THE department store, formerly called Whitakers, opened on November 7, 1907.

The two-storey timber-framed building was designed by architect George Crowther.

It was built using timber salvaged from buildings demolished on Bradshawgate, with white painted panels and a plain tiled roof.

Signs went up in the windows of Beales in July 2016, informing customers that it will be shutting down, with plans to cease trading the following January.

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At the time, company bosses explained that they were disappointed to be closing the Bolton store, but said difficulties had arrived after the landlord of the main building went into administration.

The iconic building was sold for £800,000 in an online property auction a few months later in October.

The store welcomed its customers for the last time at 3pm on New Year’s Eve later that year.

The closure came on the same day as another town centre institution, Prestons of Bolton jewellery store, also closed its doors.

The store, dubbed the “Diamond Centre of the North”, had been based in the town centre since opening in 1869 and was also based in Deansgate.

A notice displayed in the window on the final day read: “We would all like to say “thank you” to all our customers and thanks for the happy memories. Bye Bolton!”