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…

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…

Reality Estates That The Heroes Got: 4. Primrose Bank and Crete Street Tower Blocks

Montrose House and Primrose House: Partington’s short lived twin towers, on opposite sides of Ashton Road Throughout the United Kingdom, local authorities were given incentives to build taller tower blocks for slum clearance schemes. As well as heights, there were incentives to adopt experimental building systems. For example: Sectra, Bison, and Jespersen. As well as speeding…

1992: The Last Great Year of 8-Bit Computing

Remembering the commercial twilight era of the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and Amstrad CPC 1992 was a strange yet eventful year in British home computing. The Sega Mega Drive rose in popularity, the NES was replaced by the 16-bit SNES in many homes. In Dear Old Blighty, there were two factors which delayed their supremacy (for another…

A Look Back to the ’90s: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten ‘So 1990s’ footnotes in popular culture Where has the time gone? This time 26 years ago, the creator of this blog was having his tea in front of Granada Tonight. Being a Wednesday, yours truly would be drawing in front of Coronation Street or The Ron Lucas Show.The year was 1990. I was back at…

Ladysmith Shopping Centre Through The Ages

Four ages of Ashton-under-Lyne’s 1960s precinct Contrary to popular belief, the Ladysmith Shopping Centre wasn’t Ashton’s first pedestrianised precinct. Stamford Arcade (from Old Street to Stamford Street), Clarence Arcade (again on Stamford Street), and Market Avenue (from the Earl of Stamford’s street up to Bow Street) beat Metrolands’ development to it.

Jekyll’s Cotton Bale: Hyde Pubs Past and Present

A wander around the streets of Hyde, at public houses past and present On this blog and many others of a beer related nature, we see many a tale of pubs closing and being asset stripped by Pubcos/Hospitality Based Estate Agents. Ashton-under-Lyne is one place that features in the same paragraphs. It is worth noting…

Go Cheapway to… Hayfield

East of the M60‘s look at the Derbyshire village The village of Hayfield for many walkers is both a starting point and a footnote in social history. In the latter guise it is associated with the Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout which took place on the 24 April 1932.

Down Our Streets #3: The Streets of Dukinfield

From County Bridge to Johnson Brook If you’re new to Dukinfield, you may have wondered how the town’s streets got their names. A fair number of the town’s streets are named after former councillors, landmarks and parts of Scotland. A lot of the town’s housing stock moved to hitherto rural parts between the 1950s and 1970s….

Lost from the Supermarket: A Trolley Load of Anachronisms

Several things which 21st century children will never see or hear in their local superstores Take a trip to a 21st century superstore, anywhere in the United Kingdom. Today’s stores are sprawling; some of which architecturally nondescript. Commonly, a great number have petrol stations and generous amounts of free parking.

Go Cheapway to… The Greater Manchester Museum of Transport

Exploring Greater Manchester’s transport history on a budget My first visit to this museum was on the Palm Sunday of 1986 with my father. We decided – rather wrong-headedly – to walk to and from the museum. On alighting our 220 bus at Victoria Station, we made the mistake of walking up Rochdale Road. In…