A Fond Farewell

First let me say that the title of this entry does not mean I’m leaving. In fact, I’ve had to blow the dust off this blog and get back to it. While I have some goodies to share which I received for Yule, I’m going to start off the new year by writing about an icon that apparently has been as big in the UK as it was in the US.

One of my most vivid memories from my childhood was during my cousin’s visits, our grandmother would take us “downtown” to go shopping at what few big name department stores were still left. While we were shopping, we’d inevitably take a break from shopping to have lunch and the place we always went was a five-and-dime store called Woolworth’s, which had a small cafe at the side of the store.

I’m not sure when the Woolworth’s here closed; probably some time in the 80s. [While I will leave the previous statement intact, I will note here that according to the Wikipedia entry for F.W. Woolworth Company (link above), the U.S. stores were closed by 1982.] By that time, I was in my teens and the whole going-shopping-with-grandmother period had ended. Imagine my surprise, though, when I heard on NPR this morning that Woolworth’s has been alive and thriving in the UK all these years! Not only has it been alive and well, it’s also gained an affectionate name of Wooly’s.

Sadly, though, Wooly’s is closing its last shop in London. It was heartwarming, though a bit sad, to listen to shopper’s comments about the closing of the stores. One man said he felt like a vulture coming in for the last pickings of the closing sale. 😦 Another woman told of how she and her brother would go and buy a bag of broken biscuits for 6p and have a feast together at home under a homemade tent.

It’s always a shame when beloved places are forced to shut down. 😦

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