November’s window on the shop windows
- New-look Labour Club reopens in spite of setback;
- Pikachu to switch on Stalybridge Christmas lights;
- All the usual retail changes in the Tameside area.
The last month has been more vibrant with two licensed premises reopening and news of this Christmas’ events.
New-look Labour Club reopens in spite of setback
Over the last month, we saw the reopening of Stalybridge Labour Club, as The New Labour Club. With days to go before reopening, there was a small fire in the foyer. The fire was alleged to have come from a match through its letter box. In spite of this, the club opened on time.
We at East of the M60 have yet to try the refurbished facilities. From an informed source, they are also offering real ales. At present, Wychwood’s Hobgoblin and Sharp’s Doom Bar are on the pumps. Undemanding for some with a cultured palate but a start nonetheless. For anybody wishing to see the Biggles Wartime Band’s Christmas gig (19 November), tickets have now sold out. If you’ve already got tickets, you’re going to be in for a good night.
Pokemon theme for Stalybridge lights switch-on
The Pokemon Go craze has influenced the theme of Stalybridge’s Christmas festivities. On the 26 November, there will be a Pokemon style trail around Stalybridge’s shops. This would lead up to the town’s Christmas lights switch-on. Alongside Father Christmas, a giant Pikachu will be flicking the switch at 5.30pm, outside The Society Rooms on Grosvenor Square.
Mossley’s approach will be different again. The previous Thursday (24 November) will see the inaugural Mossley Light Festival. This will be a carnival starting at 6.30 pm, featuring illuminated animals – all created by local artists. The end of its route will be the Market Place at Top Mossley, which leads to the town’s Christmas lights switch-on. We hope this becomes a permanent fixture; a festival as unique as this in the Tameside area deserves to succeed. Plus it’s a perfectly good excuse for calling in The Fleece Inn till the buses have sorted themselves out after the delays.
The Ashton-under-Lyne Lantern Parade will take place on the 12 November. This will be followed by the Remembrance Sunday parade. Previous Lantern Parades have been a delight, so this year’s should be no exception.
Ashton Market update
Three quarters of the open market stalls are open for business. By the time you have read this, each and every one of them shall be open. Work should be due on the civic square between Ashton Town Hall and the Arcades Shopping Centre.
Tameside leisure and retail changes
It didn’t take long to find an occupant for the former Cardzone unit. It has now been taken on by Quiz Clothing. On Snipe Retail Park, work is under way on the former B&Q and (latterly) Staples and Pet Smart unit. By the end of this year – maybe the start of next year – B&M Homestore (and garden centre) will be settling in.
On Penny Meadow, the Gremlins fashion shop has closed. On the opposite side, Shawarma (a fried chicken shop) took its first paying customers on Halloween.
It seems as if Wilko could be moving to a cheaper unit in Hyde town centre, or leaving Hyde for good. The former Hyde Cooperative Society store on 54, Market Street, could be changing hands next year. The leasehold is available via Lambert Smith Hampton for £77,500 per annum.
Again, via the same people, the former Thomson travel agent unit in Clarendon Mall (54 Rutherford Way) is yours for £27,000 per annum rent. The former Sorby’s unit on 13, Concord Way, Dukinfield (offices of late) is also available. There is also a few unoccupied units available on the Heys Retail Park (which in our opinion is an hubristic term to describe what is really a car-friendly neighbourhood centre).
Waltons Commercial have also got a few units for sale and 19 of which are in Hyde. Of historical interest, one of the nineteen units was one of Hyde’s first self-service supermarkets. On the corner of Oldham Street/Croft Street, a single storey unit (lately a party shop), was purpose built for the supermarket chain, Adsega. The Manchester-based store chain, which had 47 stores, was sold to Tesco in 1965. Shortly afterwards, Tesco moved to what is now the Clarendon Mall shopping centre. B&M Bargains are its present occupants, ironic given that B&M’s CEO is former Tesco chief, Sir Terry Leahy.
Over the last month, Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar have been looking for a Part Time Chef. At this moment, the vacancy has yet to be filled. The successful applicant will be supporting their full time chef, Ashley (whom for the purpose of avoiding any confusion, is not the former station announcing legend). If you know someone who is up to the challenge of making traditional and contemporary pub food, share the link.
Forthcoming Planning Applications
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 a one-nil win for The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic)…
- Could the two-hour journey from the Sainsburys car park to IKEA roundabout be coming to an end? Plans have been made to upgrade its access points, by means of widening its access road. In our view, not good enough: this should be augmented with pedestrian access from Ashton West tram station. Improved access could allow Crowhill and West End residents to visit M&S or Sainsbury on foot or bicycle.
- There will be an upgrade to Mossley’s Co-op supermarket, with the popular Arundel Street store benefiting from a new air conditioning system, bollards, trolley bay, and a boundary wall. They are also applying for an extension of its opening hours till 11pm.
- Crown Point North will be getting a branch of Wilko. Plans have been put in for the addition of signage on Units 6 and 7. This will be in part of the former Tesco Homestore unit, next to Poundworld.
- The Indian Plaza on 90 Audenshaw Road, could see the addition of a single storey extension.
- Raja Brothers’ Astley Street, Dukinfield store which was formerly The Newborough public house, may see its first floor converted into a pair of two bedroom flats.
- New signage is planned for Althams Travel Services on Stockport Road, Denton.
Pub and club update
The former Newton Liberal Club’s declubification could be complete. Plans have been submitted for its conversion into two flats.
We think The Gardeners’ Arms in Denton has reopened. There has been posters placed on its front windows advertising Samuel Smith’s bitters and lagers. This could be the second Samuel Smith outlet on the 347 bus route along Denton Road/Stockport Road. The Prince of Orange has also reopened.
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.
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We get all excited about the Christmas festivities. Will the open market be finished by then? All will be revealed on The Ashton Review of Shops, your window on the shop windows.
S.V., 05 November 2016.