Tag Archives: 2008

Leyton – Store 129 / 2024

612-614a Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7DL

One of the early London stores, this one opened in 1923 in the Bakers Arms district on Lea Bridge Road, with a striking Art Deco facade. It was an L-Shaped store with the main entrance on Lea Bridge Road, and a smaller side entrance on the High Road.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - front

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – front

In these photos taken in 1939, the windows had been neatly taped up for safety, to prepare for the war. As a result, both frontages stayed intact during the blitz.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - High Road side

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – High Road side

Somewhere along the line you can see the Woolworth fascia got a sixties makeover, just looking at the typeface used.

Leyton Woolworths 1967 - 1975

Leyton Woolworths 1967 – 1975

Above three photos – source: Historic England

In the 2000s, this was one of the stores chosen to be a general store, and had it’s store number renamed from 129 to 2024.

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Source: Lock, D.

Then it was tranformed back to a normal Woolworths until its closure in December 2008.

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Source: Flickr

Today it is an Iceland, and it is pleasing to see the Art Deco facade remains.

Leyton Iceland Former Woolworths 2017

Leyton Iceland – Former Woolworths – 2017

Source: London Postcode Walks

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.

3120006341_d1b027aa5b_z

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

Redhill – Store 164

3-7 High Street, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1RE

Woolworths opened on Redhill High Street in 1924, two doors down from a public house (The Junction). You can see it below on the left side of this 1933 photo, the second shop in.

Redhill Woolworths 1933

Redhill Woolworths 1933

Source: Francis Frith

Here is a later photo from 1955, from another angle. Woolworths is on the right side and unchanged from 1933.

Redhill Woolworths 1955

Redhill Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

There are no more photos on the internet, but they expanded into the shops next door, so it spanned from 3 – 7 High Street. I would guess this happened in the 1970s when the high street was redeveloped.

In the 2000s, Redhill Woolworths was chosen to be a 10/10 trial store, which meant trying out the blue and red fascia and ‘ Woolworths’ in lower case as seen below. Personally I never liked this look. It was also a ‘Christmas store’ when head office would mock up what Christmas would look like instore when it was actually July.

Here it is on it’s last day of trading, 27th December 2008.

Redhill Woolworths 2008

Redhill Woolworths 2008

Source: ephotozine

Today the building is occupied by Wilkos, looking a lot brighter now the grime has been painted over!

Wilko Redhill

Wilko Redhil

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

 

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

Chatham – Store 17

184/190 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4AX

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened on Chatham High Street in 1913. There aren’t any photos of the original store, and sadly it was one of 26 Woolworths stores that got completely destroyed in World War II.

1n 1948 rebuilding work began, and Chatham got the iconic cinema-style look for their store, as seen below:

Chatham Woolworths 1948

Chatham Woolworths 1948

Source: Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre

Move forward to 2008, and you can see the building itself had not changed at all. (Photo from my facebook group)

Chatham Woolworths 2008

Chatham Woolworths 2008

The store closed down in December 2008. Today the building houses one half of the mega-Primark in Chatham (the other half is in the old BHS building. A cafe splits the two, but they are linked at the rear.) If you’re ever shopping in Chatham, look up and you’ll see a bit of Woolies history there.

Chatham Primark 2015

Chatham Primark 2015

Source: Cradick.co.uk

Salisbury – Store 273

22-30 High Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2NS

Woolworths opened in Salisbury in the autumn of 1927.

There really isn’t any information on the history of the store on the internet. What I do know for a fact is that it stood at 22 – 30 High Street in 1972. The building doesn’t have any old-style characteristics, so they may well have traded from another smaller premises in Salisbury in the early days. But that is just speculation.

This is a photo of the High Street in the 1950s, where if Woolworths was at 22-30 High Street, it would have been somewhere to right of the Crown Hotel.

Salisbury High Street 1950

Salisbury High Street 1950

Source: Francis Frith

Here s a photo from 2006:

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Source: Peter Facey [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Here is the store shortly before it closed in January 2009. You can see they had a refurb since 2006.

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Source: Chris Talbot [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

And today New Look trades from the building.

Salisbury New Look 2015

Salisbury New Look 2015

Source: 192.com

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

East Ham – Store 127

72/76 High Street North, East Ham London E6 2JL

Originally Woolworths opened in East Ham in the 1920s at 193 High Street. It can be seen in this photo opposite the Palace Theatre.

East Ham Woolworths 1937

East Ham Woolworths 1937

Source: The Newham Story Forums

East Ham was bombed severely in WW2, and the Woolworths was flattened on September 7th 1940 (Source: The First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940, by Peter Stansky)

The store was rebuilt at 72-26 High Street North on the corner of Skeffington Road, and this is what it looked like.

East Ham Woolworths 2008

East Ham Woolworths 2008

Source: bowroaduk, Flickr

This was my friend Ruksana’s local store from her childhood. She remembers it being a long store and her mum always buying her kitchenware from here, in particular Tefal. The store closed on 30th December 2008.

Shortly after it closed, Poundland took over the premises. This was one of 4 Poundlands that cut their prices to 97p in 2013 to undercut the many poundshops on the High Street! Today it is back to £1, as I popped in there to buy some chocolates. It definitely still has a Woolworths feel to it.

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland 2014

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

The original Woolworths which was at 193 High Street opposite East Ham station and the Palace (which became C&A, today a Lidl) is now Sports Direct.

20141228_131806

East Ham Sports Direct

 

 

 

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

Brighton – Store 73

181-185 Western Road, Brighton BN1 2BG

One of the very early Woolworths stores, the Brighton branch opened in Western Road on 5th August 1916. It was joined by two further Brighton stores in London Road and St James Street in 1927.

Brighton Woolworths 1930s

Brighton Woolworths 1930s

Source: Regencysociety.org

In 1968 the store was modernised and reduced in size, with the right side being sold to Clinton Cards. Below is the store in 2004, a year when Geri Halliwell visited one November evening to meet hundreds of fans, many of whom had been queuing since lunchtime.

Brighton Woolworths 2004

Brighton Woolworths 2004

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/winfield370/3622748369

This store became a 10/10 new format store in the 2000s, before closing for good on 30 December 2008.

Brighton Woolworths 2008

Brighton Woolworths 2008

The building didn’t stay empty for long, in April 2009 H&M announced they would be moving in.

H&M Brighton 2009

H&M Brighton 2009

Source: www.jacksoncriss.co.uk

Here it is from when we did a seaside trip in September 2014. Clinton Cards closed down in 2012, so H&M extended over their site, and the building is whole again just like the original Woolworths store in 1916 🙂

Brighton H&M 2014

Brighton H&M 2014

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

Windsor – Store 295

17/18 Peascod Street, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1DX

Woolworths opened in Windsor quite soon after Slough, in the mid-1920s – the difference being that this was the Queen’s local Woolies:

“Her Majesty once told The Daily Mail that she had done her Christmas shopping at Woolworths. She was spotted occasionally in the large store in Peascod Street, just a short walk from Windsor Castle.” Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/xmas-adverts.htm

Below is a picture from 1968 – Woolworths is on the right hand side, next to Bala shoes.

Windsor Woolworths 1968

Windsor Woolworths 1968

Author: thamesweb
Source: http://theroyalwindsorforum.yuku.com/topic/1206/Peascod-Street-through-the-Decades

Windsor Woolworths 1968

Windsor Woolworths 1968

Close up of Woolworths above, with ‘Sale’ sign on the door advertising ‘Stacker tumblers 5d each’ and ‘Brobat’ reduced to 1/-. Where the 60s ladies is walking is exactly where the man is standing in the Boots photo (see at the end of this post).

Windsor Woolworths 2008

Windsor Woolworths 2008

Above is the store in August 2008, still trading, before it finally closed in December that year. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dimikagi/2912132072

Now it’s a deceptively large Boots, with perfumes along the narrow front section of the store, leading on to a huge floorspace at the back – with a massive baby section. I read on a forum that back in the 60s when this was Woolworths, shoppers liked to go to this part of store  to escape the fumes from the buses. Apparently M&S and Woolies were best for escaping the pollution. Good thing it’s all pedestrianised now.

Also I like how Boots have kept the little flagpost that used to hold the Woolworths Cafe sign 🙂

Windsor Boots 2014

Windsor Boots 2014

Notting Hill – Store 339

211/213 Portobello Road, London W11 1LX

Woolworths opened in Portobello Road, Notting Hill in 1928.  The below photo from ‘The Library Time Machine’ shows the store in 1958.

THEN:

Notting Hill Woolworths 1958

Notting Hill Woolworths 1958

Source: https://rbkclocalstudies.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/portobello-road-1958-003zzz.jpg

In 1961, another Woolworths opened around the corner at Notting Hill Gate – store 1047. I will investigate this in a separate post, but I do wonder whether the two stores did compete with one another.

Notting Hill Woolworths 2005

Notting Hill Woolworths 2005

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicki_abroadinfrance/8899459

If you look above the Woolworths sign, the second window on the left is checked, which I assumed to be new. But if you look at the 1958 picture, it appears there also.

The freeholders wanted to demolish this building when the lease ran out in June 2008, but locals fiercely demonstrated against this (Source: http://www.standard.co.uk). Shame just 6 months later, it had to close anyway with the rest of them. This one closed on Saturday 27th December 2008.

Woolworths Notting Hill 2008

Woolworths Notting Hill 2008

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/virgorama/3100471432

I can happily report that the freeholders have kept the Victorian building, and it is now Poundland.

Notting Hill Poundland 2014

Notting Hill Poundland 2014

Source: http://www.citikey.co.uk/display/poundland-SVYH3

 

Maidenhead – Store 202

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

Opened in the 1920s, 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. (Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk)

THEN:

Maidenhead Woolworths 1985

Maidenhead Woolworths 1985

Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/0202Maidenhead-1985.jpg

Below are 2 pictures I took, 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

It is now a Wilko, which really brightens up the lifeless high street – no offence locals 😉 Why did they get rid of the benches??

NOW:

Maidenhead Wilko 2014

Maidenhead Wilko 2014

 

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 🙂

Southend – Store 33

29/35 High Street, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1HR

“Woolworths opened in the fashionable Edwardian seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea in small premises at 29 High Street on 25th April 1914. Below shows the storefront in 1938 following an extension in 1934.”  –  www.100thbirthday.co.uk
THEN:
Southend Woolworths 1938

Southend Woolworths 1938

“A cinema front was added in 1957 when the store was extended to span 29-35 High Street. It was enlarged further in 1977, while the upper salesfloor and restaurant were closed in 1988”, and finally the whole store closing in January 2009.
Southend Wooloworths 2008

Southend Woolworths 2008

(Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/southendborough/3070234949)

TJ Hughes opened in the building in August 2010 after a £1million refurbishment, but unfortunately they also went into adminstration and closed just one year later.

Southend TJ Hughes 2010

Southend TJ Hughes 2010

Source: http://www.sarfend.co.uk/southendnews/2010/08/tj-hughes-opens-on-old-woolworths-site.html

In 2012 H&M announced they would takeover the store, making a total of 3 H&M stores in Southend! It’s trading well and certainly looks good on the high street. Southend council have also locally listed the building, ensuring we keep a bit of Woolworths history on Southend High Street 🙂

NOW:

Southend H&M 2014

Southend H&M 2014

 

Slough – Store 263 / 1173 / 1243

190 High Street, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1JS

This store was one of the early ones, opened in the 20s. Below is a picture I found in Slough library from the 1930s (Source: The Changing Face of Slough) – Woolworths is on the far left, and the Eagle pub is now River Island. Boots is on the far right, still there today.

THEN:

Slough Woolworths 1930s

Slough Woolworths 1930s

Here is the store 20 years later, you can see in the background with the canopies. This was when the first EVER zebra crossing in the UK was opened in 1951 – on Slough High Street! It’s now just the pavement in between Boots and the Queensmere Shopping Centre. They should put a commemorative plaque here or something.

Woolworths Slough 1951

Woolworths Slough 1951

Source: The 1951 Club

Here is a postcard I found on Ebay – Woolworths is on the left. It appears they did a store makeover in the 1960s and changed the front facade.

Slough Woolworths 60s

Slough Woolworths 1960s

Below is the High Street store in 1982 “with notice in the window announcing that the store would be closing in February for two weeks for alterations”

Now my mum and I were in Slough in July 1983 the day before she gave birth to my brother. I said to her, ‘Wow so do you remember Woolworths when it was in the High Street then?’ – She says to me ‘Yes it was outside’

THEN:

Woolworths Slough 1982

Woolworths Slough 1982

Source: http://www.sloughhistoryonline.org.uk

NOW:

Poundland / JD Slough 2014

Poundland / JD Slough 2014

8, The Observatory, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1LE

Woolworths left the High Street site in 1984, and then opened in the Observatory on 14th June 1991 (where Primark is now). Below is a photo of the store being opened by retail director Martin Toogood and store manager Ken Webstar. According to the Woolworths Museum website, “…several Shopping Centres, like Slough’s Observatory Centre, offered ‘anchor’ sites in new developments at heavily discounted, capped rents. These stores opened long before the neighbouring properties were occupied, and helped to persuade others to take on tenancies.”

OBSERVATORY THEN:

Woolworths Observatory Opening, Slough 1991

Woolworths Observatory Opening, Slough 1991

Source: Woolworths Museum

OBSERVATORY NOW:

Primark Slough 2014

Primark Slough 2014

106/109 Queensmere, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1DQ

In 2000, the store moved to the Queensmere Shopping Centre, taking over the C&A site when they closed down. It was quite a large store with an upstairs floor too. Here is a photo I took when it was closing down in December 2008, with it’s last day of trading being 2nd January 2009.

QUEENSMERE THEN:

Slough Woolworths 2008

Slough Woolworths 2008

Today it is B&M Bargains, downstairs floor only, a cluttered store selling a mis-match of home goods, furniture, food and toys – remind you of anywhere? 😉

QUEENSMERE NOW:

B&M Slough 2014

B&M Slough 2014

Hayes – Store 541

53-55 Station Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 4BE

THEN

Hayes Woolworths 2008

Hayes Woolworths 2008

I took the above photo from my car in December 2008.

NOW

Hayes 99p Store 2014

Hayes 99p Store 2014

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45101643@N04/12789577975