Wilko, Ashton-under-Lyne (Tameside One)

The Wonder of… B&M? Which Store Chains Have The Old Woolies Magic?

An Ashton Review of Shops Extra report

In what has been yet another cheerless week thanks to That Pandemic, there was a rumour on Twitter that 2020 would have been saved by the return of an iconic store chain. Local and national newspapers picked up on it, in the vain hope its return would reenergise the High Street. The return of Woolworth to our High Street would have been a neat Christmas present.

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Optare Solo, Stagecoach Greater Manchester, MX58 HCK

Exact Fare Policy Raises More Than £122k for NHS Charities Together

Stagecoach passengers thanked for supporting major donation to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal

  • Over £122,000 raised by Stagecoach passengers for NHS charity with £19,271.72 raised by Stagecoach Greater Manchester passengers;
  • Passengers thanked for their support in the exact fare scheme, though passengers still encouraged to use contactless payment wherever possible.

The Stagecoach Group has thanked its customers across the UK for helping to raise more than £122,000 for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Appeal. As part of this total amount, Stagecoach Greater Manchester’s contribution was £19,271.72.

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SV Pablo Series Two launch picture

Zen and the Art of Children’s Television Theme Tunes

What makes a great children’s television theme tune?

What we watch in our formative years shapes the way we think in later life. It is the same with any good book, film, or theatrical production. The programme I have contributed to as a co-writer, Pablo, is making the same impression with children and parents on the autism spectrum. A one-act theatre show is on the horizon, and it should be up and running by the time our theatres start to reopen post-lockdown.

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Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, 11 October 2009

What Has the North Done For Us?

Quite a lot to be honest!

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge (widescreen)
The iconic Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

Imagine a world without Northern England. It would be a dull place devoid of The Beatles, iconic suspension bridges, daft footballers, and railway lines. Prior to the late 1970s, we were the manufacturing heart of the world. We built bridges, ships, made cutlery and built the world its locomotives and carriages. Today, most of what manufacturing capacity we had has been eviscerated by London-centric governments and globalisation. Prior to the mid 1980s, we kept most of our country’s power stations ticking over and our houses warm, before they closed down the pits and started importing its coal.

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Optare Solo, Stagecoach Greater Manchester, MX58 HCK

Oldham, Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, 25 October 2020

Welcome restoration of Stalybridge to Hyde route

For regular readers used to seeing a separate Oldham and Saddleworth bulletin, this edition covers the Oldham, Tameside and Glossop areas due to the lack of changes in Oldham. Apart from one route that covers the Oldham and Tameside areas.

  • New 387 route bridges Stalyhill gap;
  • Daytime 41As replaced by rerouted 335 route;
  • 389s to serve Tennyson Avenue;
  • 419 withdrawn and replaced by rerouted 396;
  • New Manchester to Sheffield service launched.

Though most of this October’s round of service changes will affect passengers in the Wigan and Bolton area, there are some significant changes for Tameside and Oldham passengers. All of which affect tendered services operated by Stott’s Tours. Those hitherto operated by MCT Travel, prior to HCT Group’s departure from Greater Manchester.

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Arcades Shopping Centre and open market

The Arcades at 25: Ashton Review of Shops Extra

A look at the Arcades Shopping Centre, which should be celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year

In 1995, there was two significant events that changed the way we shopped. One was the launch of Windows ’95. Microsoft’s more user-friendly operating system made the IBM compatible PC a ‘must-have’ addition to every home. Among its killer apps were the Space Cadet pinball game and Internet Explorer. The latter was a baby step towards Amazon’s path to world domination, which began trading in July 1995.

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Foodbank Bus Delivery

Stagecoach Canteen Changes Sees Surplus Food Sent to Food Banks

Why Stagecoach Greater Manchester donated supplies to five food banks in the city region

Stagecoach driver Joanne Morgan unloads food donations from the bus to the food bank at United Estates of Wythenshawe.

There is a famous episode of On The Buses* when Luxton and District decide to change the canteen facilities. After a few complaints about the food portions and Messrs Butler and Co. wanting a bit more than two pork sausages, the canteen staff are replaced by a wall of vending machines. Thankfully, this didn’t happen with Stagecoach Greater Manchester, after a change of canteen supplier. Their changes left the canteens of our city region’s leading bus operator with an abundance of baked beans, a bounty of bread, and a cornucopia of coffee granules. Not to mention a multitude of meat pies.

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Arcades Shopping Centre and open market

Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, October 2020: The Ashton Review of Shops

This month’s semi-quarantined window on the shop windows

Under normal circumstances, our shops will be getting ready for Christmas. Not so at this time of writing. With COVID-19 cases hitting record levels, any sense of normality may be out of the question for a year.

At the sharp end of the pandemic is our licensed premises, particularly music venues and smaller pubs (where social distancing is problematic). For over a week, our pubs have been hit by a 10pm curfew.

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