Tag Archives: superdrug

Clapham Junction – Store 34

36/44 St John’s Road, London SW11 1PP

Woolworths opened their thirty-fourth store in Clapham Junction, South West London in 1914. There is not much information from the early days, but there is a photo of the toy department from 1987.

Clapham Junction Woolworths Toy Department 1987

Clapham Junction Woolworths Toy Department 1987

Source: Woolworths Museum

From the below photo it looks like the store had a 1930s makeover, probably a smaller store extended to a large store with an Art Deco facade. Over time one side became Superdrug. They were part of the Kingfisher groups in the 1980s, so this may have happened then.

Clapham Junction Woolworths 2007

Clapham Junction Woolworths 2007

Source: Citykey

The store closed before the company went bust, in the summer of 2008 when about 5 stores were closed down.

Today Waitrose has taken its place, with Superdrug still on the side. It really is a beautiful building, with 1930s style windows – do have a look if you’re ever shopping in Clapham Junction.

Clapham Junction Former Woolworths | Waitrose 2012

Clapham Junction Former Woolworths | Waitrose 2012

Source: Ballysundriven


These store have already been written about, here are the links:

Store 33 – Southend
Store 35 – Portsmouth
Store 36 – Nottingham

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Lewisham – Store 20

142/148 High Street, Lewisham, London SE13 6JJ

Woolworths opened its twentieth store in Lewisham, South East London in 1913. I am guessing this is because of its location near a railway station. Below you can see how it first looked before it had a rebuild.

Lewisham-Woolworths-1937-before-rebuild

Lewisham Woolworths 1937 (before rebuild)

Source: Woolworth’s 100 years on the high street, Morrison K.

In 1937 the store was upgraded with a cinema front. The company was particularly proud of its galleried frontage. The neon lettering at the top of the building cost £50,000!

Lewisham-Woolworths-1937

Lewisham High Road Woolworths 1937

Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

When Lewisham Shopping Centre opened behind the Woolworths store in 1975, Woolworths made another entrance at the back to the shopping centre. In the 80s, the store was halved in size and that is when Superdrug moved in. Then in the 90s, the store was split again and they kept the shopping centre side, which had a new store number, until closure in 2008.

Today the building is shared by Superdrug and Currys, and somehow just does not look so grand anymore. Doesn’t it look huge in the old photos?? Maybe it’s the angle of the 1930s photo that makes it look bigger than it actually is. Still, it is great that the Art Deco front is still here – if you ever are on Lewisham High Street, do have a look out for it.

Lewisham Former Woolworths | Superdrug Currys 2012

Lewisham Former Woolworths | Superdrug Currys 2012

Source: The Lost Byway

 

Ilford – Store 19

118-122 High Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 1BY

The nineteenth Woolworths opened in Ilford in 1912, in a prime location next to the town hall. There are no photos of it when it first opened.

In 1938, the store was updated to have a simple Art Deco look. You can see it in the below photo – the large white building at the back.

Ilford High Road Woolworths 1960s

Ilford High Road Woolworths 1960s

Source: Francis Frith

Here is a close-up photo from the 1970s.

Ilford High Road Woolworths 1975

Ilford High Road Woolworths 1975

Source: Ilford in Pictures FB group

The store closed 29th January 1983, along with four other Woolworths stores across the country that day.

Today the building is occupied by Superdrug, Dorothy Perkin and Burton – so if you are visiting these shops on Ilford High Road, look up and see the Art Deco splendour of Woolworths past.

Ilford High Road Former Woolworths - Superdrug Dorothy Perkins Burton 2017

Ilford High Road Former Woolworths | now Superdrug Dorothy Perkins Burton 2017

Source: Green & Partners

You can read about the newer Ilford Woolworths store 1241 here

 

Finchley – Store 727

105 Ballards Lane, Finchley, London N3 6JR

This store opened in 1938, in a familiar Woolworth architectural style (see far left):

Finchley Woolworths 1965 - Ballards Lane

Finchley Woolworths 1965 – Ballards Lane

Source: Francis Frith

And here it is today, the top half unchanged and clearly recognisable – now Superdrug and what looks like a closed down bakery.

Finchley Superdrug 2017 - Former Woolworths

Finchley Superdrug 2017 – Former Woolworths

Source: Property Link

Bognor Regis – Store 344

18-20 London Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO21 1QA

Woolworths opened in the seaside town of Bognor Regis in 1928. I have found an undated postcard below of London Road and it looks as though the tall building in the centre, left side, is the F.W.Woolworth store.

Bognor Regis Woolworths London Road

Bognor Regis Woolworths London Road – Undated

Source: Gravelroots

The store had a 1950s makeover, but then in 1974 the store was set on fire when there was an IRA bomb. Woolworths would not be beaten and just 65 hours later the store reopened.

Bognor Regis Woolworths 1974 fire

Bognor Regis Woolworths 1974 fire

Source: Bognor Regis Museum

There’s not much info on the store, apart from its closure in December 2008.

Bognor Regis Woolworths 2009

Bognor Regis Woolworths 2009

Source: Flickr, Mark

Wilkos now occupy the building, and you can clearly recognise it as the upper facade is exactly the same – a bit of Woolies architecture still on the London Road.

Wilko Bognor Regis 2010

Wilko Bognor Regis 2010

Source: Flickr, ballysundriven

Sutton – Store 71

148/150 High Street, Sutton, Surrey

Sutton Woolworths was one of the very early stores of the chain. It opened in the High Street in 1916. In the below 1923 postcard, the Woolworths store can be seen on the right. It was next to the Surrey County Theatre which opened in 1921.

Sutton Woolworths 1923

Sutton Woolworths 1923

Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Below you can see the store to the far right. I’m estimating this to be in the 1930s from the cars.

Sutton Woolworths 1930s

Sutton Woolworths 1930s

Source: CinemaTreasures.org

Below is a 1935 postcard, where it can be seen that the store has had a refurbishment with an art deco cinema-style facade, quite suitable considering what the neighbouring building was.

Sutton Woolworths 1935

Sutton Woolworths 1935

Source: CinemaTreasures.org

This photo was taken shortly before Sutton High Street was pedestrianised in the early 1980s. Woolworths is on the left, where you can see the store’s 60s makeover – with the upper floors covered in what looks like concrete.

Woolworths Sutton Early-1980s

Woolworths Sutton Early-1980s

Source: Flickr, Simpson E.

Looking at the building today, yes it does seem to be some sort of grey concrete cladding, or maybe it’s metal. The store has been split into 2 units, a Burton/Dorothy Perkins and a Superdrug (I’ve merged two photos here from 192.com)

Sutton Burton Dorothy Perkins Superdrug 2015

Sutton Burton/Dorothy Perkins and Superdrug 2015

Source: 192.com

I don’t know the exact date Woolworths left this building, but I do know that the chain acquired Superdrug in 1988 and Woolworths opened in a new building at 71 High Street, Sutton in 1994.

I will cover the 71 High Street store (Store No. 1192) in a separate post.

Bexleyheath – Store 390 / 1226

93/105 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7JN

Woolworths originally opened in Bexleyheath at 93 The Broadway in 1930. This is a photo of the Broadway in 1935, the Woolworth store is possibly one of these buildings.

Bexleyheath Broadway 1935

Bexleyheath Broadway 1935

Source: Idealhomes.org.uk

In 1984 the Broadway Shopping Centre was built. The whole parade of shops on the Broadway was demolished and Woolworths moved into the centre, with a very large store with an entrance facing the Broadway at no. 77 (which is Argos today) and an entrance facing the inside of the shopping centre.

Argos Bexleyheath 2014

Argos Bexleyheath 2014 (was Woolworths)

Source: Local Data Company

1n 1990 the store was cut in half.  The half they gave up was split into 3 units – one became Miss Selfridge, then HMV and then Select, the second unit became Superdrug, and the third became Argos. Woolworths traded as a smaller store from the other half.

In 2000 Woolworths relocated across the shopping centre into the old Safeway unit, which was funnily enough back at 93 The Broadway. It had a new store number – 1226.

Woolworths Bexleyheath 2008

Woolworths Bexleyheath 2008

Source: Chase, J., Museum of London

The store traded from here until it closed for good in 2008.

Bexleyheath Woolworths 2009

Bexleyheath Woolworths 2009

Source: Flickr

Now the building is occupied by New Look inside the shopping centre and H&M from the Broadway side.

H&M Bexleyheath 2014

H&M Bexleyheath 2014

Source: Flickr

 

Birmingham New Street – Store 266

103/104 New Street, Birmingham B2 4HG

Woolworths opened its second Birmingham store, after the Bull Ring, in New Street in July 1927. They traded from this side of the road for about 20 years, until there was serious bomb damage during WW2.

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1930s-40s

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1930s-40s?

Source: Birmingham City Centre Past Facebook group

In 1956, the site of Birmingham’s Theatre Royal – which was located opposite the original New Street store – was sold to Woolworths. In the 1950s the Board was working with City Councils and development companies to transform inner city stores – in this case, they decided to build a skyscraper called ‘The Woolworth Building’. It was designed by Cotton, Ballard & Blow who built it in two parts –  the first in 1958-61 for Woolworths, the second part for Jack Cotton & Partners. According to the Birmingham Pevsner Architectural Guide, it was “New Street’s architectural disaster… a shapeless mass of Portland Stone, mosaic cladding and green slate stepping up to ten storeys.” – a bit harsh 😛

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1960s

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1960s

Above is the ‘skyscraper’, which opened for business in 1961. The offices upstairs generated a substantial rental income for the company.

Below is a side angle of the store from the 1970s. Sadly when Kingfisher took over, they closed this store in 1983 along with the Bullring store. So for a while there were no Woolworths in Birmingham City Centre, until the 1990s when a store opened in the Pallasades Shopping Centre.

Birmingham New Street Woolworth

Birmingham New Street Woolworths 1970s

Source: Warrick, Mark

Today, the building is now named “Charters Building”. The building on it’s left is the surviving ‘Piccadilly Arcade’ section of the Theatre Royal. In the 1990s, there was a refurbishment of the offices, and the glass lift was added. The retail unit has been split into three and are occupied by Superdrug, Bella Italia and Boots. So if you’re ever having dinner at Bella Italia in Birmingham, just remember you are sitting in a quite historic ex-Woolworths!

Birmingham New Street 2014

Sources:
100thbirthday.co.uk
woolworthmuseum.co.uk 

Southsea – Store 50

19/23 Palmerston Road, Southsea, Hants PO5 3QA

The 50th Woolworths store to open in the UK was in the seaside town of Southsea (after the neighbouring Portsmouth branch opened a year earlier), opening on 26th June 1915 at Palmerston Road. Below is the road in 1925, one of these shops was the Woolworths.

Southsea 1925

Southsea 1925

Source: Past and Present Publications

As sales were good, the building was extended in March 1932. Unfortunately this was one of the 26 stores that got destroyed in World War 2, on 11th January 1941.

After the war, Palmerston Road was redesigned, and Woolworths moved to a new location at numbers 19-23, opening on 10th October 1951 with a newly designed store. The new building was more accessible, with wider step-free entrances, and was significantly larger and brighter.

Southsea Woolworths 1951

Southsea Woolworths 1951

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

From this photo you can see they even put a ‘Woolworth’ fascia above each set of doors.

Southsea Woolworths 1966

Southsea Woolworths 1966

Source: Baker, Richard

Southsea Woolworths was one of the last stores to convert to self-service in 1973, I presume it being a laid-back seaside town, they took their time 😉 In 1988 the building was split in half, with 22-23 given to Superdrug. Then the store was was modernised again in August 1992.

Southsea Woolworths 2004

Southsea Woolworths 2004

Source: Baldock, James (used with permission)

Southsea Woolworths closed on 2nd January 2009, looking pretty much as it did in 2004 in the photo above. It lay empty for over 2 years.

Southsea Woolworths 2008

Southsea Woolworths 2008

Source: Citykey

Then, making a change from the norm, the council decided to open a library at this site. Southsea Library opened on 29th July 2011, complete with a cafe serving coffees and cakes “and in honour of Woolworths’ memory, a themed pick and mix box for children.” (Source: Portsmouth Lib Dems)

What’s nice to see is that above the library and Superdrug, the building appears exactly as how it looked in 1951. If you ever visit Southsea, do have a look.

Southsea Library 2014

Southsea Library 2014

Source: Custodian Reit plc

Harlesden – Store 11

37-41 High Street, Harlesden NW10 4NH

Harlesden in North West London was the eleventh UK store and the third London store. “It opened in 1911 and closed in 1991 at the end of it’s lease. The original store was rather smaller, expanding to the below frontage in two stages in the 1920s and 1930s. The outlet took a little longer to get established than the first two London stores Brixton and Woolwich, but had built such a large clientele by the 1930s that it was doubled in size.” Source: http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/1910s-london.html

 

Harlesden Woolworths 1920s
Harlesden Woolworths 1920s

Woolworths shared the premises with sister company Superdrug in the 80s and moved out in the 90s.

Woolworths Harlesden 1990

Woolworths Harlesden 1990

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartkew/8559943624

Quote from Pat (Moss) Hurwood who was born in Harlesden in 1947 and lived there until 1963. “Further along towards the Jubilee Clock was a fishmongers that would have blocks of ice delivered about 7.30 each morning. Close to this was a wonderful Woolworths where you could spend what little pocket money you had. This shop went on fire and my brother, who was a budding photographer, sold a photo of the fire.”  Source: http://www.movethat.co.uk/London/My/Harlesden

My sister works in Harlesden now at Champion records. She said her boss always mentions there was a Woolworths in Harlesden, which I supposed must have been really important being a record company. That’s where the interest in this post stems from. We are going to take a photo of what is in the building in the near future, when we are brave enough! Apparently it is some random home store, after Superdrug moved to across the road.

Edit 04/18 – she doesn’t worth there anymore and we never took that photo!! But here is a Google Maps image, where I have worked out it is Way2Save from the curve above the windows on the right – you can see this curve in the old 1920s Woolworths photo above.

Harlesden-Way2Save,-2014---Former-Woolworths

Harlesden Way2Save, 2014 Former Woolworths