This month’s window on the shop windows

  • Retirement leads to closure of popular Stalybridge shop;
  • Iconic Audenshaw public house faces demolition;
  • Plus all the usual retail movements from the Half Way House to Arnfield Towers.

Welcome to the second Ashton Review of Shops for 2020, which would also be the first one since leaving the EU. Within the next year, our country’s departure could make for some interesting reading in our retail scene.

Farewell to All Fabrics

Over the last month, we have said goodbye to All Fabrics on Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge. As one of the town’s New Wave of Independent Retailers, Ms. Davies’ shop was a popular port of call for haberdashers and crafty types in the Tameside area.

The shop closed its doors on the 18 January 2020 with a closing down sale that Saturday. We hope Pauline enjoys her retirement and wish her well in the future.

Introducing Phantasmagoria

In the last three months, Clarence Arcade has been a hive of creative activity, thanks to the volunteers at Phantasmagoria. Known as Phanta’s Little Helpers, the non-profit organisation’s aim is to inject some creativity into the centre of Ashton-under-Lyne.

They have decorated their unit on Clarence Arcade which was hitherto leased by Tameside MBC. The charity aims to transport you “into a world of travel and creativity.” Part of the plan will include poetry readings, art classes, and a library. Also a quiet reading area where you could sit in an empty bath and read your favourite book.

Phantasmagoria’s prime movers are Ann Gilligan, Rachel Summerscales, and Mavis, an adorable fourteen-year-old dog. Many of the artists have been involved in creative projects across Tameside and exhibited works at Woodend Mill, Mossley. We cannot wait for its opening in April this year, and hope it fills a creative gap in the borough.

TAC Tales

It is hard to believe that it was only two years ago when the demise of Carillion postponed the construction of Tameside One. Next on the agenda should be the resurfacing work of the Ashton Open Market ground by the present stalls.

Over at Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange, the Transport for Greater Manchester signage has been placed above the exit facing Arcades Shopping Centre. It also reads ‘Ashton Interchange’ instead of ‘Tameside Interchange’ (as some folk thought would have been the case). The first freestanding timetable stands have been added to what will be N stand.

Forthcoming Planning Applications

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

Very quiet.

  • Deshopification is in store for 8 Reynold Street, Hyde, which could be converted into a dwelling house. Before its recent guise as the Manchester Feed charity shop, it was a mortgage advisers’ office.
  • A retrospective change of use planning application has been put in for the first floor flat above Spice Inn on 85A Haughton Green Road, Denton. If successful, this could be converted into a massage parlour. Of particular interest, the Spice Inn was formerly The Old Dog public house.
  • A new ramp and steps could be added to TSB’s Denton branch on 38 Ashton Road.
  • A long vacant shop unit – formerly a newsagents – on 5 Bennett Street, Newton could be converted into a dwelling house.

Retail Movements

More ‘comings’ instead of ‘goings’ again… Yay!

  • Ever wondered what happened to our borough’s escape room places? Well, we can tell you that Movie Escape on George Street, Ashton-under-Lyne is RL Vision, your first port of call for Virtual Reality experiences in Tameside. It is also home to the Emergency Exit escape rooms, which is inspired by The Exorcist and Poltergeist films.
  • If a cracked windscreen is more scarier than a spinning doll’s head, we can tell you that Mission Exit off Oxford Street, Dukinfield is a branch of ChipsAway.
  • A new look has been given to the Kapadokya Grill House (ex-Pitt and Nelson) on Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. It is now known as Starbites.
  • The LTC Photographic Studio on the corner of Old Street and Bow Street, Ashton-under-Lyne has closed.
  • In the last month, we have found that Giovanni’s Salon on Penny Meadow is closed with the unit up for sale.
  • Also on Penny Meadow, we said several Ashton Review of Shops bulletins ago that Ashton Groceries had closed, shortly after the introduction of the RingGo parking scheme. The shop is still trading so if you are reading this, please accept our apologies for this howler.
  • So far, The Bread Basket’s successor on Cheetham Hill Road, Dukinfield has yet to reopen. Perhaps they may have hung fire a little due to the recent roadworks on Lodge Lane.
  • A recent addition to Old Square is the Love of Lacey charity shop. The unit was empty for five years after Belvoir Property Services moved to its present unit on Stamford Street Central. If you wish to support the charity, their Facebook page is a good starting point.
  • Gibson Music has moved from their previous unit on Stamford Street Central next to Ashton Bathrooms. Their present unit is only across the road, occupying the former Arrand and Dyson unit which had been occupied by Andy’s House Clearance Services.
  • The Factory Outlet Sofa Superstore has transferred its business from its Stamford Street Central/Delamere Street unit to their out-of-town unit on 357 Oldham Road (opposite Farmfoods). The unit has previously been occupied by Rejects Direct, Walmsley’s Suite Superstore and – alongside its purpose built 1930s store on Old Square – Montague Burton.

Pub and club update

Last month we stated that The Penny Farthing‘s depubification had been made complete. So far, the plans for the pub’s demolition and its replacement with five pairs of semi-detached houses have hit a brick wall. On the 20 January 2020, the plans have been withdrawn which could lead to another twist of fate for the doomed public house.

A short walk or taxi ride away, the fate of The Old Pack Horse Inn on Stamford Road, Audenshaw is doomed. This affable Robbies house (probably not foodie enough for the brewery’s present corporate image, we think) has closed and will be facing demolition. Its fate could be similar to that of The Penny Farthing: more houses. As a consequence, their teams in the Tameside Quiz League have moved to The Boundary, close to Guide Bridge station.

The Crafty Pint has now changed its name to The Cracking Pint. This was thanks to a complaint by a micro pub with the same name in Halesowen, despite there also being a Crafty Pint in Midhurst, Sussex. We eagerly similar complaints from landlords and Pubcos because there are too many pubs called the Red Lion or The Station. (With the present situation, To Let is probably the UK’s most common pub name these days).

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

Our next Ashton Review of Shops will be out on the 07 February 2020 at the usual time of 9am. Be there or be…

S.V., 01 February 2020.

One thought on “Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, February 2020: The Ashton Review of Shops

  1. Cracking word, ‘depubification’ (n). Depubified (v), community whose PH has been closed/ knocked down, recovering alcoholic, someone skint till the end of the month.


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