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Woolworths and Sainsbury's

Alterations to Woolworth’s old premises
Reproduced with permission The Regency Society

Originally numbers 1 & 2, London Road were private dwellings similar to the adjoining buildings to the north. In the 1880’s they were converted to small shops and business premises. After a life of nearly 100 years, they were bought by Woolworths, demolished and replaced in 1927 by the rather ugly building seen in these photographs of February 1968.

Converted by Sainsbury’s

Woolworths had moved to much larger premises in 1965 and Sainsbury’s who had been next door, at no 3 for more than 50 years bought out the premises for conversion to a self-service store. Part of Providence Place at the rear has been stopped upon this account.

Do you remember?

Remember shopping in Sainsbury’s or Woolworths? Please share your memories by posting a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • This site was during the 19th century, the location for two houses with very 21st century High St names – Canton House and Madras House. Neither were takeaways. They were constructed sometime in the early 1820s, with front gardens and glazed conservatories to the rear, as part of Brighton’s rapid suburban growth at that time. By the 1880s urban change and suburban expansion into Preston parish meant that London Rd was no longer a leafy suburb, but rather more inner-city and these large houses were being converted, with shops appearing in their front gardens and the original houses becoming storerooms and staff quarters. About 1885 the Crystal Palace Penny Bazaar was in occupation [surely the ‘parent’ of Woolworths?] with different businesses in the many rooms. J.Sainsburys was actually next door at No3 from 1905 and was the first of the chain stores to occupy the area. The building of Woolworths with its distinctive (and ugly) frontage was carried over into J.Sainsburys when it moved in and re-clad the exterior. The old store was not demolished. I worked at JS from 1966 -1977 at various branches including ‘3 Brighton’ (as it was termed) and when repair work to the top floor of the JS warehouse was underway the old Woolworth ‘smell’ arose from under the later flooring. In the picture above, the low building on the right-hand side was demolished in the 1970s and JS was extended north to butt against Marks & Spencer.

    Thank you so much, Geoffrey. Takes a bit of imagination thinking of London Road as a ‘leafy suburb’. Wish I knew what the old Woolworth ‘smell’ was like!

    By Geoffrey Mead (24/02/2020)
  • There was also a Woolworths in St James’s Street opposite Gunns fish shop

    By Mr K I Ross (25/02/2020)
  • I have fond memories of the old London Road Sainsbury’s with its individual counters. In the early seventies my sister and I were sent there to buy freshly-sliced liver sausage for our fathers sandwiches. We always ate the end piece on the way home!

    By Amanda (19/04/2020)
  • I used to work in Sainsburys London Road.

    By Nicky Pentecost (03/05/2020)
  • I remember the Woolworth shop on the corner. It had two floors, and I remember the lighting dept used to be upstairs, which you got to by climbing the staircase at the back of the shop. Don’t know why I remember this!! I also remember that they had wooden floors which creaked when you walked on them. There also used to be a newspaper man standing outside at a kiosk.
    I remember the old Sainsburys shop too,and the new one being built. My Mum Ciss Baker worked there until she retired in the 70’s.

    By MISS JANICE BAKER (30/05/2020)

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