This month’s window on the shop windows

Ladysmith Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne
Easy like Sunday afternoon: the Ladysmith Shopping Centre, photographed with a Holga 120CFN camera using expired Kodak Portra VC 160 film.
  • Handmade Market out… in goes Stalybridge Artisan Market;
  • Tameside’s first Micropub up and running;
  • Clarendon Mall changes;
  • Domino’s Pizza up and running in Hyde.

Happy New Year to you all! It has been a busy ol’ December in the Tameside retail scene. A few changes, and the arrival of Tameside’s new micropub – the first of what will be three by Spring 2016.

Farewell Handmade Market… hello Artisan Market

Shortly after December’s despatches went to press, we were sad to see the loss of MWL Events’ Handmade Market in Stalybridge. Originally a monthly event on Saturdays – reduced to every two months in the last year – it was a must-see event in the town. It brought much needed footfall to the town with the fringe benefits of a busy Melbourne Street.

In its place will be the Stalybridge Artisan Market. This aims to combine the fine food with handicrafts. The first market was held on the 13 December, a Sunday, in the Stalybridge Civic Hall. It was well received, but we think moving it to Saturday may be more favourable than Sundays. Before then, the second Sunday of the month was the usual date of Stalybridge Farmers’ Market.

The Artisan Market’s use of Stalybridge Civic Hall also solves another issue: the use of Armentieres Square on Whit Sunday and Remembrance Sunday parades. Supposing the market coincided with any of the two events, it had meant less room for assembling at Armentieres Square.

Even so, the loss of MWL Events’ market leaves a gap to fill on Saturdays. Its presence had also coincided with weekends when the Astley Cheetham Art Gallery was opened. There was solid local support as Katherine Brookes (head of MWL Events) hails from Stalybridge. Furthermore, many of the stallholders were often seen at other MWL Events markets adding variety to the stallholders seen at Tameside MBC’s farmers’ markets.

Browton’s Boost

Opening in time for the Tameside Christmas Market is the Micropub element of Browton’s bottle shop. Making good use of the space in Simon Browton’s Fletcher Street premises, all the bottled beers can be enjoyed on the premises as well as at home.

The venture has been going well with three quarters of its shelf space featuring British bottle conditioned ales. The other quarter of shelf space is taken up by foreign ales – distinctive lagers from Munich, Belgian beers and wheat beers. On Christmas Eve, the creator of this blog and his some time editorial assistant, enjoyed the Augustiner-Bräu Edelstoff lager and a Schneider Weisse organic wheat beer.

Tameside eateries update

Little to report other than the fact Domino’s Pizza has opened on Market Street, Hyde. It takes up the unit formerly taken by Waterways and Halifax Building Society. The corner of which is marked by its two domino icons.

Changing hands is the Truly Scrumptious café on Victoria Street, Denton. Former landlords of the now closed Gardeners Arms pub on Ashton Road will be taking over by the time you have read this.

Forthcoming Planning Applications

Polite Note: for reasons of brevity, any pub and club applications come under the Pub and Club Update section.

  • The Topaz Café, MIND Tameside Oldham and Glossop’s vegetarian eatery on 218 – 220 Katherine Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, has put in for planning permission for a new frontage.
  • The Stamford Gymnasium and Health Club on Ashton Road, Audenshaw, could be demolished. In its place could be a three storey block of flats.

Retail Movements

  • The DEBRA charity shop on Clarendon Mall, Hyde, has closed. The Sue Ryder Care shop will be moving there, having been situated next to Argos.
  • Again in the same precinct, Bodycare has moved to the former Pound Empire unit next to B&M Bargains. The previous unit, next door, has been vacated. A bigger store could take on the former Sue Ryder Care and Bodycare units. Who it may be, we wonder.
  • The B&M Home and Garden store in the former B&Q in Hyde, is up and running. The neighbouring Poundstretcher Extra store has closed with business transferring to the former Woolworths store on Market Place. Since the closure of Woolworths, there was two Poundstretchers in Hyde.

Pub and club update

The biggest story, was the introduction of on-sales at Browton’s Beer Shop as detailed earlier. By the end of this month, we shall expect to see the opening of Bridge Beers on Melbourne Street.

From our observations, The River Bank‘s opening hours seem to have been as mystifying as a 3-2-1 clue. As far as we know, it seems to have opened between shifts at Tulip on Crescent Road, though less so at evenings.

After spending most of 2015 tinned up, The Astley Arms on Tame Street, Stalybridge has reopened.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:


We should expect to see continued development of Ashton’s open market. Who will be the lucky leaser of the Clarendon Mall unit vacated by Bodycare and Sue Ryder Care? All could be revealed a month or so from now.

S.V., 02 January 2016.

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