• Welcome to this forum Guest. We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Woolworths Memories

wendylee

master brummie
Hi Derek, I recall Woolworths on the Coventry Road Birmingham, at what is known as the Wheatsheaf (junction of Lode Lane and the A45 Coventry Road). I think Pep & Co. and Poundland now occupy that building judging by the brickwork. For me, the single item that made it so special was the vast range of Airfix kits. These were all made up, painted and pinned to a huge board over the model counter, maybe a dozen or more kits. Yes, they sold more than just wool! They were mostly WW2 planes both British and German as I recall. Of course, they were all done to a far superior standard than I could ever hope to do myself. Being around 7 or 8 at the time (and an avid Airfix modeller), this was a constant source of fascination to me whenever I went in with my Mom (which was a lot as we lived in Ventnor Road). I'm not sure whether a similar display was in all of their stores. However, the importance of Woolworths and model kits should not be underestimated! Kind Regards, Gary
Hi Derek, I used to do my christmas shopping at that Sheldon Woolworths too when my sister and I were kids in the 1950"s/60"s, we went there to spend the pocket money we had saved and walked the shop for hours to find christmas gifts for each other and mum and dad and gran, I still remember the wooden floor boards and I still shopped there when I was an adult with my children.
Wendy
 

Radiorails

master brummie
View attachment 132208i liked the layout, all the goods were in a island that you walked around.you could see what you were after. not like todays shops. it could be anywere. you did not have to ask a shop shelf filler. "excuse me were is such and such"
Good to see this photo as it supports a comment I made somewhere on BHF about Woolworth. The photo clearly shows their slogan the "3d. to 6d. stores". The first time I saw that slogan was on the Woolworth store in New Street near the Odeon cinema.
Generally folk refer to Woolworth stores as Woolworths but correctly it should be Woolworth's as there is no 's' n the name.
Their stores are greatly missed. Other places have now taken their places, most having a more warehouse feel, but they do not have the charisma of the Woolworth stores.
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
View attachment 132208i liked the layout, all the goods were in a island that you walked around.you could see what you were after. not like todays shops. it could be anywere. you did not have to ask a shop shelf filler. "excuse me were is such and such"
I.thought, earlier that the little cartoon was quite funny. I've just gone back for another look and I find that "a Scotch man" has been censored out.
A bit over-zealous, in my humble opinion.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
A photo in the Merry Christmas thread reminded me of this thread. The picture is also here in post 44.
If you had a very tight Christmas present budget the Bull Ring was the place to shop. In the Woolworth store more or less everything you might want to buy was there. For many a trip into town on the 24/29/29A/31A/32/37/44/44A. Also 42/48 trams (later 10/49) 50 bus. 84 tram, later (2/48) 52 and 54 buses, plus the Coventry Road trolleybus routes 56/92/94/96/99 later (7/1951) replaced by 58/60 buses.
I firmly believe that the most missed stores, in recent times, were all those Woolworth ones, with the well known Winfield brand. Most other closures had alternative shops, but 'Woolies' was unique.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
my memories are all of the old Woolworths down by the Bull Ring, went there with my dad every Christmas shopping not just for presents but trimmings and a cup of tea, being poor I some how always felt a bit rich in Woolworths, it was Christmas to me, later with both my boys we went every year at Christmas to Wooly's, and they treasure those memories, as I do.Paul
 

michaelwicks54

Aston bred & proud.
my memories are all of the old Woolworths down by the Bull Ring, went there with my dad every Christmas shopping not just for presents but trimmings and a cup of tea, being poor I some how always felt a bit rich in Woolworths, it was Christmas to me, later with both my boys we went every year at Christmas to Wooly's, and they treasure those memories, as I do.Paul
Those special days in woolworth's in the Bullring could never be forgotten Paul, & unfortunately, could never replaced. As a worker at woolies, I really enjoyed every second at work. It was sometimes hard work in the kitchen in the cafeteria, but I still loved arriving at work every day.
 

farmerdave

master brummie
Recorded in my diary for 8th February 1958 that I went to a self-service Woolworths in Yardley and later that day went to Woolworths in Acocks Green. Perhaps the self-service stores were just being introduced and still quite a novelty. Mention has been made on this thread that you could walk round an island with various items for sale and then presumably ask an assistant in the centre of the island that you were interested in buying a particular item. Can anyone confirm that this was the system before self-service? Thanks. Dave.
 

michaelwicks54

Aston bred & proud.
Recorded in my diary for 8th February 1958 that I went to a self-service Woolworths in Yardley and later that day went to Woolworths in Acocks Green. Perhaps the self-service stores were just being introduced and still quite a novelty. Mention has been made on this thread that you could walk round an island with various items for sale and then presumably ask an assistant in the centre of the island that you were interested in buying a particular item. Can anyone confirm that this was the system before self-service? Thanks. Dave.
From my days working at the bull ring store, I believe you are quite correct. There was always some lady offering some assistance.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes there was an assistant surrounded by counters. Well at least in the 1960s which I remember most. They were flat, deep counters with long sections - not very deep - crammed with items for sale, from Robertson’s jams to sock and knickers. It was a browsers haven. Everything in front of you. They were glass counters edged with lots of chrome. Later the fittings were, I think, made up more of perspex. I don’t remember any sections for hanging clothes etc (like Ladybird children’s clothes) until much later on.

Viv.
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Yes there was an assistant surrounded by counters. Well at least in the 1960s which I remember most. They were flat, deep counters with long sections - not very deep - crammed with items for sale, from Robertson’s jams to sock and knickers. It was a browsers haven. Everything in front of you. They were glass counters edged with lots of chrome. Later the fittings were, I think, made up more of perspex. I don’t remember any sections for hanging clothes etc (like Ladybird children’s clothes) until much later on.

Viv.
i was fasinated by the electrical section,all the bulb holders on a board on the wall, the assistent always tested a bulb,before you took it.away.... h&s would have a fit now,all them live sockets.
 
Last edited:
Top