Which store would you bring back? Woolworths, C&A and BHS are all on most-missed list

Woolworths Ipswich in 2008, the year it closed. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Woolworths Ipswich in 2008, the year it closed. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Which store would you most like to bring back to the high street? We asked Suffolk shoppers - and a majority plumped for Woolworths.

Staff at BHS in Ipswich on the store's last day in 2016 Picture: ARCHANT

Staff at BHS in Ipswich on the store's last day in 2016 Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Su Anderson

Readers gave their views via Facebook, celebrating Ipswich shops we have loved and lost over the years, from fashion favourite C&A to historic hardware store Martin & Newby.

It might be almost 12 years since the Ipswich branch of Woolies closed down in December 2008, but it’s clear many still miss it, as shown by reaction to a recent national hoax story that the chain could be set to return.

With the high street being hit by the new lockdown, many are feeling nostalgic about their favourite shops over the years.

Paul Taylor said: “I bought my first hi-fi from Woolworths with my first pay cheque in the early 1980s. It was a great shopping experience, as they sold just about everything, and the pick’n’mix sweet area was fantastic.”

Martin & Newby on its final day of trading in 2004 Picture: JERRY TURNER/ARCHANT

Martin & Newby on its final day of trading in 2004 Picture: JERRY TURNER/ARCHANT


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Laney Bulger commented: “Woolies was just something else! It had it all, and the best pick’n’mix ever!

MORE: Did you queue for the ‘divi’? Co-op department store memoriesSamantha Mason said she had “so many good childhood and teenager memories of Woolies, spending my pennies from my little cleaning job there on a Saturday morning.”

And Lisa Moloney said: “Although we have similar shops like B&M and Home Bargains, it’s got to be Woolies. It was a British institution, the cafe, the record/video department... and best of all the pick and mix.”

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Readers also have fond memories of fashion chain C&A, which shut its doors for the last time in 2001.

Customers at Memorable Cheeses, Dial Lane, Ipswich, which was mentioned in a survey of most-missed s

Customers at Memorable Cheeses, Dial Lane, Ipswich, which was mentioned in a survey of most-missed shops Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Sue Treanor said: “C&A was a wonderful place for all the family clothing.”

Marian Dann agreed, commenting: “When on holiday in 2018, I found a C&A store in Madeira. I bought a few things and realised how much I had missed it.”

Jean McSorley said: “C&A is the first shop I go to when we are in Germany,” while Heather Arculeo couldn’t choose between C&A and another favourite store, Littlewoods.

The Co-op in Carr Street is also much missed. Clare Leftley said: “I bought a load of furniture and kitchen stuff in there a few years ago, such a shame.”

The fish counter at Woolworths, Carr Street, Ipswich in November 1968 Picture: ARCHANT

The fish counter at Woolworths, Carr Street, Ipswich in November 1968 Picture: ARCHANT

Many readers also said they miss BHS, as well as department stores TJ Hughes and Allders.

MORE: Memories of Ipswich WoolworthsHardware store Martin & Newby, which was the oldest shop in Ipswich, closed in 2004, after an amazing 131 years.

Several readers chose it as a favourite, and Graham Webb said: “I’d love to see Martin & Newby up & running again.”

Jonathan Williamson chose two shops as his most-missed. He said: “Martin & Newby and Memorable Cheeses. Sorry, I know that’s two shops, but it’s an illustration of just how important small independent shops are.”

The top floor of Woolworths in Carr Street in November 1968 Picture: ARCHANT

The top floor of Woolworths in Carr Street in November 1968 Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Grocery store Weigh & Save was the choice of Gemma Mountain, who said: “I loved Weigh and Save. I can still smell the place when I think about it.”

And Mark Barker would like to see “an independent record shop like Parrot or Andy’s” back on the high street.

What shops would you like to see return? Email judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk

The then new C&A shop held a fashion show at St Matthews Baths Hall, Ipswich, in March 1971 Picture:

The then new C&A shop held a fashion show at St Matthews Baths Hall, Ipswich, in March 1971 Picture: JERRY TURNER/ARCHANT

Gardening expert Percy Thrower signs books at Woolworths in Carr Street in March 1973 Picture: ARCH

Gardening expert Percy Thrower signs books at Woolworths in Carr Street in March 1973 Picture: ARCHANT

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