More changes to the borough’s retail offerings
- New KFC opening in Hyde;
- Five Guys set for Ashton Moss début;
- Stalybridge comings and goings;
- Long established electronics shop closes.
Shortly after last month’s despatches, the Tameside retail scene has been rather busy. So much so we were out by several weeks on one development. The imminent opening of Hyde’s KFC.
Finger licking good
The 11 October [Saturday] saw the opening of Hyde’s KFC. Crowds lined the newly opened branch on Union Street, with characters from Disney’s Frozen film present. The following Sunday saw further queues; one Twitterer said it was “almost like Hyde had never had fried chicken before”. I would assume Hydonians have enjoyed Southern Fried chicken before from its independently owned takeaways. In the last thirty or so years.
Staying with fast food, there is news of another burger joint about to reach Ashton Moss. Known as “Five Guys” they are a pan-American burger chain with a different angle to the likes of McDonalds. Its branches have no freezers (only coolers), so burgers are freshly prepared on the day. This could be the group’s second branch in Greater Manchester (the other is in The Trafford Centre).
Stalybridge comings and goings
In the last five weeks, we have seen the arrival of an arts and crafts shop on Corporation Street. Known as “Be Creative” it occupies the unit formerly belonging to Harwick’s Health Store. On Grosvenor Street, a new T-Shirt customising shop has opened opposite The Society Rooms.
November’s Handmade Market is set to be the last one of 2014. This is owing to Tameside MBC’s temporary residency in the Stalybridge Civic Hall, whilst the TAC Building is being demolished. Son of TAC is set to be ready by 2016-17, shared with Tameside College and Wilko Stores Ltd.
Owing to Remembrance Sunday, this month’s Stalybridge Farmers’ Market will be moved from its usual spot to the car park next to ALDI. The parade takes place on Armentieres Square, assembling at 10.25am. Led out by Stalybridge Old Band, the route is via Trinity Street, Grosvenor Street, Melbourne Street, Market Street, King Street, Waterloo Road and Trinity Street to the War Memorial. The Remembrance Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place at 10.55am.
Pub and club update
The Stalybridge Labour Club played host to a successful beer festival from the 24 to 26 October. Instead of paying at the bar, drinkers purchased a stamp card priced £10.00 with seven half glasses. S/he would order their pint or half pint at the bar and get each half pint stamped. There was food and live music on all three days.
Displaying the ‘For Sale’ sign is the Old General, which in the last year has seen a number of managers trying to get the ailing yet historical public house on form.
Closing on the 10 November, though only for five weeks will be the Prince of Orange on Warrington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. The pub will be refurbished with a carvery section key to its new look. Prior to ‘Spoons’ arrival in 1995 it was a ‘must-visit’ pub for gastronomes, with Rabbit Pie its house speciality.
Ashton comings and goings
We say goodbye to two businesses: one new and one not-so-new. The newest one is Pack-Snack opposite the newsagents next to Bargain Buys. Its Ashton franchise probably lost out to the ever-popular Greggs (now with a little seating area instore) and Bake and Take (popular with the borough’s smoking population).
On Penny Meadow we say goodbye to Stewart Electronics. In the last thirty years, it had sold gigging equipment – mainly keyboards, lighting and microphones. In the 1980s and 1990s it was also revered by computer owners, primarily those of a Commodore persuasion (it was very good for C64 and Amiga gamers).
Coming to Ashton Retail Park, a short stride away from the bus station, will be PureGym. PureGym is a chain of bargain basement 24 hour gymnasia. That’s right, open 24 hours a day. Next to Poundstretcher, it will have more than 50 free exercise classes per week, and over 220 pieces of state-of-the-art equipment. Day passes will be available for £5.99 with monthly passes available. There is no contracts with monthly memberships the norm, plus membership schemes for all of their branches.
The former Phones4U store in the Arcades Shopping Centre has been taken over by Vodafone and in business. In readiness for Christmas, our favourite hardware stall, Baileys, has decked part of its unit with a walkway full of Christmas trees. All beautifully lit and always a joy to visit.
Staying on the same subject, Tameside Christmas Market is set to open on the 30 November. Proceedings will begin with a lantern parade at 3.30pm, starting outside the town hall on a circular route via Penny Meadow, Old Cross Street, Old Street and Warrington Street. More details to follow on East of the M60 nearer the time.
Other comings and goings (some of which probably not so recent – corrections and additions appreciated as always):
- Be Creative: Corporation Street, Stalybridge: new shop;
- “T-Shirt shop”: Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge: new shop;
- KFC: Union Street, Hyde: new shop;
- Vodafone: Arcades Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne: relocation into former Phones4U outlet;
- PureGym: Ashton Retail Park, Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne: new unit.
- Stewart Electronics: Penny Meadow, Ashton-under-Lyne;
- Pack Snack: Ladysmith Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne.
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December’s despatches could only mean one thing: our Christmas Special edition! Expect to see references to the Tameside Christmas Market plus the usual comings and goings.
S.V., 07 November 2014.