End of an era as Newcastle Woolworths signage comes down

Former Woolworths, Newcastle (30 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Newcastle (30 Sep 2011)

Newcastle’s ex-Woolworths in Clayton Street (store #340) has been one of a dwindling number to retain its Woolies signage three years on, as more and more of the chain’s abandoned stores have been taken over by other retailers.

Now, as news of the site’s acquisition by Poundworld has emerged this week, the lettering at Newcastle’s Woolies has finally been taken down – though years of weathering have left a very visible imprint (above).

Former Woolworths, Newcastle (30 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Newcastle (30 Sep 2011)

Former Woolworths, Newcastle (17 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Newcastle (17 Sep 2011)

There was plenty of activity on site when I passed by this afternoon, and several extra openings have been punched into the hoardings facing Clayton Street since I last captured the scene a fortnight ago.

I also braved taking a photo of the Newgate Centre frontage for the first time, overlooked by a watchful security camera. However, given the absence of shops ahead of the centre’s demolition, there isn’t a great deal for any potential criminals to get up to – besides photographing empty Woolworths, of course.

Newgate Centre entrance to former Woolworths (30 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Newgate Centre entrance to former Woolworths (30 Sep 2011)

Though McAleer & Rushe was granted permission for the centre’s redevelopment in June last year, there’s no indication of an imminent start to demolition work. While the inside of the centre is increasingly deserted, tenants including Halfords, Subway and Jessops are still trading in many of the street-facing units.

However, it seems unlikely that Poundworld will bother to do anything with the Newgate Centre side entrance of the ex-Woolies site, given that it will, before long, need to be blocked up anyway.

Nevertheless, the Woolworths lettering has been removed from this frontage too, though the rather bizarre remnants of the shop’s 2008 Christmas decorations – as well as the customary black granite stall riser – ensure that evidence of the property’s Woolies heritage won’t be disappearing just yet.

7 Responses to “End of an era as Newcastle Woolworths signage comes down”

  1. Jonny said:

    Oct 01, 11 at 00:34

    Odd musing but it’s always baffled me as to why the signage was gold. I *think* the Durham Market Place store may have also boasted such a coloured logo before its final refurbishment.

    Was there a particular era when Woolworths stores opted for gold over the more familiar red that I’ve been completely ignorant to? Official policy or strange anomalies?

  2. Graham Soult said:

    Oct 02, 11 at 16:21

    That’s an interesting question, Jonny, and one I have no immediate answer to.

    To be honest, I hadn’t really computed that the signage was gold – I’d always assumed it was very old red lettering that had faded :)

  3. Lizzie P said:

    Oct 13, 11 at 13:28

    The fall of this brand is a sad one – I have so many childhood memories of it (particularly the pick n’ mix section unsurprisingly) it’s a shame to see it go

  4. John Bloomfield said:

    Oct 16, 11 at 23:45

    When my Mam worked for them in the early nineties the uniform and primary colour if most things was turquoise, the logo was “woolworths” in red with strong gold piping/edging to the lettering

  5. Jonny said:

    Oct 23, 11 at 23:50

    @Graham Soult Perhaps we’ll have to chalk it up as one of life’s (or the North East’s) many mysteries!

    I noticed t’other day that one piece of retro branding remains resolutely attached to the building – the burglar alarm is still sporting a 70s/80s “woolmark” symbol.

    Do I need to stay in more? :P

  6. Soult's Retail View » Newcastle’s Discount UK readies for 4 November opening said:

    Oct 29, 11 at 16:12

    [...] thing that the store is still missing, however, is any signage – other than the remnants of the old Woolworths lettering, of course. With no evidence of any planning application having been submitted yet, I’m [...]

  7. Val said:

    Oct 29, 11 at 17:07

    A photo from a year ago of the Newgate Street entrance shows the double layered lettering with gold underneath the red.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ballysundriven/5209589837/

    Maybe it was the same on Clayton Street?


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