Lost Items From The ‘Spoons Menu: A Feast of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten

Ten items we have loved and lost from the J.D. Wetherspoon menu

Kings Hall, Cheadle Hulme
A Lost ‘Spoons: appropriately for our post on lost Wetherspoons menu items we find a picture of a a former J.D. Wetherspoon house in Cheadle Hulme. Image by Adam Bruderer, 2010 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

Few entrepreneurs would consider naming their business after a teacher they dreaded. In October 1979, Tim Martin did just that with a London pub. Nearly three decades on, it became one of Britain’s best loved (and equally most derided) brands. Today, any town centre worth its salt is not without a Wetherspoons house.

Continue reading “Lost Items From The ‘Spoons Menu: A Feast of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten”

The Correct Use of Sauce… on Chips: Feast of the M60

Feast of the M60’s forthright views on the correct use of tomato sauce, brown sauce, and similar condiments on chips

On this sceptred isle of ours (and countless other small islands around the UK mainland), there are several things that can never fail to polarise our nation. One is the long term effects of the 1979 – 97 Conservative Government. Another is the Laurel/Yanny sound played on our radio stations this week. Or the blue/black dress dilemma which reminded me of the Father Ted “priest socks” reference.

If there is one dilemma that is set to outlast our opinions on the above, it is something that is close to our hearts. The answer lies with your nearest chippy.

Continue reading “The Correct Use of Sauce… on Chips: Feast of the M60”

The Correct Use of Toast: Feast of the M60

Feast of the M60’s opportunist/timely post celebrates National Toast Day

Random slice of toast
“A little bit of…” toast, will mop away your bean juice. Image by Peter O’Connor, 2009 (Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike).

There is only one foodstuff that turns a cooked breakfast from SkyBet League Two to Barclays Premier League status. It is a five letter word which is also used to celebrate a momentous occasion. After about five minutes under the grill it goes well with baked beans, cheese, or a dippy fried egg. No prizes for guessing which one (it is too easy for a Midday Money question). Continue reading “The Correct Use of Toast: Feast of the M60”

Tameside’s and Glossop’s Retail Highlights: Small Business Saturday 2017

02 December 2017, from a local shop near you, throughout the United Kingdom

For many people, taking a trip to the supermarket or retail park is the easy option. Choosing to stay at home and shop online is another. If you choose the aforementioned options, they make for a dull experience. The internet is a boom when you need to buy certain items but there’s no scope for impulse purchases. Continue reading “Tameside’s and Glossop’s Retail Highlights: Small Business Saturday 2017”

The Stores That Tesco Ate: A Lost Precinct Not So Perfect Ten

A look at ten supermarket chains absorbed by Tesco since 1945

For social historians and retail commentators, the recent history of Tesco is peppered with twists and turns. Contemporary hagiographies focus on the store chain’s tax affairs, or their presence on our High Streets.

Much of the groundwork was set in the 1960s and 1970s thanks to Jack Cohen. After organic growth, the end of the 1950s onwards saw Tesco buying regional chains like Irwins and Hillards. Even so, their integration wasn’t all plain sailing: for example, outstanding debts; unsuitable sites; and planning issues. Its turning point came when Ian MacLaurin joined the Tesco board after being a management trainee. As Managing Director in 1977, he ditched the Green Shield stamps, a gimmick which only ten years before, drew shoppers to their stores.

The rest, they say, is your favourite humanities cliché. It set the store chain onto an upward trajectory. Stores grew in size as well as numbers: standard sized supermarkets; plus Extras, Metros and Expresses. Then global domination, and a loyalty card scheme that took the retail world by storm.

In our Lost Precinct Not So Perfect Ten, we look at the ten store chains that Tesco have acquired since 1945. Continue reading “The Stores That Tesco Ate: A Lost Precinct Not So Perfect Ten”

Eatymology: A Tea Potted History of the Superstore Café

Feast of the M60 looks at how the superstore café has evolved in the last fifty years

Please forgive me for taking a well trodden part for this introduction. In my formative years, the supermarket café seemed fairly exotic. Supermarkets, when I was young, were small, in town centre locations, and a bit chaotic. The edge of town supermarket with its vast car parking seemed otherworldly. Back then, the Fine Fare hypermarket in Hyde, Ashton’s original ASDA, and the Shopping Giant stores in Droylsden and Denton were notable exceptions. Continue reading “Eatymology: A Tea Potted History of the Superstore Café”

Pub Food Classics: The Cheese Toastie

Feast of the M60 muses over what seems to be a dying art in public houses

Toastie!
East of the M60 does not endorse the use of borderline nationalism on this savoury snack. The opinions of the toastie are separate to that of this blog. And the person who photographed this image in 2012 (Image by Annie, Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

On the rare occasions that you go to the pub (for anything besides family occasions), you may fancy a quick snack with your pint. You yearn for something quite filling though not over facing. A quick sandwich, a tasty ham muffin or the like – anything besides pickled eggs, salted peanuts and crisps. Continue reading “Pub Food Classics: The Cheese Toastie”

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #12: Eating on the Bus

The pitfalls of dining Al Volvo, plus ten useful tips

Greggs, Murray Place, Stirling
The Bete Noire and Godsend of all bus drivers and passengers: You cannot fault the odd Greggs Steak Bake now and then, but you wouldn’t like to share a bus with a leftover sausage roll. This is their Stirling branch, photographed by Paul Robertson in 2008. The bus in the reflection is a Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian. (Creative Commons License: Attribution Some Rights Reserved-No Derivatives).

Eating and drinking on the bus is a thing that many of us do out of necessity. This is usually due to time constraints (being unable to stop off at a pub or café en route) or financial reasons (being unable to afford a pub or café) as well as hunger. Most of the time, eating on the bus might entail anything from the odd chocolate bar to a packed lunch.
Continue reading “Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #12: Eating on the Bus”

Nutritionally Incorrect Anthems: A Feast of the M60 Rebellious Mixtape (Volume #11)

20 Golden Greats, of the nutritionally incorrect variety

Burger King, Manchester
24 Hours from Whopper: Burger King, Mosley Street, Manchester. Image by Mikey (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Take a good look through your record collection. Can you think of any memorable songs or instrumental tunes extolling the joys of Iceberg Lettuce? Have you heard of a concept album dedicated to tofu? Or even a song? Well, apart from Killer Tofu by The Beets (the fictitious group in Nickelodeon’s/Jumbo Productions’ animated series, Doug), little of note. Continue reading “Nutritionally Incorrect Anthems: A Feast of the M60 Rebellious Mixtape (Volume #11)”

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