Former Burton Shop, Old Square

Tameside’s Autism Hour, 05 – 12 October 2019: Ashton Review of Shops Extra

Which Tameside shops are taking part in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour?

If you have an autism spectrum condition, a trip to the shops can be a daunting prospect. One issue could be the bright lights, another could be the background noise. In a supermarket, even the sheer variety of items can be overloading.

As for the queues and the crowds, say no more… This eejit in his formative years used to squeal his way through department stores. Shoppers thought I was being mistreated when it was the bustle of John Moores’ most famous retail concern that drove me nuts. The background noise in Ashton’s Pound Bakery is enough to put me off from being a regular customer (the one in Hyde isn’t as bad for that).

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Ashton Open Market, during the Tameside Young Traders' Market, 25 May 2019.

Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, June 2019: The Ashton Review of Shops

This month’s window on the shop windows

  • Excellent start for Tameside Young Traders’ Market;
  • Ashton-under-Lyne’s Top Shop/Topman store to close after 35 years;
  • The return of a legendary Stalybridge pub – on a new site;
  • Plus all the usual retail movements from Littlemoss to Broadbottom.

Had it not been for the successful Tameside Young Traders’ Market and the proposed closure of a retail stalwart, a fairly ordinary month.

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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”

Astley Cheetham Library and Art Gallery

The Lost Pubs and Shops of Stalybridge Town Centre

Loved and Lost on Melbourne Street, Market Street and Grosvenor Street

Melbourne Street, Stalybridge in 2007.
Melbourne Street, Stalybridge in 2007.

Back in May 2012, East of the M60 did an A-Z of defunct retailers in the form of an article entitled The Lost Precinct. This was followed up by a Nikolas Pevsner style guide detailing lost shops in Ashton-under-Lyne.

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