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Woolworths in Slough

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Found during research for something else and thought it would be interesting to the historians like me:

Woolworths - High Street, Slough. A few images and links for those who want to see where the C21 staff went shopping. The store relocated at least once and I am still trying to unpick which location was what but believe this is the end of the modern era.



Here is an image from what I am told (but unconfirmed) is the original site taken in 1981



Here is a link to the article from which the image was taken:
http://www.sloughhistoryonline.org....-000.tif&t=sl-sl-reminiscences3&s=qJ8YUkeJH1P

It would satisfy my own self interest if we could confirm this was the actual store used in the 1960's & 70's I've always wanted to see it.

Cap'n
 
That looks like the original site to me (the bottom photo) for the date but I'm going by the signage. I never worked at the Slough branch but plenty of the others in my time with them (thirty odd years). The "Winfield" brand sign ( the odd looking little squiggle in the wall sign) would date it to the late sixties/ early seventies and certainly the general fascia would confirm that. After that the brand was thrown out and most of the stores got a face lift, but not much of one ( as you can tell from the top photo)! The cost of converting 800 odd stores at once was one of the key factors why Woolworths died out, it was too much of a huge retailling dinosaur to adapt to any changes in retailling fashions.
Yep good old Woolies! Got most of my toys from there , all the Thunderbirds, Stingrays and all my Airfix kits as a kid. The reps used to bring in the pro jobs built and painted in the factories and pin them to pegboard for display. I always remember how fantastically huge the Saturn V looked when it came out.
Sadly, the bulk of the stores remain empty since they have closed. A few been leased other high street chains but most that have been reopenned seem to have been converted to Poundshops ,though still only about 30% of them have managed to find new tennants. The rest lie vacant and empty. A few of my old mates work for some of them, just grateful for the employment. Most town centres have been pretty chewed up by the recession and there are a great many jobs gone. Great shame.
I have to say Bernie I'm shocked that anyone would be interested in photos of this! I almost choked on my cuppa when I saw them. But then it has been a very odd kind of week.
Thanks for making it somewhat weirder!
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Woolworths weirdness....

Hi KS,

Believe it or not I have been trying to find old WW kitchen catalogues from the era. I was really hoping that I could at least "pin the tail on the donkey" with an illustration from a catalogue and a screen shot showing it's use. It would be really good to find a certain lemon squeezer or butter dishes or plant pots or even some of the Topps Toys that were screen used in a Woollies brochure or catalogue.

Everything available to the C21 Staff from the 1960's that would add background information or good flavour surrounding the productions is important to me. See what they saw, walk where they walked etc. etc.

Sorry about the tea! :lol:

Cap'n
 

HUNCH

Alphans
Boy that pic brings back good memories of going to woolworths (and woolco)as a kid and picking up the latest monster/sci-fi models here in the states. Ahhh, I really loved the seventies.
 
Sadly Bernie I fear your search will be unlikely to yield success. Woolworths did not produce any shopping catalogues until the nineties when of course our Xmas catalogue became a must have, and colour printing costs were reasonable enough to do it.
WW was then of course competing directly against the Argos catalogue which listed everything for every season. Woolies never could do it. Whenever an Argos openned in a WW dominated town the sales used to crash dive. It was every Woolies managers nightmare to hear one was coming, that and the dread words " pedestrianization of the highstreet is planned by your local council". Tall buildings and other job offers always looked strangely attractive then. Unfortunately now the internet is competing against Argos and they are having a tough time of it so I hear.
At the time the 21C shoppers were in Slough all listed lines were taken from departmental ring binders which were stocked physically on salesfloor and stockroom by a hand count and a pencil! It used to take forever. And there were rarely any pictures to help, just obscure item codes. Remember, no retail tech back then. If you said "Whats the barcode" people would assume you were asking which pub it was safe to drink in. When the Zebrastripes came in those old binder pages were thrown into the bin with great cheers, at least until the staff salary budget cuts came along because of all the time that was saved. Eventually even the stock binders went as everything became EPOS and planograms.
I'm afraid the records are long gone, as the dept buyers at Head office were continually cancelling old items and listing new lines each year as they did more and more deals in the Far East. Staple lines sometimes survived but it was not unusual to see something like kitchenware get completely revamped every few years. I've racked my brains and fired off a few e-mails but nobody knows any surviving resource. Too much time and too many changes for any of that info to have lasted.
Still I never thought I'd be detailing WW retail operating procedures ever again. It brought some great memories back. The Human League used to have meals in our cafe in Sheffield quite regularly, and when I was at Chichester you used to see so many TV stars on a weekend we used to play "spot the celeb"!
 
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Slate Mcleod

Alphans
Found during research for something else and thought it would be interesting to the historians like me:

Woolworths - High Street, Slough. A few images and links for those who want to see where the C21 staff went shopping. The store relocated at least once and I am still trying to unpick which location was what but believe this is the end of the modern era.



Here is an image from what I am told (but unconfirmed) is the original site taken in 1981



Here is a link to the article from which the image was taken:
http://www.sloughhistoryonline.org....-000.tif&t=sl-sl-reminiscences3&s=qJ8YUkeJH1P

It would satisfy my own self interest if we could confirm this was the actual store used in the 1960's & 70's I've always wanted to see it.

Cap'n

I think these pics show two different stores mate...look at the buildings either side. The one on the right drops from a two storey building to a one storey building, the building on the left has totally different window design. The later picture obviously has older windows than the earlier pic ! Plus the lamp post in pic one has totally disapeared in pic 2..unlikely. Both probably Woolworths in Slough but not the same Woolworths ! I'm not sure if you noticed this already when you said the store changed locations so excuse me if I'm pointing out the obvious !
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Retail palaces....

Hi KS,

More information which pads out my knowledge, also it stops me continuing a fruitless search - thank you.

As we are on the subject, I can remember exactly the very first Anderson toy I ever had. It was a Lone Star Stingray bought in about 1964/65 from a Four Boys Newsagents in Filwood Broadway in Bristol. The store was amazing and even though it was built as part of a brand new development in the late 50/early 60's had amazing high ceilings and to my young eyes was bright white and full of toy treasure, it looked like a palace. It was also right next to our local cinema, Saturday matinee and spending pocket money all in one fell swoop. :D

The very first Eagle model I ever owned came from a toy shop at the Wells Road Shopping Centre in Bristol it was an independent store who's name eludes me, this place was unusual as it's primary lines included prams and dolls. They sold Dinky, Corgi and had a little selection of Airfix kits. There was one huge window that had an Airfix graphic banner running around the boarder. I spent every penny I had in that place over a number of years, the owner used to let me have old catalogues from companies like Scalextric and Triang, I wish I still had them. In a bizarre turn many years later the original owners son decided to close the business and I was going to buy him out, lock, stock and barrel. Sadly I was beaten to the post by a rival shop franchise, it's now a William Hill Betting shop.

I will take my camera and go photograph these places one day soon, all traces of the businesses that used to thrive there are long gone except for a few clues if you know where to look. ;)

Cap'n
 
Its a smaller world than I thought Bernie. Didn't know you were from Bristol! I spent two years running the Bedminster branch there back in the late eighties. Prior to that I was over the bridge at Lydney in the Forest of Dean. The traffic was horrendous around Bristol then so god knows what its like now. I almost bought a house at Nailsea when they moved me ,as it was closer to the store, but it actually took me longer to drive in from there than from Lydney nearly thirty miles away! After that I took a year off around the world. Fond memories of Bristol. We had a Woolies "Its a Knockout" at Ashton court one summer to raise funds for our charity - it was hugely successful. And the ballon festival was always nice. Tough old place Bristol at times, I helped shutdown Southmead store when I was there. It got closed after the local youths pulled all the shutters down and locked everybody in! When I came back from my wanderings I was at Trowbridge for a while. I liked going up to the White Horse, parking the car and watch the jets smash over you! They were so low the wash actually used to shake the car!
On the subject of toys one of the best i ever had was something called a Johnny Seven!! Talk about times changing! I'm trying to find a reasonable gun for a cowboy and cowgirl fortieth birthday party. Not a chance in bloody hell! They've even got orange blockers on the end of the barrel of the most plastic looking pieces of rubbish you've ever seen. A Johnny Seven was something an eight year old Arnie would have tanked around with him.
 
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I think these pics show two different stores mate...look at the buildings either side. The one on the right drops from a two storey building to a one storey building, the building on the left has totally different window design. The later picture obviously has older windows than the earlier pic ! Plus the lamp post in pic one has totally disapeared in pic 2..unlikely. Both probably Woolworths in Slough but not the same Woolworths ! I'm not sure if you noticed this already when you said the store changed locations so excuse me if I'm pointing out the obvious !

You're right, Slate, the top picture shows the branch on the Farnham Road - within walking distance of the APF/Century 21 studios, the other is the Slough High Street branch (near the station, but a long walk or a bus ride from the studio).
 
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Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Is this a Woolies I see before me?

Hi AT,

So the top picture is the money shot?

What we need is a map, can anyone produce a schematic for us based around Google Maps maybe?

Thanks for the clarification. :thumbup:

I appeal to anyone who has studio building photos both modern and historic to allow a few to be posted here. I would love to recreate the site showing it's facilities from the era's around AP Films & Century 21. The theme is "walk where they walked, see what they saw"

Cap'n
 

MkIXHawk

Alphans
Well, there are some interesting establishing shots in the first episode of 'The Secret Service (A Case for the Bishop)
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Shots....

Well, there are some interesting establishing shots in the first episode of 'The Secret Service (A Case for the Bishop)

Hi Hawk,

I don't have SS in my collection, it was never broadcast in my region as far as I know so not familiar. Is anyone able to screen grab and post?

Thanks for the steer. :D

Cap'n
 
I imagine some people on this forum might have a copy, but if not, the DVD documentary Full Boost Vertical, The Supercar Story features a CG reconstruction of the original AP Films studio at Ipswich Road.
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Full boost vertical....

Hi Sam,

Is this still available? Perhaps you could let me have ordering details, Luckily I have a copy that I bought a year ago from you.

If you haven't seen this documentary I can heartily recommend it. It has the flavour I am trying to recreate in some of the threads here.

I will ask Eagle to help out.

Cap'n
 

Blue Moon

Alphans
Hey fellas, don't want to hijack this thread, but as were talking buildings, thought this might be of interest to ya cap'n. The attached pics are of a warehouse in Staining near Blackpool, once owned by the long gone Blackpool Tower company. Now this is MY dream factory, because this building was used to house all the models and props for the Blackpool Gerry Andersons Space City exhibit. It was located about 3 miles where I lived as a kid and my late uncle worked there-nuff said, many a happy sunday spent playing around there and many a broken original model thrown out from there!:yes:

The second pic shows a fence outside, that did not used to be there. there were old skips filled with various goodies!! Don't know who owns it now, but part of me still wonders if there are any bits n bobs lying in the corners!!;)
 

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Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Into the Spirit....

Hi Blue Moon,

This is exactly what this section is for, stirring memories. It is remarkable how many of us have the same experiences growing up. These shows had a profound effect on my childhood something I love to share.

Thank you for sharing with me. :thumbup:

Cap'n
 
Slough Woolworths

The top picture is the branch in Farnham Road Slough - I worked there in 1960.

The second picture is the Slough High Street branch.
 

elder7uk

Alphans
Hi Hawk,

I don't have SS in my collection, it was never broadcast in my region as far as I know so not familiar. Is anyone able to screen grab and post?

Thanks for the steer. :D

Cap'n

Here is the view of Century 21 Studios in 1969 (from Secret Service).The Main Entrance is off to the right.
The other view is the same as of today,whilst view of Main Entrance then and now.
 

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Found during research for something else and thought it would be interesting to the historians like me:

Woolworths - High Street, Slough. A few images and links for those who want to see where the C21 staff went shopping. The store relocated at least once and I am still trying to unpick which location was what but believe this is the end of the modern era.



Here is an image from what I am told (but unconfirmed) is the original site taken in 1981



Here is a link to the article from which the image was taken:
http://www.sloughhistoryonline.org....-000.tif&t=sl-sl-reminiscences3&s=qJ8YUkeJH1P

It would satisfy my own self interest if we could confirm this was the actual store used in the 1960's & 70's I've always wanted to see it.

Cap'n

Hi Bernie, the white one in the photo with the guy in blue crossing the road is the actual one, I passed it today, its now an asian fruit shop of all things. I pass this site once a week on my way to my weekly lunch with peter lamont
 
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