Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, November 2019: The Ashton Review of Shops

This month’s window on the shop windows

  • Tameside remembers the fallen;
  • Bonmarché enters into administration;
  • Plus all the usual retail movements from The Rising Sun to The Fletchers Arms.

With winter on its way, our town centres should be preparing for the Christmas rush. In the next month, we shall be awaiting the Lantern Parade in Stalybridge and, across the borough on the 10 November, Remembrance Day parades. Over in Stalybridge…

Tameside Remembers The Fallen

Remembrance Parades and Services

Saturday 09 November 2019

Audenshaw (Ryecroft Hall memorial stone): short service and wreath laying ceremony in the grounds of Ryecroft Hall, 10.30am.

Audenshaw (Stamford Road): short service and wreath laying ceremony in Audenshaw Memorial Garden 12 noon.

Droylsden (Lumb Lane, Littlemoss): short service in the memorial garden at 2.30pm, led by St. John’s (Castle) Band.

Sunday 10 November 2019

For full details of Remembrance Day parades, visit the Tameside MBC website. Please note that if you are travelling by bus, expect some delays to your journey.

  • Ashton-under-Lyne (town centre): 9.00am to 11.30am, via Ashton Parish Church and the Ashton War Memorial;
  • Audenshaw (Cemetery): 3.00pm (Remembrance Service and wreath laying);
  • Broadbottom: 10.30am to 11.30am (Parade, Broadbottom Community Centre), 10.45am (Act of Remembrance at war memorial);
  • Cockbrook: 10.55am (Remembrance Service, St. Gabriel’s Church), 12.30pm (wreath laying ceremony);
  • Denton (town centre): 10.00am to 12.30pm (Parade from Denton West End WMC), 10.45am (Remembrance Service, Victoria Park);
  • Denton West End: 1.30pm (wreath laying ceremony, Thornley Park);
  • Droylsden (town centre): 10.00am to 12.00pm (Parade from Church Street), 10.45 (Remembrance Service and wreath laying ceremony, Droylsden War Memorial);
  • Dukinfield (town centre): 2.30pm to 4.00pm (Parade from Dukinfield Town Hall), 3.00pm (wreath laying ceremony and service, Dukinfield War Memorial);
  • Haughton Green: 10.30am (Remembrance Service, St. Mary’s Church);
  • Hollingworth: 10.00am (Remembrance Service, St. Mary’s Church), 10.50am (wreath laying ceremony and rededication of the war memorial);
  • Hurst: 9.30am (Remembrance Service, St. John’s Church), 11.00am (wreath laying ceremony);
  • Hyde (town centre): 2.00pm to 4.00pm (Parade from Greenfield Street), 2.30pm (Remembrance Service), 3.30pm (wreath laying ceremony);
  • Mossley (town centre): 10.45am (Remembrance Service and wreath laying ceremony, Mossley Park), then parade;
  • Mottram-in-Longdendale: Remembrance Sunday service, Mottram Parish Church (10.30am);
  • Newton: 9.45am to 11.00am (Parade, Rosemount Methodist Church, Flowery Field), 10.00am (Service and wreath laying ceremony, George and Dragon war memorial);
  • Park Bridge: 10.45am (Remembrance Service, Park Bridge Institute grounds);
  • Stalybridge (town centre): 10.25am to 12 noon (Parade, Armentieres Square), 10.55am (Remembrance Service and wreath laying ceremony, at Stalybridge War Memorial).
  • Waterloo: 2.00pm (Parade, Canon Burrows Primary School), 2.30pm (Remembrance Service, Oldham Road war memorial);
  • Werneth Low: 11.45am to 1.00pm (Parade from Lower Higham Visitor Centre), 12.00pm (Remembrance Service and wreath laying ceremony).

Monday 11 November 2019

At 11am, there will be a two-minute silence at most of our borough’s retail premises, public buildings, and on the pedestrianised area outside Tameside One. There will also be a service of remembrance and a wreath laying ceremony at the War Memorial on Godley Hill Road (10.50am).

Poppy Power

Giving our borough a bit of unwanted publicity was a health and safety issue over plastic poppies on lampposts. It was claimed by Tameside MBC that the 20g poppies would have added unnecessary weight to the lamppost. Instead of using lampposts, they suggested placing them on tree trunks.

Stalybridge shopkeepers have applied for permission to add poppies onto the lampposts last year without further issues. The council regarded 2018 as an exceptional case due to it being the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Strictly speaking, 20g is about the same weight as a multipack bag of crisps. In the last 45 years, heavier structures like road signs and bus stop flags have been added to Tameside’s lampposts without such issues. After Tameside’s decision made the local and national press (and BBC’s North West Today), there was a change of heart. Thanks to being shown up by the Daily Mail and a few vox-pop interviews, the giant lightweight poppies are back on the lampposts.

Thomas Cook branches saved…

In the last month, we have learned that Hays Travel has taken on Thomas Cook’s travel shops. So far, the chain has reopened 350 former Thomas Cook shops across the UK, as stated on their website. The Ashton branch isn’t on the list, as Hays Travel opened their Mercian Way shop months before Thomas Cook’s demise.

…but Bonmarché falls into administration

In the last month, Bonmarché fell into administration, affecting our local branches in Hyde and Ashton-under-Lyne. In the Retail Gazette, it is claimed that lower disposable income, Brexit-related uncertainty and rising business rates have affected the business. Other commentators claim the retailer’s present designs have been underwhelming.

Founded in 1982, Bonmarché carved out a niche in selling affordable yet trendy clothing for mature women. In 1985, the company opened their first shop in Doncaster. Oldham’s branch opened in 1988, with Hyde’s branch opening in 1991, in the then newly refurbished Clarendon Mall. Ashton’s opened in 1998.

If Bonmarché disappears from our High Streets, this could leave us with fewer sartorial options for the older shopper. For many shoppers, it is a place where you could get ordinary clothing at more ordinary (or rather, realistic) prices.

The 2019 Tameside Lantern Parade

As announced in a press release in late May, this year’s lantern parade is coming to Stalybridge. Taking place on the 16 November, the fun will last from 6pm to 8pm. There will also be music and ‘other surprises’ with a ‘Stalybridge twist’. This has been organised by Tameside MBC’s Cultural Services team and Global Grooves, a Mossley-based international carnival organisation.

Also due by the close of this month will be the borough’s Christmas tree switch-on events. So far, Audenshaw’s and Dukinfield’s will be taking place on Friday, 22 November. Denton’s, Droylsden’s and Mossley’s will follow suit on Saturday (23 November) with Ashton-under-Lyne’s, Hollingworth’s and Hyde’s falling on St. Andrew’s Day (Saturday, 30 November). Further details and times will appear on East of the M60 in due course.

TAC Tales

In the last fortnight, Stand H of Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station #3 has closed, with the 330s taking their position on Gas Street. So far, the chances of TfGM hitting their Spring 2020 target look good.

As part of the Tameside One complex, the top end of Warrington Street has been repaved. Between the staff entrance of the small WHSmith unit and Wilko, a raised floral bed is being added. Despite the extra colour from summer blooms, it would do little to improve an already grim entry into the town centre.

Forthcoming Planning Applications

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

Fairly lively.

  • The Poplars pay and display car park off Swan Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, could become a mixed-use development. 30 – 38 Old Street, which has previously been The Shubar’s home, could be part of a four storey building with two ground floor retail units. There could be 53 residential apartments and thirteen parking spaces. The development will seamlessly blend in with the rest of Old Street.
  • Retrospective planning permission has been submitted by Notemachine UK Ltd for the installation of a cash machine and associated signage at Droylsden Post Office, and at Limehurst Post Office.
  • The Nationwide Building Society on 2 Staveleigh Way, Ashton-under-Lyne could be getting some new signage.
  • The long closed T.J. Cartwright shop on 49 Melbourne Street, Stalybridge could see the addition of stairs to a first floor one bedroom flat and a rear shop front (both accessed from Back Grosvenor Street).
  • Further to recent plans for the demolition of Denton’s gasholders, the National Grid have submitted plans for the demolition of Ashton’s on Grosvenor Street. The proposed demolition works will also cover a toilet block, mast and a telemetry kiosk.
  • The former Advanced Aerial and Satellite Systems shop on 354B Oldham Road could be converted into a self-contained flat.

Retail Movements

Pretty fluid, though with more ‘comings’ instead of ‘goings’.

  • Henos Fried Chicken on Stamford Road, Mossley has finally opened.
  • Taking on the Willow Wood Hospice shop’s previous unit on Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne will be a new hairdressers: Sheriff Barber Shop.
  • After more than three decades on Fletcher Street, The Tea Shoppe has closed its doors. Yours truly, the genius behind East of the M60 and (more specifically) The Ashton Review of Shops, first called in the café back in February 1990 with a school party. Till the end, it retained its olde worlde unpretentious air that himself and his peers from West Didsbury enjoyed 29 years ago.
  • By the time you have read this, Stalybridge will have seen the arrival of three new businesses over the last month. First of the three to open is Hannah’s Pure Supplements on Armentieres Square. This shop offers health food supplements, plus vitamins and minerals, and free friendly advice. Her shop is a short stride away from the 343 bus stop for Oldham.
  • The second one is Tameside Teepees on Melbourne Street. Billed as “a magical sleepover experience”, it is to all intents a party venue for young children. The shop opened its doors yesterday with cupcakes and (for much older children – i.e.: adults) Prosecco. You can hire Tameside Teepees for children’s parties, whether your child likes Frozen or Spiderman – or anything else for that matter. (The only limit is your imagination).
  • The third business is the Re-New charity shop which is opening today (02 November). Situated on 3 Princes Place, next door to Hannah’s Pure Supplements. There will be a grand opening and an outside broadcast by Tameside Radio.
  • In the last month (and as reported by one of our regular readers) we found that Paws and Claws has closed their Old Street shop in Ashton-under-Lyne. Its business has transferred to their existing stall in Ashton Market Hall.
  • Killing two birds with stone, Tameside MBC has found another outlet for the borough’s art collection: Ashton Market Hall. Faced with finding suitable yet 100% accessible gallery space whilst trying to fill an empty unit, they have created The Market Gallery. The unit is adjacent to Redmans’ stall.
  • Vape Shack, an e-cig shop, has opened in a kiosk outside Dukinfield’s branch of Morrisons, in the store’s eastern car park.

Pub and club update

In addition to its entry into the 2020 CAMRA Good Beer Guide, Ashton Tap House had another reason for celebration last month. At the Pride of Tameside awards in Dukinfield Town Hall, they picked up the New Business Award (Less Than Two Years Old). The popular micro bar in Ashton Market Hall was also shortlisted for Best Food and Drink Business. This was won by Four Kings Brewery in Newton.

Whilst we stay in Ashton, we found that Tapsters could grow from being a micro pub to being a standard-sized pub. The public house, owned by the same people as The Bowling Green could expand in its neighbouring unit.

Soon to open, The Jam Works, have submitted plans for the discharge of conditions 4 (kitchen extraction) and 6 (roller shutter details) of a previously approved application.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

Our next Ashton Review of Shops will be out on the 06 December 2019 at the usual time of 9am. Hopefully with some Christmas cheer, tinsel and more exciting retail developments along the way. Ta-ra for now.

S.V., 02 November 2019.

3 thoughts on “Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, November 2019: The Ashton Review of Shops

  1. Hello Stuart, what a mess that Ashton bus station is, I went to where I thought the 330 stop was today only to find it had moved, I looked up where it was stopping and ALL publicity told me it had moved to stand R on Gas Street. I followed the directional signage for stand R in the bus station pointing me to where the tram stop is, no stand R! Having consulted a map in the bus station, I found out that Gas Street was way over on the other side of the bus station, but there was no stand R on Gas Street according to the map! I thought that there must be a stand R somewhere, why have the signs up if there isn’t one. Finally after asking several people, all of whom had never heard of stand R, I found by accident where the 330 was running from, a totally different lettered stop on Gas Street, something like G I think. Over 20 minutes wasted, in that time I could easily have caught one, if not two earlier buses. Other than that, and the mass of parked cars on Shawl Hall Bank Road, my journey to Stockport went fairly well. Missed a 350 (my fault) and ended up on the next 353 which takes some seriously narrow roads with all sorts of gradients. Did manage some great connections on the way back, took a chance on the 350 connecting with the 184 which it did well. Many thanks again for your advice.


    1. Hi Leeds,

      The change regarding the 330’s stopping point came shortly after your previous comment on your jolly (which turned out to be a real curveball). Had I knew about that earlier, I would have suggested walking through the Arcades and Ladysmith shopping centres, then walk down Old Street till you see The Star Inn. At that point, you could have turned right and caught your 330 at the bus stop outside the pub (maybe next time).

      Or, you could have caught the less frequent and more rambling 7 route that gets to Stockport via Droylsden, Denton and Reddish. That could be worth keeping in mind if you fancy a trip to Reddish for Houldsworth Mill and Broadstone Mill shopping centres. That uses Stand B in Ashton bus station.

      At least you copped for a 353 on part of your journey and boarded your first ever Nexus Move bus. I believe they diverted the 350s due to flooding on Manchester Road (from the Royal George to The Clarence Hotel). Shame the weather didn’t work out for you too: it was miserable today.




  2. Hello Stuart, one thing I found over there was a real lack of information, no next bus displays, wrong information (i.e. the non existent stand R on Gas Street with directional signs pointing the wrong way) and finally no information what so ever on the redundant bus stand as to where the 330 had moved to. Clearly none of this was your fault, it’s the fault of tfgm who the tax payers are paying an arm and a leg for, to get this shoddy level of service. Next we’ll be seeing the entire bus station closing with the replacement not yet ready, however tfgm in their wisdom will direct people to it lol. The 350 is missing out most of Greenfield running direct up to the train station, with passengers having to walk down to Manchester Road. Although good for me, it’s clearly not good for Greenfield residents living towards The Clarence as the only bus is the 180 every hour, with 353/4 as you know serving part of the area only. Many thanks for your efforts giving me the information as it was helpful despite tfgm doing their worst.


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