Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, December 2017: The Ashton Review of Shops

This month’s window on the shop windows

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Merry Christmas from East of the M60: image by Mike Serigrapher, 2009 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).
  • Small Business Saturday and Tameside Christmas Market;
  • Bake and Taken?
  • Two for joy for accessories retailer;
  • All the usual comings and goings in the Tameside area.

At this time of writing, we are now into the second weekend of the Tameside Christmas Market. In our opinion, Christmas doesn’t really begin in Tameside till the first trees are sold in Vaughan and Lester. With their delightful grotto display.

It’s Christmas…!!!

Over the last month, Tameside’s Christmas light displays began the season of goodwill with a bang. Once again, crowds flocked to the Mossley’s Festival of Light. This year’s festival took place on the 25 November, a Saturday. As with last year, a two hour long illuminated carnival throughout Top and Bottom Mossley. All of which made possible by local artists based in the Woodend and Vale mills.

Small Business Saturday

This month’s edition of The Ashton Review of Shops not only coincides with Small Business Saturday. We at East of the M60 have also created a special article on some of the Tameside area’s and Glossop’s finest independent shops.

This also coincides with the second weekend of Ashton-under-Lyne’s Christmas Market. Each weekend before Christmas sees the stalls open from 10am to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Plus live entertainment in a covered tent.

There will also be the usual pot pourri of street entertainers, fairground rides, and a Santa’s grotto. The indoor market and the outdoor market are also open at the usual times.

Bake and Taken?

Over the last fortnight, Bake and Take has closed its doors. The popular self-service café is noted for affordably priced bakery products and coffee. Especially among Tameside’s smokers and vapers with its prime position in the Ladysmith Shopping Centre. There had been reports of unpaid wages by members of staff.

In the last 24 hours, an advertisement asking for new staff at Bake and Take was added to Indeed.co.uk. On the popular jobseekers’ website, the ad was a snapshot of an ‘apply within’ poster with an email address (under ‘Help Wanted’). In the same photograph, customers were seen dining.

It is clear that Bake and Take has reopened with a new franchisee. The original Bake and Take website has a notice which reads “This Site is Not Currently Available”. Instead, a new website under the domain Baked2Take.co.uk, has details of its Bury, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lewisham, and Hounslow branches.

Two for joy!

In the last month, Magpie’s Nest has doubled its presence in Tameside. Alongside its Stalybridge shop, they have added a second store. Their second branch is on the first floor of the Arcades Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne. The unit is close to the shopping centre’s branch of New Look.

A Lidl bit more

Sorry folks, but we at East of the M60 couldn’t resist the pun. On the 23 November (Thanksgiving Day), Ashton’s Lidl store reopened. The new look supermarket is about 20% bigger than the previous building which opened in late 2000. Car parking has also been expanded taking in part of the former ASDA roundabout.

New facilities include an instore bakery and a public toilet, designed for disabled and able-bodied shoppers. Free samples were available on its reopening day, including Belgian chocolate cake and posh crisps.

NatWest and RBS Bank closures

It was announced yesterday [01 December] that RBS and NatWest will be closing 259 branches with a loss of 680 jobs. Thankfully, none of the closures affect branches in the Tameside area.

The Droylsden branch, which we said in a previous bulletin had closed, is still open. Nor is it one of the 259 branches affected. Please accept our apologies for any confusion this has caused.

Forthcoming Planning Applications

A quiet old month.

Polite Note: for reasons of brevity, any pub and club applications come under the Pub and Club Update section.

  • The fate of Stalybridge’s former police station could be sealed. Dating from the late 1960s, it could be converted into fourteen two bedroom apartments and four one bedroom apartments, and an office. An additional floor could be added.
  • Denton Methodist Church could see the addition of a first floor extension. This will be placed over its single storey annexe, and serve as a new entrance for the church. If successful, a coffee shop area could be added.
  • Also in Denton, the Carpet Right unit on 18 – 28 Stockport Road could be subdivided into three units. All of which serving food and drink with the third one having takeaway facilities.

Retail Movements

  • Pep and Co’s unit in the Arcades Shopping Centre has now closed. Its business has transferred to the Poundland store opposite H. Samuel.

Pub and club update

The biggest story in the Tameside pub world is the opening of Tweed Brewing Company’s micropub and brewery tap. Known as the Tweed Tap, it is situated on Hamnett Street near the Royal Mail’s delivery office. As well as being a shop window for Sam Ward’s cask conditioned ales, it is a source for Tweed’s for its craft keg beers. If you fancy popping in, find out more on the Tweed Tap’s Facebook page.

Hopefully by the end of this month we should find out more about The Silly Country and Crackin’ Pint micropubs. The former Robinson’s pub on High Street, Stalybridge, The Pineapple, is in the midst of conversion into housing. After an investigation, The Commercial on Manchester Road, Mossley, has reopened. Also in Stalybridge, this time on Stanley Square, The Feathers is now a beauty salon and has been for the last three months.

After being closed for over a year, The Highland Laddie on Market Street, Mossley, could see its depubification made complete. Plans have been submitted for its conversion into nine 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. As well as its conversion, the former beer garden could see six two and a half storey three bedroom houses. If passed, an extant outbuilding will require demolition.

Depubification could be the fate of The Cambridge on Cambridge Street in Ashton’s West End. Over in Newton at the junction of Commercial Brow and Victoria Street, there seems to be some movement in The Duke of Sussex. After spending the last two years tinned up, could there be any signs of repubification? In Tameside, the trend has favoured depubification in the last ten years.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

2017: hasn’t it come so quickly. As this is the final Ashton Review of Shops for 2017, we wish all our regular readers a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Here’s to a most exciting 2018!

S.V., 02 December 2017.

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