Tag Archives: Boots

Oxford – Store 189

52/53 Cornmarket Street, Oxford OX1 3HW

A Woolies in Oxford I hear you say? Yes there was, a long time ago. It first opened at 8 Cornmarket Street in May 1925 in the former Roebuck Inn. It was so popular that they had to find bigger premises. Below is the store in 1930, with H Samuel next door.

Oxford Woolworths 1930

Oxford Woolworths 1930

Source: www.100thbirthday.co.uk

It has now been a Boots for decades – they were next door and expanded into the ex-Woolworths premises.

Oxford Boots 2014

Oxford Boots 2014

A bit of drama happened when bosses found a suitable building to move to and bought the Clarenden Hotel in 1930 (which had been in Oxford since the 1600s).  They planned to demolish it and battled for years with the Oxford Authorities to get approval. It all had to go on hold while the war took place, but it was back on in 1950. Many designs were turned down.

“Publicly they cited fears that such a large shop would encourage more traffic in a highly congested area. Privately they let slip that they felt that a larger Woolworth would lower the tone and would be ill-suited to the dreaming spires.” Quote from the Woolworths Museum

Scottish architect Sir William Holford took over, with a mission to create a ‘Woolworths Worthy of Oxford’. After 27 years (!) what finally got approved was a huge new store with the front made of local Clipson Stone, Bladon Stone and Grey Slate. It had bright new displays with new ranges next to the old faithfuls, as well as a deluxe cafeteria, offices upstairs, a spectacular roof garden and a multi-storey car park. Pretty extravagant for a Woolies. Here is an original ad for the opening day on 18th October 1957:

Oxford Mail Supplement 1957

Oxford Mail Supplement 1957

Source: www.oxfordtimes.co.uk

Below are customers taking a sneak peek through the windows of the new store before it opened.

Oxford Woolworths 1957

Oxford Woolworths 1957

And here is the building with it’s Clipson Stone, Bladon Stone and Grey Slate:

Oxford Woolworths 1957

Oxford Woolworths 1957

Source (above 2 photos): http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/1950s-hugeq.htm

Now after all that hard work getting this store built, it closed down. It was only open for 26 years – it took longer than that to get building approval. When Kingfisher took the company over, they closed the store in 1983 – locals were shocked. There was never a Woolworths in Oxford ever again, the nearest one being in Cowley.

Today the building is the Clarendon Shopping Centre and Gap, very nice and shiny inside too. And Woolworths lives on with it’s ornate ‘W’ inscription at the right entrance.

Oxford Gap & Clarendon Centre 2014

Oxford Gap & Clarendon Centre 2014

'W' -Clarendon Centre Oxford 2014

‘W’ – Clarendon Centre Oxford 2014

 

*Please note I originally wrote this post in 2014.*

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Strand – Store 188

105 – 109 Strand, London WC2R 0AB

Woolworths opened their fifth Central London store on The Strand in 1925. The others were Oxford Street, High Street Kensington, High Holborn and Tottenham Court Road. The Strand store It opened next to The Savoy Hotel and was part of a mixed development designed (later known as Norman House) by Trehearne & Norman. They customised the main shop unit for Woolworths and the offices above for Shell-Mex. (Extract from Woolworth’s 100 Years on the High Street – Morrison K.)

Strand Woolworths 1934

Strand Woolworths 1934

Source: Historic England

The below photo is from 19th May 1937, when King George VI (1895 – 1952) and his royal procession were driving down the Strand on their way to Guildhall. You can see Woolworths in the background, next to Dolcis Shoes.

Strand Woolworths 1937

Strand Woolworths 1937

The store survived World War II intact before being used for concept development in the 1950s. In 1951 a new wooden floor was put in, as well as self-service grocery counters with an extended range of foods.

The learnings from The Strand were rolled out widely across the estate from the mid-50s to 1970. The store had further modernisation in the 1970s with the introduction of an upstairs Harvester Restaurant.

The store closed in 1986, when Kingfisher were selling properties to raise funds. Strand and Holborn stores in London were chosen because they had little weekend trade.

Today you will find Boots in its place – but the whole building is due to be redeveloped next year. Below is an extract from the developers, and it seems they are keeping the original frontage which is good news.

Strand Former Woolworths - Boots

Strand Former Woolworths – Boots

Source: Soult G.

“The Duchy of Lancaster has obtained planning permission from Westminster City Council for the £multi-million refurbishment of Norman House at 105-109 Strand in the heart of the Savoy estate.

The decision comes as a result of a detailed planning application developed by a multi-disciplinary team and submitted in August 2017. The development project includes a major refurbishment of the existing 1920s building as well as the addition of two new storeys which will improve rooflines at the front and rear.

This will be the largest single refurbishment project ever undertaken by the Duchy. Once completed, the new scheme will provide a landmark retail, restaurant and office space expected to be worth over £60 million in value.

Commenting on the approval, Duchy Head of Urban Mike Andrews said: “The improvement of the Duchy’s holdings and public realm on the Strand has been identified as a key priority for the Duchy of Lancaster. We are delighted with the support we have received from Westminster City Council and believe that the finished scheme will not only enhance the streetscape, but will attract new businesses, shoppers and visitors to this part of the City.

The scheme is designed to appeal to high quality retailers, restauranteurs and corporates who are looking for modern, open spaces which are both flexible and functional.  The refurbished Norman House will deliver these spaces, while retaining the charm and appeal of the building’s original architecture.

The project team responsible for the redevelopment proposals includes architectural firm ORMS who were first appointed to look at the future potential of the building back in June 2016. Other members include planning consultants Gerald Eve LLP, project management company Quartz, structural engineers Heyne Tillett Steel, mechanical and electrical engineering firm Hoare Lea and cost consultants Exigere.

Work is expected to start on site in 2019, with completion due in 2020.

Norman House forms part of the Savoy estate, an area of land which has belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster since the 13th century. While the front of the existing building faces the Strand, the rear of the building overlooks the listed Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy and the famous Savoy Steps. Great care has been taken in developing the design proposals to ensure that this view is preserved and enhanced and that linkages are improved between the front and rear.”

Strand Former Woolworths - Redevelopment 2020

Strand Former Woolworths – Redevelopment 2020

Source: Duchy of Lancaster

 

Wolverhampton (Dudley Street) – 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 in 1930. 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

There were also 3 stockroom floors, as confirmed by Paul Broome who was a management trainee here from 1983 to 1984.

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 make 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

EDIT: I originally wrote this post in 2015, and since the, the Mander Centre redevelopment has finished and it is now open.

Newport (Wales) – Store 185

155-156 Commercial Street, Newport NP20 1UE

Woolworths opened their 185th store in Newport, Wales, in 1925. It originally opened at number 155 to 156 Commercial Street. You can see it below in the centre, there is a long fascia that says F.W. Woolworths & Co Ltd, but there is also a unit to the right that says just ‘Woolworth’ – an extension testing out the use of this name without the ‘F.W’ perhaps.

Newport Woolworths 1950s

Newport Woolworths 1950s

Source: Getty Images

147/148 Commercial Street, Newport NPT 1UU

In 1960 Woolworths moved along the street to make an even bigger store. They took over the site of The Talbot Hotel and the old Empire Theatre, to make the largest and most modern Woolworths store in Wales at the time.

Newport Woolworths 1950s

Newport Woolworths 1960s

Source: Historic England

Here is a memory from a former employee “This store had a food hall there. In my college holidays I used to work on the checkout. We had to know all the prices. We were not allowed to sit down so we finished our shifts with aching feet and backs. We all looked forward to the supervisor letting us shelf-stack to give us a spot of exercise.”(Extract from South Wales Argus).

Barbara Morse remembers “there used to be a man outside with a monkey and you could have your picture taken with him.” I think this was a normal thing in the old days, as I have read about this in other towns too.

Less than 30 years later, the store closed down in February 1989, not long after a new smaller Woolworths was opened in the Kingsway Shopping Centre.

Today you will see no sign of either of the Woolworths buildings. The first store at numbers 155 -156 is now Boots, in a building that looks quite 70s. This photo is from the same angle as the 1950s photos – Poundland is the Lilley and Skinner shop, the shop under scaffolding is Bevans and Boots in the distance is Woolworths.

Newport Former Woolworths - Boots

Newport Former Woolworths – Boots

The store at numbers 147 – 148 was demolished soon after it closed down and a new building was erected with three shop units – this is what it looks like:

Newport Former Woolworths - Superdrug, All Sports, The Body Shop

Newport Former Woolworths – Superdrug, All Sports, The Body Shop

 

York – Store 171

2 Spurriergate, York YO1 1QS 

Woolworths opened in York in 1924, with a store on Spurriergate.

York Woolworths 1924

York Woolworths 1924

Source: Historic England

It was located next to the Picture House on Coney Street – you can see Woolworths on the far left of this photo.

York Woolworths 1930s

York Woolworths 1930s

Wooworths was severely damaged by bombing in the Second World War. A decade later, in 1955, the old Picture House was demolished and work started on extending the store. The new larger branch opened in November 1957. It included a Diamond Bar café.

York Woolworths 1957

York Woolworths 1957

Source: Historic England

The new store went across Spurriergate and Coney Street, as it was on the changeover point of the two roads. The building was actually 2 Spurriergate and 41 – 43 Coney Street combined. So some locals refered to the store as ‘Coney Street Woolworths’.

York Woolworths 1959

York Woolworths 1959

In May 1966 the store opened for the very first time on the Whitsun bank holiday. The “experiment” was declared a success. In August 1977 former boxer Henry Cooper met shoppers instore during a promotional tour of Yorkshire, and in August 1979 singer Lena Zavaroni, swamped by teenage fans, handed out autographed records at the store.

Former assistant manager Peter Taylor worked here in the early 1980s with store manager Ray Marriot (who is celebrating his 90th birthday next month!). He remembers everyone getting a day off when Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married. The stockroom was in the basement and backed on to the River Ouse, so it often flooded. As a result, the bottom three shelves of the stockroom were not used.

York Woolworths (inside) 1982

York Woolworths (inside) 1982

In this below photo you can see two road signs on the building – the far left sign said ‘Spurriergate’ and the middle sign said ‘ Coney Street’. These signs are still present today.

York Woolworths 1986

York Woolworths 1986

In 1986 this Woolworths had a £500,000 refurbishment, which saw it closed for six weeks. This is a photo of the store during the refurb.

York Woolworths 1986

York Woolworths 1986

In May 1986, there was a grand reopening. This is a photo of store manager Brian Fairburn with Miss York, Jade Campbell.

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

And this was the marketing director Mike Sommers at the opening.

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

York Woolworths Reopening 1986

In September 1987 Woolworths employees at York were told to work part-time or quit! The wrangle over Sunday opening continued into the early 1990s. A handful of major shops, including Woolworths, decided to regularly open on Sundays from 1992.

York Woolworths 1991

York Woolworths 1991

The store announces it was to stop selling vinyl record singles in June 1994. Former EUK rep Alex Wood for the York store in the 2000s remembers it also being the regional office. He says they had the most amazing wood panelled offices on the top floor, light oak coloured. But not as impressive as the wood panelled offices in WHSmith next door, which were Victorian!

York Woolworths 2006

York Woolworths 2006

Source: Emily and James

York Woolworths closed down in January 2008, earlier than the closure of the whole chain. They had received an offer for the building that could not be refused, which was why it closed.

York Woolworths 2008

York Woolworths 2008

Source: York P.

Shortly after closure, Boots moved into the building where it still is today. If you are ever shopping in York, take a look above the Boots store and admire the 1950s Woolworths architecture.

York Former Woolworths - Boots

York Former Woolworths – Boots

Sources: Most of the facts, dates and photos are from this excellent York Press article.

Harrogate – Store 131

26 – 28 Cambridge Street, Harrogate, Yorkshire HG1 1RY

Woolworths opened in Harrogate in 1923. It had a corner location on Cambridge Street. They kept the structure of the previous shop, but put a grey facade up, perhaps it was cream coloured when it first went up.

Harrogate Woolworths 1965

Harrogate Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

Harrogate Woolworths 2000

Harrogate Woolworths 2000

Source: Historic England

The store was one of the last to close in the December 2008 closures.

Harrogate Woolworths 2008

Harrogate Woolworths 2008

Boots moved from across the road to occupy the building, and you can still see the Woolies architecture above.

Harrogate Former Woolworths - Boots

Harrogate Former Woolworths – Boots

Coventry – Store 123

Smithford Street, Coventry, Warwickshire

Woolworths opened in Coventry on 25th November 1922, on the main shopping area of Smithford Street. A building with an Art Deco facade was erected (see on the left in this photo).

Coventry Woolworths 1920s

Coventry Woolworths 1920s

The store was enlarge in 1931 (middle right of this photo).

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Coventry Woolworths 1930s

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Source: Historic England

There was a further enlargement in 1938, but some after there was an IRA attack in 1939 with minor damage. Then in 1940 the store was destroyed completely along with most of Smithford Street when bombs dropping during WW2.

A new shopping area had to be built over the old Smithford Street. This happened in the 1950s.

The Precinct, Coventry, Warwickshire CV1 1DT

A building called ‘The Precinct’ was built, and Woolworths occupied most of the building from Coventry Point to the Lower Precinct. The main entrance facing onto the Lower Precinct (pictured below). The photo does show it being called ‘The Woolworth Building’.  It was a massive superstore, with the ground floor being the length of the building, plus a basement floor and a gallery cafeteria at one end.

Coventry Woolworths 1953

Coventry Woolworths 1953

Source: Historic England

Coventry Woolworths 1961

Coventry Woolworths 1961

Source: Getty Images

Coventry Woolworths 1970s

Coventry Woolworths 1970s

Source: Coventry Telegraph

In the 1980s, the store suffered a downturn in trade and reduced its occupancy of the building to the market end basement, ground floor and gallery cafeteria.  The address was updated from ‘The Precinct’ to ’10-12 Market Way’ on the store list.

More recently it reduced space further by closing the basement.

Coventry Woolworths 2008

Coventry Woolworths 2008

Source: Gammie E.

The store closed in December 2008, and now Poundland occupies that unit.

Coventry Former Woolworths - Poundland

Coventry Former Woolworths – Poundland

As for how the whole ‘Lower Precinct’ building looks now, it actually looks the same as the 1953 photos, even the random balcony is still there. Trees have grown, there is now a roof shelter and a water fountain, plus the road has been pedestrianised. Boots is where the original 1950s Woolworth store was, and Sport Direct occupies the other half of it.

Coventry Former Woolworths - Boots

Coventry Former Woolworths – Boots

Source: Flickr

Bangor – Store 105

277 – 279 High Street, Bangor, North Wales

Back in Wales, Store 105 opened in Bangor at 297 High Street in 1921 (a building that is now Cool Trader). In 1939  they moved to a purpose-built Art Deco building at numbers 277 – 279. The basement of the building was earmarked as an air raid shelter in WWII which was thankfully never tested (Source: Bangor Civic Society). You can see the store in the distance in this 1960s photo.

Bangor Woolworths 1960s

Bangor Woolworths 1960s

And here on the right.

Bangor Woolworths 1970s

Bangor Woolworths 1970s

The store traded from this location for nearly 80 years, but not quite, closing in December 2008.

Bangor Woolworths 2008

Bangor Woolworths 2008

Today it is Boots, but look up and you’ll see the lovely Art Deco detail.

Bangor Former Woolworths - Boots

Bangor Former Woolworths – Boots

Putney – Store 45 / 1264

45 – 53 Putney High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SZ

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened on Putney High Street sometime between 1914 – 1915. You can see it in the below photo – the fourth building along.

Putney Woolworths 1958

Putney Woolworths 1958

Source: Roll the Dice, Flickr

In the 1960s, they moved across the road. Today Robert Dyas and Boots are where the Woolworths used to be at 45 – 53.

Putney High Street 2015

Putney High Street 2015

Source: Roll the Dice, Flickr

60 – 62 High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SF

This was the new building, in classic 1960s style. They traded here at 60 – 62 High Street until they closed on 5th January 2009.

Putney Woolworths 2008

Putney Woolworths 2008

Source: citykey.co.uk

On 8th October 2009, a TK Maxx opened in its place.

TK Maxx Putney 2015

TK Maxx, Putney 2015

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

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 on 26th April 1986.

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

Birmingham New Street – Store 266

103/104 New Street, Birmingham B2 4HG

Woolworths opened its second Birmingham store, after the Bull Ring, in New Street in July 1927. They traded from this side of the road for about 20 years, until there was serious bomb damage during WW2.

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1930s-40s

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1930s-40s?

Source: Birmingham City Centre Past Facebook group

In 1956, the site of Birmingham’s Theatre Royal – which was located opposite the original New Street store – was sold to Woolworths. In the 1950s the Board was working with City Councils and development companies to transform inner city stores – in this case, they decided to build a skyscraper called ‘The Woolworth Building’. It was designed by Cotton, Ballard & Blow who built it in two parts –  the first in 1958-61 for Woolworths, the second part for Jack Cotton & Partners. According to the Birmingham Pevsner Architectural Guide, it was “New Street’s architectural disaster… a shapeless mass of Portland Stone, mosaic cladding and green slate stepping up to ten storeys.” – a bit harsh 😛

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1960s

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1960s

Above is the ‘skyscraper’, which opened for business in 1961. The offices upstairs generated a substantial rental income for the company.

Below is a side angle of the store from the 1970s. Sadly when Kingfisher took over, they closed this store in 1983 along with the Bullring store. So for a while there were no Woolworths in Birmingham City Centre, until the 1990s when a store opened in the Pallasades Shopping Centre.

Birmingham New Street Woolworth

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1970s

Source: Warrick, Mark

Today, the building is now named “Charters Building”. The building on it’s left is the surviving ‘Piccadilly Arcade’ section of the Theatre Royal. In the 1990s, there was a refurbishment of the offices, and the glass lift was added. The retail unit has been split into three and are occupied by Superdrug, Bella Italia and Boots. So if you’re ever having dinner at Bella Italia in Birmingham, just remember you are sitting in a quite historic ex-Woolworths!

Birmingham New Street 2014

Sources:
100thbirthday.co.uk
woolworthmuseum.co.uk 

Marlow – Store 563

5 Market Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 3HH

This Woolworths store opened in part of the Crown Hotel on Market Square, Marlow around 1935. The building was formerly the town hall dating back from 1807. Here is a postcard of the whole building when it was the Crown Hotel in 1913.

Marlow Market Square Pre-Woolworths 1913

Marlow Market Square 1913

Source:  Postcards Then and Now

And here you can see the side that became Woolworths, this was in the 1950s.

Marlow Woolworths 1950s

Marlow Woolworths 1950s

Source: SWOP

Relatively unchanged in the 1970s.

Marlow Woolworths 1970s

Marlow Woolworths 1970s

Source: SWOP

Marlow Woolworths 1973

Marlow Woolworths 1973

Source: SWOP

I think the store closed in the 1980s when the company closed a lot of stores to cut costs, and since then it has been a Boots store. Here it is today.

Marlow Boots 2017

Source: RightMove

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:

4281026061_429ae0692b_z

Discount Store, New Malden Old Woolworths building, 2010

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

And now it is a Poundland.

13954914933_48082a795a_z

Poundland New Malden, 2012

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

Bognor Regis – Store 344

18-20 London Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO21 1QA

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Bognor Regis in 1928. I have found an undated postcard below of London Road and it looks as though the tall building in the centre, left side, is the F.W.Woolworth store.

Bognor Regis Woolworths London Road

Bognor Regis Woolworths London Road – Undated

Source: Gravelroots

The store had a 1950s makeover, but then in 1974 the store was set on fire when there was an IRA bomb. Woolworths would not be beaten and just 65 hours later the store reopened.

Bognor Regis Woolworths 1974 fire

Bognor Regis Woolworths 1974 fire

Source: Bognor Regis Museum

There’s not much info on the store, apart from its closure in December 2008.

Bognor Regis Woolworths 2009

Bognor Regis Woolworths 2009

Source: Flickr, Mark

Wilkos now occupy the building, and you can clearly recognise it as the upper facade is exactly the same – a bit of Woolies architecture still on the London Road.

Wilko Bognor Regis 2010

Wilko Bognor Regis 2010

Source: Flickr, ballysundriven

Edinburgh – Store 213

10/14 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AW

In 1925, Woolworths built their Scottish flagship store on the busy and bustling Princes Street, opening its doors in March 1926. It was the second store in Edinburgh after the first one in Leith, but this one was much grander.

Edinburgh Woolworths 1926

Edinburgh Woolworths 1926

Source: ifo Apple Store

Here is it in 1933. Its location next to the Royal British Hotel and Palace Cinema, and opposite the infamous Waverley Steps made it a national landmark.

Edinburgh Woolworths 1933

Edinburgh Woolworths 1933

Source: RCAHMS

In 1956 they expanded into the cinema next door, demolishing it and extending their external facade and adding a floor in the roof. The F.W.Woolworth fascia was updated to extend the whole way across.

Edinburgh Woolworths 1956

Edinburgh Woolworths 1956

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Here it is in the 1980s shortly before closing, with it’s updated logo.

Edinburgh Woolworths 1980s

Edinburgh Woolworths 1980s

Source: The Scotsman

1984 they closed down when Kingfisher took over and closed most of their large Woolworth stores. A Wimpy soon opened in its place, here it is in 1986.

Edinburgh Wimpy 1986

Edinburgh Wimpy 1986

Source: Lost Edinburgh Facebook Group

In the 1990s the Wimpy became a Burger King. Here is the parade of shops in 2009, with Boots, Evans and Waterstones.

Edinburgh Princes Street 2009

Edinburgh Princes Street 2009

Source: Beth’s Blogging (design) Blog

All the shops left and the building was empty for a number of years. Then in 2011, Apple started a $20 million reconstruction of the whole building, with the insides totally changed but keeping the grand exterior facade as it was – as fortunately this is a listed building.

This is a photo taken by my brother in March 2015 – we can see it is an Apple Store and a Barclays, and the Royal British Hotel is still there. The Apple branding is very subtle, and the interior is completely open – quite different from it’s Woolworths day, yet the exterior is keeping its heritage. Good work Apple.

Edinburgh Apple Store 2015

Edinburgh Apple Store/Barclays 2015

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

Henley-on-Thames – Store 436

9/11 Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 2BA

Woolworths had been on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames for over 80 years according to the Henley Standard, before it closed on Tuesday 30th December 2008. So I estimate it opened in the late 1920s.

THEN:

Henley Woolworths 2000

Henley Woolworths 2000

Source: http://henleyonthames.org/locations/details.asp?fldLocationID=4

Woolworths Henley 2006

Woolworths Henley 2006

Source: Baldock, James (used with permission)

Henley Woolworths 2008

Henley Woolworths 2008

Above is the store just before it closed (picture from my facebook group).
It is now a teeny tiny Sainsbury’s, a really busy one too. That’s me with the apples below 🙂

NOW:

Henley Sainsburys 2014

Henley Sainsburys 2014