The Lost Hypermarket: An A to Z of Long Lost Brands

Lost items from our supermarket shelves If you have spent more than four decades on this planet, you will have seen many shops go the way of dinosaurs. Not a single day goes by without there being a “Do You Remember the Woolworths Pick and Mix” counter or “School Puddings” meme. I have yet to…

The Other UK Singles Chart: 1. Independent Local Radio Music Charts

A beginners’ guide to chart tracking on ILR stations from 1974 to 2008 If you mention the UK singles chart, the first thing that springs to mind in the Official Charts Company’s countdown. This goes out every Friday on BBC Radio One. Before then, it used to go out on Sunday afternoons and, prior to…

The Duffers’ Guide to 8-Bit Computing #1: Software on Tape

The first of a new Duffers’ Guide, celebrating the joys of 8-bit computing I have recently found a YouTube channel that celebrates the wonder of audio tape. It is headed by a fellow from Lancashire who knows his TDKs from his Maxells, and his chrome tapes from his ferric tapes. What has amazed me is…

One Answer to the Million Pound Question: the Stalybridge Heritage Walk

A possible approach to the Stalybridge Heritage Walk In our previous article entitled The Million Pound Question: Stalybridge’s Historical Quarter, we looked at the story behind Tameside MBC’s successful bid. We also looked at how the heritage walk should form part of a greater scheme. In other words, how the Heritage Walk should be accompanied…

The Million Pound Question: Stalybridge’s Historical Quarter

Could the town’s rich history be a panacea for economic growth? Stalybridge has a proud history. In spite of losing its town hall and the conversion of its market hall to a civic hall, there is still a lot to like about the Cheshire town. Especially Cheetham’s Park and the town centre’s equivalent of The…

The Beano’s 4000th Issue: On Message as Ever and Glossy

Why, in the most darkest of days, we should never be without The Beano In living memory, the last week has been one of the most darkest and tumultuous weeks. Within 24 hours of Jeremy Corbyn’s meeting with leaders of opposition parties to prevent a Tory No Deal Brexit®, Boris Johnson (and possibly his unelected…

Stalybridge Old Band at The Den: The 200th Anniversary of Peterloo Concert

How Stalybridge Old Band wowed a full house at the Royal Exchange’s pop-up theatre In the last few days, the Royal Exchange’s Den pop-up theatre has taken up residence in Stalybridge Civic Hall. It has played host to a number of original productions which reflect the borough’s rich history with encouraging support. There has been…

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…