Orkney Image Library

<< back
Woolworths in Kirkwall
The Orkney Image Library

Help us get organised! If we haven't correctly identified which area this picture is best listed under, please select it below and click Done!

view a random pic
Woolworths in Kirkwall

Date estimated. It used to list attractive features about living in Orkney in the the job application pack that you got from the OIC, one of which was '...and Kirkwall probably has the best Woolworths around' or something like that. I'll get the exact wording.

But it is a pretty good Woolies.

Whatever happened to the scales? I fondly remember stopping to weigh myself when I would take the dog for a walk with my dad on a Sunday morning.
Picture added on 21 September 2005
This picture is in the following groups
One of the three places I used to go with pocket money: Leonards, Woolworths and Spences. How many of those still exist?
Added by Mike Dunster on 21 September 2005
What was on Woolies site before? Xmas day discussion.
Added by Hub on 25 December 2008
Was this the site of the old kirkwall cinema?

[No, that was where Boots is now, and Prestos/Templetons was before- Steven]
Added by Erlend Stout on 25 January 2009
Before Woolworth's this was the offices of Drever & Heddle, Solicitors and before that, from 1856 or a few years afterwards till his death in 1884, P. S. Heddle, Solicitor and Town Clerk. He started the first Kirkwall branch of the Bank of Scotland in the building some time in the 1860s and it was there till it moved across the street to where the Alliance and Leicester is. Before Heddle's time this was the town house of the Shapinsay Balfours. It and the Custom House were all one property with a large garden behind. At some time before that according to Hossack the house, or an earlier one on the same site, was known as "Hell".
Added by Paul Sutherland on 02 February 2009
I was told that it was a solicitors office possibly Shepherd and Wedderburn
Added by Eoin Muir on 02 February 2009
The Solicitors Drever & Heddle used to have offices in the building on the Albert Street side of the site where Woolworths was situated.
Added by Edwin Rendall on 02 February 2009
Where the front of Woolworths is set back from the street used to be a small enclosed courtyard with a stone wall along the street edge topped with railings. I used to park my bike there when I worked with Drever & Heddle as an office boy for a short time in 1943. We had a happy staff, John Oddie, Ada Gunn, Rene Garrioch and Miss Maitland. William Davie was the solicitor with William John Heddle more less a sleeping partner and Town Clerk. He lived in Daisybank where I had to go regularly to get documents signed. He was also joint manager of the Bank of Scotland with James (Ian) Bruce. Major Bruce was commanding officer of the 1st Batt Orkney Home Guard which he allowed me to join (under age) as a runner, I didn't get a rifle until I was 17 but I was allowed to fire on the range. Six months later I was in the RAF.

[Picture coming up soon as the backlog clears... - Steven]
Added by Tom Scott on 03 February 2009
I Cant belive that they are turning this iconic Orkney leg of Woolworths into a mountaineering store, there's no mountains up here!! It, again, is aimed at the tourist trade *rolls eyes*. What about the people who live here all year round? Its rediculous.
I want Woolworths back :(
Added by N. Muir on 12 March 2009
well Woolworths aint coming back, so its probably better than an empty shop..
Added by C.shearer on 13 March 2009
I agree with N.Muir`s sentiments it is not the future we were hoping for when Woolies closed.
Colin Wylie
Added by Colin Wylie on 13 March 2009
My 37 year old son remembers spending his holiday money in Leonard's then walking up to Woolworths to stand on the scales before going in to spend the left overs at the sweetie counter just inside the door. I had a holiday job there for several consecutive years in the mid sixties and it was a brilliant place to work. I was given an arithmetic test before getting the job and remember sitting upstairs in the staffroom, right hand window , calculating bills in Pounds,Shillings and Pennies. No calculators in those days.
Added by Mag MacDonald (Bews) on 15 November 2009
What/who was the shapinsay Balfours? (I work in the current store) have been told it is haunted/has a spirit in there?
Added by Natalie Rosie on 11 March 2019
<< back


The Haven, BrimsHighland Park Distillery Visitor CentreHighland Park presentationHighland Park Distillery RetiralHighland Park Distillery TeamHighland Park still maintenanceHighland Park RetiralHighland Park distillery teamHighland Park RetiralKirkwall Fire Station boarded up for the Ba