Tag Archives: high street

Uxbridge – Store 370

157/158 High Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 1JY

My local Woolies in Uxbridge opened in July 1929 at 158 High Street. It was a small purpose-built two-storey store, with the classic architecture on the upper floor (see in the below photo on the left).

Uxbridge Woolworths 1930s

Uxbridge Woolworths 1930s

Source: philipsuter.co.uk

Here is a postcard from the opening day in July 1929, announcing the new arrival to Uxbridge High Street. With opening offers and extra value – household, sweets, toys, jewellery, hobbies and more.

Uxbridge Store Opening Postcard 1929

Uxbridge Store Opening Postcard 1929

“Each store opening was spectacular. The celebrations featured an orchestra or a marching band, fireworks and even circus performers. Most storefronts were draped with flags and bunting to add to the razzamatazz. Bosses knew that a big launch would draw a huge crowd, and that many of the day’s visitors would later add a trip to the new FWW to their regular shopping habits.” [Extract from Woolworths Museum]

In the late 1940s/early 1950s, the Woolworths store was redeveloped to create a much larger store. It was probably done at the same time as when Suters store next door (aka Coad’s) was rebuilt, and the creation of the new bus depot behind the stores that led into the new Uxbridge Underground station side entrance. Both stores had back entrances from the bus depot through to the shop floor.

The two below photos are from the Philip Suter website, which is quite fascinating to read. Woolworths is the building in the middle right of this photo, next to Suters – you can see the WOOLWORTH letters along the top of the building.

Uxbridge Woolworths 1940s

Uxbridge Woolworths 1950s

The below photo shows the back of the store, Woolworths in the centre with the seven windows in a row. Behind the stores in the bus depot and behind that is Suters customer car park.

Uxbridge Woolworths from rear 1940s

Uxbridge Woolworths from rear 1950s

Source: philipsuter.co.uk

I have read that there was a small cafe at the rear of Woolworths that served the most amazing milkshakes.

Uxbridge Woolworths 1950s

Uxbridge Woolworths 1950s (on the right of the photo)

Source: Uxbridge From Old Photographs – Pearce, K.

Uxbridge Woolworths (back) 1981

Uxbridge Woolworths (back) 1981

Source: Facebook

Uxbridge Woolworths 1980s

Uxbridge Woolworths 1980s

In the mid-1980s, Uxbridge Woolworths became a “prototype store called ‘Woolworths Weekend’. Initially this had a refrigerated display of Belgian Chocolates, which was manned throughout the day. It can be seen just inside the doors in the below photo. While the counter and service-cost proved too high for roll-out, once packaged the chocolates became a best-sellers in every store. The styling and range of the store, without the Weekend suffix to the name, became the template for 180 larger branches right across the UK, and proved a winner.” [Extract from Woolworths Museum]

Note the peppermint blue window frames and door panels.

Uxbridge Woolworths 1980s

Uxbridge Woolworths 1980s

Uxbridge Woolworths 1985

Source: Chenneour E.

The ‘Weekend’ suffix was dropped not long after, and it became the Woolworths that I remember in the 1990s/2000s. Whenever I went to Uxbridge by bus, the bus stop was directly outside Woolworths back entrance, so it was a good shortcut to walk through Woolworths to the High Street. Confectionery and Pic n Mix was at the front (right side), and I think music was on the left side. Cards were in the middle of the store. Kids clothing, toys, electricals and homeware were from the middle through to the back, with DIY being directly behind the rear staircase that led to the bus station. There were photo booths at the top fo the stairs, and I vaguely remember one of those old fashioned weighing scales. Tills were on random island counters around the store.

Uxbridge Woolworths 1992

Uxbridge Woolworths 1992

Source: Facebook

Around 2005, Uxbridge Woolworths became a 10/10 store and had this trial blue fascia installed. I hated it so much. Woolworths should have always been in upper case letters. Inside the red walkway was put on and lots of colourful signage. Aisles was put at diagonal angles.

I took these photos when the store was closing in December 2008.

Uxbridge Woolworth 2008

Uxbridge Woolworth 2008

Uxbridge Woolworths - Last day of trading 27 December 2008

Uxbridge Woolworths – Last day of trading 27 December 2008

Uxbridge Woolworths - Shutters coming down for the last time - 27 December 2008

Uxbridge Woolworths – Shutters coming down for the last time – 27 December 2008

It soon became Poundland – and today it has a huge Pep & Co clothing department exactly where Ladybird clothing used to be. They kept the Woolies door and window frames and painted them green.

Uxbridge Poundland - 2009

Uxbridge Former Woolworths

Uxbridge Poundland 2014

Uxbridge Former Woolworths

Next time I am in Uxbridge, I will take a photo, but if you look closely at the top of the ‘skyscraper’ bit of the building, you can still see the imprint of the WOOLWORTH letters.

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Market Harborough – Store 301

19 High Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 7NW

Woolworths opened in Market Harborough on the site of an old motor garage at 19 High Street in 1928. The garage was demolished and the Woolworths store was built in their recognisable style.

Market Harborough Woolworths 1960s

Market Harborough Woolworths 1960s

Market Harborough Woolworths 1965

Market Harborough Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith 

They traded here until the 1970s. Today a Savers store trades from this site, which opened there in the 2010s. You can tell it was a Woolworth store from the style of the upper floor and the tiles.

Savers, Market Harborough, 2012

Savers, Market Harborough, 2012

Source: ballysundriven

45-51 The Square, Market Harborough LE16 7PA

Woolworths relocated to 43-51 The Square, which is just down the road from its first location on the High Street.

Woolworths, Market Harborough, 2008

Woolworths, Market Harborough, 2008

Source: citykey

You may notice that the Woolworths logo is different from the usual. This is because this was a 10/10 store, where a new look was trialled in 2002/03. Market Harborough was the lucky store that got chosen to try out the new design for the smaller stores. Unfortunately it didn’t work as well as it did in the larger stores – the store became too congested and customers found it hard to get to the back of the shop on busy days. So the design wasn’t rolled out to the rest of the small Woolworths stores.

Market Harborough Woolworths closed on 27th December 2008. Here is it after it closed down:

Market Harborough Woolworths 2009

Market Harborough Woolworths 2009

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

In late 2009 it became a New Look, which it still is today.

New Look, Market Harborough, 2014

New Look, Market Harborough, 2014

Source: Hilsden C.

This post was originally written in March 2015

Guildford – Store 285

56 High Street, Guildford, Surrey

Woolworths opened their 285th store in Guildford in 1927. It originally was at 56 High Street, on what you can see is a slope, pictured below. They traded here for 30 years before relocating across the road. This photo was taken just before the relocation in 1958, and there are posters in the window announcing the move, as well as For Sale signs.

Guildford Woolworths (the first one) - 1958

Guildford Woolworths (the first one) – 1958

Source: Historic England

Today WHSmith trades from this building.

Guildford Former Woolworths

Guildford Former Woolworths

55 – 57 High Street, Guildford, Surrey

In October 1958 Guildford Woolworths relocated to a huge purpose-built superstore at 55 – 57 High Street, on the site of the former Lion Hotel. Its frontage was specially designed as a gesture of local interest, including a striding lion rescued from the hotel pediment. This photo shows the queue of people outside on the opening day – it must have been an exciting event. A couple of doors up is Marks and Spencer – you can recognise the clock.

Guildford Woolworths (new store - front) 1958

Guildford Woolworths (new store – front) 1958

This is another angle of the queue.

Guildford Woolworths 1958

Guildford Woolworths 1958

Source: Northover R. (1959 Golden Jubilee edition of the store managers
Pictorial record)

Guildford was special as it was a test store for introducing a Food Hall, similar to how M&S is today. Previously Woolworths had tested out a stand-along supermarket store, such as at Hounslow – Store 106 – but this wasn’t a lasting solution. Guildford introduced a self-service ‘Foodmarket’ at the back of the store, with it’s own separate entrance on North Street. North Street is quite far back from the High Street, so this Woolworths store was very long. See the photo below, where you can see the new-style weighing machine in the window.

Guildford Woolworths Foodmarket 1958

Guildford Woolworths Foodmarket 1958

Look at this photo of the interior, kindly sent in by Richard Northover who found a 1959 Golden Jubilee edition of the store managers pictorial record. He tells me that ‘Woolworths were very much the forerunner of what we see in M&S foodhalls today. Foodhalls included tinned/dried goods, fruit and veg, delicatessen, butchery, bakery and wet fish. Sadly this was all removed in 1985 when Kingfisher started a huge sale of the big stores and cut down many others, the start really of a long sad decline.’

Guildford Woolworths Foodmarket 1958

Guildford Woolworths Foodmarket 1958

Source: Northover R. (1959 Golden Jubilee edition of the store managers
Pictorial record)

As well as the new in-store foodhall, Guildford Woolworths included the test design of a new cafeteria that ended up being rolled into many other superstore branches in the 1960s, with the name ‘Guildford-style cafeteria’. It was railed off from the sales floor, had a diamond patterned Formica counter front and rigid fixed seating, arranged in pairs on opposite sides of each table. [Extract from K.Morrison Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street] The seats were not very comfortable, being of the tilting cinema-seat style.

Guildford Woolworths Cafeteria 1958

Guildford Woolworths Cafeteria 1958

This swanky new superstore Woolworths only lasted 26 years, as it was sold by Kingfisher in 1984. It was redeveloped as the White Lion Walk shopping precinct. I have taken a screenshot from Google Maps today, where you can see White Lion Walk, Next and Starbucks are where Woolworths was – the neighbouring stores are as they were (compare it with the 1958 photo). The whole store was demolished all the way to North Street to create this shopping precinct.

Guildford Woolworths Cafeteria 1958

Guildford Woolworths Cafeteria 1958

In 1993, Woolworths returned to Guildford on Friary Street as Store 1185. This store will be covered in a separate blog post in the future.

 

 

 

Salisbury – Store 273

55 – 59 Silver Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Woolworths opened in Salisbury in 1927 and it was originally at 55 – 59 Silver Street (right side, centre in the below photo).

Salisbury Woolworths 1940s

Salisbury Woolworths 1940s

On the right here, the fascia has been changed to just ‘F.W. Woolworth & Co Ltd’ centred.

Salisbury Woolworths 1955

Salisbury Woolworths 1955

The frontage looks quite large in this photo, with three entrances. They moved to the High Street in the 1957, and this photo shows the Silver Street store vacated with posters signposted the new location.

Salisbury Former Woolworths 1930 - 1950

Salisbury Former Woolworths 1957

This is the interior vacated but it is interesting to see the layout of a traditional old-style store with the individual mahogany counters, and the hanging lights.

Salisbury Woolworths Interior 1930-1950

Salisbury Woolworths Interior 1957

Today the Silver Street building still exists and it houses the Real Eating Company, Ecco and Holland & Barrett. Actually this explains the three entrances, if it was originally three shops put together to make a Woolworth store – and then put back to three shops.

Salisbury Former Woolworths

Salisbury Former Woolworths

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

In 1957 Woolworths moved to a purpose-built store on the High Street, somewhere to right of the Crown Hotel in this photo.

Salisbury High Street 1950

Salisbury High Street 1950

Source: Francis Frith

This is what it looked like:

Salisbury Woolworths 1957

Salisbury Woolworths 1957

Source: Salisbury Journal

This is a more recent photo from 2006 and I absolutely love seeing the wooden window frames above the doors and the peppermint blue on the doors. It looks like there was a cafe instore from the A-board outside.

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Source: Facey P. 

Here is the store shortly before it closed in January 2009. We can see they had a refurb from the change in the fascia and the loss of the peppermint blue on the doors!

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Source: Talbot C. 

Today New Look trades from the old High Street store and you know what, the windows above the doors are still there and that makes me happy.


Salisbury Former Woolworths

Salisbury Former Woolworths

Slough – Store 263 / 1173 / 1243

190 High Street, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1JS

Woolworths opened in Slough, Berkshire in 1927, on the busy and bustling High Street. You can see the store in this 1930s photo, with its 3d and 6d fascia and Art Deco facade. Woolworths is on the far left, a few doors down from the Eagle pub, which was recently River Island and then Select (now vacant). Boots is on the far right, still there today.

Slough Woolworths 1930s

Slough Woolworths 1930s

Source: The Changing Face of Slough

Here is the store twenty years later, you can see it in the background with the canopies. This photo shows the first EVER zebra crossing in the UK, when it 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.

Woolworths Slough 1951

Slough Woolworths 1951

Source: The 1951 Club

This 1950s video actually shows the Woolworths store in the background. The road was busy with vehicles and there was a traffic light pedestrian crossing directly in front of Woolworths. The zebra crossing can be seen in the distance.

In the 1960s Woolworths had a makeover and changed the front facade. It still had creaky wooden floors though. Former employee Margaret Doe remembers “I worked there on lots of the counters. Lightbulb counter…had to test them as we sold them!”

Wendy Smith worked there in the late 60s to early 70s and she says they sold everything you could possibly need back then. Her first wage was 2 shillings and 10 pence an hour. Madeline Hernandez had her first Saturday job on the sweet counter. “Hot cashew nuts – yummy. You would not believe how much people spent on sweets then. Pounds and I had to add up the total, as the till did not do it.”

We also have a 1960s Woolworths love story from Trevor and Pat Roberts. “We met there in 1965 when we both had Saturday jobs in Woolworths on Slough High Street. We are still married and very happy. I think, I had better check with Pat! Pat was on the biscuit counter, so she sold loads of broken biscuits. She also used to laugh when people asked for Nice biscuits, pronouncing it nice. She used to jokingly say, “They are all nice!”
I worked in the stockroom, so she mainly saw me when I came down to sweep the floor in the evening. Fortunately we both achieved a bit more than floor sweeping and biscuit selling in our working lives.”

Slough Woolworths 60s

Slough Woolworths 1960s

Source: eBay

In 1972 Lynne Turnbull worked at the store after leaving school. She says it was the “best job I ever had. Pic n mix and the great slabs of cake and broken biscuits…”  A few years later in 1975, Lynda Woodhouse-Hall got her “first job after I left school. I was the wonder of Woolworths. My mum also worked there, and my boyfriend worked next door in Fosters”. Tracey Caley worked on pic & mix “I ate more than I sold, and I had to wear a silly little hat!” and Carol Blunt worked on the make-up counter as a Saturday girl and has lots of happy memories.

Lee-ann James says “When I was 16, I went to Woolies High Street for a Saturday job and ended up in the staff canteen as cook – start of 1976…” and Tracey Suzanne remembers “This is where I got my first new bike. Remember looking at it for months every Saturday and then Santa brought it Xmas 1979.”

One Slough resident Gaynor Steer remembers “shopping here one Christmas Day…… Apparently, according to the Slough Observer, the police entered the store and demanded it closed but it stayed open and was fined, but Woolworth had made huge profits by then so they wee not bothered. It was very exciting shopping on Christmas day. I think it must have been in the late 70s early 80s.”

In 1982 the store had a further makeover – this photo shows notices in the windows announcing that the store would be closing in February for two weeks for alterations. Also in this colour photo, we can see the facade of the upper floors was actually blue, which was quite unusual.

Woolworths Slough 1982

Slough Woolworths 1982

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

In July 1983, my mum and I were shopping in Slough, I would have been 4 years old. We used to go shopping there for special occasions (there was less choice in our hometown of Uxbridge in the 1980s). It happened to be the day before she gave birth to my brother, she remembers. I said to her, “Wow, so do you remember Woolworths when it was in the High Street then?”. She said to me “Yes it was outside.” 

A year later in 1984, Woolworths on the High Street closed down. The unit was split into two – the left side became Currys/Dixons and the right side was an independent Home store. Both stores closed in the late 2000s, and then a company bought the building to refurbish it as it had fallen into poor condition.

Slough Former Woolworths 2009

Slough Former Woolworths 2009

Source: Crowther Associates

After the refurbishment it was let out to Poundland and JD Sports in Autumn 2010, and they are both successfully trading today.

Poundland / JD Slough 2014

Slough Former Woolworths – Poundland and JD Sports

I went into the Poundland in Slough to see if I could find any clues of it having been a Woolworths. All I could find was possibly these stockroom doors – they look quite old especially around the windows, so these could be the doors from when it was a Woolworths.

Slough Former Woolworths Doors 2019

Slough Former Woolworths Doors 2019

 


 

Slough did not have a Woolworths for a few years. Then they returned in the 1990s, as Store 1173.

8 The Observatory, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1LE

Woolworths returned to Slough when they opened in the new Observatory shopping centre 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.”

Woolworths Observatory Opening, Slough 1991

Slough Woolworths (Observatory) 1991

Source: Woolworths Museum

Today Primark is in the old Woolworths unit in the Observatory shopping centre.

Primark Slough 2014

Slough Former Woolworths – Primark

 


 

Nine years after Woolworths had opened in the Observatory shopping centre, they moved, with another new store number of 1243.

106/109 Queensmere, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1DQ

In 2000 Woolworths 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. It had escalators to the right, and upstairs was Ladybird clothing and Home. The store lasted until the end, with its last day of trading being 2nd January 2009.

Slough Woolworths 2008

Slough Woolworths 2008

Slough Woolworths 2008

Slough Woolworths 2008

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? 😉 The escalators/stairs are covered by a wall of shelving, currently toys.

B&M Slough 2014

Slough Former Woolworths (Queensmere) – B&M Bargains

 

So there you have it, a history of three Woolworths in Slough. If you are ever shopping here, well, now you know which ones were the Woolworths stores.

 

Staines – Store 216

95/103 High Street, Staines, Middlesex

Woolworths opened at 101-103 Staines High Street in 1926, next to the old White Lion pub, as you can see in the below 1950s photo. The pub was demolished in 1956 when the one-way road system was built.

Staines Woolworths 1950s

Staines Woolworths 1950s

Source: pubshistory.com

This photo is from the 1960s, you can see Woolworths on the left next to the M&S clock.

Staines Woolworths 1960s

Staines Woolworths 1960s

Source – Did you live in Staines, Ashford or Sunbury Facebook Group

Between the 1960s and the noughties I could find no photos. Somewhere between these decades, Woolworths expanded into the neighbouring building (no 95-99). The Elmsleigh Shopping Centre opened in 1980, so I can guess a back extension took place around then, as there was another entrance to the store inside the shopping centre. This made it a VERY big Woolworths.

In April 2003, Staines Woolworths was converted to a 10/10 store, and former assistant manager Peter Mitchell has kindly sent me lots of photos from the opening morning and from when they were setting it all up. Here are a few of them – get ready for a trip down memory lane…

Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20031Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20032Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20033Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20034Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20035Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20036Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20037Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20038Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 20039Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 200310Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 200311Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 2003Staines Woolworths 10 10 Conversion 200312

From what I remember at head office, 10/10 was all about making shopping easier, the bright red walkways leading you to the different departments, the rows being at angles to give a sense of the store being bigger I think… And bright blue backgrounds for the department signage, that was noticeably bigger too. Yellow on the walls behind Entertainment. Bright, primary colours as they were going for Kids and Celebrations, target customer being a mum called Debbie who had two kids. That’s vaguely what these photos are making me remember, but I’m sure there was more to it.

The store lasted until the end, and closed for good on 3rd January 2009.

Staines Woolworths 2008

Staines Woolworths 2008

Source: Citykey

Poundland opened soon after at 95-99 High Street, but the main building remained empty until the end of 2010, with it’s fascia still bright and shiny throughout this time.

Staines Woolworths/Poundland 2009

Staines Woolworths/Poundland 2009

Source: Sharville, Ruth

In 2010, H&M announced they would be moving into the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre on a 10 year lease. Below are photos I took on 31st December 2014, the buildings still looking remarkably the same as they did in the 1950s, just with new retailers inside.

Staines H&M 2014

Staines H&M 2014

Staines Poundland 2014

Staines Poundland 2014

Barnstaple – Store 204

69 – 70 High Street, Barnstaple, Devon

Woolworths opened in Barnstaple, North Devon, in 1925. We don’t know what the original store looked like, as the only photo I can find is this one which looks 1970s or 80. From the style of the building we can guess there was a 1950s makeover. It is interesting that the fascia is grey rather than red.  In the 1980s the manager was Bob Brock, who was a real gentlemen according to fellow Woolies manager Ian Exeter.

Barnstaple Woolworths 1980s

Barnstaple Woolworths 1970s/80s

Source: Barnstaple History

The store closed in April 1992 when Woolworths moved into the Green Lanes Shopping Centre with a new store number of 1177.

Today the High Street store is Boots, and if you look up you can see the 1950s Woolworths architecture on the first floor.

Barnstaple Former Woolworths - Boots

Barnstaple Former Woolworths – Boots

 

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

 

Oldham – Store 181

12 – 20 High Street, Oldham, Lancs

Woolworths opened in Oldham in 1925 on the High Street. It was quite unique in its architecture with its large upper floor windows and ‘Woolworths’ Stores’ across the centre. Note the apostrophe was after the ‘S’.

Oldham Woolworths 1925

Oldham Woolworths 1925

Source: Historic England

There was an extension in later years, as you can see in the below photo – the store is longer. The upper floor windows from the first photo seem to have moved to the sides.

Oldham Woolworths 1950s

Oldham Woolworths 1950s

Source: Yesteryear Oldham Then & Now

Here is another angle of the store on the left side, and there is a big crowd in front, by the bus.

Oldham Woolworths 1950s

Oldham Woolworths 1950s

This Woolworths store closed in January 1984. The building was demolished and replaced with four ‘modern’ units. However, Woolworths returned to Oldham 15 years later, in August 2000 as store 1207. They occupied the site at the side of the refurbished Hilton Arcade at numbers 7 – 15 High Street, almost directly opposite the original Woolworths site.

At the original site in 2003 there was a William Hill, a Lloyds chemist, an empty unit and a payday loan shop. Today there is still an empty unit, William Hill is still there and Heron Foods have taken over two units. Architecturally, it is a shame that they did not keep the Woolworths facade above these four units.

Oldham Former Woolworths - William Hill Heron Foods

Oldham Former Woolworths – William Hill Heron Foods

Paisley – Store 168

14 – 16 High Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire

Woolworths opened on Paisley High Street in Scotland in 1924. Again I have no early photos of the store, just this one where we can gather there was a store makeover in 1969, with the oversized ‘Woolworth’ letters experiment on the fascia.

According to a local Facebook group, the tallest man in Paisley (who was 7ft tall) was working here as a store detective until the store closed in 1988.

Paisley Woolworths 1969

Paisley Woolworths 1969

Source: Historic England

After Paisley Woolworths closed, the unit was subdivided and became a WHSmith and an Etam store. Etam stores closed down nationwide and now that unit is Sports Direct.

Paisley Former Woolworths - WHSmith and Sports Direct

Paisley Former Woolworths – WHSmith and Sports Direct

Source: 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

Grantham – Store 157

8 Market Place, Grantham NG31 6LJ

Woolworths opened in Grantham in 1924, originally on Market Place – this photo shows all the men who helped build the store.

Grantham Woolworths 1924

Grantham Woolworths 1924

Source: Longland, M.

Woolworths traded from Market Place for just over 30 years before moving to bigger premises (see on the left of this 1950s photo).

Grantham Woolworths 1955

Grantham Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

This building is occupied by the Gravity Bar today.

Grantham Former Woolworths - Gravity Bar

Grantham Former Woolworths – Gravity Bar

Source: Lincolnshire Reporter

If you take a closer look at the fascia of Gravity, you will see surviving Woolworths Lion Head consoles, with the W erased.

Grantham Former Woolworths Lion Head - Gravity Bar

Grantham Former Woolworths Lion Head – Gravity Bar

Source: Building Our Past

46 High Street, Grantham, Lincolnshire

In 1957 Woolworths moved to the High Street, and three shops – Dewhurst butchers, the Grantham Journal and O’Brien’s Cycle Shop – were demolished to make way for the new store. The Grantham Journal was incorporated into the new building. The newspaper had been on this site since 1868.

Grantham Woolworths 1950s-60s

Grantham Woolworths 1950s-60s

In the 1990s Grantham was a pilot Heartland store. Heartland stores were a formula for market towns including “the Kitchen shop, improved displays of Toys and Kidswear, as well as new third-party ranges that could be delivered quickly and cheaply. Video rental brought a new dimension, complete with the obligatory chute at the back of the stores to return tapes out of hours. The stores also offered a dry cleaning service. New products included Petcare, an extended offer of home cleaning products, and a welcome return for a limited range of toiletries after a year-long absence, as well as Newspapers and Magazines.” (Extract from Woolworths Museum)

Former assistant store manager Matt Fox has fond memories of the store, it had a key place on Grantham High Street.

Grantham Woolworths 2008

Grantham Woolworths 2008

The store closed in December 2008 and today you will find B&M Bargains in its place.

Grantham Former Woolworths - B&M

Bargoed – Store 153

5 – 6 High Street, Bargoed, Glam CF8 8YJ

Woolworths opened in the Welsh town of Bargoed in 1923. The High Street is on a hill, so although from the front it looks as though it was a single storey store, it did in fact have two lower floors, and there is an upper floor peeking behind the frontage. I’m guessing this was a 1950s/60s building from the rectangular look.

Bargoed Woolworth 2009

Bargoed Woolworth 2009

Source: Ballysundriven

The store closed when the chain went bust in December 2008. The building lay empty for a few years, and then in 2011 The Original Factory Shop moved into the upper floor. The lower floors were converted into council offices.

Bargoed Former Woolworths - The Original Factory Shop

Bargoed Former Woolworths – The Original Factory Shop

Sadly it has recently been announced this July 2018 that The Original Factory Store would be closing many of their branches due to poor trading, so this building will be empty again.

Kirkcaldy – Store 145

234 – 242 High Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife

The 145th Woolworths store opened in Kirkcaldy in Scotland. There are no photos of it on the internet at all, but we can guess from the photo of the building today, that it had a makeover in the 1950s/60s, being extended to become a huge store.

The store closed down on 28th June 1986.

In the 1990, a Woolworths Music and Video store opened at 148 High Street (Store 1168) and then in the late 1990s, a traditional Woolworths returned to Kirkcaldy at the Mercat Shopping Centre on the High Street (Store 1201).

Today the building of the original store at 234 – 242 High Street houses the Kirkcaldy Indoor Market, which gives an idea of the size of the Woolworths store that was. The Woolworths does are still in use after all these years.

Kirkcaldy Former Woolworths - Indoor Market

Kirkcaldy Former Woolworths – Indoor Market

Source: Flickr

And what is exciting is that an original mosaic Woolworths floor still exists in front of the fire doors at the far right of the building.

Kirkcaldy Woolworths W

Kirkcaldy Woolworths W

If you do have any photos of any of the Kirkcaldy Woolworths store, please do send them in, it would be great to see how they looked.

Merthyr Tydfil – Store 140

44 – 45 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, Glam.

The 140th Woolworths store opened in Wales in 1923, in a town called Merthyr Tydfil.

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1930s

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1930s

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1951

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1951

Source: Francis Frith

In the 1970s the store had a makeover, with this recognisable style. The makeover probably coincided with the conversion to self-service.

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1970s

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 1970s

Source: Alan George

The store closed in December 2008.

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 2008

Merthyr Tydfil Woolworths 2008

Source: WalesOnline

It became a B&M Bargains, but they then moved to a retail park – so this building is sadly empty again.

Merthry Tydfil Former Woolworths - B&M

Merthry Tydfil Former Woolworths – B&M

Source: Flickr

Dunfermline – Store 124

52 – 58 High Street, Dunfermline, Fife

We’re in Scotland again! Store 124 was on the medieval High Street of Dunfermline, Fife, and it opened in 1922.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1922

Dunfermline Woolworths 1922

Source: Dunfermline Through Time – Simpson E., Robertson G.

In the 1939 they moved across the road and built a new store with an Art Deco facade, contrasting with the French Gothic neighbouring buildings.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1939

Dunfermline Woolworths 1939

Source: Postcard on Ebay

The store was the one that drew the crowds on this High Street.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1950s

Dunfermline Woolworths 1950s

Source: Flickr

This Woolworths closed in 1984, and today it is a Poundstretcher. And if you are ever shopping on Dunfermline High Street, do take a look above Poundstretcher. Though it looks like the windows have been covered up, you can still see the remains of the Woolworths Art Deco facade.

Dunfermline Former Woolworths - Poundstretcher

Dunfermline Former Woolworths – Poundstretcher

Source: Acuitus

Dumbarton – Store 122

97 – 99 High Street, Dumbarton, Strathclyde G82 1PH

In 1922 Woolworths opened another Scottish store in the Glasgow area – in the town of Dumbarton. They opened next to the Earl of Glencairn’s Greit House of 1623 (the building with the arches on the left of this photo)

Dumbarton Woolworths 1922

Dumbarton Woolworths 1922

Source: Historic England

In the 1930s the store had an Art Deco update to its look. The fact that this was allowed shows the clout that Woolworths had in such towns with historic buildings.

Dumbarton Woolworths 1950s

Dumbarton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Pinterest

There were updates to the fascia through the years.

Dumbarton Woolworths 1971

Dumbarton Woolworths 1971

Source: Historic England

Dumbarton Woolworths 1979

Dumbarton Woolworths 1979

Source: West Dunbartonshire Council

It was branded a Woolworths ‘Local’ store until its last days in December 2008.

Dumbarton Woolworths 2008

Dumbarton Woolworths 2008

Source: Dunbartonshire Council

And today it is a Wetherspoons pub, the Art Deco facade is still there and you can sit and have a drink in this old Woolworths.

Dumbarton Former Woolworths - Wetherspoons

Dumbarton Former Woolworths – Wetherspoons

Source: Flickr

Hounslow – Store 106/1186

263 – 277 High Street, Hounslow, Middx

Woolworths opened on Hounslow High Street in 1921. Sadly this store got completely destroyed in WWII.

Hounslow Woolworths 1940s

Hounslow Woolworths 1940s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Woolworths opened as a temporary store at 263 High Street in 1949. It is pictured here as a self-service supermarket – it may have been converted to this when a new Woolworths store opened at 269-270 High Street in 1959.

Hounslow Woolworths 1959

Hounslow Woolworths 1959

Source: Historic England

The lasting solution for Woolworths was to introduce food market departments to their traditional stores, so the two stores merged to become a huge store at 263 – 277 High Street.

In 1984 this branch became a prototype ‘Operation Facelift’ store, with geranium red walls and fixtures, wider shopping aisles, new wall signage, full lighting and perimeter cash desks.

In 1987 the Treaty Shopping Centre opened and Woolworths backed onto this shopping centre.

In 1991 the store was extended and refitted as a ‘store of the future’ with touch-screen ordering kiosks, and a new style cafe called ‘The Cafe’. It was given a new store number of 1186 at this point.

Robert Baker was the manager of Hounslow Woolworths at the time the store was converted to a 10/10 store in the 2000s, and he had a great team working there right up to the end in December 2008.

Hounslow Woolworths 2008

Hounslow Woolworths 2008

The building became part of a huge redevelopment scheme – it was taken down and completely rebuilt to become a very modern looking H&M and Next.

Hounslow Former Woolworths - H&M and Next 2014

Hounslow Former Woolworths – H&M and Next 2014

Source: Quidnet Capital Partners

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

Acton – Store 87

106 – 112 High Street, Acton, London W3 6RH

Woolworths opened on Acton High Street in West London on 31st July 1920. It wasn’t a purpose-built store as the architecture is uniform along the High Street. The store was extended on 14th February 1931, and then modernised in July 1937.

Nearly three decades late, the store was modernised in April 1964. Two years later there was further extension in December 1966, and in August 1978 the store was modernised again.

It was cut down in March 1986, with the unit sublet by Chartwell Land.

There are no photos of the store, but it did exist as my other half remembers shopping there in the 1990s. Acton Woolworths finally closed on 12th June 1993.

Today the building is occupied by the Belvedere pub.

Acton Former Woolworths - The Belverdere
Acton Former Woolworths – The Belvedere

 

With thanks to Graham Hill for supplying the dates.


The next store has already been written about:

Torquay – Store 88