Tag Archives: Woolworths

Leyton – Store 129 / 2024

612-614a Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7DL

One of the early London stores, this one opened in 1923 in the Bakers Arms district on Lea Bridge Road, with a striking Art Deco facade. It was an L-Shaped store with the main entrance on Lea Bridge Road, and a smaller side entrance on the High Road.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - front

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – front

In these photos taken in 1939, the windows had been neatly taped up for safety, to prepare for the war. As a result, both frontages stayed intact during the blitz.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - High Road side

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – High Road side

Somewhere along the line you can see the Woolworth fascia got a sixties makeover, just looking at the typeface used.

Leyton Woolworths 1967 - 1975

Leyton Woolworths 1967 – 1975

Above three photos – source: Historic England

In the 2000s, this was one of the stores chosen to be a general store, and had it’s store number renamed from 129 to 2024.

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Source: Lock, D.

Then it was tranformed back to a normal Woolworths until its closure in December 2008.

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Source: Flickr

Today the main part of the building is an Iceland, and it is pleasing to see the Art Deco facade remains.

Leyton Iceland Former Woolworths 2017

Leyton Iceland – Former Woolworths – 2017

Source: London Postcode Walks

The High Road side entrance is now a Greggs.

Leyton Greggs - High Road - former Woolworths

Leyton Greggs – High Road – former Woolworths

Source: All in London

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

Caledonian Road – Store 892

259a Caledonian Road, London N1 1EE

Another short post for you, this store opened in 1955. Very similar in style to the Shoreditch store that opened 2 years later. Today it is an Iceland store.

Caledonian Road Iceland 2017 Former Woolworths

Caledonian Road Iceland 2017 – Former Woolworths

Source: LDS

Shoreditch – Store 982

142/146 Hoxton  Street, London N1 6SH

This is going to be the first of a few ‘short but sweet’ posts, as I find it fascinating that there were so many London Woolworths stores that we see day to day without realising. Here is the Shoreditch store, which opened in 1957. Hoxton Street was severely bombed in the Blitz, so many streets had to be rebuilt. Here it looks as though Woolworths purpose built this one in the late 50s. I don’t know when it closed, possibly in the 1980s. Today it is a Poundland.

Shoreditch Poundland 2017 Former Woolworths

Shoreditch Poundland 2017 – Former Woolworths

Source: LDS

Marlow – Store 563

5 Market Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 3HH

This Woolworths store opened in part of the Crown Hotel on Market Square, Marlow around 1935. The building was formerly the town hall dating back from 1807. Here is a postcard of the whole building when it was the Crown Hotel in 1913.

Marlow Market Square Pre-Woolworths 1913

Marlow Market Square 1913

Source:  Postcards Then and Now

And here you can see the side that became Woolworths, this was in the 1950s.

Marlow Woolworths 1950s

Marlow Woolworths 1950s

Source: SWOP

Relatively unchanged in the 1970s.

Marlow Woolworths 1970s

Marlow Woolworths 1970s

Source: SWOP

Marlow Woolworths 1973

Marlow Woolworths 1973

Source: SWOP

I think the store closed in the 1980s when the company closed a lot of stores to cut costs, and since then it has been a Boots store. Here it is today.

Marlow Boots 2017

Source: RightMove

High Wycombe – Store 214

5-6 Queens Square, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

In 1926 Woolworths opened on Queens Square in High Wycombe, and I think it was a long store that went through to Priory Road with another entrance there (where Primark is today).

High Wycombe Woolworths 1926

High Wycombe Woolworths 1926

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison

Here you can see the store on the right side of the photo on Queens Square, looking towards Frogmoor.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1932

High Wycombe Woolworths 1932

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

High Wycombe Woolworths 1933

High Wycombe Woolworths 1933

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

Here is the Priory Road entrance on the far left of the photo, decorated for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. – this is the junction with Church Street.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1935

High Wycombe Woolworths 1935

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

A 1940s view:

High Wycombe Woolworths 1948

High Wycombe Woolworths 1948

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

The store in 1971 just before moving to its new location on the High Street.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1971

High Wycombe Woolworths 1971

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

Recently it has been a YMCA chariity shop and sometime it was a First Choice Travel Agents. At the Priory Street side, this has become part of Primark I think.

High Wycombe Former Woolworths - YMCA Queens Square

High Wycombe Former Woolworths – YMCA Queens Square

And here is it today – let’s hope something nice moves in :/

Former Woolworths - Letting Unit 25, The Chilterns Centre, 5-6 Queens Square, High Wycombe

Former Woolworths – Letting Unit 25, The Chilterns Centre, 5-6 Queens Square, High Wycombe 2017

Source: Realla Property Search Engine

9-10 High Street, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 2BT

In 1969 Woolworths bought the site of the Red Lion Hotel, keeping the famous Red Lion statue. The hotel was demolished and a new store built behind arches. Offices were also built on upper floors as Woolworths were trying to generate extra revenue by letting out this space. Below you can see the store just after it reopened.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1970s

High Wycombe Woolworths 1970s

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

High Wycombe Woolworths 1981

High Wycombe Woolworths 1981

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

Originally the store was arranged over 2 floors with two entrances, one fronting the High Street and the other Castle Street – it was a very large store. They then closed the Castle Street entrance. Below you can see a view of the former rear entrance (formerly the site of the Odeon Cinema) on Castle Street.

High Wycombe Woolworths 1987/88

High Wycombe Woolworths – former rear entrance 1987/88

Source: SWOP – Sharing High Wycombe’s Old Photographs

In 1984, High Wycombe Woolworths was one of nine stores that tested out the concept ‘Electronics World’ – trying to link Comet and Woolworths, but this was abandoned in 1987.

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

In the 2000s, High Wycombe Woolworths was a 10/10 store and had a cafe. It was also the store where the head office team would test out promotions before they went live.

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

High Wycombe Woolworths 2008

Today the building has been split into two, one side is Iceland, the other is Poundworld. The hotel’s iconic red lion statue, a major High Wycombe landmark, still stands on the colonnade outside the store.

High Wycombe Iceland Poundworld 2017

High Wycombe Former Woolworths 2016

High Wycombe WW Iceland Poundworld 2017

High Wycombe Iceland and Poundworld 2017

High Wycombe Poundworld - Red Lion Statue 2017

High Wycombe Poundworld – Red Lion Statue 2017

Swansea – Store 14 / 135

Store 14:
239-242 High Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 1PL

The FIRST Welsh store to join the chain, this store opened in 1912 on Castle Street.

Swansea Woolworths 1912

Swansea Woolworths 1912

Source: Woolworths Museum

Swansea Woolworths 1927

Swansea Woolworths 1927

Source: Francis Frith

The store was so successful that they bought out the neighbouring Hotel Cameron premises in 1927 and moved there in 1928. The original premises vanished in a junction improvement scheme.

Swansea Woolworths 1930s

Swansea Woolworths 1930s

Source: Swansea Recalled

The building was demolished down to the first floor after being bombed in the Blitz.

Swansea Woolworths 1940s

Swansea Woolworths 1940s

Source: Swansea Recalled

It was then used up to the first store, without the use of the old upper floor offices which had proved difficult to sub-let in the Great Depression anyway. Here is how it looked in 1949. The Cafeteria signage was the same, but the 3d and 6d lettering was dropped.

Swansea Woolworths 1949

Swansea Woolworths 1949

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison

1n 1958-59, the store was rebuilt in a 60s style, as you can see in the photo below, opening on 16th November 1959. This is the building that Swansea locals will recognise as Argos today. On 28th June 1986 the store closed as part of cost-cutting back in the 1980s, and sold to Argos. Understandable as there was another Woolworths store just 5 minutes walk away from this site.

Swansea Woolworths 1959

Swansea Woolworths 1959

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison

Here is it as Argos today.

Swansea Woolworths-Argos-2017

Swansea Woolworths-Argos-2017

Store 135 :
242-246 Oxford Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 3BA

Meanwhile over at Oxford Street in Swansea, a Woolworths store opened in 1923.

Swansea Woolworths 2008

Swansea Woolworths 2008

I actually can’t find any information at all about this particular store, or how it looked between 1923 and 2008. This building is now Poundland.

Swansea Poundland 2017

Swansea Poundland 2017

If you have any old photos of the Oxford Street store that you don’t mind sharing, do let me know in the comments.

New Malden – Store 672 / 2019

106-110 High Street, New Malden, Surrey KT3 4EY

Woolworths opened in a small store on New Malden High Street in 1936, then extending in 1939. You can see it below on the right, 3 stores down from Timothy Whites (which is now Boots).

New Malden Woolworths 1955

New Malden Woolworths 1955

Source: Francis Frith

In 1964, the store extended into the neighbouring building and was refurbished, modernised and converted to self-service.

New Malden Woolworths 1962

Woolworths New Malden 1964

Source: Pinterest, O’Malley N

New Malden Woolworths 1965

Woolworths New Malden 1965

Source: Francis Frith

There was further modernisation in 1978.

In 2000 the store was converted to a Woolworths General Store format, with a new store number 2019. Two years later it went back to being a normal Woolworths, and was then upgraded to a 10/10 store. It closed down in December 2008.

3120006341_d1b027aa5b_z

Woolworths New Malden 2008

Source: Flickr, Dawson F

The building was then taken over by a discount store who didn’t take the Woolworths fascia down! This photo was taken in 2010:

4281026061_429ae0692b_z

Discount Store, New Malden Old Woolworths building, 2010

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

And now it is a Poundland.

13954914933_48082a795a_z

Poundland New Malden, 2012

Source: Flickr, 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

Crawley – Store 768

6 Grand Parade, High Street, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1BU

Woolworths opened on the High Street in Crawley on 26th July 1940. It was the last store in the chain to open for another 6 years, due to World War 2. Below you can see it’s the building with the awning and a car parked in front of it. The Woolworth architects had designed an upper balcony and a small turret on the roof.

Crawley Woolworths 1940s

Crawley Woolworths 1940s

Source: Grandma P’s Ramblings

This store closed in 1957 when they moved to the ‘new town’. The building was subsequently occupied by a Halifax branch, and today it is a Wetherspoons pub – The Jubilee Oak. The building has not changed at all.

Crawley Jubilee Oak

The Jubilee Oak – Crawley (former Woolworths)

Source: Tripadvisor

17-19 Queens Square, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1EA

In the 1950s, Crawley was designated as a ‘new town’ by the government due to it’s rapidly expanding population. Woolworths moved from it’s small High St store to Queens Square where it opened as the largest self-service store of the 1950s.

Crawley Woolworths 1957

Crawleys Woolworths 1957

Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Here is an extract from the Woolworths Museum:

“In 1957 Woolworth bosses went a step further, opening a much larger self-service store in Crawley New Town. A small store in the High Street was replaced by a much larger branch in nearby Queen’s Square. Executives hoped that a halo effect from the marketing of the new town, which portrayed it as ultra-modern, would help to break down customer resistance to the new format. The store layout included a number of new display ideas, with fully redesigned fixtures and fittings. For the first time gondola islands were used, with shelving from top to bottom, without understocks cupboards at the base. This style of shelving remains the standard for most retailers in the twenty-first century. At the time it was a first and proved quite controversial. Some customers complained that they had to stoop to pick up items on the bottom two shelves, while company bosses worried that the stock cost to fill the Crawley store was almost double the level of a comparable personal-service store. Despite the reservations of some older customers, the overall feedback from the Crawley shoppers was positive. Most liked the layout and thought the store was very up-to-date.”
Source: woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Now here’s something random. You can buy a 252 piece jigsaw puzzle of the Crawley Woolworths 1950s store front from Amazon here. Shipped from America. Weird!

Crawley Woolworths 1950s

Crawley Woolworths 1950s

Here you can see it in 1971, looking a bit shabby after 14 years.

Crawley Woolworths 1971

Crawley Woolworths 1971

Source: Flickr, JR James Archive

Another random fact, Chico did an instore signing of his single D.I.S.C.O in Crawley Woolworths in August 2006.

Here is the store in 2008, before it closed later that year.

Crawley Woolworths 2008

Crawley Woolworths 2008

Source: CrawleyTV

Today the building is occupied by Poundland. It was planned to demolish the building in 2013 as part of the Queens Square regeneration, but it is staying put and the actual square is being renovated now.

Crawley Poundland 2012

Crawley Poundland 2012

Source: Flickr, Ballysundriven

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

Exeter – Store 151

190/191 High Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX

Woolworths first opened in Exeter on 1st December 1923 on Fore Street, in former tobacconist building H C Lloyd & Son Ltd.

In 1934 they moved on to the High Street, purchasing 190 and 191, which were Garton & King and Pinder & Tuckwell. The two buildings were put together with an impressive Monks Park Stonework facade, installed by the Bath and Portland Stone Firms Ltd, which you can see below.

Exeter Woolworths 1930s

Exeter Woolworths 1930s

Source: Exeter Memories

In 1976 they moved out of this building into the then new shopping centre. Today this building is occupied by McDonalds and MenKind.

Exeter McDonalds Menkind 2013

Exeter McDonalds Menkind 2013

Source: Exeter Express and Echo

Unit 100, Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX

The new Guildhall Shopping Centre was built in the 1970s, and Woolworths moved into a 2-storey unit in 1976. Their site was on the North Street side, with entrances on Waterbeer Street and Trickhay Street. There was a cafe on the top floor, with a third entrance/exit which led to the first floor of the shopping centre.

Exeter Woolworths 2008

Exeter Woolworths 2008

Source: Exeter Memories

The store closed in December 2008. Soon afterwards, Wilko took over the building, where it is still trading today. This is a view from inside the shopping centre.

Exeter Wilko 2015

Exeter Wilko 2015

Source: 192.com

 

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

 

West Wickham – Store 561

87 High Street, West Wickham, Kent BR4 0NZ

Woolworths opened in West Wickham High Street in 1935. You can see it in the centre of this 1950s photo.

West Wickham Woolworths 1950s

West Wickham Woolworths 1950s

Source: Beckenham History Website

They traded from this site without much change to the exterior at all. This was one of the stores that had the doors to one side rather than in the centre. It closed on 30th December 2008.

West Wickham Woolworths 2008

West Wickham Woolworths 2008

Source: Flickr, Danny

Shortly after it’s closure, a Carpetright opened here, where it still trades today.

West Wickham Carpetright 2009

West Wickham Carpetright 2009

Source: Flickr, Mark

 

Chelmsford – Store 355

40/41 High Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1DF

Woolworths opened in the Essex town of Chelmsford in 1929. In the late 20s when Woolworths was rapidly expanding, the chain had started to take over old hotels. In Chelmsford they took over the site of the King’s Head Hotel, a building which had been in the High Street since the 15th Century. The building was demolished and the standard single storey Woolworths store was built in its place.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Source: Essex Record Office

Chelmsford residents fully embraced the new large store, believing the building improved the overall look of the High Street. You can see it below on the right of the photo, which shows the High Street junction with Springfield Road.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s-2

Chelmsford Woolworths 1930s

Source: Essex Record Office

During the World War II, the store was hit. Wooden counters caught fire, but luckily there were staff inside to put the flames out, and the store reopened soon after.

In the 1960s, the store expanded, having obtained 6 units on Springfield Road, so that it became a large L-shaped corner store.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1982/3

Chelmsford Woolworths 1982/3

Source: Flickr, Sarah

Chelmsford Woolworths 1985

Chelmsford Woolworths 1985

Source: Flickr, Sarah

In 1987, there was a conversion to a Focus store and the more familiar fascia we all remember.

Chelmsford Woolworths 1996

Chelmsford Woolworths 1996

Source: Flickr, Sarah

Chelmsford Woolworths closed on Friday 2nd January 2009.

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008

(From my Facebook group)

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008Chelmsford Woolworths 2008 (Springfield Road)

Chelmsford Woolworths 2008 (Springfield Road)

Source: Flickr, Mathews T.

In 2010 Barclays Bank moved to the High Street side. The Entertainer and Lakeland moved into the Springfield Road side.

Chelmsford Barclays 2015

Barclays Bank 2015

Chelmsford Entertainer 2015

Chelmsford Entertainer 2015

Chelmsford Lakeland 2015

Chelmsford Lakeland 2015

Sources: 192.com

Sutton – Store 1192

71 High Street, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1DT

After Woolworths closed at 148/150 High Street, they moved down the road to 71 High Street.

71 High Street was quite a historical building in Sutton. It was where Sutton’s first department store was located, called Shinner’s Department store, built in 1935.

Shinner's Department Store, Sutton 1935

Shinner’s Department Store, Sutton 1935

Source: K Park Prints and Collectables

Shinner's Department Store, Sutton 1935

Shinner’s Department Store, Sutton 1935

Source: Old UK Photos

In 1979 Shinner’s was taken over by Allders, and they stayed in this building until 1991 when they moved into the new St Nicholas Shopping Centre (and then became Debenhams). Woolworths moved here in 1994, with a new store number 1192. It looks as though the building was rebuilt from the new-looking red brickwork, so perhaps this is why there was a 3-year gap. Woolworths traded here for 14 years until it closed in early January 2009.

Sutton Woolworths 2008

Sutton Woolworths 2008

Source: Featherstone, P.

Waterstones moved in, and it was the first Waterstones to trial their Cafe W concept. Meanwhile, the former Sutton Woolworths store manager teamed up with another store manager to open the toy shop Toy Barnhaus, which is still successfully trading today with 7 branches.

Sutton Waterstones 2015

Sutton Waterstones 2015

Source: Sutton Film Office

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.

Erdington – Store 389

153-157 High Street, Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands B23 6TP

Woolworths opened in the Birmingham suburb of Erdington on the 8th November 1930. The store was on a corner plot on the High Street and on Barnabas Road. It was extended 5 years later in 1935. Below is a photo from 1950. The ground level was the sales floor with wooden flooring, and upstairs was the cafe.

Erdington Woolworths 1950s

Erdington Woolworths 1950s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

In 1956 the store was extended again, with further expansion in 1968. Below is a view from 1960, looking across the High Street to the corner of Barnabas Road.

Erdington Woolworths 1960s

Erdington Woolworths 1960s

Source: Aston & Erdington Past & Present FB Group

Erdington Woolworths 1963

Erdington Woolworths 1963

Source: Aston & Erdington Past & Present FB Group

In 1982 the store was fully refurbished with a large food department, but then 4 years later food was withdrawn. There was another refurbishment in 1993, and in the 2000s it became a 10/10 store.

I asked local girl Christine Kapak what her favourite memories were from Erdington Woolies, and she said “CDs man, CDs…” – I’m sure we all remember buying our teenage music from Woolworths. Here is a photo a month before it sadly closed in January 2009.

Erdington Woolworths 2008

Erdington Woolworths 2008

Source: Hughes R

Today the building is occupied by a rather brash B&M Bargains, but you can still recognise the architecture above as a Woolies store. In fact it looks as though they have kept the Woolies doors and windows too, just putting a new B&M fascia on the front.

Erdington B&M Bargains 2012

Erdington B&M Bargains 2012

Source: ballysundriven

Taunton – Store 110 / 1189

18a/19 East Street, Taunton, Somerset /
40-42 Fore Street, Taunton. Somerset TA1 1NE

The store address of the Taunton store is a bit of a mystery. From the store number 110, I can gather it opened in the spring of 1922. The 1970s store list says it was at 18a/19 East Street, of which the Woolworths Museum has the below photo.

Taunton Woolworths 1950s

Taunton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Woolworths Museum

This is a side angle from 1985.

Taunton Woolworths 1985

Taunton Woolworths 1985

Source: Hayman T.

These are more recent photos, where you can see the building is the same one as from the 1950s photo, but the address of the photos say it is Fore Street. Also the new store number 1189 would have been allocated in the 1990s, similar to the Reading store.

Taunton Woolworths 2003

Taunton Woolworths 2003

Source: cic

Taunton Woolworths closed on 5th January 2009. This photo from my Facebook group shows it before it closed:

Taunton Woolworths 2008

Taunton Woolworths 2008

TK Maxx opened in the building in 2009, with the address listed as 40 – 42 Fore Street.

Taunton TK Maxx 2013

Taunton TK Maxx 2013

Source: Ballysundriven

The building does not look like a 1950s building, it is certainly older, so perhaps the street numbering was changed sometime between the 1950s and today – I don’t know. 19 East Street today houses Sports Direct which looks like a new building. What I can say that the Woolworths building still looks grand, and it is easy to see why it was called the grandest Woolworths store in Somerset.

Middlesbrough – Store 8

51/67 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, Teeside TS1 5BT

The eighth Woolworths branch to open in the UK was at Middlesbrough, back in 1911. According to the 1913 Kelly’s Directory of North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, it originally opened at 91-93 Linthorpe Road, but then moved to bigger premises at 51 -67, as pictured below.

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1911

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1920s?

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Middlesbrough was bombed quite severely in WWII and Woolworths was hit. The store was rebuilt throughout the 1950s, reopening with a more modern look in 1959.

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1950s

Middlesbrough Woolworths 1959

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

It traded for another 20 years before closing down in the 1980s when Kingfisher took over.

The building was split into 3 units and occupied by Currys, Champion and Fosters in the 1980s.

Middlesbrough Currys Champion Fosters 1988

Middlesbrough Currys Champion Fosters 1988

Source: alamy

Today the building is now occupied by USC and River Island – the closed down unit was Currys.digital until recently. You can see from the below photo how imposing a building it was. It would have been quite a large Woolworths store.

Middlesbrough USC and River Island 2012

Middlesbrough USC and River Island 2012

Source: ballysundriven

In the 2000s, Woolworths returned to Middlesbrough as store 1200, which I’ll cover in a separate post.