Accrington Woolworths, when buying records was fun!

Accrington History Looking back

Accrington Woolworths on the inside. This iconic image is from 1958 when Accrington Woolworths was still on Blackburn road. The store had been built in 1925, as a purpose-built building. Note the very 50’s style record stands with the characteristic legs.

See also When Accrington’s trams ran on steam

The first Woollworths store in Accrington

Accrington Woolworths

This corner site-building is still in use as a cafe.

Records and record players

1958 saw the first stereo records appear in record shops across the land. The test record, shown here would have been sold with the first stereo record players. Record players used valves (tubes) until the mid-1960s.

Authors collection

This was the era of the Radiogram, although traditional Dansette style players were modified by adding a stereo cartridge and extension speaker.

The first L.P’s came out in 1948, although 78’s stayed in production until 1960.

Confusingly some early LP’s looked like 78’s including the old HMV label! If you had tried to play the LP below on an old Gramphone it would have destroyed the record.

Early LP from 1953, Authors collection.

78 records were produced for over sixty years.

78 record from 1939, when Art-Deco was king.

Woolworth records

Woolworths had a part to play in the history of music on record, with their own label.

Embassy records

Woolworth’s own record label, Embassy records, began in 1955. The singles sold for 4s 6d and became very popular. The songs were mainly covers of the hits of the day.

Top of the Pops records

Marketed by Pickwick, the Top of The Pops records became synonymous with Woolworths. In the mid-1970’s they sold for 50p when most albums were usually £3.00 or more. in fact, the price was about the same as a 45 RPM single!

One of the early Top Of The Pops records from 1968.

The big move to Broadway

Broadway had been built in the 1930s, but it was not until 1961 that shops were built on the old sunken gardens. In fact, The new Woolworths was a curious, large, L shaped store, with entrances on Broadway and Union street. Before it was pedestrianised, Broadway had become a bit of a rat-run.

The Demise of Woolworths

By the early 21st century, times had changed, and the things Woolworths sold the most of, had become outmoded. Unfortunately, the store closed in 2008. Why the end?

Notably, Woolworths once sold a large range of Airfix kits. However, electronic games saw the popularity of kits wain. CD’s saw off records, and then CD’s themselves became passe.

Woolworths, once an innovator, did not move with the times and the end came with more of a whimper than a bang.

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