Woolworth Hastings 1963

photo: Hastings Library 

Colin Bell… Wish it was still there

Gary Benton… It was such a wonderful town, now I’ve moved to Jersey and absolutely no intention of coming back.

David Martin… Gary, don’t blame you, it goes from bad to worse here year after year.

Sandie Carlyon… My first Saturday job. Sweet counter.

Jane Collins… My first Saturday job as well – remember we had to start at 1/2 day only?

Hugh Cockett… Could even be me on point duty directing traffic ?

Wendy Wilson… I worked here in 1965/1966 – part time while still doing my GCE’s and then full time until July – by then I was a ‘white belt girl’ and also worked in the office Loved smokey bacon crisps in a buttered roll for 11’s

Gerry Fortsch… What a great shop

Peter Houghton… Great picture!!!

Brian Scales… Fond memories

Carol Acott… My Saturday job too….4 hours in the afternoon on the tea bar…

Roy Winchester… Remember it well

Nigel Ford… rare motor on left? Custom Austin estate? A30 then Commer (?) van, Zephyr/ Zodiac ? Consul ? & Mini…. but is it a Morris or Austin? and even a woofer centre stage, but no tweeter…….they weren’t invented yet.

Peter Houghton… Those were great day’s back then But now the town has Been Spoilt and it’s a shame

Jim Hobbs… When Hastings had a charming town centre, bus stand and the Castle Hotel just out of shot. Replaced by a hideous modern building for Tesco.


Fuse Wire from Woolworth

Who remembers fuse wire packets, under the stair cupboard? 

Mike Waghorne… Still got a card in my garage & I’ve been retired for 6 years from 50years in the electrical industry.

Judy Atkinson… Mike, me too

Richard Porter… I changed all my fuses for circuit breakers.

Paul Foster… Always the larger fuse wire went first

Mark Randall… We had a little packet containing the different fuse wires, a screwdriver, and a pair of cutters. The pack’s strapline was ‘Don’t get the blues , we’ll mend the fuse”

Peter Ellingworth… I certainly do….although had my fuse box replaced by a consumer unit years ago – but still keep some fuses by for plugs just in case.

Lyn Humphrey… Still got some.

Chris Wood… Judging by the lack of 30 amp he’s got a serious problem with an immersion heater. At that point a nail usually sorted it out

Carlisle Saloon and waiting shelter Hastings – early 1950s

photo supplied by Leigh Kennedy

Leigh Kennedy… Carlisle Saloon, Waiting Shelter, Underground Conveniences and rear of F.W Woolworths. Early 1950s. The Shelter and Conveniences were later cleared away for road widening and the Woolworths building was given a new facade, front and back in 1959.

John Gale… I remember the old man and his lady friend that lived in there at times around 1978 , very friendly, but boy did they smell. ?

Alan Esdaile… Remember the shelter, a bit smelly if I remember right! Also remember the toilets next door.

Harry Randall… It was never a “Waiting Shelter” I remember it well as an OAP Club!

Brigitte Lee… Do I remember catching the bus from there?

Jackie Hersee… Yes there was a bus stop there

Brigitte Lee… Thanks, the 151 to Harold Rd was my bus.

Virginia Davis… I used to catch the 151 from there also. Remember running across the car park the other side of the Carlisle to catch it.

Lucy Pappas… I remember having a weekly wait there of 55 mins after the town choir finished and the 208 to Fairlight arrived. I was 10 when I first started and continued my weekly wait for a number of years. It was a bit smelly but there was always something going on that was interesting to watch!

Lloyd Johnson… We’d take shortcuts through Woolworths in the 50s and 60s. I remember the Liverpudlian lads that arrived in the town during the Merseybeat Beat boom causing havoc in Woolworths once. They were really great fun always having some scam or other going on! A couple of them had a monkey that would jump on a tourists shoulder and the they’d take a photo. On this particular day they decided to let the monkey go on the rampage in Woolworths a diversion for their lawless activities ….it was so funny to watch….

Jan Warren… Lovely to see this again, remember me and my Mum waiting in that shelter for the bus back to Pett Level

Tony Court-holmes… forgot about them

Patrick Turner… I remember the monkey on the seafront, have your photo taken

Paul Cullen… I used to wait for the East Kent bus there to go to Pett Level.

Ralph Town… Got knocked down sometime after September 1972.

Do you remember Embassy Records at Woolworth asks Gerry Powell?

supplied by Gerry Powell

Julie Findlay-jones… We had quite a few of them.

David Edwards… They were the sound alikey records, today’s hit songs covered by other than the original artists and sold cheaper. I believe Elton John sang on some of them but don’t know who he covered

Chris Jolly… This sounds like the music they played whilst you ate at Pizzaland…

Gerry Powell… These were my introduction to vinyl when very young and bought by my dad when we first had a Ferguson record player. The 45’s cost 4/6 (that’s 4 shillings & 6 pence for those too young to know). That was half the price of the chart single.

John Scaife… Still got a few

Pete Brazier… Think I’ve still got one somewhere! Julie Andrew’s and Johnny Mathis singing songs from West Side Story! Before they became famous in their own right

Will Cornell… In honor of the centennial, I think more “Roaring 20s” records are in order, hot-cha-cha-cha-cha! Those tunes were the cats pajamas.

Barry French… I have one Embassy single featuring “The Typhoons”
Side 1 – Glad All Over Side 2- Money. Record dates from 1963.
Both tracks are pretty good covers of the Dave Clark Five & Beatles singles.

Neil Partrick.. They released a pretty wide range of stuff at cheap prices. My personal favourite (bought second hand in Eastbourne circa 1984, not at Woolies) is Supersession (Kooper/Bloomfield/Stills et al)…… a total corker.

David Edwards… out of the blue that one!

Chris Jolly… Great record!

Mick O’Dowd… Posted this before but this from the Daily Mail might help with some queries.

Pete Fisher… Embassy (1954-1965) seems to have been the forerunner of the Top Of The Pops and Hot Hits compilations…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embassy_Records

Pete Fairless… I’ve been on YouTube and listened to quite a few of these and they’re pretty good.  However, while I get the idea of a covers compilation, a la TOTP, I struggle with the idea of cover singles – were singles expensive, were these a lot cheaper?  Can any of you old folks explain?

Pete Fisher… I got curious about Woolworth’s Embassy label, and found out they had a kind of house band from 1963 to 1965 (when the label folded) who went under the name The Typhoons, and covered a lot of the beat groups, predominantly The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Quite a few videos at youtube – here’s one…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyeCjNh7Xm4

Neil Partrick… Really interesting research. I hadn’t realised about The Typhoons as a kind of Embassy Records’ house band. Nor had I realised that Embassy Records was owned (?) by Woolworth’s (if I understand the above correctly).

Paul Huggett… Yep Woollies were the exclusive outlet ( not sure if they actually owned Embassy though). I had a few of their 45s bought from the Rye shop as a kid. Mainly instrumentals by the Bud Ashton group.

Neil Partrick… Amazing, I just walked into a charity shop in Hailsham and picked up a copy of an Embassy Records single: The Typhoons’ version of Come On on the A side, and sometime band member Mike Redway performing a song on the B side.

Stuart Ralls… Embassy records were owned and produced by Oriole records at their Bond Street studios. A deal to produce covers and other genres was signed with Woolworths in 1954 and ran until 1964 when CBS took Oriole over with the demise of Embassy coming a year later. Embassy recordings were sold to variety of labels worldwide some becoming regional hits in their own right.

Judy Atkinson… I’ve got a few singles in this sleeve

Jenny Power… I’ve also still got a few singles in these sleeves

Stuart Ralls… The later Embassy label name which CBS inherited after the takeover of Oriole records had nothing to do with Woolworths becoming an album label for mainstream artist re-releases from the CBS back catalogue. CBS did for a while release some of their old material on a new short lived Woolworths label Senator


Cassette tapes and Woolworth – 1970’s Advert

Who remembers buying cassettes from Woolworth?

Dennis Torrance… So enjoyed Woolworths everything about it broken biscuit upstairs as a kid and think when it went sad. Cassette tape nightmare always getting caught and after a while the recording just not good but vinyl and tape was the main thing then. How it’s all changed now but vinyl is making a comeback

Roy Penfold… Pick and mix – making sure to ‘sample’ a few sweets before putting them in the bag….

who used to or still have record/cassette cases like these?

advert 1978

Karen Sweatman… Loads of em

Marianne Zargar… Our local record shop in Guildford Town Centre usually has a selection of them for sale. Probably still quite useful but I got got rid of mine. Otherwise still enjoying my 1974 Ultra stereo with original enormous head phones and various accessories like the record stacker. Awesome

Dave Nattress… My Wife has a box containing her old vinyls in the loft – serious criminal records most of them, which she’s forgotten about. Not playing them on my deck so I keep quiet. Some I think are the old Woollies “Hallmark” was it copies – top of the pops – with nice enough looking girls in bikinis on the cover but pretty poor vocal copies. Am I right that some top artists/musicians eventually broke out and did some good stuff who used to do the vocals? Defo had some cassette boxes like these, one would be in the car (Ford Anglia), back in about 1971 with the first round of pre-recorded cassettes I had – still have. 50 years ago, God!!

Anyone buy a Guitar or Record Player in Woolworth in the 70’s?


Chris Meachen… I’m pretty sure that Roger Carey had an audition stereo when we were at school.

Rick Pentecost… I had an audition stereo. It was white, lasted for years. Sounded dreadful!

Peter Thomson… My Saturday job was at Woolies. When the store closed we used to ‘sound check’ some of the gear. The standard for fitted plugs was yet to come, so we jammed a pencil into the nearest earth socket and rammed all the other cables into their respective holes. Nobody died…

Peter Howard… Surprisingly, some of the guitars they sold are now worth a lot more than they cost. some mind, most were shite 🙂

Ralph Town… My first Bass came from Woolies 🙂 Soon realised it was a mistake lol

Stuart Ralls… I have several of my Embassy recordings released on CD. Was always a collector and have researched a lot about the labels history and it’s artists.

Tim Moose Bruce… Had a Woolworths guitar in the 70s. Got it 2nd hand for 15 quid with a Watkins Westminster amp.

Alan Vale… I brought a Watkins Scout in the 1980’s for a similar price fixed it used it and sold it to a friend of the drummer in Sidewinder