The Lost Pubs and Shops of Stalybridge Town Centre

Loved and Lost on Melbourne Street, Market Street and Grosvenor Street

Melbourne Street, Stalybridge in 2007.
Melbourne Street, Stalybridge in 2007.

Many Moons ago (well, last May to be precise), East of the M60 did an A-Z of defunct retailers in the form of an article entitled The Lost Precinct. This was followed up by a Nikolas Pevsner style guide detailing lost shops in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Following on from this is a similar feature, focused on Stalybridge’s lost shops. We start our journey through time at Market Street, peed off that our train was a Pacer or Sprinter instead of a more charming Class 111 Calder Valley DMU. We might even call in for a pint at a dearly departed local.

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Market Street

Prior to 1997, Market Street between the War Memorial and the White House was also a main thoroughfare for Stalybridge’s local bus routes. As a shopping street, it rivalled Melbourne Street and Grosvenor Street in importance and commanded a mix of chain stores and independent shops.

The Rose and Crown: before becoming Bar Liquid, the Rose and Crown was a John Smith’s house before being sold to Vaux Breweries. On the Sunderland brewery’s demise, their pubs were sold to Swallow Inns who in turn sold out to Pubmaster. Along with Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar, it was known for its folk nights.

Banks’ TV and Radio: in the 1970s and 1980s, Banks’ TV and Radio was a small regional chain in the Granada TV and Radio Rentals vein. Stalybridge’s branch was opposite the Palace Cinema. It is now occupied by Baja’s Balti Bar.

Geldholme Chemist: opposite the bus station, this became Szoda bar. It is now known as Back To The ’80s which (would you believe) is a 1980s themed bar.

Jack Sprat: English chippy next to chemist. Now Saleems’ takeaway selling kebabs, burgers, pizzas and curries. Was prior to becoming Jack Sprat’s chippy known as the ‘Chop Suey House’.

Richard Boyes, Printers: former Robinson’s pub prior to becoming printers’ shop. Lain empty for several years before renovation into flats with two shop units, housing Tame Computers and The Crusty Cob.

The Beehive: children’s outfitters’ shop and supplier of school uniforms to many a primary and secondary school in and around Stalybridge. The creator of East of the M60 got his first school blazer and All Saints R.C. High School badge from there in August 1990!

George Dean: George Dean and Co.’s second shop was formerly the Manchester and Salford County Bank, and during the late 1990s, retained its original stained glass windows and mosaic floors. It has lain empty for several years and has been the subject of possible conversions into bar/restaurant space. Thankfully, the stained glass windows remain intact and – as far as we know – its original interior remains undisturbed.

Citizens’ Advice Bureau: till the start of the 1990s, the double unit housed Stalybridge’s CAB unit. It was also Stalybridge’s first Labour Exchange before moving to more commodious premises in the 1930s on Waterloo Road (now today’s JobCentrePlus).

The Talbot: spacious Tetley’s house popular with live musicians and bikers. It was also a fantastic vantage point for watching the Whit Walks and Stalybridge Carnival. After being empty for a couple of years, it was engulfed by an extension of The Central Hall, home to the Cosmo Bingo Club since 1980.

William Hill, Bookmakers: before moving to bigger premises on Melbourne Street, their original branch was opposite SunSpot tanning shop. Before assuming its present guise as Havana’s, it was the Network S Youth Drop-In Centre.

Boot’s The Chemist: Jesse Boot’s Stalybridge branch was on the corner of Market Street and Melbourne Street. After closing in the mid 1970s, it has been a bicycle shop and a mortgage shop. Today, it is the SunSpot tanning shop.

Darryl Bates Hairdressers: at the top end of the market, Darryl Bates’ salon occupied today’s Lions Bar. After leaving Stalybridge, they moved to a unit in The Arcades, Ashton-under-Lyne opposite the Council Offices.

The Bulls Head: till the late 1980s, The Bulls Head was a Wilsons pub before becoming Gruber Garratt’s Solicitors.

Martin’s Bank: before acquisition by Barclays in 1965, Martin’s Bank was a go-ahead retail banking business based in Manchester. Stalybridge’s branch was on the corner of Waterloo Road opposite the War Memorial and Town Hall. Following Barclays’ integration of Martin’s Bank branches in 1970, it closed with accounts moving to the present Melbourne Street branch.

Brocklehurst’s Newsagents: a traditional newsagent, closed 1999. Also quoted in GM Buses’ timetables as an outlet for their Busabout season tickets. Now the Capelli E Moda beauty salon.

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Melbourne Street

Recent development work has seen Melbourne Street become the town’s main shopping street at the expense of Grosvenor and Market Streets. In recent history, much the town’s chain stores were situated there, along with both gas and electricity showrooms.

The Commercial: along with The Talbot adjacent, The Commercial gained a reputation for live music. Under Vaux Breweries’ ownership, it was renamed The Riverside, a name it kept till being renamed as H2O Bar. Today, it remains the H2O Bar, albeit possibly one with damp thanks to the pub being vacant for the best part of five years.

George Dean: over two floors, their unit occupied the former Burgon’s shop on the Cheshire side of the River Tame. Recent years saw them concentrate on using the first floor with the ground floor becoming a new branch of Lloyd’s Chemist.

Rediffusion: on the side of some flats on Stanley Square are cabinets with ‘Rediffusion’ on the front. Before multi-channel TV became popular, BET owned Rediffusion offered a cable TV service using a relay system and a wall mounted switch. Stalybridge’s branch is occupied by an extension of the Yorkshire Building Society.

Civic: an electrical retailer in the Currys/Dixons mould, their showroom was later occupied by The Fireplace Centre. This has now been split into two smaller units. They came to prominence in the 1970s with an advertising campaign featuring Harry Worth.

North West Gas showrooms: directly opposite was the town’s gas showrooms. After the privatisation of British Gas in 1986, they elected to concentrate on bigger town centres, rebranding themselves as The Energy Centre. William Hill took over their unit and remain its occupants.

NORWEB: an early 1970s addition; following their move from Thorn House on Waterloo Road, the North Western Electricity Board’s showrooms moved to new premises next to the Trustees’ Savings Bank. It had three floors with customer accounts settled at basement level. The first floor became an antiques shop with the ground floor having been Quality Save since 1999.

The Gift Centre/Bottom Dollar: no Child of the 1980s’ trip to Stalybridge was complete without a trip to Bottom Dollar. Occupying The Emporium building and a neighbouring unit, it was a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of goodies at low prices, from stationery to deodorant. During the mid-1980s, they expanded into the cellar with access from Armentieres Square and a café. Today, another discount shop – in the spirit of Bottom Dollar – occupies the ground floor along with a branch of David Pluck’s bookmakers, as part of a mixed use development on the site.

Today, Bottom Dollar may be gone, but they moved to Market Street and set up shop as the Yu And Me discount store in 2010.

Sportcare and Fitness/Sports Feet/P&C Sports: opposite The Emporium building on 39A was a split level sports shop. Before being known as P&C Sports, it was part of a small regional chain, dropping the Sportcare and Fitness moniker for Sports Feet. Besides selling all the usual sports equipment and replica shirts, it also supplied schools’ sports kits.

Greenwoods: gents’ outfitters chain, now without a presence in the Tameside area.

Melia’s Farm Foods: Close by was Melia’s delicatessen which also had a great line in bacon muffins.

L and A Smithies’ Newsagents: sadly missed, Leslie and Audrey Smithies not only kept a good newsagents with an excellent range of transport magazines. They were very much part of Stalybridge with Les’ interests in photography, railways and all things Stalybridge Celtic. Les always had an answer for anything to do with The Mighty ‘Bridge and his newsagents was also a booking point for the Supporters’ Association’s away coach trips. Today, it is now the Five A Day greengrocers.

SupaSnaps: now the Age UK charity shop, it was a minilab for the film processing company with many a 35mm, 110 or 126 film brought in to their premises. Other previous uses included a Coal Board showroom.

The Walk Around Shop: on 19, Melbourne Street, another gift shop and the town’s Casio watch dealer.

Roy’s: gentleman’s outfitters with emphasis on Wrangler jeans.

Shoefayre: Stalybridge’s last shoe shop and non-pharmaceutical outpost of the Cooperative Wholesale Society closing in 2008. Shortly after closure it became a booking office and waiting area for Bridge Cars, later Phone A Car. It has recently changed use again.

Dewhurst’s the Butchers: as recently as 25 years ago, the chain store butcher was as much a part of our High Street along with chain store bakeries. Stalybridge’s branch closed during the 1990s and subsequently became, in 1999, The Meat Emporium. The latter business was owned by an ex-employee of Kwik Save’s butchery concession [Colemans] after that store’s conversion into the Somerfield format in May 1999.

Burney’s bakery: at one time, there was two chain store bakeries in Stalybridge. Burneys was next door to Greggs. After a brief foray under their parent company’s Hampsons livery, it closed in 2009, missing conversion to their Sayers brand, or as Pound Bakery the year after.

Walter Wilkinson: a local favourite, Walter Wilkinson’s sausages were the last name in flavour among Stalybridge folk. Closed in 2011, it was empty till 2016 when the British Red Cross charity shop took on the unit.

Ask 38: fashion boutique on two floors. Ladbrokes’ bookmakers occupies the unit along with Marvics’ and Bowdens’ shops on Grosvenor Street. In 2016, the unit changed hands again and became a British Red Cross charity shop.

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Grosvenor Street:

Redevelopment of Stalybridge town centre in 1968 saw the addition of concrete units on the site of Stalybridge’s first Q-Inn. The junction of Grosvenor Street and Melbourne Street was also a junction with Back Grosvenor Street, which forms part of today’s Armentieres Square.

The occupation of Stalybridge’s rear market ground by Cheshire Constabulary’s new police station meant the movement of some stalls to Grosvenor Street. These were flanked by an L-shaped block of low rise deck-access flats with retail space on the ground floor. In the late 1970s, most of Grosvenor Street, along with the top end of Melbourne Street was pedestrianised.

Pat’s Plaice: English chippy, closest to sheltered accommodation nearest Caroline Street.

International Foods: a dependable source for Polish food and other continental delights.

Stop and Save: a walk-around shop, similar to Bottom Dollar though smaller. One of two units occupied by the New Charter Housing Trust’s Stalybridge office along with…

Polar Pantry: a freezer centre offering a range of cheap frozen food, aimed at low-income families. Became Snow City’s Stalybridge branch till 1999. Closure came shortly after Snow City’s acquisition by Heron Foods, Kingston-upon-Hull.

DHSS/DSS Job Centre: right opposite the last two shops was Stalybridge’s Job Centre, prior to its move to Waterloo Road in 1996.

F.W. Woolworth: a purpose built unit dating from 1904, Stalybridge’s branch of Woolworths closed in 1973. Shortly after, it became the town’s first Kwik Save store before moving to ‘out-of-town’ premises on nearby Leech Street in 1994. Ethel Austin took over till its demise in 2009 – 2010. It is now occupied by a craft shop.

Maypole Dairy: one of Stalybridge’s first modern self-service supermarkets was a purpose built unit for the Maypole Dairy, opening in 1968. The unit has seen a fair amount of changes in its time, starting with its transition to becoming a branch of Liptons. In 1986, Liptons became Lo-Cost, later becoming Lloyd’s Supersave and Savers. It is now a branch of Superdrug.

Golden Gander: poultry products shop. Later became D&A Discounts, a short lived bargain basement food store. Then the Town Shopper’s double unit. It is now a T-Shirt printing shop.

Scallywags: children’s outfitters. Now part of an expanded branch of Joe Coral, bookmakers, hitherto a branch of Paul Dean’s bookmakers.

Owl’s Hoot Café: popular café among 1980s shoppers. Also featured prominently on the late Sid Waddell’s football themed serial Jossy’s Giants.

Spencers’ Bookshop: Stalybridge’s branch of the Ashtonian bookshop and art shop, closest to Trinity Street. Later became Stalybridge Bookshop before closing at the start of the noughties.

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Cooperative Society Stores

The Cooperative Movement had a substantial presence in Stalybridge till the end of the 1970s. Shop units at the end of Grosvenor Street nearest Trinity Street formed part of the Co-op’s presence in the town. Besides town centre shops, this included branches on Grey Street, Huddersfield Road/Mottram Road junction and Market Street.

Its main store straddled Grosvenor Street and Back Grosvenor Street. One floor housed a gymnastics school. At the latter street, most of the units were damaged by fire, with the exception of one section which became The Millpond pub. Units were subdivided into smaller shops with, at today’s Armentieres Square end at one time:

  • Shirley’s Shoes;
  • Bride to Be;
  • The Casablanca Gymnasium;
  • The Cotton Club;
  • Innocence;
  • Shades Discotheque.

Shades was accessible from Grosvenor Street with a grass verge at its entrance. It was popular among 20 – 30 somethings in the early to mid 1980s. In the 1990s, The Cotton Club and Innocence were popular venues for persons in their late teens.

After fire damaged the Armentieres Square end of the store, the units were derelict for over a year and demolished. In its place, and under construction (in 2017) is a mixed-use retail and housing development by New Charter Housing Trust. This has attracted controversy over its architectural style and its height – seven storeys at its highest point, closest to TESCO.

At the Grosvenor Street end (which also included Spencers at one time), most of the ground floor level is taken up by Lounge.

Younger Stalybridge folk may remember the town’s last Co-op store on Grosvenor Street. Modernised in the mid-1960s, the food hall was on the ground floor with electrical goods upstairs. Following the closure of NORWEB, an electricity payment kiosk was installed on the left hand side of the entrance for a year. After the Co-op’s closure in 2002, it became Tameside’s third J.D. Wetherspoon public house the following year, known as The Society Rooms.

And of course, some nitpicker would safely say the Co-op’s last non-pharmaceutical shop in Stalybridge was Shoe Fayre, which closed in 2008.

Today, the Cooperative’s presence in Stalybridge is much reduced. Like none whatsoever. The Cooperative chemists on Market Street, Grosvenor Street and Huddersfield Road- alongside many others in the UK – were sold to Well in 2015. They were a newly created company owned by the Bestway Cash and Carry group. The nearest Cooperative convenience stores are in Hurst (King’s Road) and Dukinfield (opposite The Forester public house).

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Victoria Market

For the average Stalybridge citizen, Trinity Street only meant one thing: Victoria Market. The main market hall closed on New Year’s Eve in 1999, whereas in recent history, its Fish Market opposite has been converted to small shop units. Before late 1960s redevelopment of Grosvenor Street and Melbourne Street, and late 1970s pedestrianisation, outdoor stalls were situated on the market ground behind the market hall, overlooking the River Tame. It was, prior to the opening of SIDS (Stalybridge Indoor Sports), a regular venue for its Whit Friday Brass Band Contests.

Some traders moved to units opposite Victoria Market. In 2000, it was proposed that a private contractor would take over the retail hall. As this didn’t come to fruition, it became Stalybridge Civic Hall, with some facilities moved from the former school and community centre on Waterloo Road. The area designated for retail space became exhibition space, and has played host to antiques fairs and craft markets.

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Corporation Street

From Portland Place to Quality Save, Corporation Street also had the town’s public baths as well as access to indoor and outdoor markets. Further down, past Trinity Street, the street has significant historical importance: the very place where Jack Judge performed ‘It’s A Long Way to Tipperary’.

Tipperary Café: opposite the side of the Fish Market was the theatre where Jack Judge performed ‘It’s A Long Way to Tipperary’. Most of the theatre, apart from its façade was demolished. The far right hand side unit of the four was the Tipperary Café, popular among Stalybridge diners in the 1990s.

Hardcastles: if you wanted toys or buggies, Hardcastles was the last word. Whereas the first floor had nursery equipment, the ground floor’s toy section was always a joy to visit: its main strengths were board games, cuddly toys and model kits. Since closing in 2009, it has been a taxi booking office and has since become a beauty salon.

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As you would expect, this list is far from complete…

I have focused on Stalybridge’s main shopping streets, so feel free to add our list of lost shops, or recall any memories of shopping in Stalybridge. More lost shoe shops or amusing anecdotes? Other streets in Stalybridge with good shops from the past? Do your worst, comment freely and articulately.

S.V., 07 January 2013.

Updated on the 17 March 2017.

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81 thoughts on “The Lost Pubs and Shops of Stalybridge Town Centre

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    1. hi I have trid to rent a shop ther for the last 2 month and got no were only 2 be told ther is nothing not privert or council nor new charter I am trying to give stalybridge and its residents a chance to have shops to come to. and to have a job. but no one wonts no.will some one rent me a shop a s a p thanks will

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      1. Hi William,

        Have you been on to the Stalybridge Town Team to see if they could point you in the right direction? I see you’ve had no joy from local property companies, Tameside MBC and New Charter Housing Trust, so perhaps it could be market forces. Though there’s still a number of vacant properties in Stalybridge, some may be owned by property companies or private landlords, even if they’re empty.

        Some may be committed to longer leases, which is at odds with you wanting to move in as soon as possible.

        Regards,

        Stuart.

        P.S. Have you been on RightMove.co.uk?

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    2. was it called , the Music Box ?….i remember that one very well, my mum ran a pub (2 in total) in Stalybridge, and i was often in htere , getting the bay city rollers record on the day it was released! we had a juke box in the pub that i used to get all my records from after they were taken off every 2 weeks, so i had quite a collection in my teens!

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  1. I’m in my late 30’s and our weekly Saturday shop when I was a young girl was always in Stalybridge, On a list of shops to visit was the bread shop on Grosvenor street and sometimes RJS jewellers next door, the wool shop on Melbourne street along with a mooch in others and then over to the market to buy our green grocery from the busy stall outside before going inside to get cooked meats, pet food and look at the book stall, then if I was lucky my mum would let me have a look in the record shop which was opposite the market, as a very young child my Grandma would buy me an ice cream from Faircloughs ice cream shop which was also opposite the market. Where has our old thriving town gone, we need it back to how it use to be ……..BUSY.

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    1. Hi Melissa,

      My mum and dad used to shop at Stalybridge each Saturday. For us, this meant Polar Pantry for our frozen foods and the nearby Kwik Save. For anything where quality mattered, it was always the indoor market hall, for the butchers nearest the front entrance, or the fish stall. Our first microwave oven came from NORWEB on Melbourne Street. Would the record shop be Soundtracks by any chance? (I think the unit became ‘Namedroppers’, a personalised gifts shop whom had a second branch at Alexandra Craft Centre’s annexe in Uppermill).

      As for my earliest memory of shopping in Stalybridge, I can remember running away from a packed Kwik Save towards the Liptons store opposite. The bustle had got me overloaded, leading to my exit. I was five at the time and with my mother.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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    2. Stalybridge was never thriving. As a boy in the thirties and forties living in Kenworthy Street opposite Brocklehurst the barbers which was taken over by Greenwood Doodson we went to the corner shop for our groceries and to Ashton for anything else as did most people. I started
      as an apprentice plumber and glazier in 1944 at Thomas Ford and Sons, 55 Market Street. I think it later became a chemists. We were right opposite Whittakers stationary shop and next door to them was Ernie Denton the basin cut barber. he was always known as Puggy Denton. Going towards the station next door to T. Fords was Carrs a high class grocery store and then there was a tobacconists shop. After the alley where one could go down to the river was the Albion Wine stores and then a Florist and then the UCP tripe shop and café.

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      1. I went to crescent road secondary school up to the late nineteen fifties in nineteen fifty nine i started in my first job at raymond semps capital stores on market street i think was next door to the tobacco shop ,it must have been one of the very first self service stores,there were three other staff who worked alongside me ,ann/rose/and mary who lived nearly opposite near the cinema. Peter.

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  2. On Market Street, there was Oldham’s confectioners and caterers at No. 97. ( they also had a shop at 58 Mottram Road.
    Also at 27 Market Street was Shaw’s furniture store, at 56 were Geo. Whittaker and Sons,who sold gift ware and at 55 Thomas Ford and Sons, plumbers, painters and ironmongers. There was another ironmongers, “Ironmongers Limited” at 33 Market Street.
    On High Street at 64 was Robert Lowe, grocers and at 81 James Wilson and Son, painters and decorators
    at 8 Portland Place was J H Smith,jeweller, clothier and general salesman.
    In addition, on Warrington Street were Tansey and Walker, wholesale grocers and provision merchants and finally at 129 Stamford Street were estate agents Heap, Son and Norman.
    The original Faircloughs ice cream factory was in a yard at the rear of premises where the now closed PAD night club is.

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    1. Faircloughs/ Sidebothams ice cream factory was at the back of Grosvenor Street in Cross Leach Street between Kenworthy Street and Vaudrey Street. I used to go and watch them making it and also buy it there. They used to go around the town with their horse drawn ice cream carts.

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    2. I used to work for Faircloughs on the Vans during the winter and Stamford park during the summer, watched them making ice cream during the process of loading the Vans.
      Bernadine

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  3. What about the Swimming baths? No trip to Stalybridge was complete without a dip. The changing rooms were on 2 sides of the pool. The location is now where Tesco’s car park is.

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    1. Hi Sue,

      I don’t remember the swimming baths, but my dad remembers it from his childhood. Crescent Road Secondary Modern school pupils took their swimming lessons. The plaque is still there, restored by participants of a Manpower Services Commission employment scheme (which for younger readers of this blog, was a precursor to today’s Workfare schemes). It was unveiled in 1988 with Roy Barraclough opening it.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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      1. I remember the swimming baths and the changing rooms on the side of the pool, I use to think it was a fab pool and loved our visits there.

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      2. Hi Melissa,

        The retention of Stalybridge Public Baths would have enhanced the town’s character. Even if its use as a pool had expired, it could have served as a non-water-based community facility (as with the Maden Baths in Bacup) – or restored, operated by a ‘Friends of…’ group. As we know, it became Another Fine Lost Building of Tameside, thanks to Copley Recreation Centre superseding it (thus solving the problem of denying Mossley its own pool by building one halfway between Mossley and Stalybridge).

        Sadly, in the late 1970s, we were too glad to leave behind our Victorian and Edwardian baths behind in favour of more functional buildings. Had there been the same groundswell of support which Victoria Baths had in Chorlton-on-Medlock…

        Bye for now,

        Stuart.

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  4. we used ti have a town hall…still don’t know why it was demolished!!and i had many a happy night out in the talbot and commercial….brings back many happy nights out when i was under age lol…..and faircloughs ice cream had a parlour where new charter is now …. and jack coggins opposite stalybridge is now a ghost town it very sad to see it like this x

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    1. Hi Christine,

      Stalybridge Town Hall was demolished in 1990, after lying empty for ten years. Instead of renovating it and finding alternative uses, it laid derelict, prompting its demolition. Prior to the opening of the TAC building in 1981, Tameside’s Environmental Health Department was based there.

      Even in its ghostly state, I still have a great affinity for Stalybridge town centre. I always want it to be the thriving centre it once was – even from my youth when it was starting to lose ground to Ashton.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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  5. amazing blog – thanks Stuart! My Gran worked in Burney’s during the 1980s and then I managed to attain the kudos of ‘Saturday Girl’ Usually in Ashton branch- but sometimes in S/Bwhen needed – and for me S/B still does not feel like S/B without Burneys on the left hand side after the tripe shop…

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  6. PS – forgive me if I have overlooked this – but any pre-teen/early teen living in the area during say 1984 to ermm 1988 was all-too familiar with one of the (ONLY) ‘child/teen’ clothes shops in S/B. At the top of Melbourne St – and nearly next to the butchers – I think it was called ‘A and A separates’…..I spent far too much time in that one place in S/B going ‘I HATE SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES AND NO – I AM NOT GOING TO ASHTON! I HATE IT EVEN MORE THERE!!!!!!!!!’

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    1. Hi Tina,

      Thanks for the comments. Yes, you are right about Stalybridge feeling lost without Burneys/Hampsons. I always considered them to be more superior than Greggs’ offerings next door. Best pies in Stalybridge? They can be found at the Chicken Barbecue adjacent to Greggs, or at Carr’s The Bakers just outside the town centre on Springs Lane. More conveniently, their offerings are also available at Bower Fold and the Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar.

      A and A Separates? Spot on! I remember the ride-on animal they used to have outside.

      This clip from ‘Jossy’s Giants’ will take you back to mid-1980s Stalybridge. Go straight to the seventh minute for shots of Grosvenor Street and Melbourne Street and a snatch of The Art of Noise’s ‘Close to the Edit’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLma7S0Vfyk.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

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  7. Hi there, great read, you missed two….Stalybridge Reproductions furniture shop Market St and Dean and Noble on Melbourne St. Two very well known bygone shops! Ta, C

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  8. Hi Carrie and Paul,

    Some good inclusions there. Carrie: I remember the Hyde branch of Dean and Noble though not Stalybridge’s. I do remember Stalybridge Reproductions, next door to Walker Property Services. Paul: I do have vague memories of wandering around Bernard Wallis’ – and I do remember the bargain basket. I always used to be bored stiff there, more alert to the attractions at Bottom Dollar opposite. Suffice to say, shoe shops still bore me today.

    Byes for now,

    Stuart.

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    1. Trevor’s cooked meats were the best I’ve ever tasted. My favorite was his ham hand carved from a huge joint. And you can’t forget Carrie’s YORKSHIRE DUCKS and queuing outside to ge tserved.

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    1. I do, it was an enticing, colourful plae to visit. I used to go there after school , Waterloo Rd Girls Secondary Modern, just to look and admire the wonderful card illustrations and fantasize about being an artist myself one day.

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      1. i was a Central girl too…. left in 77, but spent most of the last 2 years ” wagging it”!… i could often be found on the indoor market , or shopping on the high street at a shoe shop , i wonder if the gentleman above- comment is the same Melvyn who had a shoe shop on that road? i think it was melvyn or mervyn, i can,t quite recall 100%, but i know he sold me some very fancy two-tone shoes from there , in light purple and dark purple patch suede , that caused a stir with the teachers at school!!! ( black shoes only! grrr… lol)

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  9. A long time ago, in the early 1950s, my father, Harold Northrup, was the publican of the Grosvenor Hotel, a Robinsons House on Grosvenor Street. At the same time, my grandfather, Austin Perrin, was the publican of the Pineapple Inn at 18 Kenworthy Street. As a boy, I attended West Hill Preparatory School and, on several occasions, swam at the old public baths.

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      1. Hi Christine,

        The private school is Trinity School, which is on High Street and close to where Hob Hill School was (which faced Albert Square). West Hill, is on Stamford Street.

        Warmly,

        Stuart.

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    1. Yes Tracy, we knew her well as she was a lovely lady. My own mother (who is now 80 years young), very active and still drives, owned the cafe on the opposite side of the road and I was brought up there circa 1959-1973. How is your mum?

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  10. Does anyone remember ‘The New Outfitter’ Gents clothing shop on Melbourne Street and the Sheepskin shop next door? On the corner of corporation street and Melbourne was Duckworths the grocer and a decorating shop. Opposite was Ridings furniture warehouse – which became Ron Hill sports (I think)?? Other shops I’ve not seen mentioned were Pashleys the greengrocer on Melbourne Steet, opposite Shorrocks the baker and confectioners – Oh and at the top of Melbourne Street, Dowsers the newsagents, Horsefalls the butchers, and the Stalybridge Model shop on Market Street.

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    1. I remember Mr Dowser the newsagent very well as I used to deliver the evening paper starting at the top of Mottram Road. I remember getting a lavish Christmas tip from none other than Mike Summerbee the football player, and hopping and skipping home full of glee after finishing my round.

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  11. My Mother and Father Mary and Harold Higginson,had a Grocers / Greengrocers on the Grosvenor Street precinct ,next door to Peter the Polishmans Deli ,and also nearby was
    Adams’s Fish shop.
    My Grandparents were also had the Oddfellows Arms,near the New Princes Cinema until their retirement in the late 1960’s.

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    1. Hi I remember your mum and dads shop, great butties i recall,
      my mum and dad had the fishmongers Joe and Marion Adams with a chippy next door and therefore next to your mum and dads shop

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      1. Hi Simon, It was great to read your comments about my Mum & Dads shop.I have a photo of you that I took outside your flat above the shop, you must have been about two, I think it was about 1962/3. Before the new shops were built I remember your Grandmother, Mrs Adams, Joe, Ruth, Billie all working in the shop and Jacky working I think Wainwrights in Canal Street.
        Best Wishes
        Jim

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      2. hi James, that pic sounds interesting, its a time i don’t recall too much !,
        your mum and mine were very good friends you know, and i worked at the same place as your mum for a while, she was a lovely lady !

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      3. Simon, how is your Joanne?! I used to go to the same secondary school as her in Stalybridge. Would love to know how she is. Thanks, Dawn

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      1. The last Landlord of the Oddfellows was Jimmy Higgison in 1964, used to go in for a pint or two and Jim would serve us underage

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      2. My grandfather was James Higginson who was the landlord of the Oddfellows Arms from 1942 until 1967 he would have never served anyone under aged ,I never saw anyone under 25 years old in the pub all the time he was landlord
        James Higginson.

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  12. I have been researching my family history and have discovered that my Great-Great-Great Uncle William Stanley Burton was the Bank Manager of Manchester & County Bank, Market Street, Stalybridge 1867-1890.
    Most of my ancestors lived in Stalybridge so I feel a connection to the area.

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  13. Some good memories… I used to go to the Gym Club (in old COOP building) trinity street, in the early 80’s – North West Pioneer Gym Club run by Mr & Mrs Gough. I am sure that we used to go to a chinese chippy in the middle of Melbourne street.

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  14. The most famous shop when I was a kid was Jack Coggintons sports shop originally on Grosvenor street and later moved to Melbourne street. I remember he had City and United players attend the opening of his shops, he was a great character

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    1. I used to work in the home jack now lives he is doing OK still a red LOL we had a joke or two with me being a blue nice chap

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  15. I went back to Stalybridge three weeks ago and found my grandfather’s pub, the Pineapple Inn, just off Grosvenor Street on Kenworthy Street, board up and deserted. Very sad. I had been unaware of the redevelopment of Grosvernor and Melbourne Streets, but my son and I did a walking tour of the area and found ourselves unable to identify my father’s old pub, the Grosvenor Hotel. I was not quite 8 when we moved from there.

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    1. Hi Jeff,

      The Grosvenor Hotel is now today’s ‘Legends’ bar. After being a Robinsons’ house, it assumed its current guise as a Free House in 2007.

      The Pineapple has been closed since 2011. There has been plans by Raja Brothers to turn it into an off-licence but no real movement as yet. I think The Society Rooms’ opening hastened the demise of The Pineapple. It could have competed with the JD Wetherspoon house on real ale and offered live entertainment. Alas not so.

      Grosvenor Street and Melbourne Street was pedestrianised in the late-1970s. There used to be an arcade of shops with flats above (what would be termed a ‘Mixed Use Development’ in today’s language) dating from the early 1960s. They were demolished in the late 1990s with Housing Association homes on the site.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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    2. hi jeff, ..i remember the Pinapple Inn, …as my mother ran 2 pubs during the 70,s and 80,s there, …many of the licensee,s were familiar with each other in those days, too but we obviously wouldn,t have known your family in the 50,s there…. do you remember the Guide Post Inn, on the corner of Huddersfield rd./Mottram rd.?… that was our first pub in 1972 , now demolished,.. happy days , though,..i miss them! all the best, Jeff. xxx

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  16. My Hitchen family grew up in Stalybridge. Many worked for the Co-op a mainstay of the town. I am sorry it closed. Mum and I bought our clothes and my Astley Uniform from the Co-op. Granddad was grocery manager for years. I bought my furniture from the Co-op and always got great service. I mograted to Australia in 1978 and have never gone back. Too many memories LOST

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  17. Hi, I think you’ll find that what is now Gruber and Garretts on Market street was in fact the Boars Head pub and not the Bulls Head which is on Knowl Street. still got the stone carved boars head above the door, used to play pool there many moons ago, also the bank facing the war memorial was the TSB, again it has the lions head with the key in it’s mouth on the wall above where the original door was, opened my very first bank account when i was 11. Martins bank was further down, opposite the estate agents on the corner of Melbourne st and Market st, the bank was on the ground floor only, upstairs was my Grandmas house. i used to sit in the big bay windows watching the Whit Friday walks, the bank is now a large indian restaurant. Sorry to chirp in like that, some nice memories on here.

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      1. Thanks Stuart, those are the very bay windows i used to sit in to watch whit Friday,
        then when the bands had passed used to run across the road to a small sweet shop to buy a single shot glass of pop for a penny.
        Happy days.

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  18. My mum had a haberdashery shop in Stalybridge called Buttons and Bows, which later became Bottom Dollar. Her name was Emily Hines and she lived on the premises with my two sisters Christine and Patricia Hines who attended St Pauls Junior School and làter Stalybridge Central

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  19. My mum and dad ran Shorrock’s Bakers. Originally on Grovesnor Street, then moved to Melbourne Street where the Village Cafe now is and then back to Grovesnor Street where the Cancer Research Shop now is. We started off selling pies, cakes etc then when we moved around the corner a snack bar was added . When the Bakery finally closed its doors we expanded the snack bar into a cafe. We use to have quite a few celebrities visit our cafe. Kathy Staff (Nora Batty), Roy Barrowclough (Alec Gilroy) being two of them. Although I was born and brought up in Dukinfield, Stalybridge played a massive part in my life growing up. I fondly remember shops like Bernard Wallace’s shoe shop and Bernard himself. What a character he was. Owens greengrocers and the Hat shop next to it on Melbourne Street. What about Murrays Electricals next to the famous Tripe Shop which is still there to this day. My favourite was the sweet shop next to our cake shop when on Melbourne Street. It was always fully stocked with an array of delious sweets and chocolates. There are too many to mention all of them but not forgetting Farm Foods, the record shop, Geds newsagents, Trevor Cartwright famous for his ‘Savoury Ducks’, the Co-op, Liptons, A+A separates, Smithies newsagent and the Hardware shop. To me, Stalybridge Town centre holds some fantastic and unforgettable memories.

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  20. Has anyone mentioned Bernard Wallaces, I always remembered he would do everything he could to find you what you wanted pulling boxes out of the back of the store cupboards or going upstairs, he would throw in s shoe horn or some polish as a gift … And he also had Bernard’s bargain bucket 😆

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  21. Before becoming Stop and Save and then New Charter offices, that shop used to be Monaghan’s hardware. I used to go to school with their son. Thanks for the article Stuart. Brought back some great memories.

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  22. Anybody remember the bicycle spares shop opposite the place cinema? Its bugging me i can’t remember the name of it ? Late 70’s early 80’s

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  23. As an ex Stalybridge boy I started school at Castle Hall school both infant and junior. Harold Shaw was a junior teacher that I remember. I also went to West Hill Secondary school for a time.
    I lived at 102 Kenworthy Street and that house is still going strong though it has been rearranged inside.
    Many happy memories from my time in the “bridge” from 1938 until 1955 when I left to join the Royal Navy.
    I also remember that Stalybridge had the pub with the shortest name “Q” and the longest name “The North East Cheshire Rifle Bridgade Inn”.

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  24. No ones mentioned Prices cake shop, on market street, it was just next to George deans shop, we used to go there in the sixties, nice cream oysters i remember

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    1. Hi John,

      Is this the same Price’s bakery chain (based in Clayton) that was taken over by Greggs in 1976? Also, was the unit left of George Dean (where My Wendy House is today)?

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

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      1. Yes it was left of George dean, roughly opposite the talbot pub, I’m not sure if it was part of the same chain as the one in clayton, but its a possibility. I used to go to a barbers shop, that was opposite where the Bee hive shop was, its all been knocked down now, but was one of the group of shops that were to the left of the Cosmo bingo hall. Re prices cake shop, if you walked through the path behind the stalybridge SHMD bus office canteen, you would come out directly facing Price’s Shop.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

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  25. I was brought up castle hall on kenworthy Street 1960 the best pie shop was Betsy stubbs, we went from kenworthy Street to York house had my wedding reception at the pineapple pub

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  26. Hi I was brought up on Hamilton St my mum and grandad had the chippy that served homemade puddings & pies,black peas.etc. Customers used to bring their own basins in,my mum (Marlene) would keep them warm on the pie shelf. Kids would come in asking for a bag of scraps,so many happy memories.My old school friend from central,and I waited in the pouring rain for Mr Downe,s to open the Palace cinema one sun night. There was a sign in the window saying, 2 usherettes wanted. We got the job,the big film that was on at that time was Dirty Harry. Does anyone remember the sat matts at the Palace, it used to be packed with screaming kids watching all the old Black & White films like The Three Stooges,Ben Turpin,with the cross eyes and many more. Wish I could turn back the time.

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