THE Daily Echo asked Facebook group We Grew Up In Bournemouth and Poole which shops from Dorset's past they missed the most.

Here are some of the answers members gave:


British Home Stores

The Poole branch of BHS closed on July 31, 2016.

The shop had been a major tenant in the Dolphin Shopping Centre for 16 years.

Bournemouth Echo: British Home Stores.British Home Stores.



The movie rental company once served customers throughout the county.

Blockbuster’s Bournemouth branches were at Westover Retail Park on Castle Lane West, Poole Road in Westbourne and Holdenhurst Road.

Christchurch had a branch at Bargates and Ringwood had one in Southampton Road.

Bournemouth Echo: Blockbuster.Blockbuster.



Borders had located in Bourne Avenue, a site now occupied by Tesco Metro

The popular book store once welcomed many famous faces through its doors.

Special guests included Michael Winner, Jacqueline Wilson, Jade Goody, Tony Blackburn and Martin Clunes.

Bournemouth Echo: Borders.Borders.



In 1881, the draper John Elmes Beale decided to set up his own shop.

His Fancy Fair was to become Beales, which would eventually be the flagship in a chain of stores.

Mr Beale liked to add some magic to the shopping experience.

His Father Christmas may have been the first in an English department store, and in 1912 he had Santa wave to the crowds from a plane.

Bournemouth Echo: Beales.Beales.



The name C&A stands for Clemens and August, the two Brenninkmeyer brothers from the Netherlands who started the firm and brought it to Britain in 1922.

The Bournemouth branch of C&A closed its doors for the last time on January 27, 2001 – more than 25 years after originally opening on August 14, 1975.

Bournemouth Echo: C&A.C&A.



Etam closed in 2005, shortly after the purchase by Sir Philip Green.

Bournemouth Echo: Etam.Etam.


John Menzies

The Edinburgh-based John Menzies branched out of Scotland in 1988 when it purchased sixty six of Martin Retail Group's largest stores.

The group sold its retail operation to WH Smith in 1998 to allow it to concentrate on the distribution side of its business.

Bournemouth Echo: John Menzies.John Menzies.


Our Price

Our Price was a popular record store trading in CDs, cassette tapes, vinyl and more.

An Our Price store stood on nearly every high street in the county including in Bournemouth and the Dolphin Centre in Poole.

The company started in 1971 but closed in 2004 with the rise of MP3’s and music download sites.

Bournemouth Echo: ourprice bournemouth 1999.ourprice bournemouth 1999.


Toys R Us

Toys R Us at the Nuffield Industrial Estate closed in April 2018 after the toy chain collapsed into administration.

A branch of the toy superstore Smyths opened on the site in October 2019.

Bournemouth Echo: Toys R Us in Poole.Toys R Us in Poole.



In the 1960s, Woolworths introduced huge out-of-town stores, called Woolco.

One opened at the Hampshire Centre (now Castlepoint) in 1968.

It lasted until the 1980s, when the majority of Woolcos became Gateway hypermarkets and were later taken over by Asda.

Bournemouth Echo: Woolco.Woolco.



Bournemouth’s original Woolworths was destroyed by the 1943 bombing that also claimed the nearby Punshon Memorial Church and the Central Hotel.

From the 1950s, Woolworths expanded and modernised. In 1955, the Echo reported on the opening of a “new self-service style” Woolworths at Westbourne – only the second of its kind in the country.

In the 1960s, Woolworths introduced huge out-of-town stores, called Woolco.

Bournemouth’s Woolworths, in the Square, was put up for sale in 1981 and was bought by Boots for £5million.

The company went into administration in November 2008 but the stores remained open for the Christmas period.

Bournemouth Echo: Woolworths in Poole.Woolworths in Poole.