Stoke-on-Trent - photo of the week


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Woolworths in Parliament Row Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Woolworths in Parliament Row Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
28 December 2008
 

 

Postcard of Parliament Row, Hanley
Postcard of Parliament Row, Hanley
Looking towards Town Road (was High Street) in the 1950's. 

This area is now pedestrianised, near to where the lamppost is there
stands a statue of Sir Stanley Matthews the famous footballer.

Woolworth's occupied the same store until their closure in December 2008. 
Swinertons cafe and the shops surrounding it have been
replaced by the modern "Potteries Shopping Centre"

 

Woolworths, Hanley 1958-1961
Woolworths, Hanley 1958-1961

This scene shows a billposter outside Woolworth & Co. Ltd around the late fifties or early sixties. The poster advertises the play 'Subway in the Sky', which was showing at the Odeon cinema where Frederick Wooley, (the photographer) worked.

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
Staffordshire Past Tracks

 




Woolworths in Campbell Place, Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent
Woolworths in Campbell Place, Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent
28 December 2008
 

 

Woolworths in Market Street, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
Woolworths in Market Street, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
28 December 2008

 


Woolworths in St. John's Square, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent
28 December 2008

 

Woolworths and Stoke-on-Trent

Frank Woolworth first trip to Europe was in 1890.  The transatlantic crossing took almost three months.  It was sheer torture for Frank, who was very sea sick.  The liner finally docked in Liverpool.   From there he travelled by train to Stoke on Trent, buying china and glasswares in large quantities for the Woolworths American five and ten stores, before moving to London and thence to Germany and Switzerland.

The Willow pattern china sourced from Stoke-on-Trent on the original buying trip remained a firm favourite with Woolworths customers for over half a century, only finally discontinued after World War 2. 

In 1904 a chance encounter on one of Frank Woolworth's European visits was to have a profound impact on the future of the British company. On a visit to a North Staffordshire pottery he came across a young freight clerk by the name of William Lawrence Stephenson. Frank was impressed by Stephenson's can-do attitude - nothing was too much trouble for him.

Several years later (in 1909) when planning the launch of the British company, Frank sent a carriage to Stoke-on-Trent with an invitation to join him at his hotel in London for dinner and a chat. Intrigued Stephenson travelled to London - where he was invited to become a Director of the new company - the only Briton on the team. He accepted. The premature death of Fred Woolworth in 1923 left Stephenson, who had been Woolworth's understudy, in charge of the organization's British venture.

Over the next forty years he was to build F. W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd. into a substantially larger and more successful business than its American parent. Stephenson became the Managing Director and then Chairman, he retired in 1948 one of the richest men in Europe and left Woolworths at the very top of the stock market.