Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, June 2018: The Ashton Review of Shops

June’s window on the shop windows

  • Mo’s life celebrated by community singing group;
  • The Cotton Bale reopens;
  • All the usual comings and goings in the Tameside area.
Trinity Street, Stalybridge (colour)
The Whit Walks on Trinity Street, Stalybridge.

Last month’s sunny weather brought a much needed smile to our faces, as seen in our picture of the Whit Walks in Stalybridge. On the flip side it has also been a time for reflection; not only for the 22 people who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack, but also a well known local figure.

Mo Ramzan: a celebration

On the 24 May, Mo’s funeral and wake was a celebration of his life. Instead of mourners dressed in black, his life was celebrated on Melbourne Street in song. Outside Mo’s and Corrine’s 5 A Day shop, the Tameside Community Voices gave a concert.

Also stealing the show was Mo’s other pride and joy: a hand-made fairground organ. One that he had made himself.

Stalybridge remembers

Shortly after the 1st anniversary of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, the people of Stalybridge paid their respects to the 22 who lost their lives. A vigil was held on Armentieres Square with candles, flowers and cuddly toys placed by the lock gate sculpture. This was also marked with a live performance by local musician Dan Hetfield, whose set included Don’t Look Back in Anger.

The Cotton Bale reopens

Shortly after the arrival of two micropubs, The Ashton Review of Shops is happy to see the return of an old friend. The Cotton Bale, J.D. Wetherspoon’s Hydonian outpost till last July, announced its reopening last month. By the time you have read this, it should be pulling its first pints under new ownership.

Its new owner is Amber Taverns, a Preston-based pub company with a portfolio of wet-led pubs in Northern England. They also run the Lord Stamford in Stalybridge (previously the Stop and Rest). Instead of food, reasonably priced lager and televised sport is their raison d’etre.

Mothercare store closures

Though Ashton-under-Lyne’s branch had closed donkeys years ago, Mothercare have announced the closure of 50 branches. This accounts for over a third of its branch network across the UK.

The baby supplies retailer, who also owns the Early Learning Centre chain, aims to improve their profitability by pulling out of loss-making sites. We sincerely hope the Crown Point North Denton store isn’t one of the 50 branches.

Forthcoming Planning Applications

Deshopification seems to be the flavour of the month, alas.

Polite Note: for reasons of brevity, any pub and club applications come under the Pub and Club Update section. You know the drill; it’s that rather crummy hand drill I bought on Ashton Market…

  • A shop unit on 8 – 10 Market Street, Denton, could be converted from a shop to a community arts centre by Rosemount Methodist Church. The ground floor will have a performance and creative arts area, with a sensory room on the first floor.
  • Plans have been made for the relocation of a cash machine at the Save Service Station near Tameside College’s Beaufort Road Centre. This will see the existing ATM moving from its present position to a freestanding ATM pod.
  • The popular Tokies takeaway on 89 Mottram Road, Stalybridge could be given a single storey extension. This is for the safe storage of perishable goods.
  • To ensure The Smooth Running of RBS’ Near Departure From Greater Manchester, plans have been submitted for the Ashton branch’s decommissioning. This will include the infilling of the ATM space and removal of associated signage.
  • An office on Long Meadow Passage, Hyde, could be converted into a two bedroom, self contained flat.
  • Further to Morrisons’ proposed refurbishment work in Dukinfield, plans have been submitted for the erection of a prefabricated polycarbonate glazed garden centre. This will be within the store’s car park. So far, the wines and spirits department has moved into the main store area. Baby clothes have now moved into the former wines and spirits unit.
  • Plans have been submitted by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group for the addition of new signage. This will be on Hyde’s branch of NatWest.
  • Though this has been in the news for a while, plans have now been submitted for the Wellness Centre in Denton. Just to recap, this will be adjacent to British Land’s Crown Point North retail park and Junction 1 of the M67 motorway.

Retail Movements

  • A new florist has opened on 14 Trinity Street, Stalybridge: Andrea’s Flowers announced their opening on the 21 May and aims to fill a gap left by Hadfield’s Flowers several years back.
  • On Stanley Square, Stalybridge, The Dog Shop has set up business, offering adorable outfits for your canine friend. It occupies the unit hitherto occupied by Emily’s Sandwich Shop, Woolley’s Funeral Services, and Stanley Square’s sub-Post Office branch.
  • Work is now under way of the former Claire’s Accessories unit in the Arcades Shopping Centre. The Fragrance Shop will be taking over.
  • Gleave’s sweet stall in Ashton Market has moved to a smaller unit in the indoor market. Reassuringly, it is only next door to its previous one.
  • Two of ALDI’s Tameside stores, in Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge, will be benefiting from the store chain’s refurbishment programme. Each store will be closed for a week.
  • For the last quarter, Grainger Games on Mercian Way, Ashton-under-Lyne has closed.
  • Red 60 on Warrington Street has also closed.

Pub and club update

Our biggest pub-related story was explained in greater detail under “The Cotton Bale Reopens”. Other developments involving licensed premises include a new use for the former Conservative Club on Vernon Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. In its place will be 24 two bedroom apartments.

The Attic Lounge on 1, Milk Street, Hyde, could end up being somebody else’s lounge. Plans have been submitted for its conversion into a self-contained apartment.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

Will the living be easy this June? Tune in to our next gripping instalment on the 07 July 2018, 9am sharp.

S.V., 02 June 2018.

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