P h o t o B l o g

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

B & Q at the Snipe

The entrance to the B & Q store on the Snipe retail park between Ashton and Audenshaw. This was one of the first of B & Q's larger "Warehouse" stores and replaced the earlier B & Q store nearby, which is now Staples. In the distance, behind the Give Way sign, you can just see the recently-closed MFI store - another victim of the "downturn".

The Snipe retail park was built on the site of Ashton Moss Colliery (the "Snipe Pit"). The colliery was opened in 1875 and its second shaft, sunk in 1882, at 2,850 feet was the deepest in the world at that time. The Snipe retail park takes its name from the nearby Snipe Inn on Manchester Road.

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Shades of Blue

Today's photo was taken from the roof of The Arcades shopping mall, from the same spot as last week's photo of Water Street.

It shows the IKEA store in the centre of the photo, with the Wellington Road bingo emporium and retail park to the right. To the left is Assheton House, probably one of the most convenient blocks of flats for shopping and buses!

It's a good job Ashton's buses are no longer blue, or they would really clash with the assorted shades of blue in this photo!

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Mossley on Monday: Just Walking the Dog

Mossley is just over the hill from Ashton but in some ways is another world. The strong winter sunshine last week offered this image of a lady taking her dog for a walk alongside the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. The scene is looking westwards from the side of Lock 13. The canal towpath is a very popular walking route in Mossley.

See Google Aerial View of this location.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Sunday Stroll: Knott Hill Reservoir

Another popular short walk near Ashton is to Knott Hill Reservoir, in the valley between Hartshead and Hazelhurst.

The reservoir was built shortly after 1835 to replace the earlier and smaller Tongue Bottom (Tombottom) reservoir a short distance higher up the valley, behind the present Hartshead Inn.

Knott Hill Reservoir is no longer used and its water level was dropped to the present level when the dam embankment showed signs of instability. The photo was taken from the path that ran around the original waterline of the reservoir, which can also be seen on the opposite side and gives a good idea of how deep the reservoir was when it was in use.

Today it is managed by Tameside Countryside Service as a nature reserve and the path around the outside is a popular walking route. Hartshead Pike is seen on the hill in the background, enticing the more energetic walker!

See Google Aerial View of this location.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Stalybridge Saturday: Railway Station

You would be forgiven if you didn't immediately recognise this location, as this is the brand new face of Stalybridge Station. This is the first in a series of weekly visits to Stalybridge, Ashton's next-door neighbour, just 2 miles to the east.

At a cost of £675,000 a new glass-fronted entrance has been built with seating area and departure information shown on hi-tech screens. This part of a £1.5 million scheme to improve the station which has included improved toilets and shelters.

On the down side, the number of car parking spaces on the immediate forecourt has been reduced from 13 to 6 plus 2 taxi spaces and two disabled spaces. Other spaces are available on the ramp alongside the station building and on a plot opposite, but more parking will need to be provided if more people are to use the station as a "park-and-ride" facility.

See Google Aerial View of this location before the modernisation.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Sky Watch: Hartshead Pike

Hartshead Pike, on the ridge between Ashton under Lyne and Mossley, is a good place to see dramatic skyscapes and eerie lighting conditions. Today's photo shows dramatic clouds rather than actual sky, but this is England's Pennines, after all.

The Hartshead Pike tag at the end of the post will take you to other views of the hill in other lighting conditions.

Sky Watch is the new Friday feature on this photo blog. It will link with websites all over the world with the general theme each week of looking upwards. Please take the opportunity to visit some of these other sites. I hope some new visitors have found their way here today, watching the skies!

See Google Aerial View of this location.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Ashton Town Hall at Christmas

A few late shoppers hurry home past the steps of Ashton's Town Hall just before Christmas.

I have shown you a few photos of the Christmas lights around Ashton but I have saved the Town Hall for today.

Merr  Christmas  to all followers of this blog! Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Arcadian Christmas Tree

As we have a last-minute dash around the shops of Ashton searching for that elusive present, let us pause to look from another angle at the superb decorations in The Arcades shopping mall.

From this angle we can see the white Christmas tree on the landing of the steps.

On a sadder note it is time to say goodbye to Woolworths, which will be closing down for good on 27th December. Please spare a thought for all the hard-working staff whose Christmas will not be so happy this year. Let's hope that the store space will soon be taken on by another retailer and that some of the staff might find new jobs there.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Time for a Winter's Walk to Park Bridge

With the prospect of a few days off around Christmas and New Year, many people go for a winter stroll or even a longer walk, especially if they feel the need to walk off the effects of too much eating!

One of the popular spots for walking locally is Park Bridge. The view here looks down across the remains of the former Lees family's iron works from what was once the railway embankment leading to the long-gone railway viaduct. The Stables building in the centre of the photo houses a heritage centre and café.

If you're too far away to go for a walk there, you could always do a bit of exploring around the area using the "Bird's Eye View" link below.

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Water Street

Today's photo is looking along Water Street towards Oldham Road from the roof of The Arcades shopping mall. The No. 330 bus from Stockport has just turned out of Gas Street on its way to the bus station.

In the middle distance, Holy Trinity Church is clearly seen. In the far distance the Beetham Tower in Manchester is just visible in the haze.

Water Street and Gas Street took their names from the corporation-owned utilities that had premises nearby. A cotton mill once stood where The Arcades now is, with Charlestown Mission Chapel on the right hand side of the road. Behind the chapel were narrow streets with rows of small early terraced mill-workers' houses that formed Charlestown.

It is hard to believe that, around 1800, Charlestown was separated from the small town of Ashton under Lyne, then spreading along what is now Old Street, by open fields!

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Mossley in the Rain

This photo sort of sums up the wet and windy wintery weather of the last few days!

It shows Stamford Street in Mossley, with the Market Place and the library to the left. You can also see some of Mossley's Christmas illuminations (the stars on the lamp posts).

Mossley, being a fair bit higher up than Ashton, usually seems to have wetter and windier weather than Ashton, even though it's only three miles away!

The camera wasn't too keen on the driving rain and the lens began misting, which produced the slightly interesting effect around the street lights, in case you thought I'd used some sort of technical wizardry!

See Google Aerial View of this location.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Market by Night

These are the shortest days of the year, so it seems appropriate to include plenty of night-time scenes here. The photos have the added colour of the humble Christmas lights that have been put up.

Today's photo shows Ashton Open Market with the re-opened Market Hall floodlit in the background. The Town Hall is just visible on the left.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Alphabet Friday - Zoo

"Z" is for "Zoo" and this is the nearest thing you're going to get to a zoo around Ashton!

This is the animal corner in Stamford Park, between Ashton and Stalybridge. The range of animals in the enclosure is not huge but it provides additional interest for the children visiting the park.

See Google Aerial View of this location.

That concludes this series of Alphabet Friday. Next Friday is Boxing Day and will see the start of a new Friday feature here.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Indoor Decorations

The Christmas lights on the streets of Ashton might be a bit understated, but at least The Arcades has pushed the boat out a bit with some rather impressive decorations. Some of these were seen here last week, along with the festive yeti outside WH Smith. It all helps to give a nice seasonal feel to the shopping mall.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Illuminations? Well, sort of...

A little bit of festive cheer is brought to you from Tameside Council with the addition of Christmas lights around Ashton's Market Ground. But it is just a little bit!

I suppose the council has to keep an eye on its purse strings these days but it would have been a bit jollier to see more of an effort with the lights! However, this is still much better that the lights in Mossley!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Ladysmith Lights

Today's photo shows the current Christmassy look in the Ladysmith Centre, Ashton.

The Ladysmith Centre, between Old Street and Katherine Street, was originally known locally as "The Precinct" but in recent years has been brought up to date with a modern look and feel.

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Monday, 15 December 2008

That's The Wonder

Who doesn't remember the advertising slogan "That's the Wonder of Woollies"? The wonder at the time this photo was taken a couple of days ago was that there was anything left on the shelves!

This is the Woolworth store in the Arcades shopping mall in Ashton.

On the news it had been reported that Woolworth stores up and down the country were crowded with shoppers hoping to grab closing-down bargains, but Woolworth's in Ashton has always seemed crowded, although how many of those people were browsing and how many were actually buying, I couldn't say. Woolworth's have not been receiving deliveries of new stock for a while now so, as customers buy up the bargains, the shelves get emptier.

Mind you, the big signs that were in the windows and all around the store were a bit misleading - you had to look carefully to spot the words "up to" in the corner!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Market Hall By Night

In contrast to yesterday's photo of the Market Hall from the Town Hall steps, today's photo, from nearly the same position, was taken as darkness falls over the remaining shoppers hurrying towards their buses and cars.

Floodlights illuminate the Market Hall's facade and the globe on top of the finger post is lit up.

I had hoped to take this photo from the exact same spot as yesterday's but a floodlight next to the canon that was lighting up the Town Hall was shining straight into the camera!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Market Hall

A view of Ashton Market Hall from the Town Hall steps. Christmas decorations attempt to cheer up this chilly winter's day.

The space in front of the Market Hall, until recently a builders' site has been cleaned up and new paving laid. The new roof of the Market Hall, which some people have criticised as looking too modern, can be seen.

The decorative canon is aiming at the nearest doorway!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Alphabet Friday - Yeti

"Y" is for "Yeti" - sometimes known as The Abominable Snowman! It is not often that one discovers a yeti in Ashton, so it was a happy coincidence that, just before "Y" came along on the Alphabet Friday slot that I spotted this one in The Arcades shopping mall in Ashton.

Yesterday's photo gave a flavour of the Christmassy feel of the place at the moment and the focal spot under the dome, once the home of the brown Black Knight statue, is occupied by this non-traditional Christmas tableau. The yeti, the baby seals and some sort of giant snowball all move around to the sound of seasonal music.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The Arcades

The Arcades shopping mall in Ashton looks a lot jollier on the run-up to Christmas, with these illuminated festive frosty branches.

HMV on the left occupies the shop that was previously Dixons, while Game on the right occupies HMV's previous unit.

The Arcades is situated between the Open Market, the Ladysmith Centre and the Bus Station.

In the distance the red lettering of the Woolworth store is just visible (click photo to see larger version). The store is bustling this week with people looking for bargains with the big reductions on offer. From today the store is to begin a closing down sale. There were already a few empty shelves in there on Wednesday. It all seems very sad, as Woolworth's have moved from Stamford Street to Warrington Street and then to the Arcades, always keeping in the prime position among Ashton's shops. If no buyer is found for the chain, no doubt this key location will be quickly snapped up by another chain. Let's hope that the Woolworth's staff are the first to be offered jobs.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Ashton Open Market

A view of Ashton's Open Market ground on the run-up to Christmas. The walls of the newly re-opened Market Hall bear Christmas decorations and the banner on the clock tower proclaims that the Market Hall is now open.

See Live Search Birds Eye View of this location before the Market Hall re-opened.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Saying Boo

Who wouldn't say "boo" to a goose? This particular gaggle looks as if they wouldn't be very bothered if you did! They are clearly on a mission, walking determinedly past me!

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago at Crime Lake at the edge of Daisy Nook Country Park. Crime Lake last appeared on here in February.

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

All lit up!

Although the Christmas lights in Dukinfield may be modest by comparison with those in some places, I think the scene in front of Dukinfield Town Hall looks rather attractive as darkness falls.

There are twin Christmas trees there and lights in all the trees on the forecourt.

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Alphabet Friday - X marks the spot

"X" is for... well not many things in Ashton actually start with an X but then I realised that this photo had a very large X shape in it! I wonder if you can spot it?

Of course you can, but I didn't when I took the photo - I was concentrating on the decorative ironwork!

The photo was taken inside the John Neild Conservatory in Stamford Park, between Ashton and Stalybridge. The conservatory, which is 101 years old, is in effect a hothouse or giant greenhouse in which exotic plants grow, including this cactus display.

See Google Aerial View of this location.
See LiveSearch Birds Eye View of this location.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Now, where did I leave my lunch?

"Gee - I'm sure there was plenty of grass here yesterday. I can't think where it's all gone."

It's a tough life on the the slopes of Hartshead Pike, even in Wednesday's bright sunshine. It will be even tougher on Thursday morning as a lot of snow is forecast overnight!

[Update: The forecasters got it a bit wrong and there was no new blanket of snow this morning, just a bit of rain!]

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Yesterday's Snow

After the snow, the sunshine. Hartshead Pike, on the ridge overlooking Ashton and Oldham, looks good in all sorts of weather conditions, but I think it looks magical when there is snow about!

There has been a bit of a thaw, so that some of the grass is now visible, but much of the snow is still lying. Down in Ashton a lot of the snow had disappeared although compressed icy snow was making walking hazardous on some pavements.

A big fall of snow is forecast in the area for between 2.00 am and 6.00 am on Thursday morning, so be prepared!

See Google Aerial View of this location.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Early Snow

It's been a few years since we had snow in early December, but this morning saw an inch or two. This caused the usual chaos to traffic as many drivers no longer seem to know how to drive in snow! In fact, many drivers stayed at home as shown by this photo, taken on the usually busy A635 Manchester Road in front of Mossley Railway Station at around 9.00 am today.

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

See Google Aerial View of this location without the snow.

Monday, 1 December 2008


December's Theme Day is on the topic of Circles.

Ashton being a mill town, where better to look for circles than in the yard of one of the old cotton mills? The circles here form part of the decorative iron work at Oxford Mills in Ashton's West End. The brackets on the left appear to have once supported a canopy over the loading doors.

The first part of the mill complex was built in 1845 by Thomas Mason. The building on the left of the photo was added in 1851, with a bridge section linking the two.

Thomas retired in 1860 and the business was taken on by his youngest son, Hugh, who showed great benevolence to his workforce, keeping them employed throughout the "Cotton Famine" of the 1860s and building good houses and other facilities for his employees.

Most of the buildings are still standing and in use, but no longer spinning cotton.

See Google Aerial View of this location.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in the December theme day

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