16 – 22 Park Street, Walsall, Staffs WS1 1NQ
Woolworths opened its 46th store in Walsall in 1915 on Park Street. Some time in the 1920s-30s, a new store was built on the site – the earliest frontage in art deco style to be designed by Woolworths staff architects, incorporating an angular version of the lion-head logo (see them at the tops of the windows) – the lion’s head emphasised Woolworth’s efforts to stock goods of British manufacture in the aftermath of WW1.
Source: Historic England
In 1953 the store was decorated for the Queen’s Coronation.
Source: Walsall Council
The back of the store could be seen from the bus station.
Source: Fisher R.
In the 1970s the fascia was updated.
Source: Jones, S.
I found this comment from a former Saturday boy: “…Woolworths, where I once had a Saturday job. The building to the left used to be Boots. All us Woolies people envied the conditions of the Boots staff – they even had a staff hairdressing salon on the roof.”
Source: Black Country History
The store closed soon after the above photo was taken. Years later, a new Woolies opened elsewhere in Walsall Town Wharf (store 1194). The Park Street store became a Currys and Dixons in the 1980s.
Today the building is occupied by Barclays and Diffusion, and you can still admire the elegance of the Woolworths architecture and lion heads above.
Source: Chertsey130 Blog
142/148 High Street, Lewisham, London SE13 6JJ
Woolworths opened its twentieth store in Lewisham, South East London in 1913. I am guessing this is because of its location near a railway station. Below you can see how it first looked before it had a rebuild.
Source: Woolworth’s 100 years on the high street, Morrison K.
In 1937 the store was upgraded with a cinema front. The company was particularly proud of its galleried frontage. The neon lettering at the top of the building cost £50,000!
When Lewisham Shopping Centre opened behind the Woolworths store in 1975, Woolworths made another entrance at the back to the shopping centre. In the 80s, the store was halved in size and that is when Superdrug moved in. Then in the 90s, the store was split again and they kept the shopping centre side, which had a new store number, until closure in 2008.
Today the building is shared by Superdrug and Currys, and somehow just does not look so grand anymore. Doesn’t it look huge in the old photos?? Maybe it’s the angle of the 1930s photo that makes it look bigger than it actually is. Still, it is great that the Art Deco front is still here – if you ever are on Lewisham High Street, do have a look out for it.
Source: The Lost Byway
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 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.
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.
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.
In the 2000s, Woolworths returned to Middlesbrough as store 1200, which I’ll cover in a separate post.
49/51 Church Road, Burgess Hill, Sussex RH15 9BH
Woolworths arrived in Burgess Hill in September 1955 on Church Road (now Church Walk).
Source: Francis Frith
It was one of the later branches to be opened, as you can tell from the store number, and it looks as though it was medium sized from the photo above. I spoke to Burgess Hill local Robert who remembers the store from his childhood, in particular the pic n mix!
The store didn’t last long though, closing just under 30 years later on 15th September 1984. Perhap it was one of the low performing stores, or it was one of the casualties of the Kingfisher takeover when they closed several stores down to gain capital.
The building was later split into two and occupied by Sussex Stationers and Currys. In 2012 they had both closed down.
Source: Burgess Hill Uncovered
In April 2012, a Wetherspoon pub opened here, after a £1.4 million makeover. During the makeover, the ghost of Woolworths past was revealed!
Source: Burgess Hill Uncovered
The pub is called The Six Gold Martlets – here it is, alongside the shiny new Subway, from when I visited Burgess Hill last weekend. I knew it was a Woolworths 😛