Mystery of Shields Road ‘Woolies’ building solved

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via and Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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10 Responses

  1. Bill Heslington says:

    I was a Trainee Manager at the Byker Woolworths in 1955/56 and can confirm that the Decorflair shop shown was in fact Woolwoths. It seemed to be a fairly modern building when I was there althogh I don’t know when it was built. Some years ago I paid a nostalgic visit, (having been away from the North East for many years)and looked around the Decorflair shop and found the internal structure to be pretty much the same. The upper floor was once used as a staff canteen and offices and the alleyway to right gave access to the stockroom, part of which was underground. I have many happy memories of working there before moving to the Sunderland branch

    • Parker Staff says:

      Hey Bill, my name is Parker and I work for a TV production company called Ricochet. I’m currently working for the BBC and we’re doing a piece on the Woolworths in Byker. Do you have an email I could contact you on regarding this?

  2. Peter (Newcastle Historian) says:

    I am probably looking in the wrong place, but your blog comments about the old Woolworths in Byker, Newcastle, ends with . . .

    “All we need now is to find an old photograph depicting the original Byker Woolies in all its glory – something that has, as yet, eluded me”.

    Yet, I am sure you will have seen my post on Skyscraper City (Link Below) at “Item 4” . . .

    In fact, I’m sure we have talked about it, I just can’t find the reference on here!


    • Graham Soult says:

      Hi Peter, the emphasis there is on the word *original* Byker Woolies – i.e. the one that’s now A&S Discount Store at 47-49 Shields Road, and pictured at the top of this post! I’ve clarified the wording in the post to make it a bit clearer.

      I am still yet to find an old photo showing *that* building in use as a Woolworths, even though we now know it was one. I already featured your very welcome pic – of what we now know was Byker’s second, relocated Woolies – at

      Hope that makes sense – it is quite a complicated story, and one that has been pieced together over several posts thanks to readers’ contributions.

  1. March 25, 2011

    […] old ‘house journal’, The New Bond, almost as often as I’ve written about the history of Byker’s Woolworths stores, so I was pleased to find a reference to the latter in a recently acquired edition of the […]

  2. May 5, 2011

    […] design of the main section, interestingly, is almost identical to the original Woolworths in Byker’s Shields Road, below, though Redcar’s is in a generally better state of repair. This similarity is […]

  3. August 10, 2011

    […] building (above), in Shields Road in Byker, once a Woolworths? [UPDATE: We now know it WAS – see here for the full […]

  4. August 10, 2011

    […] to many of the other former Woolies that I’d visited. [UPDATE: We now know it WAS – see here for the full […]

  5. September 23, 2011

    […] sites. Regular readers will recall that the former Woolworths at 63 Shields Road in Byker (#276) closed on 1 June 1985, and then housed painting and decorating retailer Decorflair until the start of this year. Former […]

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