October’s window on the shop windows

Imposing: the new Clarendon Sixth Form College in Ashton, now on its first full term.
Imposing: the new Clarendon Sixth Form College in Ashton, now on its first full term.
  • New-look Labour Club close to reopening;
  • New community café in Ridge Hill;
  • All the usual retail changes in the Tameside area.

It has been a rather quiet September with the highlight of this month being the demolition work on the Millpond site. Yes, that’s as exciting as it got (roll on Christmas).

New-look Labour Club Close to Reopening


Some of the finishing touches are being made to the New Labour Club on Acres Lane, Stalybridge. The Millpond’s wrought iron balcony (as assumed in last month’s Ashton Review of Shops), is forming part of the outdoor seating area. This has been placed in front of the lounge and toilet windows on either side of the main entrance.

The front walls have been repainted with reports on social media sites claiming it to be “the poshest Labour Club in Britain” (one commenter, obviously thinking the Labour Party would be gone by 2020, has said it could be the borough’s first UKIP Club). A public notice has been placed in this week’s edition of the Tameside Reporter [30 September 2016] detailing the licence application. If passed, the Baxter family will be able to serve alcohol on and off the premises from 11am to 12 midnight.

We eagerly await its reopening. The new owners aim to increase the emphasis on live music, with a gig featuring the Biggles Wartime Band’s Christmas gig pencilled in for the 19 November. I saw them at The George in Hyde (sadly closed) and they were a right scream. Highly recommended.

Ridge Hill’s New Community Café

Speaking of former Robinsons public houses like The George, part of The Peacock has been Works4U’s base since 2012. The group offers support for persons aged 16 to 24 years old with special educational needs.

Their latest addition is a community café, offering a mix of healthy food and tasty treats at affordable prices. Like MIND’s Topaz Café, it also offers work experience placements. It opened on the 19 September at 10am. On the 30 September, they showed their support for the Macmillan Nurses cancer charity with a coffee morning.

Ashton Market update

Open stalls have now been erected on the site of the fruit stalls nearest to Iceland. The paved area between the Ladysmith Shopping Centre and Ashton Town Hall is ready for resurfacing. Will it be done for Christmas? We hope so.

Tameside leisure and retail changes

Iceland on Bow Street, Ashton-under-Lyne has changed its Sunday trading hours from 10am – 4pm to 11am – 5pm. Also in Ashton, Cardzone has closed in the Arcades Shopping Centre. Over the last month, Hyde has seen the closure of its branches of HSBC Bank and Yorkshire Bank.

Work is well and truly under way on Active Dukinfield’s transition from swimming baths to a state-of-the-art gym complex with refreshment facilities.


Forthcoming Planning Applications

There seems to be a lot going on in Hyde this month.

Polite Note: for reasons of brevity, any pub and club applications come under the Pub and Club Update section. You know the score (and it’s usually four past my team, the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic)…

  • The former Strawberry Garden shop on Market Place, Hyde is set to see a change of use as a bookmakers. Paddy Power have taken an interest in the unit.
  • Towards the top end of Hyde, the unit on 269, Market Street, could become a print shop with office accommodation and a two bedroomed flat.
  • Some spare land on 29, Water Street, Hyde could be changed into a private car park.
  • On Unit 7A of Albion Trading Estate (the former Ashton bus depot), retrospective planning permission has been put in by Gritstone Crossfit, for the change of use from an industrial unit to a gymnasium.
  • The BP service station on Hyde Road, Mottram-in-Longdendale, could benefit from an extension that will double its present retail space. Given the atrocious traffic levels Hyde Road experiences, a café wouldn’t have been a bad idea, too.

Pub and club update

On the 13 September 2016 at the AJ Bell Stadium in Barton (Sale Sharks and Salford City Reds’ home), The New Inn, Dukinfield, was sold. Whether we see the former pub as licensed premise in any form remains to be seen.

Once again, sticking to the theme of Defunct Robbies Houses in Tameside, the depubification of The Pineapple is more or less sealed. Yes, you’ve guessed it: more houses. Three in the former pub building and plans for a further four new build properties. The lucky residents could consider The Society Rooms and the Lord Stamford as their possible local boozers.

The former Dukinfield Arms, a Londis off licence for the last half decade, could have a neighbour. Plans have been filed for their extension towards the former pub car park. This, if passed, will add a one bedroom flat and a takeaway.

There has been some changes affecting two of Ashton’s Robbies houses. The Prince of Orange, recently refurbished, is awaiting a new tenant. In the last week, this has meant the unusual sight of the Warrington Street pub being closed. The lease is £30,000 per annum and, even with the return of food sales, it is pretty much a wet-led pub (£269,562 on beverages compared with £104,000 for food).

In the last month, The Caledonia was in a similar position. As far as we know, normal service has resumed.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

Will the Prince of Orange find a new tenant? All will be revealed in a future edition of The Ashton Review of Shops.

S.V., 01 September 2016.

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