CARNARVON TRADERS

The Repository of all Things Historical for the Ancient Welsh Town of Carnarvon

  Castle Square, Carnarvon. Published by Williams & Hughes, Bridge Steet, 1850


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Copyright


WOOLWORTHS - THE END OF AN ERA


On Saturday the 3rd. of January 2009 seventy eight years of retailing tradition came to an end on Pool Street when Woolworths closed their doors for the very last time.

I am writing this on the 26th. of November, exactly a year on from the day when it was announced that the company had gone into administration. It came as a shock to all concerned, staff and customers alike, and although hopes were high throughout the Christmas trading period that the company would be saved, it was inevitable that would eventually cease trading. Carnarvon Traders is not the place to go into the whys and wherefores of exactly what went wrong, suffice to say that the main cause was extreme mismanagement by those on the board who were supposedly "experts" in retailing.

The company first opened its door to the shoppers of Carnarvon on the 27th. of September 1930. It was store number 417 of a chain which was to eventually comprise of over 1000 stores. At the beginning of the decade the company had 375 stores, mostly in the larger towns and cities, but they entered into a massive programme of expansion, with a store opening every 17 days. By 1939 there were 759 Woolworth stores in the UK.

Below are some of the photographs which were rescued when the store closed down. Sadly there are none of the shop front itself, for which I have been trawling the locality without success. If anyone does have any images of the shop front, especially from the early days, I would be grateful if you would get in touch.

Grand opening advert - Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald 19th. September 1930. © K. MorrisGrand opening advert in Welsh - Herald Cymraeg 23rd. September 1930. © K. Morris

Grand opening advert - Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald 26th. September 1930. © K. Morris
Adverts for the Grand Opening in 1930. © K. Morris

Staff of Woolworth, Caernarfon. © K. Morris

Staff of Woolworth, Caernarfon. © K. Morris

Staff of Woolworth, Caernarfon. © K. Morris

Staff of Woolworth, Caernarfon. © K. Morris

Staff of Woolworth, Caernarfon. © K. Morris

Staff of Woolworth, Caernarfon. © K. Morris
Various store parties, 1950's - 1970's. © K. Morris

Staff outing, 1970's. © K. Morris Staff outing, 1970's. © K. Morris
Staff outing, 1970's. © K. Morris

Retirement party for long serving member of staff, Gwyneth Hughes, after 38 years' service. Mid 1980's. © K. Morris

Retirement party for long serving member of staff, Gwyneth Hughes, after 38 years' service. Mid 1980's. © K. Morris

Retirement party for long serving member of staff, Gwyneth Hughes, after 38 years' service. Mid 1980's. © K. Morris
Retirement party for long serving member of staff, Gwyneth Hughes,
after 38 years' service. Mid 1980's. © K. Morris

Santa Nerys Edwards in the 1980's. © K. Morris
Santa Nerys Edwards in the 1980's. © K. Morris

Staff fancy dress, 1980's. © K. Morris

Staff fancy dress, 1980's. © K. Morris
Staff fancy dress, 1980's. © K. Morris

Halloween fancy dress for local children, 1988. Mayor Jack Thomas judges. © K. Morris

Halloween fancy dress for local children, 1988. Mayor Jack Thomas judges. © K. Morris

Halloween fancy dress for local children, 1988. Mayor Jack Thomas judges. © K. Morris
Halloween fancy dress for local children, 1988. Mayor Jack Thomas judges. © K. Morris

Staff Christmas lunch at the Harp Inn 1989. © K. Morris

Staff Christmas lunch at the Harp Inn 1989. © K. Morris
Staff Christmas lunch at the Harp Inn 1989. © K. Morris

Poster distributed to stores in readiness for the centenary celebrations which should have taken place in November 2009. © K. Morris
Poster distributed to stores in readiness for the centenary celebrations
which should have taken place in November 2009. © K. Morris

The final chapter. This is taken late November 2008. © Richard Jones
The final chapter. This is taken late November 2008. © Richard Jones

The end of an era; empty counters. © Papur Dre
The end of an era; empty counters. © Papur Dre

The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris
The last day. An empty store, ready to hand over the keys to the administrators. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty stockroom. Hard to believe this was usually filled up to the roof with stock. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty stockroom. Hard to believe this was usually filled up to the roof with stock. © K. Morris

The last day. An empty stockroom. Hard to believe this was usually filled up to the roof with stock. © K. Morris
The last day. An empty stockroom. Hard to believe this was usually filled up to the roof with stock. © K. Morris

The last day. The final clocking off: 16:34 on the 6th. of January. © K. Morris
The last day. The final clocking off: 16:34 on the 6th. of January 2009. © K. Morris


SOURCES

Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald/Herald Cymraeg 1930
Woolworths Virtual Museum
Personal collection of photographs
  © 2003 - 2016 Keith Morris. All rights reserved