10 Old Crawley Stores We All Used To Shop In

By
Updated: July 27, 2015

Queens Square and the rest of the town centre has been completely transformed in recent years with many new chains taking over store space. Here’s a quick list of 10 old Crawley shops we all used to shop in many years ago:

1. C&A 

Clemens and August or “Coats and ‘Ats” was hugely popular in Crawley. Located where DW Sports currently operates, many local residents purchased their bargain threads from here and nearly all remember the infamous ‘Clockhouse’ section.

Pointless Fact: C&A moved it’s operation out of Britain in 2001 and now uses a grey and white logo opposed to the recognisable blue and red.

Source: CA_Europe Twitter

Source: CA_Europe Twitter

2.  Littlewoods / Index

Littlewoods Index was a catalogue-cross-retail store operating in Crawley utilising a similar concept to Argos (plus an upstairs cafe). The store was located on The Broadway and the disused shop sign can still be seen today.

Pointless Fact: Littlewoods closed 119 retail stores around 2005 but still operates in catalogue and online retail markets. Index started trading again in 2014.

Source: Littlewoods Twitter

Source: Littlewoods Twitter

3. Gamleys

Gamleys offered a huge range of children’s toys and was the place where many town youngsters went to spend their pocket money. The toy store was located opposite the Friary church, on the corner where Taj The Grocer now trades.

Pointless Fact: After 90 years in the toy industry, Gamleys went out of business for good in 2008.

4. Gamestation

One of the more recent disappearing acts from Queens Square. Gamestation was a shop adored by many local gamers during the COD 4 days with plenty making use of it’s great trade-in deals.

Pointless Fact: Gamestation was bought out by rival GAME in 2012 and thus disappeared from high streets across the country.

Gamestation

5. TJ Hughes

The huge store operated on The Broadway for many years overtaking Co-Op who previously occupied the site. We’re sure many of us are still guilty of referring to it as such even though Wilkos has now taken over.

Pointless Fact: The chain has reduced its number of stores from 57 to 12 after liquidation in 2011.

 

TJ Hughes Crawley

Source: Hazel Nicholson – Flickr

 

6. Ottakers Bookstore

Located where Waterstones now resides, Ottakers was a popular bookstore in the Martlets playing host to a number of school visits to meet well-known authors.

 

Pointless Fact: HMV took over Ottakers in ’06 and the chain became part of Waterstones.

 

Ottakars Crawley

7. Blockbusters

Back in the day, we used to have to borrow VHS tapes from shops, watch them and then take them back after. Thank goodness for Netflix. Although, Blockbuster was well ahead of the game in the 2000’s and many of us made the drive to Three Bridges to borrow a film or two for the weekend.

Pointless Fact: Although most stores are now shut, Blockbuster still offers a ‘Blockbuster On Demand’ service

Blockbuster Three Bridges

8. Crawley Surplus Store

A well known ex-Crawley landmark on the High Street. The only place to get your knives, camouflage and survival gear.

Pointless Fact: The Surplus Store is a family business established in 1961 and now operates from Stephenson Way, Three Bridges.

Credit: Mark Roberts

Credit: Mark Roberts

 

9. Brooke Sports

Located opposite Marks and Spencers, Brooks was the one-stop shop for Subbuteo, school uniforms and any sporting equipment under the sun. Many also remember the glass case full of farmyard and zoo toys.

Pointless Fact: There was another popular sports store in Crawley called opposite Brewery Shades called Herbert Sports where Coral is now located.

10. Woolworths

The epitome of old Crawley, Woolworths managed to achieve legendary status in the town for its ability to sell anything, offering a great pic’n’mix and providing the the best shortcut to Queens Square after getting dropped off in the Boulevard .

Pointless Fact: I cried when Woolworths closed.

Woolworths Crawley

 

Curry’s, Dixons, JJB – the list goes on! Click here for 150+ more old Crawley stores with help from Memories of Crawley Facebook group.

Any more? Comment below!

 

 

Read next: Why Crawley is called Crawley or the story of Gary Gatwick, the 10 day old baby abandoned in Gatwick toilets.