33 -35 – Montague Street, Worthing, Sussex
Woolworths first opened in Rowlands Road in Worthing on 28th August 1920.
In 1930 the store was extended and a horizontal moderne Art Deco frontage was created. This was a style favoured for seaside towns such as Brighton, Bournemouth and Bexhill. Woolworths traded here for nearly 80 years, until the chain’s closure in 2008.
Source: Kidd. R
Today the Art Deco frontage still exists. If you are ever shopping in Worthing, take a look above H&M or the bookshop next door.
181-185 Western Road, Brighton BN1 2BG
One of the very early Woolworths stores, the Brighton branch opened in Western Road on 5th August 1916. It was joined by two further Brighton stores in London Road and St James Street in 1927.
In 1968 the store was modernised and reduced in size, with the right side being sold to Clinton Cards. Below is the store in 2004, a year when Geri Halliwell visited one November evening to meet hundreds of fans, many of whom had been queuing since lunchtime.
This store became a 10/10 new format store in the 2000s, before closing for good on 30 December 2008.
The building didn’t stay empty for long, in April 2009 H&M announced they would be moving in.
Here it is from when we did a seaside trip in September 2014. Clinton Cards closed down in 2012, so H&M extended over their site, and the building is whole again just like the original Woolworths store in 1916 🙂
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.
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.
Source: Mike’s Photography
After Woolworths closed, the building was taken over by the 99p store, which more recently became Poundland.
If you are ever visiting Ramsgate, do take a minute to take in some original Woolworths architecture.
Source: Historic England Archive
If you are looking for Store 71 and 73, they have already been written:
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.
35-37 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HF
Woolworths arrived in the Cornish seaside town of St Ives in the mid-1950s. The building they chose was set in a hill by the harbour, with the front facing the busy shopping area of Fore Street, and the back facing the harbour on Wharf Road.
Here is the front of the store on Fore Street.
Source: Flickr, Rutter R
And this is the harbour side on Wharf Road.
Source: Scaysbrook C
This is 8 days before they closed down.
Source: Flickr, textlad
The store closed on 2nd January 2009, becoming a Mountain Warehouse store on Fore Street, and a Pizza Express on Wharf Road.
Source: Lewis Investments
Other Cornish Stores you may be interested in:
Truro – Store 836
1-4 East Parade, Rhyl, Flintshre LL18 3AD
On 10th March 1928 Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Rhyl in North Wales. It was on the High Street, a small single-storey store. They extended on 23rd May 1931.
In 1956, Woolworths built much larger, prominent seafront premises on the site of the Royal Cafe, which they demolished. You couldn’t really miss it – the store was huge, with a modern restaurant. They moved in there on 29th June 1956, becoming the department store destination of Rhyl. (It’s on the far right in the below photo)
On 17th May 1974, the store was modernised and converted to self service.
In 1987 it was refurbished to become a comparison store (without the restaurant), re-opening on 3rd April.
In the 2000s, the store became a 10/10 store, which you can see in the below photo. Although it looks closed in the below photo, Woolworths had in fact covered the windows in blue, presumably so they could put shelving up against the windows inside – but not looking so nice from the outside. It was a smaller store now, as the top floors were now occupied by Gala Bingo.
Source: The Roberts Organisation, Flickr
Today B&M Bargains operates from this premises. But there’s still a little something that gives away it’s history…
Source: Alex Liivet, Flickr
If you enjoyed this, I also found the history of Rhyl Marks and Spencer online (now Poundland). Written by Rhyl History Club, it’s quite fascinating – read about it here.
246-250 High Street, Dovercourt, Essex CO12 3PA
Woolworths opened in the small Essex seaside town of Dovercourt in 1934.
Known as the ‘3d 7 6d store’, the frontage increased by one half in 1937.
Source: Through the Shop Window – http://www.harwichanddovercourt.co.uk/shop-window/