The story of Waitrose supermarket High Street Banstead
The school was demolished, and Waitrose opened in December 1990. Built in the same architectural style, it fitted well into the High street soon becoming the hub of the village.Waitrose has committed to rebuilding the store and we hope to follow its progress here.
All reports are shown in chronological date order starting with the latest date at the top.
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|A full report from
can be viewed here
|IMPORTANT - Note from
For the rest of the Waitrose photo collection please visit our new Banstead Village Photographic Archive
Waitrose building at the same stage 20 years ago:
This photograph was taken in 1989 during the construction of the original Waitrose store.
Some of the steel uprights in this building survived the fire of Dec 2008 and they form part of the new structure.
|July 2009 - The Banstead skyline changes again........|
The view down the Avenue Road side of the
Photo taken on 1st of July 2009 from opposite
The brickwork already starting to go up.
|June 2009 - Structure appears above hoarding.|
The new viewing window is located
|The new steel structure is starting to take shape with
parts of the top floor already bolted together. |
For the first time, a viewing window has been cut into the hoarding at the corner of Avenue Road and the High Street allowing the public to look in and view the progress for themselves.
The photo below was taken through the viewing window and looks west along the High Street showing the front of the new store.
|11 Mar 2009 - Demolition of store well under way.|
|Demolition of the old store seems to be progressing well.
Every day there is a bit less of the old building most of which has to be
demolished as the temperatures of the fierce blaze buckled the original
steelwork. It's now nearly three months since the old store burned down.
The new smaller Waitrose store at the old Woolworths premises has successfully relieved many of the difficulties experienced by local shoppers during the time when no Waitrose store was operational in the High Street.
Looking down Avenue Road
View of the rear of the building.
|12 Feb 2009 - Waitrose reopens at temporary site.|
|Exactly two months to the day since the fire that destroyed the popular Waitrose store in Banstead High street, a new smaller Waitrose store has reopened at the old Woolworths premises at the western end of the High street.|
|There were plenty of customers on the first morning of the
12th February 2009, all looking at the fully stocked shelves|
and trying to find the new location of the favourite purchases.
|8 Feb 2009 - Waitrose at Woolworths - Opening date confirmed .|
|3 Feb 2009 - Work
progressing well at the Woolworths site.
In the foreground is a brand new checkout and a further four have been installed running along the old Woolworths' sweets isle.
The large poster at the front of the shop has been removed and Banstead shoppers can watch the progress through the shop front window.
|24 Jan 2009 -
Demolition to start next week.
The Waitrose team confirmed at yesterday's exhibition that demolition will start next week, and rebuilding might take longer than initially expected. The official date for the re-opening is not until June next year, but it may be possible to bring this forward if no serious hold ups are experienced. The first step is getting formal planning permission and this could take as long as three months.
In the meantime work continues at the old Woolworths site with a planned opening date of 15 February. Clearly the move is a temporary stopgap and it is inevitable that the normal Waitrose service has to be tailored to fit the new circumstances. For example, all food will be pre packed. It is also clearly not possible for Waitrose to provide a designated area for customer parking. This might be slightly inconvenient for some, but is a far better option than no Waitrose at all and most locals are eagerly awaiting the opening of this new store.
|23 Jan 2009 -
Proposed plans at exhibition.
The Waitrose team have started their communication excerise with the
people of Banstead who were able to view the proposed plans for the new
store on Friday 23 January 2009 at an exhibition at the United Reformed
|15 Jan 2009 -
Waitrose to occupy the old Woolworths site in February.
First they were, then there were not and now it appears that they are. Work is ongoing in the old Woolworths store to convert it to a temporary Waitrose with an opening date around mid February.
The Banstead Waitrose store was one of the most profitable for the company and even had the biggest order for Christmas turkeys of all the Waitrose stores. No surprise then that Waitrose would like to keep a presence in our High street, and we can't wait to have them back.
|12 Jan 2009 -
Waitrose plan to reopen before Christmas 2009.
One month on from the fire, Banstead Waitrose staff now working at other stores have been told that there will be no leave next November/December to allow for the opening of the new store.
|12 Dec 2008 -
Eye witness report by Ralph Maciejewski (BHRG secretary)
Mark Cory the BHRG chairman was at the Lady Neville Ground
Pavillion attending a Christmas buffet and I was with my wife and two
other people at the Royal China Restaurant close by to Waitrose.
|Waitrose goes up in flames.|
|Waitrose, built on the site of the old village school was almost totally
destroyed by fire which started just before 9.00pm on Friday 12 December.
The fire appears to have started on the roof and fanned by high winds
quickly spread across the store. A large explosion was heard by local
residents at about 9.10 pm and this caused some of the roof to cave in.
Flying debris broke several shop windows on the opposite side of the High
This photo taken from the Lady Neville Recreation ground shows
the fire at about 10.30pm on the 12 December 2008.
|A local resident was inside Waitrose when the
fire alarm went off. He watched as the flames grew higher and higher, then
an explosion, and the roof fell in.|
High winds raised the risk of the fire spreading to Barclays Bank across the road, and fire crews doused the roofs of premises across the High street to stop them catching light, as flames already higher than the building released an avalanche of flying sparks and burning embers across the road.
Shoppers who braved the pouring rain on Saturday morning were completely stunned by the scene that greeted them. The building was still smoking and the High Street closed.
Thankfully no-one was injured. A sad end to a much loved store.
News from Waitrose is that the store will be rebuilt. A full report from ITN can be viewed here.