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Harrow residents share memories of Woolworths

Before falling into administration in the late 00’s, Woolworths was a staple of the British high street and a popular retailer for all ages.

Woolworths, or ‘Woolies’ as it became affectionately known as, had several shops in Harrow including Rayners Lane, Pinner, Wealdstone and Harrow Town Centre.

The first Harrow store opened in Station Road way back in 1930 and traded at the location for 66 Years before moving into the St George’s Shopping Centre in 1996.

The stores became famous for their ‘Pick N Mix’ and often found themselves the number one shopping destination for Christmas presents.

We asked the 34,000 members of the Harrow Online Group to share their favourite memories of Woolies in Harrow….


“Still have my favourite bowl that I bought there. As a teenager would go with friends to listen to the music chart.”

”Ahhhh Woolies. During the 90s, having the number one song was a big deal and they used to have taped and CDs in the correct chart position! I loved going to the one in Harrow and getting the latest NOW albums”

“Woolworths in Queensbury…great shop for everything sorely missed”

“I remember my nan walking me in there to give back a half eaten cream egg and apologize to the woman on the till because I’d stolen it and started eating it when I got outside. I was about 3.”

“Mum and I bought a white Christmas tree and all our Christmas decorations at South Harrow on Christmas Eve. My father bought a lovely chandelier there and left it behind in the house when we moved. Rubbers, pencils. We went to Woolworths a lot when I was a kid.”

“For records!!! And before that, everything back-to-school!”

”I remember going to the Woolworths in Wealdstone, it was just down the road from In-Shops, I remember buying a miniature Christmas tree from there before going on a bike ride and having to carry it with me all the way! Good times, I wish they would bring it back”

“I did my high school work experience there. And my nan uses to take us in for pick n mix to take in to the cinema.”

“Nan used to get her housekeeping on a Friday. We’d go to Sainsbury’s on a Saturday morning and Harrow in the afternoon. Always went to Woolworths & got pick and mix for the sweetie bowl (my grandad was quite partial to pink and white iced caramels if memory serves). Nan would usually let me have something for myself…Also remember ladybird school uniforms from there and woolies was where I bought my first cd with vouchers I got for xmas”

“At the end of the 6 weeks holiday, going to get a whole new set of stationary for school in Rayners Lane.”

“Loved Woolworths, alway’s would go there, alway’s value for money, miss it so much…..”

“Used to work in North Harrow woolies. Remember the wooden floors and the wonky lift! And great excitement when looked out & saw Concorde make first flight”

“Creaking wooden floor and heavy wooden counters. I was always fascinated by the light bulb and battery tester they used when you bought either of them.”

“Yes. always at sweet and choc counter fur goodies on offer later in life their homeware selection was excellent”

“Yes, spending 2 shilings a week pocket money including farthings and the thrupeny bag of broken biscuits, and one of the staff a man not quite the ticket, who wore iron crosses and geman badges on his shirt, and the pub marquis granby, one side Sopers on other and Victoria Hall opposite.”

“I used to work in Harrow Woolworths then transferred to Pinner Woolworths. Best time of my life.”

“I worked in the Rayners Lane branch for a number of years, best time I ever had in my working life. The managers really looked after you”

“Pencils, rubbers, rulers, exercise books – no computers then and loose sweets!”

“All my Christmas prezzie for my parents were bought from there when I was school kid… good times.”