All the latest changes to our borough’s retail landscape

Samba Band, Stalybridge Carnival
Raring to go: the Stalybridge Carnival May Queens leading out the Manchester School of Samba band.

More goings than comings this month. If you know different, feel free to comment in the usual fashion. Still, on with July’s instalment.

B&Q’s and Tesco Home Plus’ departures

The first two weeks of June saw two national chains vacate their units in Hyde and Denton. B&Q on Manchester Road, Hyde was one of sixty branches on Kingfisher’s closure list. Hydonians have the ‘joy’ of braving the traffic to the Ashton or Stockport branches.

Owing to Tesco’s much documented financial troubles, the superstore chain called time on its twelve Home Plus stores. Its dozen non-food outlets included the Crown Point North branch in Denton.

Changes at Yorkshire Bank

In May the National Australia Bank, owners of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, decided to pull out the UK retail banking market. As a consequence this has signalled the demerger of the two banks.

Locally it has meant the closure of Stalybridge’s branch of Yorkshire Bank at the start of August. Local businesses and residents have petitioned against this move, which sees the bank as one of 29 ‘under performing branches’. Of the 29, Altrincham’s branch is the second one in Cheshire to face closure.

In the last eighteen months, Stalybridge has seen its number of retail banks and building societies fall by 40%. This leaves Melbourne Street with NatWest, Lloyds Bank and the Yorkshire Building Society. In 1996 there was also the Bradford and Bingley Building Society, Barclays Bank, the Cheshire Building Society and a Halifax Local Agency on the corner of Melbourne Street and Market Street.

In other news…

The former Bharti Auto Spares unit on Henrietta Street is set to become a delivery only branch of Pizza Hut.

Pub and club update

The start of June saw The Stone Jug up for auction on the 04 June 2015. With a guide price of £100,000 at Pugh and Company’s auction in Old Trafford (Manchester United Football Club), it has been sold with a Premises Licence. So, could this mean The Stone Jug reopening as a pub before long, or another off-licence?

Two planning applications have been put in for The Waggon in Broadbottom. One entails the former pub’s conversion into a six bedroom house. The second one sees the car park being used for five detached houses.

On a happier note, The Lodge Hotel (corner of Lodge Lane and Cheetham Hill Road in Dukinfield) has been tastefully refurbished. One welcome addition is the arrival of a pub food menu, with The Lodge Burger providing suitable sustenance for its customer. Real ale is coming soon.

The start of this month sees the departure of Angela and Stuart Whittaker from The Wheatsheaf, Birch Lane, Dukinfield. A leaving party was held for them on the 04 July. Both Stuart and Angela have held the fort at the popular pub since 2000. We wish them well in whatever they do after life in The Besom. In their final year, the quiz team lifted their Second Sections Winners and Handicap Shield Runners Up trophies at Denton Cricket Club on the 16 June.

The White House adjacent to Stalybridge bus station has a new addition: a beer garden. At the back of the pub, the fenced off enclosure includes artificial grass and a wooden smoking shelter. Bus-spotting smokers with a penchant for the 343 service (myself included apart from the smoking bit) are lovingly catered for.

Playing host to a Second World War event on the 26 – 28 June was Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar. The weekend saw a live musical performances outside the conservatory by platforms 4 and 5. This included a dancing display with participants in World War II garb. Needless to say, yours truly enjoyed the pork pies and real ale.

Plus it all blended in nicely with the Stalybridge Festival, the high point of which being Sunday’s carnival celebrations. Both The White House and The Q Bar had floats. Sportingly representation came via Dukinfield Youth JFC‘s lively float and the presence of Bower Badger for Stalybridge Celtic A.F.C‘s float.

Stalybridge Together‘s float was a Hudson vintage car driven by Tony Brooks, also commemorating E. Taylor and Son’s 95th year of business. Quest Media Group‘s float had a golden “160” in helium balloons, commemorating another anniversary: 160 years since the Ashton Reporter began printing. Tameside Radio’s Rokib Uddin and Penella Mellor, promoting their new breakfast show “Wake Up Tameside” were seen in white dressing gowns. Being followed by a 5’8″ anamorphic rasher of bacon and a similarly tall fried egg.

Running the risk of sounding like a self-obsessed national radio DJ boasting about their celebrity chums, yours truly and the blogger’s senior counterpart were present. And raised the most money for the carnival committee. The trophy for this achievement will be presented before Stalybridge Celtic’s friendly game versus Barnsley (11 July 2015).

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

We can assure you there may be less ‘yours truly’ salutations in the August entry. The summer months may be of interest, particularly being the first Ashton Review of Shops after Wednesday’s Budget.

S.V., 06 July 2015.

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