Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside: November 2014

More changes to the borough’s retail offerings

Ashton Christmas Market, opening day crowds
Only a month to go: St. Andrew’s Day sees the opening of this year’s Ashton Christmas Market. Seen above is an image from last year’s opening day.
  • 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.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

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.


6 thoughts on “Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside: November 2014

Add yours

  1. The pasty market was well over-saturated on Ashton’s Ladysmith, no fewer than 5 within a very short space of each other with Pack Snack, Pound Bakery, Bake & Take, Greggs and Greenhalgh’s all vying for trade. Something had to give. Even 4’s too many.


    1. Hi Mark,

      Unfortunately yes, partly due to brand recognition (Greggs and Pound Bakery) and similar outlets within five minutes walk from the open market to the bus station.

      I never got to try any of Pack Snack’s offerings, but they did cover similar ground to established businesses and the newer Bake and Take (which is one of my favourite haunts in the centre of Ashton).

      One thing for sure is you can never go hungry in Ashton-under-Lyne. What’s worse (in a nice sense) is a number of great eateries in the town. Not only its cafés (worth a future East of the M60 article in itself!) but its takeaways. Especially the Chinese chippy on Penny Meadow.

      Bye for now,



    1. Hi Mark,

      Glad to see you like the ‘Retail Comings and Goings…’ reports. Since their introduction in September, they have been among the most read pieces on ‘East of the M60’. A lot of the reports have come from online and offline research, including my own fieldwork in the Tameside area.

      Bye for now,


      P.S. Just responded to your comment over a Mochacchino in Bake and Take. 🙂


  2. Regarding Bake and Take am I right in thinking that they have recently moved from Piccadilly Approach (Gateway House) to Ashton, for some reason, I know they had notices up that they were moving to a new location with more information soon, then I think a month or after Piccadilly Closed they opened in Ashton and from what your saying seem to be doing quite well


    1. Hi Andrew,

      The Station Approach [Manchester Piccadilly] branch of Bake and Take opened a few weeks before Ashton’s branch. From my previous wanderings, the two branches have coexisted.

      On checking their website… Ashton’s is the flagship branch and its only one (well done). Perhaps the Manchester one is moving to a cheaper site. Could it be considering the Food Court in Manchester Arndale? Or Manchester Victoria railway station? Or, might it be eschewing the city centre in favour of medium to large size town centres?

      This Saturday gone, at around 3pm, a lot of the indoor seats were taken, testament to the unit’s prime position and quality of refreshments. Its prominent position and striking interior makes for a good meeting point in the centre of Ashton.

      Bye for now,



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