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”

Advertisements

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

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”

Processed Food and Drink of the 1980s and Beyond: The Not So Perfect Ten

A tasty Feast of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten

Many Moons ago (well, the 27 May 2013 to be precise), we did an article on nutritionally incorrect processed food entitled ‘The Tinned Pie’s The Limit‘. In other words, the convenience food you can still get in a lot of supermarkets and discount shops. There was also another post entitled ‘Crimes Against Food‘ from July 2010 which coincided with the launch of Tesco’s Lasagne Sandwiches. This looked at, to some extent convenience food, and meatball butties.

For our Not So Perfect Ten, we have decided to look at some of the processed food you could get in the 1980s and beyond. Some of it has left our shelves unceremoniously with the Turkey Twizzlers, whereas some grace the deepest recesses of your local freezer centre. Others, we look upon with nostalgia and yearn for their return. Continue reading “Processed Food and Drink of the 1980s and Beyond: The Not So Perfect Ten”

How Privatisation Killed Off the British Rail Sandwich Joke

Heard the one about the Northern Rail sandwich…? Thought not.

The heady days of 1970s food on the go: a Travellers' Fare sandwich.
Appetising isn’t it? Better than half the jokes: the Travellers’ Fare sandwich. Poster image photographed by Chris Sampson (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

If you visit a busy mainline station anywhere in the United Kingdom, today’s concourses resemble a small town shopping centre. It is a far cry from an era when the only shops were those of W.H. Smith and Son, John Menzies, Finlays or Wymans. Other than newsagents’ shops, it was the buffet bar or restaurant. Till the start of rail privatisation, a parcels (Red Star) pick-up point and left luggage facilities were the norm at principal stations. Continue reading “How Privatisation Killed Off the British Rail Sandwich Joke”

Trans-Pennine ‘Spoons Trek: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten

Ten ‘must-see’ J.D. Wetherspoon houses across the Pennines

Tim Martin’s J.D. Wetherspoon’s empire seems to polarise the nation’s drinkers. At one end of the scale, they are seen as a Tesco or McDonalds for beer, threatening traditional public houses. On the other hand, some see the ‘Spoons estate as the best marketplace for cask conditioned ales. The Guardian rated them as “Britain’s canteen”, fulfilling a similar purpose the British Restaurants did after the Second World War. Continue reading “Trans-Pennine ‘Spoons Trek: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten”

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: