TV Cream

Photo clippage

Woolworths photo clippage special

It’s all over for the nation’s favourite bargain bin-cum-high street emporium. Well, unless the government decides to buy Woolworths on behalf of the nation. In the meantime…

1) 15th February 1971. Lord Fiske, chairman of the Decimal Board, drops into a branch in the Strand to check the price of soap and other what-nots:


2) May 1979: firemen clear out the debris from the “restaurant area” of a branch in Manchester:


3) Tessa Hewitt and Gillian Duxbury unveil the 1980 Woolworths Collection: a “Vino-one-Shoulder swimsuit in body hugging in shimmering nylon and lycra in vino, black or mid-blue” and “a black/strawberry halter-neck swimsuit in body hugging nylon and lycrs featuring two dainty heart pendants suspended from the halter neckline, also available in pink, brown, beige and rust.”


4) Hitler does his worst.  A German V2 rocket lands on a branch in New Cross in November 1944, killing 160.


5) Breaktime:




  1. Chris Hughes

    November 28, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Ooh, I remember that fire at Manchester Woolies. Going into big stores freaked me out a little bit for a while after that.

  2. Five-Centres

    November 28, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I’m missing it terribly. And I never even went there. The last time I bought anything from there was a DVD of Casino Royale about two years ago.

    Perhaps, now that you’re coming to the end of the line with your Tube station odyssey, you can seek out remnants of old shops in London.

    I’ll start you off with a full set of old Woolies doors still on the side of the revamped Southside shopping centre (formerly Arndale Centre) in Wandsworth, and a pair of marble Saxone-embossed pillars just off Oxford Street opposite John Lewis.

  3. Chris Hughes

    November 28, 2008 at 11:46 am

    “Saxone-embossed pillars”? I’m going to hunt them down at lunchtime.

    This would make a great TV series, in the style of Coast.

  4. Drbendy

    November 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Is this the end of Ladybird books? Please someone think of the children. Someone needs to write an obituary for these durable little wonders.

  5. Bionic_Bob

    November 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Ah yes, Woolies! When I first went in my local branch when I was three (1981, fact fans) it was like having a million things shoved into my head! When I was told there was a bigger one down in Portsmouth city center… That was it! But lest we forget the Saturday girls who worled there! Reason alone!

  6. TV Cream

    November 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Funnily enough, when I was in Leytonstone on one of my Underground trips, I spied a Woolworths that looked to be pretty much unchanged since the 1950s (in a good way).

  7. Chris Hughes

    December 1, 2008 at 11:08 am

    It’s not the end for Ladybird Books as they’re completely separate from Woolworths’ Ladybird kids’ clothing range. Ladybird Books is owned by Penguin.

    So, er, now you know.

  8. drbendy

    December 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm


  9. glam_racket

    April 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Was I the only one when young to receive heart-stopping (almost) static electric shocks in shops when a child?

    The 2 main culprits were Woolworths and BHS. The apparatus to nearly kill me, the metal grille that corralled loose items (usually 3 packs of pants & socks) at waist height.

    Must have been all the nylon clothing!

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