junction with Springfield Road.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s-2

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Source: Essex Record Office

During the World War II, the store was hit. Wooden counters caught fire, but luckily there were staff inside to put the flames out, and the store reopened soon after.

In the 1960s, the store expanded, having obtained 6 units on Springfield Road, so that it became a large L-shaped corner store.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1982/3

Chelmsford Woolworths 1982/3

Source: Flickr, Sarah

Chelmsford Woolworths 1985

Chelmsford Woolworths 1985

Source: Flickr, Sarah

In 1987, there was a conversion to a Focus store and the more familiar fascia we all remember.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1996

Chelmsford Woolworths 1996

Source: Flickr, Sarah

Chelmsford Woolworths closed on Friday 2nd January 2009.

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008

(From my Facebook group)

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008Chelmsford Woolworths 2008 (Springfield Road)

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008 (Springfield Road)

Source: Flickr, Mathews T.

In 2010 Barclays Bank moved to the High Street side. The Entertainer and Lakeland moved into the Springfield Road side.

Chelmsford Barclays 2015

Barclays Bank 2015

Chelmsford Entertainer 2015

Chelmsford Entertainer 2015

Chelmsford Lakeland 2015

Chelmsford Lakeland 2015

Sources: 192.com

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

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

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

Newbury – Store 307

13-15 Northbrook Street, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1DJ

Woolworths opened in the market town of Newbury on 3rd March 1928, next to the prestigious department store Camp Hopson. It started off in small premises – here is a photo I estimate from 1930s:

Newbury Woolworths c1930s

Newbury Woolworths c1930s

Source: Newbury Community Forum

In the early 60s, the store was extended to nearly double it’s size, and the front fascia completely remodelled.

Newbury Woolworths 1960s

Newbury Woolworths 1960s

Source: Newbury Community Forum

After the makeover, the store front didn’t change much in appearance over the years, although it did have a series of extensions at the rear. Below is the store around 1965, with Burtons on the other side. We can see how traffic is building up here.

Newbury Woolworths c1965

Newbury Woolworths c1965

Source: Newbury Past and Present Facebook Group

Here is the store in the late 1980s, before the street got pedestrianised in 1998.

Newbury Woolworths 1980s

Newbury Woolworths 1980s

Source: Newbury Past and Present Facebook Group

Newbury Woolworths closed on 30th December 2008, after 90 years of trading. Here is a photo from when I visited the town in March 2009. From these photos you can see the buildings have not changed since the 60s, and the M&S clock is still standing (needs a new battery though 😉 ) – Northbrook Street has a lot of listed buildings, making it very picturesque.

Newbury Woolworths 2009

Newbury Woolworths 2009

Today it is a Wilko (or Wilkinson’s) – I went inside and it is just like walking into Woolworths. The aisles and pillars are the same as before, and the store seems to go on for miles! There’s a back side entrance that leads on to a car park and the back of Camp Hopson. It is nice to have a replacement that does remind you of Woolworths.

Newbury Wilko 2014

Newbury Wilko 2014