Sunday 21 December 2008

St Ives - Goodbye Woolworths

Like many small towns we will be bidding a sad farewell to Woollies after Christmas, leaving a big hole on Fore Street. No rumours at all so far about who might take over the site. No doubt the perennial rumours about Gordon Ramsay / Rick Stein / MacDonalds moving into St Ives will resurface in the New Year.

This was one of the last places in town where you could buy reasonably priced practical items such as saucepans, bed linen and stationery. Most here reckon the main benefiary will be Colin at Colenso's on Gabriel Street. He's a brilliant salesman and claims that "if we haven't got it you don't need it". Its the sort of place where you go in intending to buy a ball of string and emerge with full set of screwdrivers, a foot pump and a tin of paint. Great stuff though and one of the last outposts in St Ives selling useful items.

Our walk along Fore Street on Wednesday evening was quite scary - getting on for half the shops have sales on with heavy discounts - and this is the week before Christmas !

Thanks to our Scottish friend Mr Broon (sorry .. I meant the world economy .. nothing to do with him .. its those American banks) it looks like being a tough few months ahead.

More updates on the St Ives shopping situation soon.


  1. I remember that Woolies from my childhood holidays and will miss it.

    McDonalds - didn't we stake that vampire? It's like the monster in the movie that refuses to die and keeps demanding a sequel.

    I was also wondering what'll be done with that huge prime site and who'll get it. Save me the top floor — it'll make me a lovely flat.

  2. I cannot imagine St Ives without Woolies, it was such a convenient place to buy so many items, I particularly remember buying MCR Black Parade there whilst on holday a few years ago.I do hope it will not become a mini Tesco?!

  3. Such a sad loss, goodbye to the walkthrough store
    and now we will have to go to Penzance for anything real....
    Just think though of all of those amazing harbour views though that will now be available...
    happy new year

  4. Interesting to see an application dated 9/01/09 by 'Stevens/Stringfellow Holdings' has gone up for change of use to 'adult' entertainment. Maybe a hoax but seems to have come from PDC. Lap dancing comes to St Ives!!

  5. Oh god... McDonald's?! Noooooo! It was bad enough when there was a Wimpey all those years ago!

  6. Woolwoeths St Ives . I remember it in the early 60s when I would get lost on the three floors and I remember it more recently when my own children would get lost on the three floors..... Hey, Its raining, Lets get into Woolies!. Sadly Missed.
    John in Reading

  7. so, what HAS taken over the woolies site?

  8. I was the store manager of this store from 1996 until 2000. Have many happy memories of this store - great team, great location, lovely customers - Happy Days! Sadly, upper management of Woolworths were clueless, and we struggled with the directives handed down to us. I still think there is a place for a Woolworths type store in many market towns in the UK. Still sad Woolies has gone. St. Ives store was very special - although it had a twin - Guernsey.