Rest In Peace, Woolworths UK. Ten years after its demise in the US, Woolworths in the UK made a sorry departure from our streets at the end of 2008. It was the shop that everybody loved, and everybody hated. It was the shop that everybody loved to hate. It was the shop that everybody hated to love. Whichever of these things it was (and I suspect it was all of them), it was a constant and familiar sight on practically every shopping street in the UK; a sight which is slowly beginning to disappear.
Which is where this blog comes in. I hope to create a journal of Woolworths shop fronts in the UK before they disappear altogether. Already, many former Woolworths sites have changed their signage, but many still exist, and, of course, archive photos must also be available. The real motivation for this blog comes from the recent update for Google Street View in the UK: as of March 11th, 2010, Google Street View covers 96% of the the UK's streets.I happened to notice that, as far as my local area goes, the pictures were taken in the Autumn of 2008: a period just before Woolworths closed its doors forever. I realised that I could use Google Street View to revisit Woolworths sites of the past, and I just might be able to take a screenshot of them as they were before they shut down.
Why do this? Well, I was always rather fond of Woolworths. During my childhood, I parted with much of my pocket money in there, spending it variously on sweets, records, Airfix kits, and so much more. Into adulthood, it still held a certain fascination, and I felt compelled, whenever visiting a new town, to seek out the local Woolies. I even managed to visit Woolworths in Boston, MA, during its closing down sale. So I think I owe it to Woolworths to make a record of what I can, while I can. Besides, it's just one of those nerdy things you can do with blogs, isn't it?