A local café group, that has the market cornered in West Riding mock-baronial dining.
Walking into a half-timbered, overwhelmingly cream and red, world of tea, toast and hot beef sandwiches, there is a dislocation in time and location. No longer March 2015 in the centre of a Yorkshire Town, but in a lukewarm Westworld totally lacking in animatronic psychopathic killers.
The furniture is brown.
Moves are afoot to refurbish and refresh the brand, one branch doing its best to emulate an Argos furniture showroom, with an incongruous suit of armour thrown in for good luck.
Pop in make your own mind up – old new old, or new new old.
From being little I’ve always eaten pies and cakes, that’s how you stop being little all your life, broadly speaking.
They taste nice.
They taste nicest from a local bakers and confectioners, where everything is always fresh and baked on the premises. Walk in and it’s warm and welcoming, it smells of baking and love.
So each time I cycle around Greater Manchester, I do my level best to find one, go in and buy a pie.
And eat it.
One such stop off is Cochrane’s, the family have baked here since 1964, Ruth and Roger are charming and helpful – sadly we mourned the passing of most of their fellow bakers’ shops. Bowker’s on Penny Meadow in Ashton having recently shut. Once gone nobody takes them on – the family traditions of employment having long since been broken. Three of my aunties were trained as confectioners, I’m a good for nothing photographer.
They disappear in a puff of flour.
So make the most of those that remain, stop by buy a pie – I did.
There have been covered markets to the east of Manchester for many years, those on Grey Mare Lane have now gone, in fact Grey Mare Lane has almost gone, absorbed into a very different and very privatised urban redevelopment. That area of the city is now largely owned by Mansoor bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, commonly known as Sheikh Mansou.
He also owns City.
Openshaw Market survives, home to a rag bag of honest hard working and friendly traders, getting by.
They have their own unique brand of branding and signage – the downright, down home, home made.