Tag Archives: high street

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

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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

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’.

The store closed when the chain went bust 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

Stratford – Store 86

352 – 356 High Street, Stratford, London E15 4OW

The 86th Woolworths store opened in Stratford in East London in 1920. You can see it below on the far right.

Stratford London Woolworths 1920s

Stratford London Woolworths 1920s

Source: The Newham Story

The store is on the 1972 list with it’s High Street address. In 1974 the Stratford Shopping Centre was built, and Woolworths moved into there at some point.

Today the High Street building does not exist, as most of the High Street has been demolished for regeneration over the years. I think they are building flats there now . The nearest surviving building is The Builders Arm pub at number 302.

43-44 The Mall, Stratford Centre E15

Woolworths traded at its new location in the Stratford Centre, and unusually the store kept it’s store number 86.  It traded until the chain’s closure in 2008. Who knows if it would have survived anyway with neighbouring Westfield Stratford opening.

Stratford Woolworths 2008

Stratford Woolworths 2008

Source: Diamond Geezer

Today the unit is occupied by Poundland.

Stratford Former Woolworths - Poundland

 

Poole – Store 84

123 – 125 High Street, Poole, Dorset BH15 1AR

In 1920 Woolworths opened in Poole at 78 High Street – you can read a fascinating history of the building at the Poole High Street Project.

Poole Woolworths 1920

Poole Woolworths 1920

They traded at this building for 39 years, until 1959 when they moved to bigger premises. Number 78 became many things – Pearks, a grocers, a Chinese restaurant, a pizza restaurant, a pet shop, a pop-up reconstructed 1930s grocers and today it is a Salvation Army charity shop.

Poole Former Woolworths - Salvation Army Shop

Poole Former Woolworths – Salvation Army Shop

The new Woolworths store of 1959 was at 123 – 125 High Street. They traded here for nearly 50 years.

Poole Woolworths 2004

Poole Woolworths 2004

Source: JJ Justin

In December 2008 the store closed for good.

Poole Woolworths 2008

Poole Woolworths 2008

Source: JJ Justin

And today the building is occupied by This Is It.

Poole Former Woolworths - This is It

Weston-super-Mare – Store 81

64 High Street, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset BS23 1HX

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare very early on, in 1919. You can see the building before it was a Woolworths in the below photo – in the centre with the roof windows.

Weston-Super-Mare High Street 1901

Weston-super-Mare High Street 1901

Source: Past and Present Publications

Here is a photo of the Woolworths store when it was trading. You can see they did not change the building at all, apart from removing the roof windows. Quite interesting, perhaps they were not allowed to demolish and build in their own style, as they had in other towns. It is a beautiful building, so I’d say this was a good thing. Bhs next door had demolished their building, replacing it with a rather 50s looking building.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2008

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2008

(Photo from my Facebook group)

The store closed for good on 30th December 2008.

Weston-Super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Weston-super-Mare Woolworths 2009

Source: White R., Flickr

The following year, Poundland opened, and here it is from when I visited the busy high street this week.

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Weston-super-Mare Poundland 2015

Bromley – Store 80

140 – 142 High Street, Bromley BR1 1HB

The 80th Woolworths store opened in 1919 on Bromley High Street. It was originally numbered 33-34, but later renumbered 140-142. In 1926 the store doubled in size. The architect had considered removing the original pediment of 1919 and installing a straight balustrade. But they went with recreating a second pediment.

In this photo you can see the original side is on the right, as the arc lights are hanging under the facade. There is a sign saying ‘No perambulators in this store after 2.30pm today’

Bromley Woolworths 1920s

Bromley Woolworths 1920s

Source: Historic England

This photo is from 1969 when you can see the store has been updated and there is a rather out of scale ‘Woolworth’ fascia.

Bromley Woolworths 1969

Bromley Woolworths 1969

Source: Historic England

Bromley Woolworths closed down on 8th January 1983.

Today at 140 High Street is Deichmann (previously Miss Selfridge/Dorothy Perkin/Burton) and the building has been completely rebuilt.

Bromley Former Woolworths - Deichmann

Bromley Former Woolworths – Deichmann

Source: Michael Rogers


Read about these stores:

Aberdeen – Store 79

Weston-Super-Mare – Store 81

Ramsgate – Store 72

12a/14 High Street, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9AF

Woolworths opened their 72nd store by the Kent seaside on Ramsgate High Street in 1916. Ramsgate store is unique as it is a rare example of an early purpose-built branch that still survives today. New stores were built from 1913 by in-house architects North & Robin, who continued to design Woolworths’ stores until c.1919.

 

Ramsgate Woolworths 1916

Ramsgate Woolworths 1930s

Source: Historic England Archive

Ramsgate store was was built on the site of the Bull and George Hotel which was badly damaged in WW1 (you can see photos of the hotel and a surviving wall in the stock room here).

The store was later extended to the left – you can see in the above photo where the extension starts, above the ‘OO’ of ‘WOOLWORTH’. It remained the same from the outside, and finally closed when the chain went bust in December 2008.

Ramsgate Woolworths 2008

Ramsgate Woolworths 2008

Source: Mike’s Photography

After Woolworths closed, the building was taken over by the 99p store, which more recently became Poundland.

Ramsgate 99p Store

Source: Thanetonline

If you are ever visiting Ramsgate, do take a minute to take in some original Woolworths architecture.

Ramsgate Former Woolworths - Poundland

Ramsgate Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: Historic England Archive


 

If you are looking for Store 71 and 73, they have already been written:

Store 71 – Sutton
Store 73 – Brighton

Watford – Store 68

118 – 128 High Street, Watford, Herts WD1 2BH

Woolworths first came to Watford during World War One, when the fish and poultry shop owned by AE Smith at 124 High Street was replaced by “FW Woolworth and Co, bazaar” in 1916.

Watford Woolworths 1930s

Watford Woolworths 1930s

Over the years, the store expanded by taking over adjacent shops, and carried the “3d and 5d Stores” sign.

By the mid-1960s, the store had extended to the corner of King Street.

Watford Woolworths 1964

Watford Woolworths 1964

During a modernisation programme in the 1980s, a new shop was built on the corner of High Street and King Street.

Watford Woolworths 1981

Watford Woolworths 1981

Watford Woolworths 1983

Watford Woolworths 1983

Watford Woolworths 1984 - inside

Watford Woolworths 1984 – inside

Source: Guy, C.

However the store closed on 20th January 1990.

Watford was without a High Street Woolies for a decade, until the shop near Clarendon Road opened in 2000.

Information from the Watford Observer
Photos from Watford Museum

So what happened to the building? Well you wouldn’t recognise it but it is now McDonald’s, Waterstones and a TUI Holiday Shop.

Watford Former Woolworths - McDonalds Waterstones TUI

Watford Former Woolworths – McDonalds Waterstones TUI

Worcester – Store 65

41-44a High Street, Worcester WR1 2QD

Worcester Woolworths, Store 65, opened in 1916 on the High Street. You can see it on the left of Marks and Spencer in this photo.

Worcester Woolworths 1979

Worcester Woolworths 1979

Source: Pinterest

In June 1979 the store in Worcester was severely damaged in an arson attack , which started in foam filled pillows in the stockroom. No-one was hurt, but it took nine months to reinstate and re-open the store. When trading resumed the branch continued to carry a small range of foam filled furniture and pillows, albeit with very limited stocks and a state-of-the-art sprinkler and alarm system. (Source: Woolworths Museum)

Worcester Woolworths 1980

Worcester Woolworths 1980

Source: The Changing Face of Worcester

In 2008 M&S bought this building to make a superstore and Woolworths moved into numbers 48-50 High Street to become store 1270 – this store had a short life as the chain then went bust. This is how the original Woolworths Store 65 looks – today the M&S is gold.

Worcester Former Woolworths - Marks and Spencer 2008

Worcester Former Woolworths – Marks and Spencer 2008

Source: Halling P.

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

 

Wandsworth – Store 58

153 – 155 Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth, London SW18 4JB

Staying on the South London side, the fifth-eighth Woolworths store opened on Wandsworth High Street in 1915. Below you can see the store on the left in the 1950s – it looks like it was a small one. The frontage is interesting with the central roof feature and the sun rays flaring out of the circular window.

Wandsworth Woolworths 1950s

Wandsworth Woolworths 1950s

Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos

In 1971, the Wandsworth Arndale Centre opened (the biggest covered shopping centre at the time) and Woolworths moved inside there at numbers 35 – 37 Arndale Centre, facing Garratt Street. The store closed in May 1992.

Wandworth Woolworths 1980s

Wandworth Woolworths 1980s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Today the original High Street building still exists and it is quite eye-catching. If you are ever in Wandsworth, take a look above the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical store.

Wandsworths Former Woolworths - British Heart Foundation Furniture Shop

Wandsworths Former Woolworths – British Heart Foundation Furniture Shop