Issue 10 FREE
WE CHAT TO TED ROBBINS “OH YES WE DO!” STOCKPORT FROGS: GOING, GOING, GONE! YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS IN STOCKPORT
INSIDE THE MARKET HALL
ello – welcome to Totally Stockport’s latest magazine, another packed issue, your guide to what’s happening in Stockport.
What a fantastic few months we have had: Stockport’s Giant Leap Frog Art Trail has been an amazing success, attracting over 30% more people into the town centre throughout the summer and that doesn’t include all the children who came with their families to enjoy and seek out all 22 frogs. But it didn’t stop there! On October 17th the frogs went under the auctioneers hammer and raised an amazing amount of money for Stepping Hill Hospital’s Tree House children’s ward. You can find out more about the auction on pages 20 & 21.
6-7 8-9 10 11
Fashion Winter Warmers
New Openings Two big new players come to town
Merseyway Christmas gift ideas
Christmas at Redrock All the goings on on that side of town.
Ted Robbins Food & Drink Festival
A review of the Summer’s big event
Now, it’s that magical time of the year when children’s eyes light up as they marvel over pretty trees and bright lights twinkle in the dark as they will be at the Christmas light switch on in Merseyway Shopping centre on Saturday 16th November – a Winter Wonderland, a packed afternoon and evening of fun - see opposite.
What’s on and where
Christmas in Stockport The big events in the centre of Stockport
20-21 Frog Auction Our Frogs are sold off for charity
You won’t be stuck for gifts, there’s a selection of winter warmers to choose from on pages 6&7. Take a look at page 10 for inspiring gift ideas, something for everyone and more.
Three new openings in historic Stockport
24-25 The Market Hall
A round up of the market hall stallholders
26-27 Totally Stockport News
How Stockport is attracting new visitors
28-31 What’s On
A listing for the next three months
Get In Touch If you have a story, news or an event in Stockport Town Centre why not drop us a line?
There’s so much to read in our Christmas issue, have fun and we’ll see you in 2020. Happy Christmas!
The Light, musicMagpie and a win for Travis Brow
We chat to the Plaza’s panto star
In September Stockport town centre hosted a 3-day Food & Drink Festival, a celebration of great food, drink and entertainment, all here in Stockport – can you spot yourself in the crowd? Lots of pictures can be found on pages 14 and 15.
There’s so much to tempt you in Stockport this Christmas including some great FREE entertainment: this year we are bringing back the Giant Ice Sculpture Trail and you’ll be able to take a ride on The Polar Express train. So many new shops, bars and restaurants have chosen Stockport to locate their business including The Cracked Actor, Vinabod, Cariad Cakes, Norah’s store and The Player’s Entrance – why not pop in and say hello.
www.totallystockport.co.uk email@example.com Tel: 0161 537 9382
ot off a hugely successful relaunch in July, The Light are delighted to shine a spotlight on their unique event spaces and screens. The cinema’s recent refurbishment is the perfect backdrop for meetings, corporate events, drinks receptions, celebrations, Q&As and away days. Offering an array of spaces from the light and airy Rowena Room to the individual Babylon and Atlantis Lounges to their beautifully converted horsebox bar and garden, The Light provides a vibrant and versatile venue to host any event, large or intimate. Their 12 state of the art screens vary in capacity from 42 to 177 seats and offer advanced technology including Dolby 7.1 surround sound, dedicated event wifi and accessible parking. The Rowena Room has its own private entrance and is able to accommodate up to 60 people and can be accessed via Screen 12. It features a large format display screen which can be easily hooked up to a PC or tablet. All spaces provide a full menu offering a delicious range of food and a wide choice of drinks which can be tailored to requirements and The Light’s professional and friendly team work closely with each and every client to help create the perfect event.
Light Cinema Reveals New Event Spaces Jenny Cookson, Head of Sales said: “It’s a hugely exciting time for us at The Light and our new and aspirational meeting spaces provide us with the opportunity to extend our offer and be able to provide customers and businesses alike with a truly unique environment for any special occasion. This coupled with advanced technology, exceptional service and an inspiring menu will guarantee guests will have an unforgettable experience”
musicMagpie Achieve World First T
he UK’s number one phone recycler, Stockport based musicMagpie, has become the first business in the world to have achieved 10 million reviews on eBay. The international business has undergone a significant transformation since being founded in a garage in Stockport 12 years ago, from the buying and selling of CDs, DVDs, and video games, to now focusing on consumer technology, such as smartphones, tablets, MacBooks, wearables and game consoles. The business is set to exceed £130m in Group revenue this year, and has seen accelerated growth since the introduction of its consumer technology offering and also establishing its US business, Decluttr which is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Steve Oliver, co-Founder and CEO of musicMagpie, said: “The business has grown significantly again in the past few years and we are immensely proud to have achieved 10 million global reviews on eBay. “We have customers from as far afield as Australia and the Falkland Islands who have chosen to give us positive feedback, and that means a great deal to us and is testament to the breadth of the customer base that selling on eBay allows us to access. It gives us confidence in our business proposition and really solidifies
the trust we have gained as a brand that’s recognised worldwide. “We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the support of our eBay selling team, and the in-house team here in Stockport, who work obsessively to ensure we are providing the best service to our customers here in the UK and globally and we are extremely grateful to both our colleagues and trading partners at eBay for making this happen” Murray Lambell, eBay UK Vice President of Trading, said: “We are incredibly proud to see musicMagpie surpass ten million global reviews. It’s a huge achievement and a fitting testament to their commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.”
Just this year, musicMagpie won a number of industry accolades including ‘Best Phone Recycler’ at the Mobile News Awards, Tech Radar’s Mobile Choice Awards, and even the What Mobile Awards (for the third year in a row). In addition to all of its successes this year, the brand achieved 100,000 reviews on Trustpilot, becoming one of only a handful of brands worldwide to do so.
Steve Oliver, CEO of musicMagpie
Travis Brow Link Road drives away with North West award A
new link road in the heart of Stockport town centre has picked up a prestigious title at an industry awards ceremony. The new Travis Brow Link Road picked up the ‘Project of the Year – over £5million’ award at the CECA (Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association) North West awards ceremony. CECA North West represents more than 70 civil engineering companies of all sizes, with a combined turnover in excess of £2 billion, and employing more than 20,000 people. Stockport Council’s partners on the project - GRAHAM and George Cox & Sons – were on hand to pick up the award.
gramme, which is transforming accessibility for all modes of transport in and around Stockport town centre.
The road – that links the M60 Motorway at Junction 1 with the A6 Wellington Road North - passes through and under the iconic Stockport Viaduct with an innovative and intelligent design solution enabling a twolane dual carriageway to be formed through a single arch.
A key objective of the TCAP programme is to create or improve access to regeneration areas such as Redrock leisure, Aurora industrial park and Stockport Exchange.
“This award is a fantastic achievement for our team and our partners and shows the level of skill and expertise that we have within the authority. “The Town Centre Access Plan has transformed journeys in an around Stockport and I am delighted that this innovative project has been recognised by the leading lights in the civil engineering industry.”
Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “The Travis Brow Link Road is probably the single most important new strategic highway connection in Stockport in a generation.
It is the second time this year that the Travis Brow Link Road has won a major award. It picked up the ‘Project of the Year’ title at the CIHT (Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation) North West Awards in March.
The new road forms part of the £73m Growth Deal grant funded Town Centre Access Plan (TCAP) pro-
This page, clockwise from right:
H&M Knitted turtleneck jumper £24.99 Debenhams Quiz - Striped Roll
Neck Jumper £25.00
Tessuti Armani Exchange fluffy Jumper £125.00
USC Jack Wills Edderside Fair Isle Crew £64.95
George at Asda Green Textured
Knit Jumper £16
Primark Brown Turtle Neck Crop Jumper £10.00 New Look Olive High Neck Fine Knit Jumper £15.99
So, the clocks have gone back, which means we’re wrapping up in our woolies again. Fortunately, the shops of Stockport have a great range of knitwear in which we can all cosy up for Winter!
Fashion This page, clockwise from right:
Sainsburys Grey Merino Wool Roll Neck Jumper £24 Next Cable Crew Neck Jumper £30 JD sports Nicce Panel Hoodie £60.00 Yours Rust Ribbed Pocket Cardigan £23.99 Matalan Girls Deer Jumper (9mths-6yrs)
£10.00 to £12.00
River Island Khaki fisherman knit half zip jumper £40.00
The Players’ Entrance
hen we walked into The Players’ Entrance, owner Steve Mottershead was playing darts. Darts is his sport and he admits that he has to ration the amount of time he spends playing it but this encounter could not have better demonstrated what The Player’s Entrance is all about because his opponent was in Japan. “There’s only three of these darts machines in the country” he explains, “and we’ve got two of them. All the others are in China, Malaysia, Australia, Korea, America... and there’s always people playing because when it’s daytime here it’s night-time in Asia and in some bars over there they have a hundred of these machines. It’s massive. This was the thing I wanted to get more than anything.” But there’s a lot more to the venue than darts. There’s pool, table football, an amazing cricket simulator where you see the bowler running up on the video screen at the far end before the ball is dispatched through a hole in the screen, in your direction. Then there’s an F1 car simulator, a 5 metre screen that can offer you 25 different sports - football, cricket, basketball, tennis, and a golf (and foot-golf) game which lets you play on courses all over the world. There are also more traditional coin operated machines like basketball, air hockey, table soccer and Daytona racing, “And we’ve not finished” says Steve, “I‘m going to get a horse racing simulator in. Some of the technology that exists is amazing and it doesn’t exist on the High Street.” Stockport has recently been blessed with the arrival of X-Gen VR centre and The Player’s Lounge provides a physical alternative to that. “You’re physically hitting a cricket ball, you’re physically throwing a dart and you’re physically kicking a football. It’s fun but also competitive. I like to think of it as competitive socialising.” The Players’ Entrance is in the former Top Shop/Top Man unit in Merseyway and while it currently only occupies the double-fronted ground floor, Steve has plans for upstairs, “I want to create an eSports Arena. For me it’s about making computer games more sociable. Kids are at home playing with headsets on, communicating with people without looking them in the eye and that’s a skill that needs to come back. So I’d like kids to come here and socialise with 200 other kids and game together.” Steve continues, “This place has to become a community asset. It should be available to groups who couldn’t afford this sort of thing, My dream is that Monday to Friday, this place is free of charge. I’ve done some agreements with groups in Stockport like Age UK, the College, SignPost and Pure Innovations to offer free and discounted use to those groups so we can bring people in. We’re not going to survive on footfall during the week, that’s why places are closing, so you have to think differently about how you’re going to bring people in.” Steve expects that private hire during the evening and walk-in trade over the weekend will cover some of these altruistic ambitions and so far, so good. “We’ve only been here for six weeks but last weekend we had over a thousand people though the door and not one negative comment on social media.” 6pm to 9pm are the prime private hire slots, during which groups can have the run of the place for £250 an hour or £400 for two and given how many people the venue can accommodate, that doesn’t work out too much per head and, as the venue can provide catering, it’s the perfect choice for your Christmas party...
he unit at 6 Vernon Street, near the marketplace, has been so many different sorts of restaurants over the years, you’d be forgiven for assuming that “Viking-themed” was the last option available for anyone looking to do something different. Instead, the owners come with genuine enthusiasm for the concept as possibly demonstrated by the fact the bar is already the official meeting place of Stockport Beards.
occasional Mead tasting event to ease you into it. There’s also a Mead-based cocktail called Thor’s Hammer.
There has been a bit of confusion over the description of Vinebod as a “Viking Tapas” bar but you would be better to think of it as a Viking bar, that serves tapas. Authentic, Andalusian tapas from the area in which chef - and one of a group of co-owners - Dan Ray was brought up. But don’t go looking on their Facebook page for a menu. Instead you’ll find this statement: “We do not have a set menu as we buy fresh produce, locally, each day. And as we are not all Seers and cannot look into the future, we are governed by what is the best, freshest produce on the day” When it comes to liquid refreshment, Mead is the drink of choice and if you don’t know where to start (like literally everyone) they host the
The owners should be applauded for the amount of effort and imagination that they have pout into creating the interior. Much of it has been hand-made by the owners (and some of their parents!) some of it scavenged and some hand-made by craftsmen. The 9ft Viking mural is certainly a stand-out example of the latter.
Vinebod translates as “Feasts with Friends” and the venue is perfectly designed for that, with the dramatic centre tables providing an obvious focal point for revelry. This is a business that should profit hugely from the Christmas party season.
It’s a shame for the owners that Stockport no longer hosts a Viking festival but that doesn’t diminish their ambition to host live events involving music, food (a pig roasting on a spit outside has been suggested as a suitable addition to the Foodie Friday offer) and possibly even re-enactments!
9 Christmas ideas from Merseyway!
1. Ann Summers – Christmas Pudding Boxers - £8 2. Ann Summers – Dark Desires Perfume Set - £30 3. Costa Coffee – Glitter Reusable Cup - £4.95 4. Beaverbrooks – Silver Cubic Zirconia Moon & Star Stud Earrings - £29 5. The Body Shop – Juicy Pear Bath Bomb - £2.50 6. The Body Shop – Merry Treats Body Butter Trio - £25 7. Office – Men’s Bowen Hiker Boots in Red Leather- £65 8. Pep & Co at Poundland – Red Bobble Hat - £3 9. Yours Clothing – Multicoloured Block Stripe Knitted Jumper - £23.99 10. Deichmann – Burgundy Vero Moda Gloria Patent Chelsea Boots - £44.99 11. Vision Express – Seen Men’s Glasses - £59 12. River Island – Mini Boys Camel Brown Peacoat from ages 0 -5yrs - £35 13. Argos – Home Berry Christmas Antler Tealight Holder - £24 14. Primark – Minnie Mouse Santa Slippers - £8
Celebrate the festive season R at Redrock! edrock will be celebrating the festive season with a programme of fun activities for families and friends to enjoy over the Christmas period. With delicious winter menus, exciting film releases and Christmas charity initiatives, there’s something for everyone at Redrock… www.redrockstockport.co.uk www.facebook.com/RedrockStockportOfficial @redrock_stockport.
Visitors can enjoy Christmas dinner with a tapas twist as Berretto Lounge launches its Christmas Party Menu. Available from 28th November – 24th December 2019, diners can choose from a three-course menu, two course menu and a tapas buffet with prices starting from £12.95 per person. There’s also a fantastic wine offer where guests can pre-order six bottles of wine or prosecco for the table and receive another one free!
Families can get into the spirit of Christmas with Pizza Express and indulge in their exclusive Snowball Dough Balls. With a sprinkle of cinnamon, a flurry of icing sugar and a choice between salted caramel dip and vanilla cream, these little balls of heaven are sure to get diners ready for Christmas.
Zizzi will be spreading festive cheer with two Christmas set menus full of Zizzi favourites and Christmas specials. Whether you’re looking for a festive get-together with friends or a place for your work Christmas party, Zizzi serves tasty, authentic food with vegan, non-gluten, indulgent and healthy options, keeping everyone happy for the Christmas season!
Co-workers can also make their Christmas party extra special this year with the exclusive set menu. Featuring three courses and a glass of fizz from £20.95*, diners can still enjoy their favourite dishes or try something new from the Christmas menu including pulled pork Porchetta pizza, the Quattro Formaggi four-cheese pizza with an Italian twist and the Vegan Zucca. The Christmas set menu is available from Tuesday 19th November 2019 – Wednesday 1st January 2020 and bookings can be made online. *Prices may vary and dishes are subject to availability
For those who like to start Christmas early by enjoying festive lunches on their lunch breaks, Mangobean has a range of hot beverages and delicious sandwiches, perfect to enjoy over the winter months.
The Light Cinema
Families can enjoy exclusive screenings of Christmas films at The Light Cinema this December, which include showings of popular children’s films, Gremlins and Elf. For those who like to spend their Christmas Eve with George Bailey, there will also be an exclusive screening on 24th December of It’s a Wonderful Life at 10am. For the ultimate Christmas gift, The Light Cinema also offers gift cards, which are available to purchase from any member of staff from the customer service desk.
No need to feel guilty for indulging in the Christmas turkey because The Gym Group has an exciting timetable of classes for members over the Christmas period. The Gym Group will also be accepting clothing donations for the homeless for local charity, The Wellspring Stockport. For those who would like to donate, a box for donations is located within the gym.
Ted Robbins is back at Stockport Plaza once again, this time bringing his inimitable talents to the role of Dame Trott in Jack and the Beanstalk. Strawberry Radio met up with him...
Ted Robbins You’re no stranger to The Plaza are you? Oh no, this is my fourth year here. The Plaza is a wonderful place, it’s a jewel. The cafe is beautiful, the waiters and waitresses all wear the traditional black and white, it’s like you’ve stepped into Downton Abbey.
Is it inevitable that you’ve ended up in Panto, given your upbringing? Well I wasn’t exactly born in Butlins but I was probably conceived there. My mum met my dad when he was senior Red Coat compère in the Hi-Di-Hi days at Pwllheli in North Wales. My mum became a Red Coat herself and then my dad got head-hunted by Pontins - “Book Early!” So we grew up seeing lots of acts and my dad knew everyone. I first worked for him at a Dolphinarium in Porthcawl in South Wales when I was 17. I was the trainee compère-cum-fish-flinger and we had a wonderful season. Although I’d like to add that I’m now strongly opposed to whales and dolphins being kept in captivity. But my dad was keen for us to get a proper education - something he’d never had - so I did my A-Levels and a degree in English and Drama. So in 1978, armed with my new BA, I went to Butlins in Blackpool and became a Red Coat. Your dad ran the Golden Garter too... Yes that was when he worked for Trust House Forte. They owned a lot of places - the Dolphinarium for one. They owned The Talk of the Town in London and the The Golden Garter which was like the Northern equivalent. How did you get into warm-up? Because of my massive failure on screen. In 1983 I was doing quite well and I got my first break on TV, probably because I used to hang around Granada Studios all the time. I did a few little mini-films and I landed a roving reporter role in a thing called Weekend which went out on a Friday night. I did that for a year and it was great fun. I did a few other shows - one called “Some You Win” with Lulu and Kenneth Williams but that one didn’t win. The problem was, I didn’t quite know who I was and Granada didn’t know what I was. I did a show with my sister Kate but I was kind of in competition with her and of course, she’s a brilliant impressionist and I’m not. I had a period in the late 80s where I wasn’t going anywhere and it was my wife Judy who set me on a new path. We’d got married after a whirlwind romance and I had to tell her that I
had a massive overdraft and no bookings and she got me into shape.
Warm-ups were becoming more and more necessary because the TV filming process was becoming more complex. Sometimes filming could take three or four hours and there was an audience sat there who needed looking after. You couldn’t just have a local comic doing 15 minutes at the beginning then going home. Looking back at it, there were very few of us who could link between an audience and the people who were performing and I knew enough about how it all worked. I was only doing it for the money but I swiftly got a reputation for being very good at it. No-one sets out to become the best warm-up man but I did. And I eventually found I was earning a very good income from it. What has been the most exciting work you’ve done? I think you always remember your first jobs and back then when there were only three channels, being on TV was big deal. So I’ll always remember doing Weekend but my absolute favourite would have to be Phoenix Nights because it changed so much for me. I still see Peter quite often but whether there’ll ever be another series, I don’t know. And I musn’t forget Benidorm which was one of the best gigs ever. You were flown out there for a week and we stayed in a hotel up the hill from the one in the programme but there are people there who book their holidays to coincide with the filming. You can see them in the periphery and they’re very good at taking direction, they just love it. But every day at 6 o’clock it’s “that’s a wrap” and we’re all back to the hotel, straight in the pool then off into the Old Town for tapas and the odd San Miguel. You have an amzing showbiz familty... there’s your sister Kate, her daughter Emily Atack, your first cousin... You mean Mike McCartney of The Scaffold don’t you? And his lesser known brother Paul. First cousin once removed, for the record. Paul is a dear man, he loved my dad very much, he called him Mr Showbiz and when my dad died I got a message from his production company asking me to ring him and we were on the phone for an hour and he was crying at one stage. My dad put him and John Lennon on at a pub in Reading when they were 15 or 16. He told them they needed billing so he called them the Nerk Twins. We used to get huge Fortnum and Mason hampers from Paul and Linda at Christmas.
Talking of Christmas... It’s Panto time! Jack and the Beanstalk at The Plaza, so who else is in it? Well there’s Cheryl Fergison who was in Eastenders for quite a while - very funny, very cockney - and she plays Fairy Cauliflower, a really different type of fairy. Bradley Thompson is coming back as Jack’s idiot mate - the kids love Bradley. He’s been Buttons and he was Jangles The Jester last year. He’s the sort of natural clown that kids love and he gets the kids up on stage and everything. I think this will be his third year at The Plaza. Then there’s Robert Laughlin - he played the King last year and he’s a wonderful, proper actor. He’s the villain... Oh yes and he’s horrible. We have Taylor Sargeant playing Jack and he falls in love with Jill played by Lisa Jane Kelsey and a lovely king - Tristan Carter who’s just been in Fiddler on the Roof.
You still enjoy doing panto? I love it. I’m 64 and I’ve been through a lot. I’ve died and come back to life again thanks to the National Health Service so for the last four years I’ve found it liberating. I’ve stopped caring about the small stuff. I would never do a show that I thought hoodwinked people and I think some pantomimes cost far too much. I’m not going to say any more than that. This is a wonderful, traditional pantomime. The costumes are so showbiz and the Giant is absolutely spectacular. It certainly lives up to last year’s fire-breathing dragon! It’s music, it’s comedy and it’s not too rude. I like a bit of double entendre for the mums and dads at the evening performances but nothing that would offend. I will shamelessly admit that my dame is based upon the Les Dawson model. I believe you’re working on something Les Dawson-related... Yes, I’m doing a Sky TV film about him called Les Miserable written by Steve Pemberton in which I play the older Les, looking back on his life. If you could give some advice to the 18 yearold you, what would it be? I don’t know. It’s like you’re on a train looking forward. You don’t know what’s coming up but you have to take it, the good the bad and the ugly and it’s only when you look out of the back of the train, as the track disappears, that you say “oh yes, I did do that. And I did that. And did that.” So I’d say don’t worry so much and try and enjoy it as you go along. And as Les Dawson once said to me “In life, in show business, whatever... just be kind”
Huge crowds visit Stockportâ€™s 3
3-day Food & Drink Festival O
rganised jointly by Market Place Europe, Merseyway, Totally Stockport and Stockport Council, celebrity and local chefs, a fantastic selection of culinary favourites from across the world and an a la carte menu of entertainment proved to be the prefect ingredients for another top event in Stockport.
The sun was definitely shining on the organisers of September’s Food & Drink Festival as huge crowds packed into Stockport Market Place and throughout Merseyway shopping centre into Mersey Square. For three days, Stockport town centre welcomed over 70 more traders, complementing the surge of new food and beverage businesses in the town and at the recently regenerated Produce Hall, bringing more delights from around the globe. Artisan treats and international street food whet the appetites of visitors on Saturday as TV chef Simon Rimmer and Masterchef’s Simon Wood took to the Chefs’ Stage to entertain an appreciative audience, demonstrating great techniques, cooking up family favourites and inspiring tomorrow’s chefs. Taking centre stage and topping the bill on Sunday was children’s favourite, Mr Bloom and his Band who got the kids rocking – and a few mums too! Pop Candy Party, Jack Woodward and A Million Dreams Greatest Showman tribute band topped off with 5 Star Unique brought the curtains down on what has been billed as a fantastic weekend. Totally Stockport’s Manager, Paul Taylor, was delighted with the turnout: “As with any new outdoor event, there are always a few nerves but hats off to the people of Stockport who made this a fantastic, first 3-day Food & Drink festival. There was something for everyone of all ages: our celebrity chefs entertained wannabe chefs on Saturday while Mr Bloom had the children singing and dancing on Sunday. This is definitely the first of what I’m sure will become an annual festival in Stockport”. Strawberries were the order of the weekend and on more than one menu! A Strawberry Trail in Merseyway led children to hunt out delicious fresh strawberries and strawberry stone painting attracted children of all ages while Carmen Meander entertained the crowds with her signature fruit hat as she performed musical classics including ‘I Yi Yi Yi Yi Yi Like you very much’ and ‘Chica Chica Boom Chick’. Victoria Nichol, Merseyway Centre Manager said: “Stockport’s Food and Drink Festival was a phenomenal success bringing in thousands of extra visitors to Merseyway and the town itself throughout the weekend. Hundreds of families took part in Merseyway’s food and drink themed events including a strawberry trail and craft workshops and it was great to see everyone singing along with Carmen Meander as she performed throughout the day! This event really demonstrated the benefit of working collaboratively as a town centre and we’re looking forward to participating in more events like this in the future.” In Mersey Square, Strawberry Radio - Stockport’s newest local radio station – hosted the Strawberry Sounds Stage where favourites including Alex Stewart, ABBA fusion, Movie Magic and 5 Star Unique kept the festival alive with music and dancing.
Send Someone a Festive Frog! E
veryone was sad to see the frogs leave Stockport. They may have gone but they won’t be forgotten! You can now keep the memory of Stockport’s Giant Leap Frog Art Trail alive this Christmas with our unique set of Frog Christmas Cards. Surprise your family, friends and colleagues Frog Christmas cards are available in packs of 20 with 5 frog-tastic festive designs - all for just £15. All proceeds from the sale of the cards are going to Stepping Hill Hospital’s Tree House children’s ward. Buy your pack(s) online at www.stockportfrogs.co.uk
More developments at The Produce Hall I
t’s been six months since the doors opened on the historic, majestic Stockport Produce Hall at the very heart of Stockport market place!
So many wonderful things have been achieved for Stockport and the wider community since then and in such a short space of time. Up to 50 new jobs have been created, with over half of them being long term unemployed including young mums and veterans who were living in hostels. They have, and continue to have a great ongoing relationship with Stockport Homes and there has been breath-taking results on regeneration and increased footfall to the area. Coming soon we are told, is a partnership with Black Market Espresso Co who are based inside the Hall as an independent trader to get Stockport’s unemployed into work with barista training of the highest level. And excitingly in the pipeline a ‘Hospitality Training Academy’ in Stockport. They have been providing live music and DJ’s every weekend, yoga social sessions and unique children and family led events such as pizza making and pumpkin carving sessions, aiming to cater for all the community. And of course the addition of the marvellous independent traders new and old: both Angkor Soul and Chaat cart have made a massive impact on not only the level of variety within the hall but also the quality. It is truly amazing the impact and positive energy that continues to grow in and around The Produce Hall and there is much excitement for the future. Big Thanks to everybody who has, and continues to support them and Stockport!
Merseyway’s ultimate Winter Wonderland experience
erseyway Shopping Centre gets into the spirit of Christmas with the ultimate Winter Wonderland experience! Stockport is guaranteed a white Christmas as Merseyway Shopping Centre hosts its first ever Winter Wonderland.
Don’t forget to singalong to popular Christmas songs with the local choirs and try the latest festive food and treats from the Christmas Huts.
Taking place on Saturday 16th November, Merseyway promises to enchant visitors with a programme full of spectacular shows and performances including giant swans, ice people, falling snow and even a white dragon!
VISIT SANTA, IT’S FREE!
Kicking off at 4.15pm, the centre will be visited by its very own Snow Fairy, who will begin the countdown to Christmas with a swish of her wand, marking the beginning of the celebrations. As the snow begins to fall and the Christmas lights turn on, visitors can look up to see an aerial acrobat performance, while an animatronic reindeer will be making its way around the centre to greet little shoppers too. Make sure you snap a selfie with the stars of the latest pantomime by Stockport Plaza, Jack and the Beanstalk, and don’t miss the stilt walkers as they make their way through the centre.
Shows and performances will take place at 4.30pm, 5.45pm and 7pm.
Merseyway Shopping Centre will be hosting Visits to Santa this Christmas in a giant bauble. Open from 11am - 3pm, children of all ages can visit Father Christmas and receive a gift, ready for Christmas Day. Visits to Santa are free to attend, however the centre will be accepting donations for its charity of the year, Independent Options Children & Family Centre located in Hazel Grove. The giant bauble will be open for visits on the 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th December 2019 as well as selected late night shopping dates.
A Giving Tree Comes to Merseyway S
hoppers can donate a gift to a child this Christmas as Merseyway hosts its first ever Giving Tree.
Located in the undercover mall, visitors can give a special gift to a child by selecting a gift tag from the tree. Each tag will provide the name, age and interests of a child in need that shoppers can purchase a gift for, ready for them to open on Christmas Day. The Giving Tree will be located in the centre from 23rd November – 16th December 2019 and participants must take their gift to the management suite on the first floor of the centre unwrapped to participate. For more details visit: www.merseyway.com.
The centre will be open late on the following dates and times: Saturday 16th November (Merseyway’s Winter Wonderland – open until 7.30pm) Thursday 12th December – open until 7.30pm (Christmas Grotto open 4pm – 7pm) Thursday 19th December – open until 7.30pm (Christmas Grotto open 4pm – 7pm) Friday 20th December – open until 7.30pm (Christmas Grotto open 4pm – 7pm) Monday 23rd December – open until 7.30pm (Christmas Grotto open 4pm – 7pm)
Stockport’s Giant Leap -
The Frogs raise £32,000 for Stepping Hill’s Tree House ward
t the end of October, 18 of the giant frogs from Totally Stockport’s Giant Leap Frog Art Trail went under the auctioneer’s hammer at the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership in Europe! Over 100 business owners, sponsors, artists, supporters and bidders were joined by Stockport’s Strawberry Radio as Simon Charles Auctioneers hosted the first auction of its kind in Stockport.
Running concurrently online and live in the showroom, the bidding got underway with paddles being raised and telephones buzzing. First under the hammer was Nexphibian, sponsored by Nexperia and painted by Nick Lowndes, circuiting the room before securing a forever home for £1,050. Robinsons’ Golding was secured by an online bidder for £1,100 quickly followed by Amshire IT Solutions’ KermIT whose digital design attracted a bid of £950. Holiday Inn Express’ pyjama-clad Cornelius woke up to a bid of £950 while Prince Regent, sponsored by Orbit Developments raced off with a bid of £1,050. Medieval-designed Ferdinand sprung off to a new lily pad after attracting a bid of £1,050 which seemed to be the order of the day as CDL’s psychedelic Robert also attracted £1,050. Buster, depicting Stockport’s iconic 192 bus and fairytale character Sir Lovealot both hopped off with a £1,000 price tag while Stockport College’s Midas, Mrs Merseyway the happy shopper and BASF’s Chemit pipped them at the post for £1,100! As the remaining frogs appeared for the final time, aristocratic Sir Hopsalot achieved £1,500 and Sir Norman Frogster, designed and painted by the children of
Prospect Vale Primary, is guaranteed his place at the school after a generous bidder donated a whopping £2,300 to ensure Sir Norman was staying where the children can enjoy him for many years to come and This Little Froggy went to Market looks set to stay local after a bid of £1,700. But it was the final trio that attracted the highest bids: Fanatical Freddie, sponsored by Concentrix and painted by Caroline Daly was sold after an Internet bid of £3,000; Marketing Stockport’s Strawberry Fields attracted a bidding frenzy before abid of £4,800 brought a taste of sweet success for its new owner. And finally, Edgeleap, sponsored by C&C Insurance Brokers, caused the biggest sensation of the night as County fans kicked the bidding around before rifling £5,000 into the roof of the net. Deputy Matron at Stepping Hill Hospital’s Tree House children’s ward, Claire Gibson, was ecstatic after the auction and told Marketing Stockport’s Helen White: “Wow Helen, what a fantastic night. I’m thrilled and just keep smiling! We are so very grateful and excited about what this means for the children and young people who use the Treehouse Children’s Unit. “The proceeds far exceeded any of our expectations and we are awestruck at the possibilities that such a large donation opens up to us. “Our Treehouse building celebrated its 20th birthday this year and how wonderful it will be to give it a much needed new lease of life. The ground floor of the building serves all of our outpatient facilities and outside garden area, while the first floor is home to our inpatient ward and assessment area.
“We would love to create a spectacular experience right from the front entrance to our building, where children and young people feel comfortable and even excited about coming into and the frog auction will enable this to happen.” Totally Stockport’s BID manager, Paul Taylor said: “When we first conceived the idea of the frog project, we never imagined just how successful it has been; over the summer thousands came to Stockport to follow the trail and discover all the frogs. “To end the project with such a fantastic auction is truly amazing. A small dedicated team made all this happen and, on behalf of everyone involved, I would like to say a huge thank you to the sponsors, artists and local businesses who have supported us. “LSH Mercedes-Benz Stockport have been fantastic and hosted a great evening and the team from Simon Charles Auctioneers gave their time for free, I really can’t thank them all enough. “But I would also like to say a BIG thank you to the people of Stockport who have loved and respected the frogs; that has given us the confidence and the drive to do it all again, watch this space!” Simon Rothwell from Simon Charles Auctioneers added: “We were thrilled to be a part of the Stockport Giant Leap frog auction and it was amazing to see the turnout and enthusiasm for the project. It’s been a great initiative for Stockport and, as a Stockport based auctioneers, we were pleased to have been involved in this very special event”.
Above left: Totally Stockportâ€™s Paul Taylor introduces proceedings. Above: a successful bidder, later interviewed by Chellce AJ on Strawberry Radio who were broadcasting live from the event (bottom row, 2nd from right) Below (2nd from right): Three delighted Stockport County fans with painter Douglas Hutton. Edgeleap will take pride of place inside Edgeley Park from now on... Bottom row, far right: Claire Gibson from Stepping Hill
hose of a certain age might remember the time when 28 Little Underbank was a hat shop but in the years since then it would be safe to say the building has suffered from the ravages of time. Fortunately, along came Joseph Patten, looking for just such a project.
The Cracked Actor
“I’m an actor so my original intention was to create a fringe theatre but that proved quite tricky and expensive. I was very keen to be involved in the restoration of an old building so I looked at nearly all the buildings around here and I kept coming back to this one. I used to live in a flat next door and would wander down here when I couldn’t sleep and while the building looked awful, I started trying to visualise it without the shutters on, without the broken window... I viewed it once or twice and thought, it’s really small, but it’s manageable. The interior was very 70s but I realised I could strip all of that away.” The building has been reborn as The Cracked Actor, a blues bar which takes it’s drink seriously. Two of the best sellers are unique to the venue, The Cracked Pils and the Cracked Hatter gin (Made by Stockport’s own Hatters Gin) His determination to present the building in the best possible light saw him go to extreme lengths for authenticity, such as having the new floorboards on the ground floor and basement made to the exact width of the original floorboards on the first floor. There were surprises along the way too, such as stripping the walls back to discover no less than three windows, one doorway and four fireplaces. The cellar has been taken back to the original arches that Joe is considering using as a gig space in the future. The Victorian staircase has been fully restored, chandeliers have been supplied by Agapanthus up the road and new coving has been installed exactly how it would have been originally. The bar itself has been hand made, and while having the fridges visible in the bar front was a design idea, it also turned out to be a useful space saving solution too.
Tales from the
Currently Thursday night is live music night and soon Sunday will also feature live acts. Joe would be happy having live music every night of the week, “mostly Blues but I’d like to do a few Northern Soul nights, a bit of glam rock perhaps.” Another themed evening is Board Game and Take Out Night on Wednesdays which is just that, people sit around playing Scrabble while eating an Indian or a pizza.
Christmas on the Underbanks Why not spend Saturday 23rd November enjoying what Stockport’s self-styled Soho has to offer? This is the day the various independent traders around Underbanks and Mealhouse Brow will be switching on their lights.
Saturday 23rd December
Emma Nosurak of The Plant Shop is involved in organising the event, “We first did it last year, myself and SK1 Records and Rare Mags... We had a meeting and decided we wanted our own independent Christmas Light switch on for The Underbanks.” “It’s a day into night event, we’re trying to encourage people to spend the whole day around here and do some Christmas shopping. All the shops will have something going on, whether it’s mince pies or mulled wine and then around 6pm - 7pm (to be confirmed) we’ll switch the lights on and we’ve got entertainment
planned too. Last year the lights were switched on by the daughters of the people who own Hillgate Cakery. That’s how we roll around here. This year we’ve collaborated with Totally Stockport who are funding the tree which will be on The Underbanks at the bottom of Mealhouse Brow.”
If you haven’t been to the area for a while, this would be the perfect time to visit. There are so many more cool business than the three mentioned on these page and they need support. As Emma says, “It really does mean a lot to us when people spend time in our shops.”
ariad Napper is a mere 21 years-old but has already been making celebration cakes for wedding, birthdays (and funerals) from home for over two years. After establishing a foothold in that part of the cake business she felt it made sense to take on a high street unit that could provide both a professional kitchen and a shop front to advertise her creations. She found a former cafe at 11 Little Underbank that suited her needs perfectly... “I had a look at some other places but this seemed the best in that it’s an up-and-coming area and I got more for my money here that I would have anywhere else. It’s also good being opposite Dress the Bride too!” The shop opened on 31st August and within two hours they’d sold out. “At the moment, the majority of my business is still the big celebration cakes because obviously I didn’t do anything else when I was working from home but as people are walking by we’re getting more people popping in for cupcakes”
The Norah Store E
lizabeth Morgan is the latest young entrepreneur to open on Underbanks, with the (mostly) vintage shop, The Norah Store. She has a background in vintage clothing and experience of visual merchandising, social media and fashion photography. “I like that it’s quite historic around here. And there’s a really good vintage audience because of the Vintage Village and 20th Century Stores. And I love the other traders that are here, Rare Mags, The Plant Shop, SK1 Records. Everyone supports each other. When I opened I thought I’d be the youngest by miles at 24 but Cariad’s 21! It’s amazing.” Elizabeth chooses her stock very carefully, “Every single piece is hand-picked, fixed if it needs to be, laundered and merchandised in a way that’s easier to buy. I love rummaging but I know that’s what puts a lot of people off. A more curated offering is easier to shop and I have found that people who wouldn’t normally shop vintage are buying, because of that.”
As well as vintage clothing Elizabeth sells new product from local independent designers and sustainable brands such as House of Sunny, the jewellery designer Nordic Muse, who’s based at Hatch in Manchester and vegan candles from another independent local maker called Old Man & Magpie. The unit that The Norah Store occupies at 5, Little Underbank covers three floors and Elizabeth had wasted no time renting out the top floor to five local artists and designers as studio space. “The first floor I’m currently using as an event space: I’ve just hosted a clothes swap there which was really successful. I used to have a residency doing them at The Deaf Institute in Manchester. I’m hoping to have another trading moving in upstairs doing homewares.” But why Norah? “I wanted to use a woman’s name that sounded vintage. I didn’t want to use my name and ,The Norah Store, sort of rolls of the tongue.”
On the day of our visit, the seven flavours of cupcakes included Vanilla, Chocolate Caramel, Cherry Bakewell and Biscoff (“that’s the number one, everyone loves Biscoff!”) but the flavours change every day. There is also a selection of brownies, blondies and cookies as well. The main floor of the shop is quite sparse at the moment, something Cariad says she intends to address, ”Eventually I’d like to have a sit-in area and maybe do things like milkshakes and coffee but I’d like this to remain a cake shop rather than a cafe.” There is also space above and again, Cariad has plans, “I’d love to do cake classes one day. I’ve got all three floors here and I’d like to convert one of them into a teaching room for cake classes or parties.”
Stockport Indoor Market As we approach Christmas, here is a reminder of the dozens of traders operating in Stockport’s historic Market Hall. Literally something for everybody and every eventuality.
About Time A professional watch repairer who brings many years of knowledge and experience to this artisan skill. Visit for new watches and watch repairs.
Allan’s Knitwear Provider of ladies knitwear, trousers, blouses and shirts at factory prices. Manufactured in the UK.
Glass Umbrella Art Art and crafts shop featuring local artists Only Three Colours and Lucy Burgess plus a range of talented artisans.
Fone Choice Mobile phone repairs and accessories. iPod speakers and more. Gardners Established 1918. Fresh produce, fruit and vegetables. If in doubt ask advice from this experienced greengrocer.
Go Figure Collectables Popular with young and old alike. All kinds of action figures of TV and movie memorablity. Lego mini figures.
Ted’s Cards A large and diverse range of quality cards at exceptionally low prices. Also party supplies, gift wrap, balloons, personalised gifts and more.
The Beehive Bespoke floral arrangements made with fresh flowers and love. Plants, gifts, cards and jewellery.
High Lane Model Railways Stockport’s leading pre-owned OO & N gauge model railway and die-cast toy supplier. Buy, sell and exchange.
Bob’s Buttons Loved by hobby and professional makers in the arts and crafts world, here you will find an extensive range of buttons, ribbons and lace and now also wool.
The Book Exchange All new books at half price or less and bargain used books from this experienced book seller. Books and jigsaws bought, sold & exchanged.
Wally’s Fruit & Vegetables Visit Wally’s for seasonal fruit and vegetables and advice from an experienced greengrocer.
Jules 4 Bedding Textiles for the home. Jules shop is well stocked with bedding. cushions and cushion covers, net curtains sold by the metre.
The Candy Shack Relive your childhood with our tasty selection of classic retro sweets. Plus chocolate, fudge and ice-cream.
Kate O’Brien Art Unique renditions of Stockport architecture. See p26.
Card Empire Yugioh cards, Pokémon cards and Magic the Gathering cards and much more.
Eye Catchers Experienced optician who offers designer glasses at the best prices and superior customer service.
O’Mara’s Cafe Hot and cold snacks including homemade soup served throughout the day to have in or take away.
Dogano Pet Centre For all your pet needs. Wild bird feed. Serving Stockport for nearly 40 years.
Dream Catcher Unusual gifts. Scented sticks, oils, essential oils, candles, figurines, crystals, silver jewellery and more.
Deli Delights Local produce and continental cheeses, eggs. bacon, cooked meats and rotisserie chicken. Oak Tree Cafe A popular Market Place cafe with a fantastic menu served throughout the day to have in or take away.
WineBoy Specialists in craft beer and natural wine.
Market Galleries A wide and varied range of pictures, prints and figurines.
Dad’s Shed Die-cast models and toys. Friendly service and competitive, affordable prices.
Moran Tools & Hardware Tools and equipment for the DIYer, Hobbiest and Gardener. Plus electrical gadgets and homeware D & L Jewellery Specialist in the manufacture of bespoke diamond jewellery and quality watches. Fabulous engagement and wedding rings and repairs.
Lynn’s Cafe Hot and cold food and drink served throughout the day to have in or take away. Kylie’s Cakes For Occasions Specially hand crafted celebration cakes to enhance any party occasion.
Charlie’s Cheese Quality artisan cheeses, farm fresh free range eggs and many other deli products.
Cheeky Chai Premium teas from around the world. Visit to be introduced to wonderful new teas.
Cheshire Meats A wide range of fresh, seasoned and marinated meats from a butcher who has traded in Stockport for 40 years.
Levy Payers’ News
New owners at Café Square J
osh Perry and team have recently taken over the management of Cafe Sq on St Petersgate in Stockport.
Kate O’Brien Art opens in Stockport Market Hall
Overlooking the fountains and statues in St Peter’s Square, the café is perfectly located to attract shoppers and workers alike and the team are currently working on pulling together a simple but tasty menu to suit all tastes. Cafe SQ has been trading on the site for a number of years and they are in the process of expanding the food offer as well as the opening times. Food is served between 8am and 4pm Monday to Saturday and they offer a range of hot and cold options along with great coffee, a range of award winning teas, beers, wines and spirits as well as healthy smoothies and indulgent milkshakes. The cafe is a great place to meet up for a quick catch-up with friends and is also a great place for business meetings, social gatherings or just relaxing with a great cup of coffee and watching the world go by.
ince finishing her teaching career last December, Kate O’Brien has been busy creating her full-time career as a professional artist and TV star!
Kate appeared on episode one of BBC1’s “Home is Where the Art Is” and designed and painted the Stockport Frog, “This Little Froggy Went to Market” which raised £1,700 at auction for The Tree House children’s ward at Stepping Hill Hospital. She has now opened her own shop inside Stockport Market Hall in which customers can buy a range of her distinctive Stockport artwork, from gifts such as coasters and cards to large scale prints and originals. Kate uses her shop as a studio and also holds workshops where people can book on and try their hand at some of her techniques, “It’s really a flexible space”, she explains, “It’s wonderful to be able to exhibit my work but customers can also see me working on commissions and new pieces or even have a go themselves at one of my workshops.” They are constantly reviewing the plans for the venue and would welcome feedback as they intend to turn the venue into a social hub where people can socialise and conduct business. Call in to discuss how your local social group or club could hire the venue for your next event. The cafe is currently self-service, has free fibre WiFi and is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 4pm with a view to extending these trading hours over the next few weeks. They look forward to welcoming new customers and would love to hear comments about what people would like from the venue as they plan the changes for the future 59 St Petersgate, Stockport Facebook: @SQCafe Tel: 0161 429 9444
Kate is known for her unique renditions of Stockport scenes and architecture and produces a lot of commissioned work, which was a feature on the BBC1 series. “People really want something personal and meaningful, and with this option they can have something that is special to them; family portraits, pet portraits and house portraits are particularly popular.” Kate also has a permanent exhibition in Blackshaw’s Café on Stockport Market Place. Kate’s shop/studio inside Stockport Market Hall is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9am-4.30pm www.kate-obrien.co.uk facebook/Instagram/twitter: KateOBrienArt.
What’s On Ongoing...
Museum Mouse’s Sun Trail
Stockport Museum Museum Mouse loves the sun. Can you find him his favourite objects which remind him of the sun? Suitable for ages 2 to 7 Tue 5 November 4.30pm - 7pm
Grow your new business 1-2-1 advice
Stockport Central Library Have you recently started a business, or are you in the first 3 years of trading? Is the business based in the Stockport local authority area? If so, why not book a slot to receive some relaxed, friendly 1-2-1 advice from a GC Business Growth Hub Business Advisor. Free
Thu 7 November 7.30pm - 10pm
Sing with Crystal Chords
(And every Thursday) Stockport Masonic Guildhall 169-171 Wellington Road South If you think you’ll enjoy singing and performing a cappella style, why not come along and see what Crystal Chords is about. They are an award-winning chorus which enjoys performing, and competing at home and abroad. They sing a cappella and belong to the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers. Get in touch if you plan to visit, just in case there’s a change to the schedule. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fri 8 November 2pm - 4pm
Create jewellery in pewter
(And every Wednesday) Stockport Town Hall Pop along to the weekly tea dance with a tea/coffee interval and try your chances in the raffle. £2.70 on the door
Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Join artist Bee Morrison as she introduces you to the Art of Pewtercraft. Bee will help you design your own brooch or pendant made from thin pewter sheet using simple tools to produce a raised design. Age: 16 and over Price: £5 suggested donation Booking essential: 0161 474 4453
Wed 6 November 4.30pm - 7.30pm
Fri 8 November 9pm - 1am
Stockport College Find out more about the courses available and to meet the tutors.
Stockport Guildhall, 169 - 171 Wellington Road South The Ballroom plays the best Tamla Motown, Soul Disco and Jazz Funk. The En-Suite Room playing great Northern Soul tunes with Dj’s recreating the magical age of Wigan Casino and the Twisted Wheel. £5 Members £7 non members
Wed 6 November 1.30pm - 4pm
Stockport College Open event
Wed 6 November 7.45pm - 10.30pm
Outside the Box Comedy Club
Garrick Theatre The Garrick showcases the cream of the comedy crop with big names fresh from the comedy circuit. Rob Rouse (Upstart Crow ), Adam Rowe (Liverpool comedian of the year winner), Scott Bennett (Chortle One to Watch 2018 and 2019), Hayley Ellis (Absolute radio and Radio 4). £14 plus booking fee Thu 7 November 2pm - 2.30pm
Central Library Storytime
Stockport Central Library Stories, rhymes and songs. Suitable for pre-school children. Free
Night Owl Soul Club
Saturday 9th November 10am - 4pm
Makers Market Market Place
Sat 9 November 2pm - 2.30pm
Poetry reading - Reclaiming a lost voice Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Poetry reading in the ‘Hall of Memory’ by Actress, Caroline Harding. James Lyons is one of the forgotten poets of the Great War. The discovery of his collection of poems ‘Gleam
O’Pearls’ has resulted in the publication of ‘Do You Remember’ his selected poems edited by the poet Robert Cochrane. Suitable for ages 11+ Free, just drop in. Sat 9 November 7.30pm
Stockport Symphony Orchestra
Stockport Town Hall Bloch: Schelomo Mahler: Symphony no 5 Conductor Mark Heron Info: www.stockportsymphony.co.uk Sun 10 November 10am - 4pm
Stockport Covered Market Hall Vintage clothing and accessories for men and women, vintage jewellery, homewares, decorative items, textiles, luggage, furniture, curios and collectables. £2. Concessions £1.50. Under 12’s free Sun 10 November 11.15am - 3.30pm
Palette knife painting workshop Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery This workshop is aimed at painting landscapes and abstracts with a palette knife in oils. All materials supplied. Refreshments available but please take a packed lunch. Suitable for ages 16+ and all abilities £45 Booking essential: 07886 338285. Mon 11 November 5pm - 9pm
Mindfulness taster session (for ladies only)
Stockport Health and Fitness Centre This session includes sitting, moving and walking meditations which can help to relax, improve sleep and make you feel happier. Book your session on: 0161 480 4050 Members: £2 Non-members: £5 21 St Petersgate, SK1 1EB Tue 12 November 1:30pm-3:30pm
Mindfulness colouring for adults Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Life is stressful so why not take some
time to relax and put your focus elsewhere for a while. Come and colour in some beautiful designs that you can take away with you. All materials provided or you may bring your own books to colour in. Free Tue 12 November 6pm
Fostering open evening
Stockport Town Hall If you’re interested in fostering, learn about what it takes to become a foster carer, the different types of fostering and the specialist scheme. You will also hear about the fostering process, how to become a foster carer and you will be given the opportunity to speak to an existing Stockport foster carer about their experiences of fostering. More info: 0161 474 3400. Tue 12 November to Sat 16 November 7.30pm -10pm
A Steady Rain
Garrick Theatre Two Chicago policemen discuss their role in a traumatic case. They inadvertently return a Vietnamese boy to a cannibalistic serial killer claiming to be the child’s uncle. A gripping drama, this strongly written play enticed cinematic giants Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig to take the roles of the Chicago cops for its Broadway premiere in 2009. Contains strong language and deals with adult themes. www.stockportgarrick.co.uk/how-tobook £8.50. Concessions £7.50 Wed 13 November 2pm - 4pm
Stockport Disability, Transport and Access Forum
Stockport Homes, Cornerstone, 2 Edward Street, SK1 3NQ The forum’s main objectives are to consult and assist with planning, raising awareness of individual issues, removing barriers to access and contributing towards solutions where necessary. The forum meets on the second Wednesday of each month
All the big events in and around the centre of Stockport up until the end of January. Keep up-to-date with what’s going on at www.totallystockport.co.uk
Wed 13 November 2pm - 3pm
Tracing your female ancestors: suffragette or suffragist?
Stockport Central Library Adèle Emm the local author of “Tracing your Female Ancestors” will give a short talk on the suppressed history of female suffrage asking whether the suffragettes achieved nothing but antagonism. She’s also happy to share Stockport female suffrage stories, give advice on family history research and sign copies of her recent book which will be available to buy. Free Wed 13 November 7pm - 8.30pm And 11 December, 8 January
Explorer Tunnel Tours - Going Underground
Air Raid Shelters Take an evening tour around the shelters and see the extent of Stockport’s air raid preparations. Visit areas not usuallly open to the public, including unlit and reinforced tunnelling. Suitable for ages 11+ Adults £6.50, concessions/under 16s £5.50 Booking essential: 0161 474 1940 Wed 13 November 8pm - 10pm
Stockport LGBT+ PLUS Social
The Arden Arms These socials the perfect opportunity to connect with other LGBT members on a one to one basis whilst enjoying a casual drink and loads of laughs. You can help arrange future events, take part in a quiz, listen to guest speakers and socialise with local members of the LGBT + community The socials are held on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Everyone is welcome. 23 Millgate, Stockport, SK1 2LX Free Fri 15 November 2pm - 3pm
Bookkeeping for small businesses Stockport Central Library The workshop will cover: recording sales and purchases in a clear and consistent way, managing your cash flow, ‘deductible’ costs and the steps
you need to take to account for these, preparing year-end accounts for HMRC and thresholds for tax, mandatory registration for VAT. Free Sat 16 November 9am - 3.30pm
Antique and collectors fair
Stockport Town Hall Running for over 40 years, this 5 time a year antiques fair offers a vast array of enticing antique and vintage items to suit all tastes and pockets. Parking available next to the Town Hall for 50p a day. Adults £2, concessions £1.50 Sat 16 November 10am - 4pm
Stockport Market Creative Connections @ The Stockport Market takes place on the 3rd Saturday of each month. This experiential event brings together the region’s best artists, artist makers, artisans and creatives. With entertainment, workshops, food, drink, laughter and fun, it’s a place for like-minded people, artists, creatives and connoisseurs to connect, learn, discuss, sell and buy. Saturday 16th November
Christmas Light Switch on Merseyway See page 17
Sat 23 November
Underbanks Christmas Lights
Mon 25 November 12pm - 1pm
Lunchtime Wurlitzer Organ Concert
Stockport Town Hall The Monday lunchtime Wurlitzer Organ Concerts are organised monthly by Stockport Events with grateful assistance provided by the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust. £4 Mon 25 November 7.30pm - 10-30pm
Stockport Town Hall Ballroom and modern sequence dancing to the Wurlitzer organ on the Ballroom’s sprung dance floor. A great opportunity to prepare for big competitions, practice routines and enjoy the atmosphere of the historic Ballroom. £4 Tue 26 November 12pm - 2pm
Age UK Stockport Annual General Meeting Alma Lodge Hotel You’re invited to attend and hear about Age UK Stockport’s work and also about new services and developments. Lunch will be served at the end of the meeting. Booking by 18 November is essential. email: email@example.com phone: 0161 480 1211. 149 Buxton Road, SK2 6EL Free
Little Underbank A day of festive fun in the shops around Underbank and Meahouse Brow, culmiinating in the switching on of the Christmas Lights. (exact time tbc)
Fri 29 November 6pm - 9pm
Sun 24 November 2pm - 3pm
Sat 30 November to Sun 22 December (not Mondays)
Strawberry Gallery Guided Tour
Stockport Museum Join local historian Peter Wadsworth on a guided tour of the Strawberry Studios gallery. Learn about the museum’s Strawberry collection and hear some of the stories behind the legendary Stockport studios. Meet in the museum foyer. FREE No need to book
Stockport Market Street food, craft ales, live music and hundreds of people.
Stockport County Edgeley Park
Sat 23rd November 3pm Stockport Co. v Ebbsfleet United Tue 26th November 7.45pm Stockport Co. v Solihull Moors Sat 7th December 3pm Stockport Co. v Chorley Thu 26th December 3pm Stockport Co. v FC Halifax Town Sat 4th January 3pm Stockport Co. v Boreham Wood Sat 18th December 3pm Stockport Co. v Sutton United Sat 1st February 3pm Stockport Co. v Dover Athletic Sat 15th February 3pm Stockport Co. v Bromley County are rolling out ticket scanners across all their entry points meaning that buying tickets online will now provide for faster access to the ground as well as the ability to choose specific seats. To buy online visit: www.stockportcounty.com/match/ match-tickets Ticket prices: Adults £18 Concessions: £12 6-17: £5 5 and under: Free
StockpART guided exhibition tour Staircase House Take a quiz sheet and test your knowledge of Christmas carols and songs and get into the festive spirit. Suitable for families Normal opening hours and charges apply Quiz sheet and prize £1
What’s On Sat 30 November 3pm - 4pm
StockpART guided exhibition tour Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Peter Davis, the archivist at Stockport Art Guild, will be giving a free guided tour of ‘StockpART’. This is a fascinating retrospective exhibition showcasing art and craftwork by some of their notable and prize winning artists from the past 100 years. Suitable for ages 16+. Free, just drop in. Sat 30 November to 7 December 7.30pm - 10pm
A Christmas Carol
Garrick Theatre Adapted from Charles Dickens’ 1843 magical short story about Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with ghosts and the spirit of Christmas. A perennial favourite, this delightful adaptation is by John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, and was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. £10.50. Concessions: £9 www.stockportgarrick.co.uk/how-tobook Sun 1 December to Sun 5th January (not Mondays)
Christmas at Stockport Museum Stockport Museum Visit the galleries to enjoy the North Pole Express. Games, a trail and fabulous fun are just waiting for you! Free
Sun 1 December to Sun 22nd December (not Mondays)
Christmas Post Box
Stockport Museum Father Christmas is waiting to hear from you! Send him a letter via the special delivery post box. Free Sun 1 December 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Carol singing fundraiser
Mersey Square Come to Mersey Square to for a carol singing fundraiser in aid of Kasupe, a charity set up to promote education and good health for the children of Malawi.
Sun 1 December 2.30pm - 5.15pm
Stockport Town Hall An afternoon of popular music played on the Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. £9 Sun 1 December 10am - 4pm
Stockport Book and Record Fair
Stockport Market Hall A popular bi-monthly event held on the first Sunday of the month at the town’s historic Market Hall. There will be stalls full of books, records, cassettes, CD’s and other collectable items. £5 at 9am - Free after 10am Fri 6 December 7pm
Christmas Ghost Walk
Meeting point: outside Stockport Plaza “The performance starts outside the Plaza Theatre and then Flecky will guide you Up the steps and down to the depths! As you rise 256 feet above sea level expect to listen to history, strange and funny stories, and ghosts! From Mad Hatters to Haunted Taverns, Devils, Dancehalls and Dungeons” Booking essential: 07787 757642 Adults only Fri 6 December 2pm - 4pm
Precious stones Christmas card workshop
War Memorial Art Gallery Join artist Bee Morrison and create a unique Christmas card created with paint and embellished with precious gems. All materials provided. Suitable for ages 16+ and all abilities. Booking essential: 0161 474 4453 £5 suggested donation Sat 7 December 1pm - 4pm
Fabric collage or felted Christmas decorations War Memorial Art Gallery Produce your own Christmas decorations using either fabric collage or 2D needle felting. Materials and equipment provided. Note: sharp needles will be used during this session so parents are to accompany children under the age of 16. Suitable for ages 16+ and all abilities. Booking essential: 07776 352901
Sun 8 December 10am - 4pm
Stockport Covered Market Hall Vintage clothing and accessories for men and women, vintage jewellery, homewares, decorative items, textiles, luggage, furniture, curios and collectables. £2. Concessions £1.50. Under 12’s free Sun 8 December 3pm - 5pm
Stockport Symphony Orchestra Christmas concert
Stockport Town Hall Join Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell, for this Christmas concert, where the Snowman meets Star Trek meets Star Wars meets the Wasps meets, etc. All that plus some festive fun and all Beethoven’s nine symphonies for orchestra. Robert Guy, conductor Lindsey Russell, presenter/narrator Info: www.stockportsymphony.co.uk £15. £13 concession. £5 student. Accompanied children under 16 free Wed 11 December 8pm - 10pm
Adults £8, concessions/under 16s £7 Booking essential: 0161 474 1940 Fri 20 December 4pm - 7pm Sat 21 December 1pm - 4pm Sun 22 December 1pm - 4pm
Father Christmas in the House
Staircase House Visit Father Christmas in his Staircase House grotto (gift included). Write Father Christmas a letter while you wait. £7.50 per child. £1 all adults To book a timed ticket: 0161 474 4444 Fri 20 December 6pm - 9pm
Stockport Market Street food, craft ales, live music and hundreds of people. Sat 21 December 10am - 4pm
Creative Connections @ Stockport Market As 16 November
Sunday 22nd & Monday 23rd December
Stockport Indoor Market
Stockport LGBT+ PLUS Social As 13 November.
Market Place The market opens for last-minute Christmas shopping.
Sat 14 December 10am - 4pm
Sun 29 December 2pm - 3pm
Stockport Museum As Sun 24 November
Sat 14 December 10.30am – 3.30pm & Sunday 15 December 11am - 3.30pm
Wartime Christmas Stocking
Air Raid Shelters This magical family favourite event returns! Meet Jangles, the Good Fairy and Father Christmas (if we can find him). Remember to bring your sock for your wartime themed gifts. Children £8, (concessions £7) (one accompanying adult free) Booking essential: 0161 474 1940 Tue 17 December 7pm - 9pm
Wartime Christmas Singalong
Air Raid Shelters Take a tour with ‘George Formby’ as he tells of his wartime experience, shares a few anecdotes and sings some songs (including carols). Seasonal refreshments included.
Strawberry Gallery Guided Tour
Tue 7 to Sat 11January 7:30pm - 10pm
Garrick Theatre A new thought-provoking play set in the near future. Robin and Hazel are retired nuclear engineers living near the plant where they used to work. The plant has suffered a meltdown.The play questions what kind of world the older generation want to leave for our children. Contains strong language and deals with adult themes. www.stockportgarrick.co.uk/how-tobook £8.50. Concessions £7.50 Sat 11 January 1pm - 2pm
StockpART guided exhibition tour As 30 November
All the big events in and around the centre of Stockport up until the end of January. Keep up-to-date with what’s going on at www.totallystockport.co.uk
Tue 14 January 1pm - 4pm
Muslim arts and culture festival
War Memorial Art Gallery We’re proud to partner with the Muslim Arts and Culture Festival (MACFEST) to bring you a great line up of local artists and performers in this cultural event. Check out the cultural hubs whilst enjoying a packed programme of entertainment, which will engage people of all ages and denominations. Suitable for all ages. Just drop in. Sat 25 January 7.30pm - 9.45pm
Stockport Symphony Orchestra: Leningrad
Stockport Town Hall Bruch, Violin Concerto 1 Shostakovich, Symphony 7 - ‘Leningrad’ Robert Guy, conductor Martyn Jackson, violin Info: www.stockportsymphony.co.uk £15. £13 concession. £5 student. Accompanied children under 16 free Sat 25 to 1 Feb 7:30pm - 10pm
Garrick Theatre This comedy is based on the Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year 2013, ‘Letters to a Wayward Son’. Roger Mortimer started writing to his son Charlie, who at 15 was on the verge of being kicked out of Eton. Over the next 25 years the letters reveal a father’s unconditional love for his son, despite Charlie’s spiral into drink, illicit sex and drugs. Contains occasional strong language. www.stockportgarrick.co.uk/how-to-book £10.50. Concessions £9 Sun 26 January 2pm - 3pm
Strawberry Gallery Guided Tour Stockport Museum As Sun 24 November
Christmas at The Plaza Thu 14 November 2pm
Neil Sands Christmas Memories
Neil Sands and his cast are back with their biggest ever production, taking us back to a time when Christmas really was the most wonderful time of the year. With its shimmering stage set, beautiful Christmas trees, glittering fairy lights, and even falling snow, this is the perfect pre Christmas treat, guaranteed to having you singing along from start to finish. Sun 24 November 4pm
The Green Room: Everything Stops For Festive Tea
Join us for a festive twist on our sell out fundraising tea parties in the sumptuous surroundings of our Art Deco Café, where the Plazarettes – our renowned waitress team – serve the finest English tea after some enjoyable Yuletide entertainment to mark the beginning of the countdown to the festive season.
bins alongside Cheryl Fergison!…oh yes it does! BSL Interpreted Performances: Friday 6th December at 10.30am and 2.00pm, also on Saturday 7th December at 7.30pm – Interpreter: Andy Higgins who will be positioned on the Left Hand side of the Auditorium as you look at the Stage. Sat 30 November 9am Sat 7 December 9am Sat 14 December 9am
Breakfast with Santa
Since 1944 Breakfast With Santa has been a Family tradition in The Plaza Café which is being brought back for you and your little ones to enjoy with a yo ho ho breakfast for the children of hot buttered breakfast crumpets with butter & jam, sugar waffles, Dutch pan-
cakes, donuts and chocolate dip with lashing of lovely cordial whilst for the grown ups Santa invites you to enjoy a fabulous sausage barm with unlimited tea and coffee to set you up for the day ahead!… When Santa Claus and his helpers arrive you will be invited to his grotto to receive a special Christmas Gift for being good boys and girls!… Wed 11 December 12pm
EDUCATE’s 10th Anniversary Chrisrtmas Concert
EDUCATE is an award winning group of people with dementia, who raise awareness about dementia. As well as telling thier story, their intergenerational choir will be leading the singing of Christmas songs and carols. There’s no charge so pop along!
Friday 29 November to Sun 05 Jan
Jack and the Beanstalk
Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum a GIANT of a family pantomime comes to The Plaza from Friday 29th November 2019 until Sunday 5th January 2020 with a larger than life, sensational production for the entire family to enjoy starring the brilliant Ted Rob-
Key contact details The Hat Works
Wellington Mill Wellington Road South Stockport SK3 0EU 0161 474 2399
Mersey Square Stockport SK1 1SP 0161 477 7779
Stockport Central Library
Wellington Road South Stockport SK1 3RS
Air Raid Shelters 61 Chestergate Stockport SK1 1NE 0161 474 1940
Stockport Museum Staircase House 30 Market Place Stockport SK1 1ES 0161 474 4444
All thats great in Stockport Town Centre including the full Christmas schedule