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.
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.
During a modernisation programme in the 1980s, a new shop was built on the corner of High Street and King Street.
Source: Guy, C.
However the store was one of the ones sold when Kingfisher took over, and it closed in the mid-80s.
Watford was without a High Street Woolies for nearly 20 years, until the shop near Clarendon Road opened in 2000.
So what happened to the building? Well you wouldn’t recognise it but it is now McDonald’s, Waterstones and a TUI Holiday Shop.
46-48 George Street, Luton, Beds LU1 2BA
The 52nd Woolworths store opened in Luton on George Street in 1915, occupying two shop units.
Source: Postcard from eBay
On 17th June 1933, the store reopened after a rebuild. The design was quite a chaste Art Deco one with a hint of ornamentation.
Source: Woolworths Museum
In 1972 the Luton Arndale shopping centre opened, and Woolworths moved in, leaving the building on George Street. This is the exterior view of the shopping centre in the 70s.
Source: Luton Memories
In 1995 it became a prototype ‘City’ store, with a new ‘Kitchenshop’ department. The store closed in 2008.
Today the George Street building still exists – you can see the Art Deco beauty as it is now occupied by ‘Luton Mall’ – 10 units including McDonalds.
And as for the Arndale centre store, that is now M&S.
1-7 Wellington Place, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1NY
In July 1926, Woolworths bought the block of 2-6 Wellington Place and 15-20 Pelham. The buildings were demolished, and in their place a large ‘3 penny and 6 penny’ store was built (Source: Hastings Chronicle). This is how the store looked in the 1950s:
Source: Hastings & St Leonards Forum
Below is a photo of the store in 1982, where you can see there has been a major makeover – I am guessing this took place in the 1960s.
Source: Popkin, A
This photo was taken when the underground walkway was being built.
Source: gandalfthegrey, Flickr
This is a 1990s photo where you can see the Woolworths fascia has been updated.
Source: Goldsteinleigh Investments
Source: JJ justin, Flickr
A more recent photo here, just before the store closed for good on 2nd January 2009.
Source: Snapper Jude, Flickr
It soon became a Sports Direct – here’s a photo we took last week whilst on holiday in Hastings. It’s a large, prominent store – you can’t miss it. They have painted the blue tiles grey, but apart from that is looks exactly as it did as a Woolworths. And even the 4 little roof windows are recognisable from the earlier 1950s photo – a real piece of history.