This month’s window on the shop windows
- Mixed news for local pubgoers;
- Signs of increased business activity – and Daleks – in Ashton.
Christmas isn’t far away in our borough and in the run-up to what is traditionally the busiest time of the year, no time has been wasted in boosting the borough’s retail offerings.
Sci Fi Saturday, Ashton-under-Lyne
In Ashton, this month (26 September) closed with a gaggle of Cybermen, Daleks and other science fiction characters. As seen in Vanessa Dixon’s video, we see Stormtroopers on Market Street. Also a host of cult TV and film related stalls offering an extra dimension to Ashton Market.
Unfortunately, yours truly was otherwise engaged that Saturday (watching The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic beat Kendal Town 3-2 up in Westmorland). How I wouldn’t have minded sharing a D’Oro panini with Darth Vader!
The shape of (retail) things to come
Over the last week, yours truly, the observer of this piece has noticed a fair amount of activity on the retail front and – the most pleasing sight – of shopfitters in vacant units. Over in Ashton, the former Beaverbrooks unit – latterly a short-lived cheque-cashing shop – has seen the fitting of wooden slats. We await news of further developments.
Over on Old Square, the former Burton shop – last subdivided into two units – is being internally gutted. Till last year, the ground floor unit had showrooms for kitchens in one unit, and another for motorcycles.
Browton’s on Fletcher Street has come up in leaps and bounds, with the bottle shop applying for a premises licence. Before long we could be seeing Ashton’s first micro pub.
In Stalybridge, four new retail units could be built on the site of its public toilets on Armentieres Square. This has been met with mixed reactions; on positive grounds for brightening up that part of the square. The negative reaction, need I say more… the permanent loss of its public toilets, closed since May 2012.
Sticking with quartets, the four retail units on the corner of Cavendish Street and Old Street have been let. Though yet to move in, Stamford Cars has taken one of the four, which is next to the imaginatively titled print shop, Printing Firm. For the first time since Lynne’s Larder and Bellybusters left Old Street, there is a new sandwich shop, Shelley’s Deli. This is next to Tameside ECigs, a Costa Coffee style establishment with a range of vaping liquids.
Last bank in Mossley closes
Over the last week, the Royal Bank of Scotland closed its Mossley branch. Since April 2000, it was the town’s only bank after Barclays Bank left their Bottom Mossley unit. In 1995, the town had three banks (its third being NatWest on Manchester Road which is now a health centre).
Therefore, Mossley’s nearest branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland is in Ashton, 10 minutes by train or 25 minutes on the 350 bus. For Saddleworthian account holders, ditto the above though Oldham’s branch may be a better option.
Forthcoming Planning Applications
- In a previous Ashton Review of Shops, it was stated that The March Hare would become another off-licence – rumoured to be Raja Bros. Now, plans have been submitted by Wiggett Construction for 12 houses in a courtyard style layout, complete with cul-de-sac road.
- Solar panels could be seen on the roof of Ladysmith Shopping Centre. If passed, photovoltaic solar panels will be installed on the open air top deck of the multi-storey car park.
- A pizza the action for Hyde? Domino’s Pizza has set its sights on the former Halifax Building Society unit on 17 Market Street. The corner unit, if approved, could be another ‘multinational takeaway win’ for Hyde. Especially for passengers of the 330 route where a post-bus amble could send them towards the lure of hot dog crusts.
- A Lidl bit more: Denton’s offshoot of the Anglo-German discount chain have put in an application for a ground floor extension with changes to the rear car park.
- From tattoo to Quorn stew: a former tattoo shop on 14 Market Avenue could become a vegetarian café known as Veggie Vibes.
- Il Caffe Roma on Market Avenue has been attractively refurbished;.
- The Gabbots Farm chain has been taken over by Rotherham based Crawshaw Group;
- Ethel Austin, in the former Internaçionale unit has (by the time you’ve read this) just had a closing down sale.
Pub and club update
Though The Ash Tree’s beer garden and hotel is weeks away from spade work, we can reveal where Tameside’s fourth ‘Spoons is set to be situated: Droylsden. Its 1930s library building will become one of Tim Martin’s houses, with the Art Deco nature and deep windows a perfect template for any ‘Spoons house.
Work will begin once the library has completed its move to the ground floor level of Guardsman Tony Downes House. On 5 Manchester Road, its new home will be more accessible and a little closer to the town centre. We think the Harry Pollitt could be a suitable name, so called after Droylsdonian former leader of the British Communist Party.
On the other hand, The Duke of Sussex on the corner of Victoria Road and Commercial Brow has closed with the pub tinned up. Formerly a Bass house, it became a Thwaites house after Bass Breweries offloaded several pubs in the 1990s. With Marstons owning Thwaites’ estate, this is consistent with the Burton-upon-Trent brewery’s shift away from wet trade pubs. A move which has seen some pubs converted to branches of The Cooperative.
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Hopefully, we shall find out about the new occupants on Old Square and in the former Beaverbrooks unit. Will next month’s entry be inspired by a cheeky bottle at Browtons? All will be revealed, by the first Sunday of November or thereabouts.
S.V., 02 October 2015.