The EM60 Trivial Enquiry Bureau: Your Questions Answered (#1)

NEW: East of the M60’s creator responds to your searches

East of the M60, as with countless other blogs and websites, uses a Content Management System. Also known as CMS to its friends, they make web design and development easy for many people.

The most popular one in use is WordPress, which powers this blog. There are other content management systems with varying degrees of learning curves and more specific functions. For example, Magento or Telerix Sitefinity is used by online retailers. Drupal, Joomla, and Squarescape are also popular with many developers.

The basic components of a CMS are: 1) the front end, which displays your website; 2) the rear end (or dashboard if you prefer), where the content is created; and 3) its database. The database is used to store images, audio files, video clips, categories and tags, plus your pages and blog post. Thanks to the database, you can find out who has visited your site. Or, find out how they got to your site.

For the first of this series of posts, we shall (Notes and Queries style), answer some of your queries. Here’s a selection from the last month.

1. Did C&A used to be in Spindle Shopping Centre before it shut down?

Yes it did. It was one of two anchor stores which the precinct opened with in 1993. The other is Debenhams which is still alive and well. It moved over from the original store and was there till Clemens and August pulled out of the UK fashion market. JJB Sports took over the unit till their demise. The third occupant was British Home Stores, who have recently left the High Street.

2. How to get to Bury Market by public transport from Preston, Lancashire

There are two ways worthy of consideration.

  1. Catch the 125 (Stagecoach North West) bus from Preston bus station to Bolton [Moor Lane bus station]. Then, change for the 471 or 509 services (First Greater Manchester) to Bury. If you have a concessionary pass, this is by far the cheapest option.
  2. Catch any Manchester Airport or Manchester Victoria bound train from Preston railway station to Bolton. Then, walk towards Bolton bus station for the 471 or 510 services (First Greater Manchester). There is also another First Greater Manchester service which takes a longer route. That of the 524 via Radcliffe.

3. Mother Hubbard’s Oldham

We at East of the M60 are proud to announce its return. Not only to the centre of Oldham, but also to its last premises on 270, Manchester Road. Now with a drive thru as well as its traditional restaurant, it reopened on Friday [17 June]. (I remember passing the original one aboard many a 421 bus Up Town though never visited).

4. Checkmate Travel Manchester

If you really want to be pedantic, Checkmate Travel are based in Mossley. In the Lancashire Ward of Mossley Town Council boundary. They are the only bus company in Greater Manchester to have had an unbroken stint of stage carriage operation since the start of bus deregulation nearly 30 years ago (on the 26 October 1986).

They run four morning peak hour journeys on the 345 service from Ashton-under-Lyne to Denton [Pendle Road]. Their entry into Greater Manchester’s bus scene began with the 354 service to Denshaw from Ashton, Mossley and Uppermill.

5. Closure of Dukinfield Baths

Its last day as a swimming baths was the 18 June 2016. At this moment, conversion work to a gymnasium is being undertaken (details of which stated in an East of the M60 Cuts Scene Investigation article).

6. Was the theme tune for the 1978 Argentina…?

This fragmented query refers to the signature music used for the 1978 World Cup Finals.

The BBC Sport signature tune was Argentine Melody. The composer, San Jose, hails from a rather obscure part of Argentina: Silsoe in Bedfordshire to be exact. San Jose is actually a non de plume for Rod Argent. On keyboards, was Andrew Lloyd-Webber.

The Official FIFA-sanctioned World Cup theme was written by Ennio Morricone. ITV’s World Cup theme for ’78, was Action Argentina by The South Bank Team. Which in other words are probably the Alyn Ainsworth Orchestra (employed by LWT from 1978), or the London Stadium Orchestra under an alias. Note the slight similarity to the intro of their 1974 signature tune after the hook. (If anybody could give me more details on The South Bank Team, I would be most grateful).

7. Riverside, Melbourne St., Stalybridge

The Riverside refers to the long-closed public house on the River Tame side of Melbourne Street. In its guise as a Vaux house, it was known as The Riverside. Before then, it was The Commercial, a notable venue for live music in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1976, the landlord turned down a chance to make musical history. Instead of the Lesser Free Trade Hall, The Commercial would have played host to one of the first gigs of a certain London group. They were none other than The Sex Pistols. (If Johnny Lydon fancies a trip to Stalybridge, I recommend the station’s Buffet Bar and Bridge Beers).

8. Richard Tompkins

In a nutshell, Richard Tompkins was the great granddaddy of the catalogue shop retail format. He opened his first Argos store on Sturry Road, Canterbury in 1973. They were also another outlet for the receipt of gifts using Green Shield trading stamps. Green Shield stamps, and rival schemes, were pretty big in the late-1960s to mid-1970s. Sometimes, they would run a Double Stamps or Triple Stamps day to drive traffic to participating retailers.

Argos takes the name from a Greek holiday resort where Mr. Tompkins was staying at one time. He sold the stores to British American Tobacco in 1979 before their sale to Great Universal. At present, they are part of the Home Retail Group which also covers Homebase. They have been linked with a takeover by Sainsburys plc (whom at one time owned the Homebase chain of DIY stores).

9. Sylvios coffee shop Oldham

If you excuse me a moment, I’ve got my Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar UKIPer head on right now. The correct spelling of Sylvios was Silvios. The Oldham branch of the coffee shop was situated on High Street, next to what is now The Up Steps Inn (or Curtess shoe shop as was the case in 1987).

The shop had a bakery and limited seating on the ground floor. A cafeteria was upstairs, and quite a popular haunt for anybody waiting for a 556 (supposing the 404 was nowhere to be seen), or a 59. Many of Silvio’s bakeries had a coffee shop as well as a bakery counter. Its Ashton and Hyde branches had cafeterias on the same floor. Manchester’s, in the long demolished Elizabeth House, had theirs in the basement, prior to becoming The Dutch Pancake House.

10. Del Boy & Rodney satellite dish and plane

This refers to the first episode of the seventh series of Only Fools and Horses, entitled The Sky’s The Limit. The episode originally went out on the last Sunday of 1990, shortly after that year’s Christmas special (Rodney Come Home). In this episode, we see Boycie playing with his new satellite dish, which he says is part of a business deal to peddle Adult Art videos for discerning audiences (or “perverts”, as Marlene said).

The end of the episode sees Del, Rodders, Uncle Albert and Raquel hoping to watch some multichannel television. We find that all the flights from Gatwick were transferred to Ringway. How did this happen? It turns out that Del’s dish came from the said airport, which resulted in an aeroplane heading towards Nelson Mandela House.

Almost eleven years later, that episode was scheduled for a repeat in September. It was pulled from the schedules, as the repeat would have gone out only hours after the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack.

That’s your lot for this month

If you enjoyed our random look at how people have searched for this month, we shall be back. We hope we have answered many of your queries.

S.V., 22 June 2016.


4 thoughts on “The EM60 Trivial Enquiry Bureau: Your Questions Answered (#1)

Add yours

  1. Hello Stuart,

    Just small response – on a learning curve with JOOMLA at present to design our society website.

    GAY 🙂

    On Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 10:53 PM, East of the M60 wrote:

    > mancunian1001 posted: “NEW: East of the M60’s creator responds to your > searches East of the M60, as with countless other blogs and websites, uses > a Content Management System. Also known as CMS to its friends, they make > web design and development easy for many people. The mo” >


    1. Hi Gay,

      The last time I laid my hands on Joomla!, it was a pretty complex beast. I remember it being more difficult to use than WordPress and (to some extent) Drupal. One thing I do recall was that for a time, there was more extensions available on Joomla! than Drupal, but I think the reverse has happened. On the other hand, it is a pretty solid CMS once you’ve familiarised yourself with its user interface.

      This link may be of help, this is the official Joomla! support forum:

      Bye for now,



  2. Hi Stuart regarding of how you get to Bury from Preston, just to let you know 509 doesn’t run anymore and hasn’t run for many a year and the best way as you’ve said is 471 but 524 isn’t that bad a route but the 2 longer ones are 480 and 511, there is a 510 but that only runs evening and Sundays


    1. Hi Andrew,

      Many thanks for the amendment. I have now changed it to 510. Spending half your visits in Bury in either The Picture House or Ye Olde Two Tubs doesn’t work wonders!




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