'It fascinated me' - Memories of Woolworths in Norwich

Woolworths on Rampant Horse Street in Norwich ini 1986. The building was bombed in 1942. Woolworths

Woolworths in Rampant Horse Street in Norwich in 1986. The building was bombed in 1942. Woolworths moved out into new premises in St. Stephens in the late 1980s. - Credit: Archant

Pick and mix, broken biscuits and wooden floors covered in sawdust are some of the memories shared by shoppers of the old Woolworth stores in Norwich.  

“Little Woolies” in Magdalen Street, “big Woolies” in Rampant Horse Street and a site in St Stephens Street were all popular jaunts for shoppers in the retailer’s heyday. 

Norwich Buildings WWoolworths, Magdalen Street. Ceased trading on 13th September 1975Dated

Woolworths or "little Woolies" on Magdalen Street. It ceased trading on September 13, 1975. - Credit: Archant Library

The company was originally founded in the USA but became a British high street favourite for many years before in fell into administration in 2008. 

Around 27,000 jobs were lost and some 800 stores were closed. 

In our Facebook group, Norwich Remembers, we asked for your favourite memories. 

Woolworths store on St Stephens Street in Norwich.<Picture: James Bass> edp 7/1/03

Woolworths store on St Stephens Street in Norwich. Pictured in 2003. - Credit: ECN - Archant

Referring to the store in Rampant Horse Street, Peter Taylor wrote: “I loved the main one in city centre, pick and mix and the cafe overlooking the ground floor. My mum took me once into the one in Magdalen Street and I remember the lovely wooden floor.” 

Dougie Eastick wrote: “The upstairs cafe, the smell of chips, Tops Of The Pops and Hot Hits albums. Full of genuine cover versions.” 

The delicatessen section of Woolworths Store in Norwich. Pictured in 1981. 

The delicatessen section of Woolworths Store in Norwich. Pictured in 1981. - Credit: Archant Library

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“As a child I remember little Woolies in Magdalen Street,” said Jane Armitage. “I loved the cheap toys and sweets. As a teenager Woolies Rampant Horse Street, enjoyed the cafe for hanging out with friends, music and make up.” 

Steven Eagle remembered: “Really liked the Magdalen Street store as it had fishing tackle. Ok, so it wasn’t the best quality, but it was cheap enough for someone trying to get the most for their pocket money in the 60s.”

Norwich Streets -- RRampant Horse Street, showing the old Woolworths store that they vacated in

Rampant Horse Street, showing the old Woolworths store that they vacated in the late 1980's. Pictured 1984. - Credit: Archant Library

 

“I loved the Magdalen Street Branch,” Margaret Stone added: “As a child I was taken there to buy crayons and colouring books. It fascinated me walking on the rather squeaky floorboards. It felt so hollow under your feet.” 

Margaret Crovitz added: “My sister and I worked there right out of school for about two years then moved to Caleys for a much better pay packet and no weekends.” 

Norwich Woolworth store new escalator pic taken 8th sept 1967 m5897-40a pic to be used in lets talk

Norwich Woolworth store escalator. Picture taken in 1967. - Credit: Archant Library

“The highlight of the once a year trip 'up the city' to buy school things and lunch in Woolworths Rampant Horse Street’s cafe upstairs,” said Rachel Holliday. 

Norwich Woolworths' staff in drag for late night shopping, 24 November 1987. Picture: Archant Librar

Norwich Woolworths' staff in drag for late night shopping. Pictured 1987. - Credit: Archant Library

Woolworths store at the Riverside Retail Park in Norwich.Picture: James BassCopy: EDP Business

Woolworths store at the Riverside Retail Park in Norwich. Pictured in 2005. - Credit: Archant Library

Evening News Going OutWoolworths, Riverside, NorwichJenna Randall, left,and Karen English on the

Jenna Randall, left,and Karen English on the Customer Service desk at Woolworths at the Riverside Development in Norwich. Pictured in 2005. - Credit: Archant Library


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