This informative piece was sent to us via David Mills
I found this old picture (courtesy of Tameside council) that was taken in the early 1900's of whit walks. You will notice the stone wall of Ashton Brothers (on Newton street) meets up with the brick wall of the first shop in the row of shops that would lead in to Hyde (note the Newton Street sign can be seen above the wooden doors). I think this first shop eventually became the famous Handforths Pies. I used to live on Dukinfield Road, so this was a local treat every Saturday lunch with home made chips and it was the purported best pies in the world. Its funny as Ashton Brothers seem to scale down its operation shortly after this pie shop went!
The whole area changed and most of it went (George Street etc), so I had really lost my bearing of where the shops stopped and started. My mother told me that Handforths pies was the first shop next to Ashton Brothers, so when I found this photo……..but there again was this first shop demolished earlier and was Handforths further up?
I couldn't resist looking for the 'odd brick' that might be left from 30 odd years ago so I drove past a few weeks ago and noticed there is certainly more than the 'odd brick' that remains of the first shop that adjoins the stone wall of Ashton Brothers. It looks like the road is now raised as the wall the stone wall now seems lower owing to the changes that were made to the area as a consequence of the motorway. The road also starts to bear to the right at this point to go over the motorway.
You can also see the bricks on the outer wall run parallel to the stonework without jagged edges, so this would have been where one of the wooden doors was hung (see on the first photo). Recent pruning of shrubbery is now revealing the gable end of the first shop (see below)
From the above picture it looks like some sort of concrete was used to cap the bricks so that water would run off them to protect them from ingress as its seems the wall was left as some sort of retaining wall from the land below into Ashton Brothers.
The above 1968 map shows the first row of shops leading into Hyde (between Mary Street and Dukinfield Road) from the wall of the first shop we have discovered. If you zoom in on the map it was actually looks like the gable end wall forms part of an access ginnel which turns right possibly running behind the whole row of shops possibly for goods deliveries.
Looking at this whole area where the motorway went, as it was an odd thing to do removing all the houses shops to make way for the motorway as so much of Hyde was lost and a lot of character. From the above map it looks like there were three rows of shops on Newton Street. Why didn't they make a tunnel?
The 30 bus (now the 330 bus) which went from Ashton to Hyde to Stockport (and beyond) used to turn at the end of Dukinfield Road and the on to George Street an you were in the bus station! After all this was done it seemed to take for ever.
I expect the Motorway took more prosperity out of Hyde than it brought to Hyde . I also remember the numerous streets you could cross to get into Hyde most with shops or housing, sadly most of these are now dead ends. I expect these were the 'so called slums' where we re-housed people in high rise flats or took them out of town where there were very few shops (along with their loss of business to the area) - so much for progress!
It also looks like Wellspun (the last occupiers of the remaining Ashton Brothers site) is all being demolished, I wonder if the wall will remain or survive the demolition of the site.
Does anybody have any pictures of the famous Handforths pie shop as I seem to remember in the 1970's it having a beige coloured sign with Handforths written on it. More to the point, did this shop relocate anywhere when it was demolished as result of the M67 motorway works (or did they retire after making a crust!)."
Super account and photos there, David.
Thank you so much !