Antiques Bus Trip: Day Seven, Ramsbottom

The final instalment of our bus trip through from Glossop to Ramsbottom

East of the M60’s series of seven posts for Catch The Bus Week 2016

Ramsbottom Bridge Street
Day Seven: Bridge Street, Ramsbottom. A familiar sight to anyone who has been on the East Lancashire Railway. Image by Nicholas Smale, 2011. (Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved).

We are near the end of our seven-day long tour ’round Greater Manchester’s antiques and collectables shops. In our trip, we have seen retro clothing, screw mount Leica cameras, 1970s radio and cassette recorders, and we’ve been through a ginnel to look at collectable items. For our final day, we take two buses towards the River Irwell town of Ramsbottom.

Manchester to Ramsbottom

  • 135: Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Bury Interchange (via Cheetham Hill, Prestwich, Whitefield) (First Greater Manchester);
  • 472/474: Bury Interchange – Ramsbottom (circular via Holcombe Brook) (First Greater Manchester).

Our journey to Ramsbottom entails the use of two buses. Excluding connection times at Bury Interchange, the best part of 60 to 75 minutes.

The 135 is the most frequent bus route into Bury, calling at Cheetham, Heaton Park, and Prestwich. Scania OmniCity bendibuses form the mainstay of First Greater Manchester’s route which holds its own against the Bury trams.

For many people, Bury to Ramsbottom means the East Lancashire Railway via Summerseat. The 472 and 474 circular routes offer a cheaper and more frequent alternative. Again, First Greater Manchester run the two routes which (till the 24 July’s set of changes) have a better than average Sunday service.

A Root Through Ramsbottom

Ramsbottom is a picturesque town that comes alive at weekends. Even more so when special events take place on the East Lancashire Railway. It is hard to imagine the place without its restored line, part and parcel of the town’s local economy since the summer of 1987. Most of the retail offerings are concentrated on Bridge Street and Bolton Road.

Jesse Mays, Bridge Street

A couple of doors up from the Railway public house is Jesse Mays’ Vintage Shop. On face value, the shop looks like a small unit with only one room. It is split into three rooms with a wealth of vintage items and collectable goods. The first room has vintage cameras on display, leading to the second room which has a selection of vintage clothing. The shop is open daily till 4 pm, opening at 9.30 am (an hour later on Sundays).

It is a friendly shop which, in their words is “never boring”. That was true on my visit on Spring Bank Holiday.

Memories Antiques, Bridge Street

Towards the Bolton Road end of Bridge Street is an antiques shop that has been ‘part of the furniture’ for the last twenty years. Memories Antiques, of the shops we have visited on the seven-day tour, is the most extensive one. It is noted for its Art Deco collectables, militaria, clocks, and vintage toys.

It has two floors with militaria on the first floor, alongside clocks, shortwave radios, secondhand books, and vintage toys. Ceramic wares are sold on the ground floor with all sections surrounding central counters on both floors. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave with a conservatory extension.

Finally…

It is fitting that our last shop of this series is one that has appeared on Antiques Road Trip. The same programme which has inspired our seven part piece.

As our search for antiques and collectable goods have made us thirsty and hungry, we fully recommend the Irwell Works Brewery’s first floor bar. As well as being a shop window for its original ales, there is also a choice of foreign bottled beers and locally brewed soft drinks by Fitzpatrick’s.

We hope you have enjoyed the series and, who knows, someone from Antiques Road Trip could be reading these posts! Will Charlie swap his car for an Enviro400 double decker bus out of Stockport? We doubt it.

S.V., 10 July 2016

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