Picture Of Hyde Grammar School Building
by Brian Thornley
May 2015
It will be updated at least once a week so please keep viewing and commenting.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

UCP Cafe



The initials stood stood for United Cattle Products - advertised as "the offal emporium of the north-west." The UCP, sold much more than just the load of tripe my mother bought. There was cow heels and black pudding, brawn, heart, Ox tongue, and sweetbreads, liver, kidneys, rissoles, faggots, sausage and many more bovine delights. I remember this shop and cafe very well... Saturday mornings I would be dragged around Hyde while mum did some 'week end' shopping.... everything else she would buy during the week was from our local Spar shop at the bottom of Knott Lane when she could 'run up a slate'.... the Spar's long gone and is now known as Grocer Jacks.. and very well it seems to be doing as well... but lets get back to Saturday mornings of old.. After some shopping mum would head to the UCP to meet up with my very scary Granny Wig and my Aunty Annie... at the table would be another two lady's who's name I don't recall.. it was a sorry looking bunch... never a smile between them... but we had to turn up on Saturday for any gossip.. I hated it.... apart from the food.. their chips and gravy was to die for... sometimes I got Pie & Chips but my favourite was their Steamed Puddings... We always sat downstairs and I never did see the inside of the much posher upstairs... I did see the ladies who served upstairs though, and very smart they looked to in their black uniforms, white bonnets, and white apron..

Mum always bought her tripe before she left... the stall was enough to give you nightmares and the names it went by were not much better.. Elder, Honeycomb, Thick Seam, Bag, Slut, Brown, the list goes on. As far as I know I've never knowingly ate it.... but mum was a pest at putting different stuff on our plates.. Brawn was something else she tried feeding us on.... and for years those cold beef butties I liked so much turned out to be Ox heart... I don't eat offal at all now... if I can help it. ha!


Petrus said...

Tripe is absolutely unpalatable - I was forced to eat it as a child .. I think there was a UCP shop in Stretford but my mother our bought tripe from the local fish & chip shop.

Hydonian said...

I used to LOVE honeycomb.Either ate it with vinegar or in stews my mum used to make. Our dog loves Elder too :)

Rose said...

I can just picture everything so clearly...enjoyed reading this.

ian... said...

My inlaws served up a plate of the honeycomb stuff once. Didn't like being rude but I really wasn't that hungry :>X

imac said...

Enjoyed the post, but tripe, uck.lol, Thats what Tom comes out with at times hehe.

Lizzy said...

I know I've told you this a million times already, I love this blog.

I remember the cafe well, altho ugh I am sure we never went in it, I will check, but I KNOW I have never eaten tripe. Is the tripe stall still in the Market Hall?

Tom said...

Ha! Excellent comments on this...
I think you either love or hate tripe and offal.. each to their own as they say ;o)..

Tripe was dressed and bleached in Hyde at one time... We will try to find out more about that and sort out a post.. The Tripe Shop in the Market Hall is still going.. I can only think of one other tripe shot around these parts... and thats the one in Stalybridge.

Anonymous said...

i remember going in with my mum i think we mostly went upstairs but i was only a young pup
if i remember as you walked in there was a mosaic tiled area
talking of food memories going into mellors pie shop on george street for those oval meat pies and freshly cooked muffins still hot out of the oven oh happy days
keep up the good work
mick fekete

Ron said...

I too remember very well going into the UCP cafe every Saturday as a young lad with my mum. I never knew it had an upstairs though. I fondly remember I used to get a treat of a bag of broken biscuits from next door, at I think was Woolworths was it, for tuppence. This use to keep me quite while my mum caught up with all of the weeks gossip at the cafe with her friends.

Tom said...

Hi Ron..
thanks for commenting.. I think those broken biscuits were a ploy well used by many mothers... I seem to recall eating my fair share of them.

Werneth Low said...

On Saturday 8th May 1965, following my marriage at Hyde Register Office in Clarendon Place, all my family and friends enjoyed a "Wedding Lunch" in the upstairs room of the UCP. Served by the lovely ladies in black & white uniform, it was a wonderful meal and I had my then and still favourite - lamb's liver. The UCP had branches all over the north west and was renowned for its delicious food. I too was brought up on tripe - it's mouth watering - eaten cold with a few tomatoes and a drop of vinegar. I think there was a trip stall on the open market in those far-off days - was it Winterbottom's?

NewCareerSkills said...

I had a Saturday job on the market around 1965 and the best bits were chips and gravy from the UCP at lunch time.