02 December 2017, from a local shop near you, throughout the United Kingdom
For many people, taking a trip to the supermarket or retail park is the easy option. Choosing to stay at home and shop online is another. If you choose the aforementioned options, they make for a dull experience. The internet is a boom when you need to buy certain items but there’s no scope for impulse purchases.
A good shop can be a source of curiosity as well as an enticement to make purchases. The cashiers can be a friendly face and some may have a genuine interest in their wares. Whether they sell pork chops or personal computers. What’s more, they may have (allegedly) paid more income tax than some of the multiple store chains have in Corporation Tax.
One of the joys of choosing your local shops over the supermarkets or online retailers is choice as well as friendliness. Not least the glow of parting with your hard-earned cash towards a local business. It is a well worn cliché, but you are not only paying for one’s wage. You are also helping them to take their child to nursery. To put food on their table, and spend more money in their locality.
Whatever you say about the parking issues, Glossop, and the Tameside area, have a number of small businesses that are worthy of your custom. With the Christmas Market in full swing, in Ashton-under-Lyne, a good reason to celebrate Small Business Saturday. You know you have a choice: use it.
Here’s our look at some of the finest independent retailers and eateries in Tameside and Glossop.
- Ashton-under-Lyne (indoor, and outdoor general and Christmas markets);
- Hyde (indoor and outdoor markets);
- Glossop (indoor and outdoor markets).
All three of the indoor markets have a wealth of different stalls to suit your needs. In addition to its indoor and open markets, the Christmas market in Ashton-under-Lyne includes free fairground rides and live entertainment. Whether you prefer a curry or a full English breakfast, you cannot go far wrong with Ashton Market.
The joys of Hyde Market, particularly its indoor market, is its position within Clarendon Mall shopping centre. It is a worthwhile diversion with stalls including Let’s Talk Tripe. Hyde Market Hall is open six days a week.
Open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Glossop Market is worth a visit. Particularly its indoor market with a good selection of stalls. The indoor market’s café is unmissable with unpretentious yet freshly cooked food in friendly surroundings.
Great eateries and public houses:
Bridge Beers, 55, Melbourne Street, Stalybridge:
A recent addition to the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, Stalybridge’s first micro pub has a unique atmosphere which encourages good conversation. The upstairs room is good, akin to drinking in your grandma’s front room.
Browton’s Beer Shop, 8, Fletcher Street, Ashton-under-Lyne:
Simon Browton’s shop on Fletcher Street is a must for lovers of bottle conditioned ales. Great for the Christmas market.
Café Mozaic, 19, Warrington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne:
For freshly made Lebanese and Moroccan food, Café Mozaic offers a real alternative to stodgy fare seen elsewhere in the town. Their wraps are gorgeous and filling. Nice atmosphere and realistic prices.
Crown Point Tavern, 16, Market Street, Denton:
A highly popular micropub in the centre of Denton. Great for nipping across after a trip to the library or a bit of shopping. Trivia fans: prior to being the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham popped in for a quick one in The Crown Point Tavern.
Lilly’s Patisserie and Bistro, Stamford Street Central, Ashton-under-Lyne:
In the last three years, Lilly’s has been the ‘go-to-place’ for afternoon tea among Ashtonians. It has in a short space of time gained an excellent reputation for its cakes, savouries, and breakfasts.
The Market Café, Glossop Indoor Market:
As English breakfasts go, this café in Glossop is unmissable. Everything is freshly done and the portions are generous. Please remember to arrive in good time to be sure of a seat.
Tea at No.77, 77 Market Street, Hyde:
If a browse around Hyde takes your fancy, Tea at No.77 is a deservedly popular café in the town’s main shopping centre. All food is freshly prepared at realistic prices. The omelettes are by far their speciality dish.
Wright’s Café Central, Ashton-under-Lyne Open Market:
Occupying one of the new open market stalls, Wright’s offer the most delectable full English breakfast on this side of Ashton-under-Lyne. Never leave without ordering anything on toast: their thick toast (with beans, or egg and bacon) is unmissable. Plus they serve Yorkshire Tea, which elevates this eatery towards Champions League Status.
More great food places:
Bradley’s Bakery, 225, King’s Road, Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne:
Voted Tameside’s Finest Pie Shop by Revolution 96.2 FM listeners, Bradley’s Bakery continues to work their magic on pork pies and bakery products. Every one of their pork pies, plain or topped by black pudding or apple sauce, are a joy to behold.
Hadfield Bakery, 13, Jacksons Buildings, Victoria Street, Glossop:
The greatest pies in Glossop has always been the subject of a two horse race between Mettricks and the Hadfield Bakery. The latter wings it owing to their superior Cornish style pasties (though Mettricks fare better with the pork pies). Their beef stew also looks delectable, as do their freshly made sandwiches.
J.W. Mettrick and Sons, 63, Melbourne Street, Stalybridge:
We could have mentioned the Glossop one but Stalybridge’s branch is included as it broke a two year gap without a butchers’ shop in 2013. It has cemented its reputation as a ‘must visit’ shop in Stalybridge for its sausages and pork pies.
Mellor’s Bakery, 87, Stocks Lane, Stalybridge:
For traditional bakery products at great prices. We especially like the oven bottom muffins, plus it’s a short amble from the 348 bus stop.
The Tripe and Sandwich Shop, 69, Melbourne Street, Stalybridge:
No visit to Stalybridge town centre is complete without calling into the Baxters’ enterprise. The smallest shop in Stalybridge is your Number One source for cord or honeycomb tripe. Plus the greatest ham salad muffins on this side of Cheshire.
Roy Green and Son Quality Butchers, 10, High Street West, Glossop:
Here’s the real reason why Mettrick’s Glossop branch is conspicuous by its absence in our countdown: Roy Green’s place nearby. Try the sausages – well worth considering.
Greengrocery and provisions:
5 A Day, 46, Melbourne Street, Stalybridge:
Since 2013, 5 A Day has consolidated its position as Stalybridge’s premier retailer of fruit and vegetables. The shop has a wide selection of sauce mixes and fresh fish. The latter via its shared sister shop Stalybridge Fish (accessed from Armentieres Square).
Say Cheese, 44, Melbourne Street, Stalybridge:
Next door to 5 A Day, Say Cheese has been part of the Stalybridge retail scene for the last three decades. As the name suggests, it is a purveyor of all things cheese based from Cheshire to Camembert.
N. Sowerbutts, 24, High Street West, Glossop:
For many Glossopians, N. Sowerbutts’ shop is the last word in greengrocery. It has been run by the same family for three generations. On BBC Radio Four, and The Home Service before then, its founder Bill Sowerbutts was the authority on vegetables. He also had a column in The Reporter Group of Newspapers’ titles including The Glossop Chronicle.
Be Creative, 3, Corporation Street, Stalybridge:
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Tesco, give Be Creative a try. They are opposite the recently opened Indie Music themed bar. Offers a wide range of stationery and crafty materials.
JRS Collectables, 15, Market Avenue, Ashton-under-Lyne:
A small yet interesting shop for modellers and collectors of model cars, lorries, trains and buses. Also has a small selection of transport books.
The People’s Gallery, 2, Melbourne Street, Stalybridge:
Next year, The People’s Gallery will celebrate its fifteenth year in Stalybridge. Besides being a showcase for local artists, you can also buy art materials and attend classes. Well worth a visit.
William Walton and Sons, 152, Stamford Street Central, Ashton-under-Lyne:
The oldest shop in Ashton-under-Lyne having continuously traded from the same unit since 1832. After focusing on stationery it has, in the internet age, focused more on cake decoration sundries. No trip to Ashton is complete without a brief visit.
Fashion and footwear:
The Shubar, 36, Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne:
Along with Edward Meeks, pretty much an Ashtonian institution in terms of footwear. If you are picky about your plimsolls or barmy about your brogues, this is the place. Try the first floor café.
The Magpie’s Nest, 30, Armentieres Square, Stalybridge (also in the Arcades Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne):
In the last four years, Magpie’s Nest has become the ‘must-visit’ place for fashion accessories. Alongside their first shop in Stalybridge, they have added a second shop in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Bay Tree Books and Gifts, 96, High Street West, Glossop:
Glossoped by the Tesco traffic? Why not alight a stop or two early and call in Bay Tree Books? It is an adorable little bookshop with a number of new non-fiction and fiction titles.
George Street Books, 35, Chapel Street, Glossop:
Slightly tucked away from High Street West, Aladdin’s cave is quite an understatement for this shop. George Street Books is a must for any bibliophile with titles in every nook and cranny. There is an excellent non-fiction section.
Thackeray’s Books, 12, Market Street, Denton:
Thackeray’s Books is a rare beast in the Tameside area: a truly independent bookshop right in the town centre. Close to Crown Point Tavern, the business has been trading for 35 years and moved to their present unit in 2014. Once monthly on Thursdays evenings, the Black Cat Poets host regular readings in their upstairs café.
Empire Spares, 1, Leech Street, Stalybridge:
If you’re looking for a new cooker or a washing machine, Empire Spares offer a real alternative to the likes of Currys and the superstore chains.
E. Taylor and Son, 27, Melbourne Street, Stalybridge:
One of the longest established businesses in Stalybridge, E. Taylor and Son specialise in lighting installation. As well as light bulbs and lamps, they also sell toasters and radio alarm clocks. Whether you want to get a light fitting fixed or wish to buy a new bulb, this is the place.
Zeenath, 48, Market Street, Hyde:
If you’re looking for anything from a spare USB lead or an HDMI cable, or a cheapo digital camera, you cannot go wrong with Zeenath. The small shop in Hyde town centre is a really fascinating Aladdin’s Cave with friendly service. Key cutting services are also available.
When you mention discount stores, the likes of B&M and Home Bargains spring to mind. In addition to today’s national players, the Tameside area and Glossop are not without their independently owned equivalents, as seen below.
Pound Buster Bargains, Back Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge (also on Bow Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, High Street West, Glossop, and Ashton Old Road, Openshaw):
On the same site where Bottom Dollar once stood is Stalybridge’s branch of Pound Buster. A worthwhile alternative to the adjacent Quality Save store. Ashton-under-Lyne’s branch is situated in the former Sloanes public house.
Vaughan and Lester, 18, Ashworth Street, Denton:
Only a fool could miss the delights of Vaughan and Lester’s walk around shop which comes into its own on Small Business Saturday. It is worth calling into Denton alone, at this time of year for its display of Christmas trees. What’s worse is their Christmas light displays could be putting the ones on Crown Point to shame. Forget Crown Point North: you need to add this store to the top of your list!
Yu and Me, 89, Market Street, Stalybridge:
The natural successor to Bottom Dollar, Yu and Me is a veritable emporium of discounted housewares, stationery, and toys. It is a few doors away from the Lions bar.
Further to those owned by nationwide charities (i.e. Scope, Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation), Glossop and the Tameside area is well represented by charity shops from local charities. Here’s our favourites.
The Amazing Charity Shop, 181 – 183 and 191, Stamford Street Central, Ashton-under-Lyne:
Or should that be two? The Amazing Charity Shop’s two premises include a smaller unit on 181 – 183 Stamford Street which has children’s clothes and a small selection of books. Their largest unit has electrical goods, Ashton’s widest selection of VHS video cassettes, books, and clothing.
Lighthouse Charity Shop, 31, High Street West, Glossop:
The Lighthouse Charity Shop is part of a small chain of charity shops throughout Derbyshire (one of 33 in the county). They raise funds for the Valley CIDS (Christians in Developing Society) in New Mills. The Glossop shop is small yet perfectly formed.
Willow Wood Hospice Furniture Shop, 15, Shepley Street, Stalybridge:
The Willow Wood Hospice has a number of charity shops throughout the Tameside area and in Glossop. Stalybridge has two, with a smaller shop on Grosvenor Street. If you are looking for furniture, their PAD store near The White House (Purchase And Donate) is the best place. The first floor is a gem for bibliophiles. There is also a coffee shop on the same floor.
The Wooden Canal Boat Society, 173, Stamford Street Central, Ashton-under-Lyne:
Probably the largest locally owned charity shop in Ashton-under-Lyne, in a former Cash Converters unit. As well as restoring wooden canal boats, the Wooden Canal Boat Society also stands up for vulnerable members of the population. They also have foodbank collections for people affected by DWP sanctions and delayed benefit payments. If you’re a bibliophile with a village library budget, you will love this place.
Before I go…
These are only a small number of independently owned businesses in Glossop and Tameside. If you have any more suggestions or wish to elaborate on the examples I have added, feel free to comment.
S.V., 29 November 2017.