87/88 East Street, Southampton, Hampshire SO9 5UB
The twenty-fourth Woolworths store opened on East Street in Southampton in 1913. East Street was a very historic shopping street, it actually has an ancient history going back to medieval times. It was a very popular area, often crowded with shoppers, which is why it was a good location for Woolworths. It was located directly opposite a huge department store called Edwin Jones which Debenhams bought in 1928.
Woolworths in East Street must have done well as just 10 years later, another larger branch of the store was opened in nearby Above Bar Street – Store 128. Both stores stayed opened alongside each other.
The premises in East Street were bombed in World War II and new premises which took 5 years to build were erected and opened in 1959. There are no photos of the store, and nothing written about the closing date. But if it follows the pattern of other towns that had two Woolworths stores, it probably closed in the early 70s when the Above Bar branch store would have converted to self-service.
Today the building is occupied by Snip, which is variant of Costcutter the convenience store. You can see how large a store it is, on a corner plot.
18a/19 East Street, Taunton, Somerset /
40-42 Fore Street, Taunton. Somerset TA1 1NE
The store address of the Taunton store is a bit of a mystery. From the store number 110, I can gather it opened in the spring of 1922. The 1970s store list says it was at 18a/19 East Street, of which the Woolworths Museum has the below photo.
Source: Woolworths Museum
This is a side angle from 1985.
Source: Hayman T.
These are more recent photos, where you can see the building is the same one as from the 1950s photo, but the address of the photos say it is Fore Street. Also the new store number 1189 would have been allocated in the 1990s, similar to the Reading store.
Taunton Woolworths closed on 5th January 2009. This photo from my Facebook group shows it before it closed:
TK Maxx opened in the building in 2009, with the address listed as 40 – 42 Fore Street.
The building does not look like a 1950s building, it is certainly older, so perhaps the street numbering was changed sometime between the 1950s and today – I don’t know. 19 East Street today houses Sports Direct which looks like a new building. What I can say that the Woolworths building still looks grand, and it is easy to see why it was called the grandest Woolworths store in Somerset.