Express & Star

Memories of Beatties heyday as shop faces latest battle

The latest threat to the future of Beatties in Wolverhampton has evoked memories of its heyday in the city.


The Express & Star revealed last week that the flagship retailer had been put up for sale less than a year after being saved by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct as part of House of Fraser takeover.

It has created fresh uncertainty for Beatties, which has been a fixture of the Wolverhampton for more than 140 years.

There is a very real prospect the store could leave its home on the corner of Victoria Street and Darlington Street, if not the city completely

The E&S Facebook page has been flooded with messages from readers sharing their memories of going to Beatties over the decades.

Denise Taylor recalls a trip to Beatties being a day out for the family.

She said: "I can remember as a teenager we used to dress up to go shopping at Beatties what a wonderful store it was. So sad."

Anne Carney also harked back to the glory days and said: "In the early 70s I knew every inch of this store. I loved it. The book department on the top floor, the cafe, the restaurant where my mum worked.

"Queuing for the staff preview the day before the sale started. The opulent smell of the ground floor, the record store, the toys and the food hall. Part of my childhood."

Sheila Johnson said: "I loved going there at Christmas in the 1950 onwards you could go down in the basement and see and play with toys you know you would never have.

Kathy Baker: "I had such happy childhood memories going into Beatties such a shame it’s come to this."

Beatties is up for sale for just £3 million, showing how its value has plummeted since selling for £47m in 2006 and £69m a year earlier.

Other readers lamented the position the store finds itself in today.

Jon Tame said: "Born and bred in Wolverhampton so proud when growing up in such a wonderful place. What has happened?"

Christine Farley said: "What a waste loved beauties always a cut above no care for anything anymore so sad."

Caroline Painter said: "So sad. I loved the staircase as a little girl and working there as a YTS."