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Issue 9 FREE










Welcome Hello – welcome back to Totally Stockport’s latest magazine, your guide to what’s happening in Stockport. I can’t quite believe that summer is nearly over and the autumn term is about to start but don’t worry, there is still a lot to look forward to in Stockport. Stockport’s Giant Leap Frog Art Trail is still on and has attracted literally thousands of visitors since the beginning of July. It’s been lovely to see so many families, friends and children walking the trail with their maps to discover all the beautiful giant frogs. We even added a few more to add a bit of extra fun to the trail! Did you manage to spot them all?


Unlike the basking frogs, Stockport is certainly not sitting back on its lily pad as plans to develop a new town centre village consisting of 3,500 homes and community amenities have been revealed by Stockport Council. Merseyway is getting a giant facelift too – take a look at the new entrance from Chestergate into at Adlington Walk. Stockport is famous for hats so we thought we’d look at what’s tops in hats this season on our fashion pages on pages 6&7. Another date for your diaries is Stockport’s first 3-day Food & Drink Festival. Between 6th – 8th September visitors will be treated to three days of tasty treats and tempting delights from over 70 traders. Simon Rimmer and local chefs will be demonstrating their cookery skills on stage on Saturday and Mr Bloom and his band will be entertaining the crowds on Sunday. A fun weekend not to be missed and something for everyone. Read more inside!

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There’s plenty for the ladies to enjoy – we popped into Preen on Princes Street and took a peek through the pink door on Deanery Way for a bit of Pamper Me. The Vintage car show drew the crowds to Market Place and, despite the rain, Stockport Pride gave the visitors another reason to be proud! Cex celebrates 10 years, X-Gen VR brings a new experience, Stockport College unveils its plans, Stockport Underbanks wins lottery funding and Stockport’s Vernon building society explains why it is such an important part of our community. Have fun reading and we look forward to chatting again in November!

4-5 6-7 8 9 10 11 12-13 14-15 16 17 18-19 20 21 22 23 24-25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32-35

News Fashion Merseyway Eating Out The Range Aaron & Lynes Simon Rimmer The Frog Art Trail Forthcoming Events Robinsons Food & Drink Festival Pamper Me Cex Mercury Climbing X-Gen VR Preen The Underbanks Vintage Car Show Stockport College Stockport Pride The Vernon BID News What’s On

Get In Touch If you have a story, news or an event in Stockport Town Centre why not drop us a line? Tel: 0161 537 9382




News S

tockport is one of 51 UK towns to be shortlisted to present a business case for a share of the £675m Future High Streets Fund.There were more than 300 bids to the Future High Street Fund, which was open to all 326 councils with planning powers, so at least 249 councils (83%) were rejected. The successful areas will now each receive up to £150,000 of funding to work up detailed project proposals to regenerate and transform their town centres. Some of them will eventually receive multi-million pound funding to complete their projects.

Stockport shortlisted in Future High Streets Fund The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government said it will work closely with them, focusing on places that have “shovel ready” projects where there might be opportunities to accelerate these. The £675m Future High Streets fund was announced by the Government last December to enable councils to revitalise ailing high streets and make them “fit for the future”. Stockport Council now has until spring 2020 to submit their final business cases.

Council sets out plans for Merseyway redevelopment


lans to redevelop Merseyway Shopping Centre are moving forward following two public consultation events.

The consultation events focused on the first stage of the centre’s redevelopment – the refurbishment of Adlington Walk. Adlington Walk is a covered area of the centre that links off the main mall to Chestergate and the Old Town. Local residents were invited to offer their views on the proposals, which include reconfiguring and rebranding Adlington Walk to create ‘best in class’ community amenity and welfare facilities for the whole town centre to enjoy. Plans include a new ‘hotel lobby’ style entrance to the centre, a new stair and lift core, the re-fronting of existing retail to create a contemporary uniform appearance and public realm improvements that will improve the centre’s links to the historic core of Stockport and to the new transport interchange being constructed with TfGM (due for completion in 2022). Proposed facilities include a soft play space, new seating, buggy stores, high-grade toilets, parent and child facilities and a multi faith prayer room.

The Light Expands


ust two years after opening, The Light at Redrock has opened a new garden bar, two new screens and a private event space and bar for parties and corporate hire. Its refreshed food offering features freshly-baked pizza, sliders, sharing plates and salads as well as a new DIY dessert counter serving bubble waffles and ice cream. The cinema has renovated its ground floor foyer including a larger, refreshed bar space alongside a stylish garden bar for drinks and casual dining.   A “hole in the wall” bar and lounge seating area has also opened on the first floor. The two new screens feature 45 and 82 seats respectively, adding a combined total of 127 seats to the cinema’s current 914-seat offering.   Since opening in 2017, The Light Stockport has served more than 700,000 guests and sold more than 100,000 boxes of popcorn. 



Keith Pullinger, CEO of Light Cinemas, said: “It’s a great feeling to be extending and upgrading this cinema so soon after its opening in 2017. The cinema was popular from day one but has grown from there to be our most successful site. “We’re also thrilled with the inclusion of our new open kitchen, outside bar and dining space, and by adding our private zone adjacent to the new screens, we’ve introduced an aspirational meeting area for businesses, private hire and events.   Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “This is fantastic news. You only need to look at TripAdvisor to see how many people are saying this is their new favourite cinema, with the reclining seats gaining near legendary status.  “Our aim is to attract high-quality businesses like The Light, which bring people into our town centre: for me, it’s clear our strategy is working. “This expansion is a huge endorsement and we think The Light’s popularity will continue to grow.”    

UK’s first Mercedes-Benz Autohaus opens in Stockport


SH Auto UK, part of the world’s largest MercedesBenz dealership, has opened the UK’s first Mercedes-Benz Autohaus – a dedicated retail space that forms part of the brand-new MercedesBenz of Stockport. LSH Auto UK has regenerated the site off Brighton Road with a state-of-the art, purpose-built three-story facility, which will form LSH Auto UK’s MercedesBenz hub for the entire Manchester area. The site is home to a showroom, an aftersales facility, and a purpose-built high-tech Body, Paint and Repair Centre. This is the first Mercedes-Benz showroom in the UK to offer a licensed in-house bistro, serving light bites for breakfast and lunch including paninis, cakes and pastries and a selection of wine and craft beers. The site also sees the innovative use of green spaces, including a living green wall and a contemporary water feature, with further extensive landscaping creating an attractive garden.

The space can be hired for private events and meetings, with the facility holding an event license for exclusive late-night functions, including a car registra-

tion change event, which will be hosted twice a year at the site. The site also boasts an ample outdoor roof terrace, complete with plush furniture and views across Stockport, as well as multiple meetings room and a cinema style meeting room, all available for private hire. John Stanton, General Manager at Mercedes-Benz of Stockport, said:“We’re really excited to be officially open and welcoming customers through the doors. Mercedes-Benz of Stockport is a landmark destination in its own right. We have a really unique customer of-

Strawberry Radio set to launch


tockport town centre is set to welcome a new sound in the form of Strawberry Radio which will be focused on promoting Town Centre businesses to the wider community. Musically it will feature five decades of the greatest hits along with local news,

sport and whats on in the heart of Stockport. Partner and former Imagine FM presenter Chellce AJ says “The Sound Of Strawberry Radio reflects the exciting and positive changes happening in Stockport and we

aim to be truly local, offering More Music, less chat and a truly Local feel.” Strawberry radio is online at, on your smart device and on the Manchester DAB network from September.

fering here that will be a game-changer for automotive retailing as we know it. Everything we provide here is about being unique and distinct, we want to see the space used in innovative ways and look forward to showcasing its endless possibilities.” LSH Auto UK is part of the Hong Kong-based global automotive retailing group Lei Shing Hong, which is the largest retailer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the world. Launched in 1972, it now operates more than 140 premier Mercedes-Benz dealerships in diversified markets such as the UK, Germany, China, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Cap in Hand! red2 Reverse C a u ap q Ds £1


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£12 cap ra vie

Faux suede Maiso d nR n a l i s


New Era Oakland Raiders Cap £22


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Prim ar


The cap never goes out of style but thanks in no small part to Peaky Blinders, the simple baseball cap has been joined on the shelves by a dizzying array of other styles such as the Baker Boy and Newsboy. Needless to say, you can find all of them around Stockport.

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ap £20 logo C y ic Ju




Waterproof Cap X L £9 D .9 s s

New Look

Camel Corduroy Baker Boy Hat £9.99

Checked F lat Grey

Ca p 5 £2

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alvin Klein Jeans C log ti su


£30 ap oC


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Fred Perry Tennis Ca rts o p p



Merseyway’s Summer of Free Events T

he holiday weather may be unpredictable, but Merseyway Shopping Centre is keeping spirits high with a programme of free events. Until Saturday 31st August 2019, Merseyway is hosting Merseybay - a free outdoor beach (open daily) where families can enjoy the sunshine and build sandcastles. Open to children of all ages, the beach is located outside Primark and features deckchairs for parents to sit back and relax in, while children can enjoy fun rides and activities including a helter skelter and bumper boats (costs apply). Families can grab a bite to eat from the food huts, selling the best seaside dishes including fish and chips and children can attend the centre’s free Friday Club each week from 3pm - 5pm, which includes music from live DJs and party games.   On Saturday 17th August, Merseyway’s very own sunshine hostess, Tilly, will be visiting Merseybay and on Saturday 31st August, Pippa the Pirate will be hosting a pirate takeover with pirate costumes encouraged for the pirate disco!   Merseyway Shopping Centre has lots of other exciting events lined up including these highlights:

For superhero fanatics, Comic Con will be coming to Merseyway on Saturday 28th September. Visitors can expect Transformer cars, an alien display, a Harry Potter themed stall and Andrew Lawden’s Jedi Academy for all young Jedi masters. On Saturday 5th October, Merseyway will be celebrating National Space Week with a visit from Jem the Astronaut, who will be taking children on a space adventure with story time sessions and craft workshops. The Woodland Fairy will also be visiting Stockport on Saturday 19th October and will be telling stories about the fairy kingdom and taking children on a journey to find fairy houses around the centre.

Kicking off the month of September, Merseyway will be taking part in the Totally Stockport Food Festival. The centre will be celebrating with a Strawberry Affair, which will see Carmen Meander entertaining the crowds, strawberry themed craft workshops for children and a strawberry themed trail in stores. NK Theatre Arts will be heading to the centre on September 18th to entertain shoppers with fantastic theatre performances and children can get artistic on Saturday 21st September at the exclusive sand art workshop. @Merseyway (Twitter and Instagram) /MerseywayShoppingCentre (Facebook)

New Openings

New Independents land in the Produce Hall


wo new independent traders have opened up in the Produce Hall since we reported on the grand opening in our last issue. Chaat Cart and Angkor Soul both made their names with restaurants in Marple but have been invited into the centre of Stockport by Produce Hall owner, Steve Pilling. Angkor Soul was the first to open, offering a changing menu of Cambodian street food. The offer includes Lite Bites as well as larger meals and vegans are extremely well catered for. In the former category a “Pulled hoisin peanut Jackfruit Bao Bun” was on offer for just £4.50. A “confit pulled duck” version the same price. Right next to Angklor Soul is Aarti Pandey‘s South Indian Chaat Cart. Here the food offer encourages you to choose between the street food options or tiffin dishes which change on a daily basis. We were tempted by the Chicken Kati Roll “chargrilled chicken, flatbread, rainbow slaw, hara churtney and chilli sauce” All for £8.

The Magnificent Seven T

en or so years ago it was a Greenalls pub called the Stockport Arms but more recently the building has operated as a restaurant/coffee shop called Da Vinci’s. Now the site at 25 St Petersgate is back with a complete refurb and is selling beer again, although the food offer is still a very strong element of the operation, with a menu offering pasta, pizzas, burgers and meats from the grill. There’s also a sisha menu, which is still something of a novelty in Stockport.


The Range Stockport opens its doors


UK Home, leisure and gardens retailer continues to grow as it throws opens the doors of its brand new superstore, The Range Stockport. Following months of anticipation, the work to transform the former Toys R Us at Peel Centre Trading Park into the newest branch of The Range is now complete and has been officially opened by Stockport’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Wright. The new Stockport store has created 80 full and part-time jobs. It follows the opening of 12 other stores so far this year taking the total number of stores across the UK and Ireland to 174 as The Range continues to expand and grow.

The Range gave away prizes to the first 50 people in the queue including a star prize for the first in line as company mascot, Captain Range, welcomed the crowds and entertained the children. Roger Wheeldon, Director of Development at Peel L&P, which owns and manages Stockport Retail Park, said: “We are continuously improving the offer for our customers at Stockport Retail Park and we are pleased to welcome The Range to the mix. The superstore is testament to our philosophy and

dedication to re-investing into our portfolio and brings the park back up to full occupancy”. Devon-based entrepreneur, the Owner and Founder of The Range, Chris Dawson said: “It was great to hear of so many people at the store opening this morning and we hope they all managed to find some fantastic bargains. Opening two stores today is an extremely proud moment for the company and we look forward to many more store openings this year as we continue to progress and grow. “The staff have worked very hard to get the store ready for the opening this morning and I would like to thank the Council for welcoming us to Stockport”.


The opticians where patients become friends


ased in the heart of Stockport Aaron & Lyne Opticians has a proud and long tradition of providing high-quality eye care for the whole family.

most to allow us to find out more about our patients and provide a comprehensive examination, explaining the test clearly and giving advice on any eye-related problems and conditions.”

Patients are greeted with a friendly face and a cuppa in the homely, boutique-style practice in Great Underbank and time is taken to really get to know them.

Aaron Opticians was established by Leonard Aaron in 1940. In the 1990s the company acquired John Lyne Opticians, another long-established practice in the town, to become Aaron and Lyne Opticians. These days Leonard’s grandson, Adrian Aaron, is a familiar face to many as the Dispensing Optician at the practice. Adrian said: “The quality and high standard of eye care we give to all our patients has always been our priority. We welcome long-standing and new patients with the highest level of clinical excellence and friendly cus-

Practice manager Jennifer Carrington-Quinlan said: “The patient experience is of the upmost importance to us and no-one leaves without becoming a friend. Knowing more about a patient, their hobbies, jobs, and time they spend on their laptops or smart devices enables us to dispense exactly the right product for them. “For this reason, our appointments are longer than

tomer service that we have offered for almost 80 years.” Alongside a carefully selected range of lenses and frames, the practice provides a full contact lens service from fittings to check-ups and regular delivery service. Jennifer added: “Our ultimate goal is our patients’ happiness. On collection of glasses we serve chilled fizz to celebrate the patient’s new look. We believe we are different from the rest and you really won’t find another practice like ours!” To book an eye test at Aarons & Lyne Opticians Stockport please telephone the practice on 0161 474 0974.


Simon Rimmer



The headline act at Stockport’s Food & Drink Festival this September is Simon Rimmer: chef, entrepreneur, writer and TV personality. Born in Merseyside, he made his name in South Manchester and we caught up with him to see what he was bringing to Stockport...


e’s hosting a Cookery Theatre in Stockport on September 7th as part of the Food & Drink Festival but Simon Rimmer is far from a stranger to these parts. Naturally, his best-known restaurant, Greens is just up the road in Didsbury but he has done a good deal of work with Robinsons in the past. In 2012 he teamed up with the award winning family brewers to create three very unique bottled beers, specially hand-crafted, to go with steak, chicken and curry and was a regular visitor to the brewery, hosting charity dinners and a Man v Food event. Of course, apart from all that, “I live in South Manchester and get the train to London every week from Stockport!” Along with business partner Simon Connolly, Simon Rimmer opened Greens in 1990. He had no cooking experience and wasn’t even a vegetarian but Greens went on to become famous across the North West. He has opened other restaurants since then but that is the one he is most closely linked to and one in which he still spends a great deal of time, training staff and creating new dishes. “We always look and tinker,” he explains. In the title of one of his books he refers to himself as ‘The Accidental Vegetarian’ but he’s still an enthusiastic carnivore, “I eat less meat than I used to. But I think that’s an age and style of eating thing, rather than anything else. I love veggie food, but I also love fish and meat. And because of the heritage of Greens, all my restaurants have always offered a good level of vegetarian and vegan food.” We asked Simon what people could expect from his appearance in Stockport, “I’ll be doing two demonstrations which will feature delicious, simple dishes from my Sunday Brunch cookbook and from Greens.” We can’t promise that this will be one of the dishes featured but we had to ask Simon what his favourite dish was from Greens, “probably the deep fried oyster mushrooms with pancakes and plum sauce....or the crispy duck dish as many customers refer to it. It symbolises all we do at Greens. Great food that doesn’t need meat or fish to improve it.” Simon has become a familiar figure on our TV screen over the years but one of his earlier appearances was as a contestant on the extremely competitive Great British Menu back in 2006, a brave step for someone self-taught, “The Great British Menu was hard work,” Simon admits, “I’m not a Michelin starred chef and was way out of my depth. But I really enjoyed working alongside Marcus Waring, who I still think is one of the UK’s top chefs.” Very soon after that, he was presenting Something for the Weekend (which hopped over to Channel 4 and became ‘Sunday Brunch’) with Tim Lovejoy, “We got commissioned to do ten episodes of Something for the Weekend and 13 years later we’re still on air. It’s moved channels and the name’s changed the show but Tim and I became good friends very quickly and viewers liked the genuine chemistry between us.” Aside from food-related programmes, he’s dipped his toe in to the ‘celebrity’ genre with his run on Strictly Come Dancing being the best known. Given that there’s a certain ‘food element’ to “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here?” We had to ask if he’d consider that... “I’d deffo do the jungle” he replied without hesitation. We think the programme makers should be told....

Stockport’s Giant Leap T

housands of frog hunters have been hopping into Stockport over the summer to follow the trail to seek out 19 frogs. But did you manage to discover their 3 friends – bonus frogs – who have sneaked onto the lily pads too! It’s been great to see so many businesses getting in on the frog act too. Stockport Gin have even produced a limited edition Frog gin to celebrate the Giant Leap.

1 Sir Norman Frogster (1)

Paul McDowell, Prospect Vale Primary School Hello humans, I am Sir Norman Frogster the architect. I design amazing buildings I build ALL over the world but I avoid France...I want to keep my legs, thank you very much. Sponsored by Totally Stockport

Sir Lovealot (2)

Pauline Wood, St Thomas’ School We were delighted to create our design for “The Light Cinema”. All the children took part, from Nursery to year 6 children. Since then I have been delighted by the wonderfully positive comments made by the many families and visitors who have seen our frog on Stockport’s Frog Trail what a wonderful project to be part of! Sponsored by The Light Cinema

This Little Guiding Frog of Mine (3)

Kirsty Brown I joined up with Girlguiding Stockport who wanted an artist for their frog who already had a connection with the organisation. ‘This Little Guiding Frog of Mine’ was chosen as the winning design and name and the girls feel a sense of pride in visiting “their” frog. Sponsored by Girlguiding Stockport

BUSter (4)

Annette Cobley I was excited to be part of the Stockport giant leap project, celebrating Stockport’s unique character and combining its iconic elements of hats, the 192 bus and frogs! The brief was to celebrate a legend of Stockport and I chose the 192 bus, having spent many interesting journeys on this bus. I hope he makes my fellow Stopfordians smile. Sponsored by Stagecoach

This Little Piggy went to Market (5)

Kate O’Brien As someone who paints scenes and architecture around Stockport for a living and I was really keen for my frog to showcase Market Place, this unique and stunning part of our town. I have loved being involved and continue to see many families on days out enjoying the trail. Sponsored by Stockport Council

Nexphibian (6)

Nick Lowndes I was asked by Nexperia to produce a design that would reflect their company as a

global leader in the production of semiconductor components. The use of circuit boards lends itself to my graphic style of illustration as does the bold colour palette. It’s rewarding to see all of the frogs displayed around Stockport and I feel proud to have been a part of the project. Sponsored by Nexperia

Fanatical Freddie (14)

Caroline Daly It’s important in this digital age to keep town centres thriving and the frogs are a fun way to get people to visit Stockport, maybe for the first time. It’s also a great way to encourage people to be active by walking around and exploring and an excellent free activity for families to do KermIT (7) too- my daughter loves them. It’s nice to Louise Barson think I’m using my art to bring some joy to I had to learn new techniques to apply the people. poetry in binary digital lettering that is Sponsored by Concentrix  central to my Charming Digital Prince. It has been rewarding to engage with people Strawberry Fields (15) enjoying the Art Trail who are taking part Plunge Creations in my photo competition and my frog’s Celebrating Stockport’s musical heritage summer love story on social media.                                                         Sponsored by Marketing Stockport Sponsored by Amshire IT Solutions

Edgeleap (8)

Douglas Hutton Sponsored by C&C Insurance Brokers

Prince Regent (9)

Douglas Hutton Sponsored by Orbit Developments


Sir Hopsalot (16)

Toubie Jack Sponsored by Orbit Developments

Golding (17)

Sponsored and designed by Robinsons Brewery

Mrs Mersey, the hoppy shopper (18)

Lindsey Anderson and Debbie Hancock Sponsored by Merseyway Shopping Artist: Ian Dawber with his frog artist help- Centre er, grandaughter Evie Rudd Sponsored by Holiday Inn Express Robert (19)

Cornelius (10)

Midas (11)

sponsored by Stockport College

Ferdinand (12)

Helen Watts Sponsored by Spring & Co

Chemit (13)

Emma Yates & Beth Sciambarella Sponsored by BASF



Caroline Dowsett Sponsored by CDS

Foster the Frog (20)

Sponsored by Stockport Fostering

Lillian Phibian (21)

Sponsored by Europlanters

FrogPie (22)

Sponsored by musicMagpie




meet the artists

You’ve seen the frogs, now meet the artists!



















forthcoming events

Leap into action at the Big Stockport Run T

he town’s army of decorated frogs have been given a special role at this year’s BIG Stockport Run.

The colourful amphibians, which have been living on the streets of Stockport for the past two months, will form the trail for the ‘Frog Dash’, a special charity treasure trail organised for families.

S u nda





p te m ber e S

The Big Stockport Run

The dash will take place on Sunday, September 15, alongside the BIG Stockport Run, which starts and finishes in St Petersgate. Children of all ages are encouraged to dress up as a frog (although this is not compulsory) and follow a trail around the giant decorated frogs, which were put in place as part of The Giant Leap Frog Art Trial, organised by Totally Stockport to engage visitors with the town centre. Totally Stockport’s BID Manager, Paul Taylor who has led on the Giant Leap project, said: “Stockport’s Giant Leap Frog Art Trail has been an amazing success! It’s created a massive buzz and, since we launched the art trail of 19 giant frogs sponsored by local businesses, the number of visitors to the town centre has increased by over 20percent. “Stockport’s 10K and family fun run always attracts huge crowds and we are delighted to be partnering with the team at Life Leisure to bring you the frog dash! This will be a family fun event with the frog dash following the trail around some of the frogs and the first three winners will be presented with a gold, silver and bronze miniature frog.” Laura Mylotte, Head of Marketing from Life Leisure, which runs the annual event, said: “We are really excited to partner with Totally Stockport for this year’s event. It’s great to be able to add another event for families in our ever changing town centre. “Children and families will need to follow a treasure map to find out which frog they need to head to next – so it will take brains as well as brawn! It’s suitable for all ages and it would be great to see children dressing up as frogs for the occasion”. The frogs will be hopping off at the end of September, so event organisers hope the event will also be a great opportunity for people who haven’t had chance to visit them yet. Money raised from the event will go to the homeless charity The Wellspring. Entries cost just £5 and include entry into the Big Stockport Family Fun Run (which kicks off at 10.15am) and the Frog Dash (which starts at 11.30am).

Five-year-old Lola Adby, who attends Lark Hill Primary in Edgeley, gets ready for the dash

Life Leisure is a charitable trust and not for profit social enterprise company which manages 13 sports and leisure facilities in and around Stockport and Cumbria. They run a number of initiatives aimed at helping inactive people and those from disadvantaged communities become more active. Its offering includes one of the first GP physical activity referral schemes in the UK, and a gym specifically designed for those who would avoid the traditional gym environment.

To enter, for more information about the event go to: or follow @BIGEventSeries on Twitter.


One Family. One Place. One Hundred & Eighty-One Years O

nce upon a time, on September 29th, 1838, there was an ordinary man called William Robinson, a cotton weaver of modest means, who bought a small pub called the Unicorn Inn on Lower Hillgate in Stockport. Little did William know when he bought the sawdust-and-spittoon alehouse from Samuel Hole all those years ago that it would mushroom into a multi-million-pound company owning over 260 pubs, inns and hotels across Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and Wales. Fast forward another six generations and Robinsons Brewery still stands proud on the original Unicorn site in the heart of Stockport, evolving into one of the UK’s largest independent family brewers with 11 family members fully involved. The current joint Managing Directors – Oliver and William Robinson – are the sixth-generation descendants of Frederic Robinson, who took over the Unicorn Inn – the original pub from which the brewery now stands and derives its name – in 1838. Oliver Robinson, Managing Director (Beer Division), explains the importance of looking forwards: “Since we began in 1838, we’ve remained a family-run business, nurturing skills and knowledge developed and passed down from generation to generation for over 180 years. What we do is more than just our profession, it’s our passion. “There’s always a risk of ‘standing still’; doing things the same way as your father did, and his father before him,” admits Oliver. “But you can’t live on past glories – each generation needs to make changes. Evolution and change is a crucial part of ongoing business success.” William Robinson, Manging Director (Pub Division), continues: “We recognise that every new relationship we create – be that with a customer, a licensee or indeed a member of our staff – signals the start of an exciting partnership; “We’re modernising the business, we’re committed to investing in our pub estate and our beer range, year after year.”

IN NUMBERS: 260 600 25 55,000 16,000,000 26,500,000 400 2,900,000 55+

The current number of Robinsons pubs. The number of feet deep the well is at Robinsons Brewery. The number of awards Old Tom has won in the last 25 years. Average number of barrels per year. Average number of Robinsons pints brewed at Robinsons. Number of bottles filled and processed per year at Bredbury. Number of contract bottle lines handled through the packaging centre. Typical number of bottles sold worldwide in a year. Number of countries Robinsons beer is exported to.

With a £7 million investment in their brewing operations accompanied by a £2million award-winning Visitors Centre and Conference Facility, the Robinsons family are undeniably devoted to their future and the future of British brewing. Robinsons now enjoy a brew house which is 60% more energy efficient and capable of brewing some seriously tasty and exciting beers for customers to enjoy… a far cry from a sawdust-strewn ale house named after a myth. Robinsons Brewery has undergone constant change over the past 180 years. Change which has seen Robinsons team up with rock legends Iron Maiden to produce the world-widely acclaimed Trooper beer And that’s only part of the story. The Robinsons story is not just about the history of a brewery, it’s about a family, which has played – and continues to play – an immensely important role in the British brewing and pub industry. With a firm eye on the future, Robinsons are building upon their legacy and driving the brewery, brands, and pubs forward, at pace. Book a brewery tour to hear the Robinsons story in full at

A refurbishment of the Visitor Centre this summer was celebrated with the launch of a new menu





ex has occupied its familiar position on Princes Street for ten years now, buying and selling DVDs, computer games, phones an computer hardware. Cex (Complete Entertainment Exchange) is a franchise-business which was founded in London in 1992 and has grown to over 600 stores in both the UK and abroad. When the Stockport outlet was opened by Kevin Nurse and his partner Hazel Linford in 2009, the business was still in the early stages of its expansion, the only other two stores near to Stockport were both in Manchester. Cex Stockport’s Store Manager is Luke Grimshaw, who has been there since day one: “I was here dusting the shelves and building the gondolas before we even opened.” Obviously, Luke is the right person to speak to about how things have changed for the business over the last decade, “Ten years ago the focus was on media, so we’d buy a lot of DVDs and loads of video games but those industries are moving to digital platforms now so we’re seeing less physical media coming into the store. The result of that is that we’ve shifted towards the hardware - the things that people play these things on. It’s particularly irksome for Luke that more and more games are being launched in digital format only. “XBox have just released a digital only console, that’s no good to us. Fortnite is free to play. You can’t go into a shop and buy it. The biggest game of all time is a free download. “That’s why Cex are diversifying. We’re buying retro stuff now, things like Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo games. We’ve also dipped our toe into music technology, buying things like mixing desks and synthesisers and just recently customers have started buying board games - not your Monopolies - proper role-playing, super-duper nerdy games. So the company are trying to diversify and try different things... Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” Luke is also very aware that his main advantage over his online competition is his staff, “We have a big focus on shop floor presence here. We have people going onto the shop floor to engage with the customers, trying to help them. If you buy from Amazon, it’s cheap, you get it delivered to your house, I can’t compete with that but I can give you some conversation and some nice advice from friendly people.”

Cex - 10 Years of Fun and Games

Our meeting with Luke was at 10am on a Thursday morning but already there was a surprising degree of activity in the shop, so for all the changes in the way films and games are distributed, for now at least, there are still people happy to consume the media in traditional ways. Luke is generally confident, “We’re still here after ten years and I really think we’ll be here in another ten years but what we sell might be quite different.”


Going beyond the call of Beauty N

ext time you are in Stockport, check out the bright pink door on Deanery Way, it really is a staircase to Pamper Me heaven! This award winning beauty boutique was founded 10 years ago by Jodie Finnigan, who swapped a degree course in Product Design and Engineering for the chance to become an ambitious entrepreneur in the business of beauty. But the transition wasn’t quite as smooth as my skin felt having sampled the delights of a facial using the fantastic Eve Taylor Aromatherapy range of skin care products. There is a misconception that beauty and brains don’t mix - Jodie has proved the theory to be 100% wrong. I caught up with Jodie in one of Pamper Me’s 4 treatment rooms: Product design to beauty therapist, how did that happen? After 12 months I realised that this course wasn’t for me, switched to a business and marketing course before I found my true vocation and graduated from White Rose Beauty College in Manchester. I set up my business at home in 2009 with just £20 in my pocket, a bottle of oil and a massage table. After a year I moved to Cheadle and have been building my business ever since. 2 years ago I decided the time was right take the plunge and open my own beauty boutique. There is such a great buzz about Stockport right now and I love being part of it. Two years on, and you’re already an award winning team, you must be very proud I am! We have just won Beauty Team of the Year at the North West Beauty Industry Awards and I couldn’t be more delighted for the team. The awards are decided on a public vote and our win is down to our loyal clients’ votes. There are 5 of us in the team but I have plans to carry on developing the business. In July I took a deep breath and made the decision to come out of the treatment room and work on the business rather than in it, thanks to the encouragement from Kristian across the road at Tramp who told me to go for it and we have already welcomed many new clients. What plans do you have in the immediate future? I’m still very proud to say that I’ve never had a loan or an overdraft although that may come sooner rather than later as I am very ambitious for my business. An area that I am keen to develop more is our range of pregnancy treatments. What better time to get some extra pampering? We have a reputation as the place to go in Stockport for pre and post-natal treatments; our


therapists are qualified and experienced in providing luxurious relaxing treatments – massages and facials. What are really popular are our ‘Love from Bump’ and ‘Yummy Mummy’ pregnancy experiences, perfect to get back a bit of ‘me time’. We are experts in ‘skin’ and have invested in advanced technology for the body as well as the face which means we can offer ‘C’ section scar removal, stretch mark treatments and provide body lifts – just what a girl needs after giving her body up to her bundle of joy for 9 months. I also want to open more treatment rooms and expand the business further. I can see that you are going to be looking to recruit again very soon. Is it easy to find young beauty therapists? There is quite a regular pool of young beauty therapists who have completed their course and are looking to enter the world of work but what really concerns me is that so many of them aren’t work ready and that is creating a genuine skills shortage. In this industry, communication skills are absolutely key to making our clients feel welcome and relaxed. What I’m finding is that many of today’s graduates lack confidence, self-value and don’t know how to communicate in the real world which is very sad. I guess we live in a virtual world where texting and social media has replaced the need for one-to-one real chats. I want to help, to give something back to the community by addressing this as a priority My plan is to give young people the opportunity to develop these essential life skills by offering a free 6 to 8-week training plan, one evening per week, to provide the platform to build their confidence, develop their self-worth, improve their communication skills and enhance their technical skills. Candidates will be interviewed before booking on to the course which I believe will teach them an important lesson in life, help them to secure employment and the start to a bright career. And your longer term plans? I am working to create a blueprint for Pamper Me to help people like me take the plunge to build their own successful, award winning business. Pamper Me - a franchise opportunity? Most definitely but first I want to make sure tomorrow’s business owners are equipped to become the bright stars they deserve to become. Interview by Helen White, Marketing Stockport



Mercury Climbing: A New Festival for Stockport M

September 27th - October 4th

ercury Climbing is a new 8 day urban festival bringing music, film, comedy and more to the heart of Stockport. Established acts such as Fuzzy Sun and Mark Radcliffe’s Une will play alongside rising stars like The Lathums and Dirty Laces, in a diverse range of venues across Stockport that includes Remedy, The Hatworks and St Marys Church. Mercury Climbing is about much more than music, with a range of events planned across the eight days. As part of the festival, Bands FC are bringing their exhibition to Stockport Museum. A collaboration between music and football, Bands FC has broken records everywhere it’s been, from The Football Museum in Manchester to the Royal Albert Hall and even New York. A huge print and music fair will see Charlatans front-man Tim Burgess bring his Vinyl Adventures record fair to Stockport for the first time as well as performing a DJ set at the event.

An online radio station will broadcast throughout September and during the event, showcasing music from all the acts performing and playing the best unsigned acts from across the North West. Mercury Climbing is the brain child of Stockport resident Paul Austin. “Stockport is in the middle of a huge renaissance, and I want to be a part of that. I want to make Mercury Climbing a regular thing, and watch it grow every year into something special.” With the help of Nick Fraser, one of the Bands FC founders who worked with Tim Burgess on the hugely successful North by Northwich event, the idea quickly started to take shape. “Nick was really


collaboration with A Laugh in Stockport comedy club brings TV regulars Mick Ferry and Steve Harris, as well as celebrated comedians Danny Sutcliffe and Rachel Fairburn to The Hatworks.

(shown left to right in that order)

encouraging when I said I’d love to do something similar in Stockport, offering not only advice but support in putting the whole event together” said Paul.

Fuzzy Sun

Mark Radcliffe’s Une

The name references Stockport’s hatting history while also suggesting the event will be raising the temperature. Once it was decided and the dates chosen, it didn’t take long to find the name. “People ask us where the name comes from quite a lot. We wanted a connection to Stockport and it’s history, which is where mercury Print & Record Fair came in. Mercury Climbing with Tim Burgess’ vinyl refers to something getting adventures & DJ set hotter, so it seemed a perfect fit to me.” Sunday, September 29th 10 AM – 4:30 PM “We’ve had a lot of people ask us why we’re doing this Stockport Market Hall in Stockport, or tell us that it would be better in Manchester as there are more venues. We’re using venues such as St Marys Church - an iconic building and a great place for live music, that people might not initially consider. When we’re finished we want to make sure the only question people are asking is ‘When is the next one?’.” Mercury Climbing will also be raising money for The Wellspring, a charity that helps the homeless in Stockport. As well as donating money from each gig, there will be a charity music quiz that will see exclusive signed prizes donated by the acts playing. Tickets can be purchased from Acts and events are being added all the time so keep an eye on Mercury Climbing’s Facebook and Twitter accounts @mercuryclimbing

Aargh Kid


Fri 27th September The Lathums & The Panamas Stockport Hat Works

Thu 3rd October Dirty Laces & Kashmere Stockport Hat Works

Sat 28th September Fuzzy Sun & Average Sex St Mary’s Church

Fri 4th October Aargh Kid venue TBC

Sun 29th September Mark Radcliffe’s Une Stockport Hat Works

Fri 4th October Comedy Night Stockport Hat Works


X-Gen VR Virtual Reality Centre opens at Merseyway N

ew virtual reality centre, X-Gen VR, has opened its doors at Merseyway Shopping Centre with a range of state-of-the-art virtual reality games and experiences. Located on Deanery Way, the futuristic attraction takes virtual reality to the next level, offering the latest technology for gamers to enjoy. Created by Stockport entrepreneur Gareth Mee, X-Gen VR features a VR arcade including motorbikes, go-karts and Gatling Guns for up to 8 players at a time, along with luxury private rooms offering an unrivalled 3m x 3m play space to maximise the enjoyment of the latest virtual reality experiences and games. Visitors will pay an entry fee for 15, 30 and 60 minute sessions, with prices starting from £9.99. Victoria Nichol, Centre Manager said: “We couldn’t wait for X-Gen VR to open its doors! The centre will bring a new experience for our shoppers and we’re confident it will be a popular destination, bringing new footfall to Merseyway.” Gareth Mee, founder of X-Gen VR said: “I’m really excited to open my first VR Centre in Merseyway. We want everyone to enjoy an experience here and we can’t stress enough that VR is not just for gamers - there’s plenty for families and groups of friends to enjoy including our luxury VR rooms which feature a range of experiences from action and horror to puzzles and art. Our centre is the first of its kind in Stockport and we can’t wait for everyone to come and see what’s on offer.”


Preen Celebrate of Pampering


Three Years Stockport


t would not be much of an exaggeration to describe the building in which Preen sits as iconic. It will certainly be well known to anyone who has trodden the well-worn path from the A6 to the Marketplace via St Petersgate. Preen was founded by sisters Beckie and Natalie Beeley, along with Natalie’s partner Dean Robinson three years ago. On our visit the large inflatable “3” was still floating in the shop window and Natalie was sitting in a treatment chair receiving a pedicure. Or to be more accurate, Charlotte, kneeling in front of her, was training in Preen’s Deluxe Pedicure. Beckie had been working in the beauty industry since leaving college but it was Natalie - despite having no such experience - who first conceived of the business. “ I was working in the fashion industry, producing photo shoots around the world and when I was in New York I noticed there were nail bars on every corner so I said to Becky, this is what we need to do. Then Beckie, who lives in Offerton, found this place and it spiralled from there. We were open in six weeks.” The big, ground floor corner unit had previously operated as a hair salon but was unoccupied when the sisters came across it. The size might have been intimidating but, as Natalie says, there are more positives than negatives about such a big space and it has certainly been creatively filled. From day one Preen offered a one-stop shop for any-one’s beauty needs. The plan was that Natalie would remain in London running the business side of things but that is not how things panned out, “We quickly got busier than we ever thought we’d be so I ended up back up here for two years! Becky taught me how to do nails and I went from never having held a file to ... well it turns out I’m quite good!” The business was two years old when a new opportunity presented itself - the basement. “When we opened, Revlon had the downstairs space but the terms of our lease meant we had first refusal if they left and when they did, we took it on as well.” To call it a basement is slightly unfair. Because of the terrain in this area, the ‘basement’ has large windows with light flooding in and the space has been beautifully furnished. Moving downstairs didn’t simply add more space, it added a whole new string to the Preen bow. “When we first opened we didn’t offer hairdressing because it was a whole other sector that we didn’t have experience


in. But we realised that people were wanting to have their hair done at the same time as their beauty treatment and when we decide to take on the downstairs, that seemed the natural thing to do with it.” So Preen can add hairdressing to the list of other services they offer. A list that includes nails, acrylics, manicures, pedicures, brows, lashes, make-up, botox and filler. They also offer make-up lessons and run an academy. “Becky is a qualified teacher and I’ve just done my teacher training as well. Becky worked in a college and she was never happy with the quality of teaching. We’ve had it here where we’ve taken on an apprentice who was fully qualified and we’ve said “I know you’re not going to be amazing at everything but if I got you a client, what is the one treatment you’d be happy doing” and they’d say “nothing.” So that is where the idea of the Academy was born. Preen run a variety of course, the most popular being ‘Complete Nail Technician” which is available over 14 week or an intensive four week course. Other courses include ‘Henna Brow Training’ and the recently introduced ‘Lash Lifts and Tints’. The courses are fully accredited and are recognised by ABT (Associated Beauty Therapists). The Academy is also a useful source of staff for Preen, with at least four girls ending up employed at the salon after completing one. “We’re always keeping an eye out for someone who shows promise. There are a lot of salons opening so it’s important to keep good staff. And over the last year we’ve really got together a team that we’re happy with.” Another advantage that Preen seem to have is their embracing of social media. Natalie would go as far as to say it is responsible for 99% of their new business and Instagram is particularly effective for them. “One of the girls made the observation recently that when she first started here, people would bring in photos of nails that they’d come across somewhere whereas now, they just bring us pics of nail that we’ve done. Which is nice. The girl who does our social media came recently to do some videos for Instagram and one of them has had something like 250,000 views and 17,000 likes.” Three years on and things seem to be heading ever upwards at Preen, with the sisters advancing the operation on a variety of fronts. And, as we were going to press, we checked on that Instagram video. It’s up to 322,000 views now... @preenyourself



Bringing Life Back to the Underbanks


n exciting five year Townscape Heritage project is now in full swing. Rediscovering the Underbanks aims to bring buildings back into life and to reconnect people with the area by raising awareness of its stories and unique heritage.

The project is led by Stockport Council with a number of partners including heritage groups and local businesses. After strong national competition the Council was successful in securing a £1.8m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the project. Some twenty buildings are targeted for repair and improvement which, along with public realm works, will make a real difference to the area. Works can include new shopfronts. These buildings are all historic with their own individual stories to tell. The Council has kick started this change with the renovation of the White Lion. This will be the first building to be transformed this year bringing people and new uses into the area. Rediscovering the Underbanks will host a programme of events to raise awareness and increase the knowledge and appreciation of its unique history. It will provide heritage skills training and community activities designed to bring people into the area. These events will be made available to local people, building owners and local construction professionals. Check out the website for information on upcoming events and activities and stories of the area.

Why is the Underbanks special? It is a Conservation Area packed with notable buildings (see map) and noted for its dramatic historic townscape of changing levels and memorable views, characterised by a dense concentration of nineteenth century traditional buildings, steps, brows and bridges. Businesses are already recognising the potential of the area, especially with the Market Place being only a stone’s throw away. New openings include Laco, SK1 Records, Rare Mags, Tramp, Hillgate Cakery and a host more. All these are specialist independents. Historical Underbanks By the 17th century Stockport had become a centre of small domestic industries such as spinning, weaving, leather working, button making and hatting. Retail shops, stocking non-perishable goods and luxury items, grew in number while the market continued to thrive. It was famous for its local cheeses and cloth. During the 18th century, the town’s many inns remained a central part of its social life and economy with thirty-one inns recorded in the township in the

mid-1750s. The principle hostelry at this time was the White Lion Hotel on Great Underbank, which was Stockport’s main coaching inn and the venue for the Court Leet banquets. Winter’s Clock A key project is the restoration of Winters. ‘Winter’s’ is a local landmark which is renowned for its famous automaton clock feature, which includes three figures – a guardsman, sailor, and father time, clock and three bells. In its heyday the building was a jewellers acquired by Jacob Winter in 1890, a clock repairer who had moved into the area from London. The building was well located at the time to capitalise from passing trade along the Old Road to London. A Market Town Stockport was granted its Market Charter in 1260 and developed through the medieval period as a prosperous market town. The Market Place was served by a network of roads which converged on the Market Place, connecting to a nearby bridging point over the river Mersey, one of only three along the entire length of the Mersey in the medieval period. A factor which must have contributed to the commercial success of the town. Find out more about Stockport’s historic Underbank area: xw


s e l c i h e V c i s s Cla Fair D

espite dire weather warnings, Stockport’s annual celebration of classic cars and motorbikes escaped the worst of the rain. Timed, as usual, to coincide with the August edition of the Vintage Village the Marketplace became a retro-wonderland with as many people looking the part as vehicles. Some particularly special old cars don’t venture out when the weather isn’t perfect but plenty did appear, attracting the usual levels of interest.




Business and Professional Training at Stockport College


tockport College has delivered business training and apprenticeship programmes to organisations across Greater Manchester for over 20 years and built from this success the college has recently launched its new Business School. Specialising in AAT, CIPD, leadership and management (ILM), business skills, customer service, teacher training, and purchasing & supply (CIPS) training, the TCG Business School brings together the best professional training from both Stockport College and Trafford College following the merger of the two organisations in April last year. The new Business School offers the opportunity for individuals or organisations to benefit from training being delivered at their place of work or at the college’s own training facilities which are being enhanced as part of a £23m campus redevelopment programme. Workplace training can be tailored to your organisation’s needs resulting in a bespoke programme that can be adjusted not just to your industry sector but to the different levels of your staffing structure from the shop floor to the boardroom.

Bespoke training packages can be developed for as few as six people, for example a single department or your executive team; or for multiple departments on a rolling programme. This approach not only delivers a training programme unique to you but is also an affordable way of training higher numbers of people. For individual training requirements the Business School offers the flexibility and to undertake training on our premises where you can meet, network and learn from like-minded individuals in different industry sectors. The quality of the training programmes and professional qualifications delivered at the Business School are the result of a dedicated and experienced team of training practitioners who use their knowledge and passion to deliver training that can be applied immediately within the workplace enabling a maximum return on investment. With purpose built learning facilities easily accessible by local transport as well as free parking, we can accommodate training in short course programmes as well as professional qualifications. For more info: or call 0161 886 7641

t r o p k c o St T

he weather wasn’t kind to this year’s Stockport Pride but that didn’t stop hundreds of people turning up for what was the third such event, a fun-packed celebration of equality and inclusion. Last year saw the introduction of a parade to Stockport Pride and this year, despite the drizzle, it was even bigger and better. The parade began at The Light Cinema and headed through Suffragette Square, down Princes Street, along Merseyway and up to the historic Marketplace. The spectacular centrepiece of the march was a 30m long rainbow flag, originally created by American artist and gay rights activist Gilbert Baker. The flag is on a whirlwind tour of the UK, having arrived in Stockport between visits to Norwich Pride and Belfast Pride. The focus of attention for the rest of the day was in the Marketplace where there was a variety of entertainment on the Martyn Hett Stage as will as dozens of stalls run by local community groups and charities.






Since April 2017, Stockport’s Business Improvement District (BID) and the team at Totally Stockport have been working hard to support the businesses and shops already here by addressing common issues – parking, security, the overall experience and to attract even more people into the town centre by creating not just great events, but giant events.

rs to si vi w ne g in ct ra tt a is rt po Stock In November 2018, Totally Stockport installed free Wi-Fi across the BID area, improving the visitor experience for over 12,000 current registered users and providing valuable, anonymous data enabling us to record the number of visitors – new and returning. From data captured in April 2019 to end July 2019, we have seen a steady increase in weekly footfall of over 40,000 from 249,000 to 292,000 The opening of the Produce Hall and the Easter and May holiday periods account for an earlier increase in footfall but by far the biggest increase in footfall has been down to Stockport’s first and fantastic giant frog art trail – read more in this magazine and find out about 4 new frogs that have hopped into join the other 19! At Redrock, there is a renewed excitement in family dining, drinking, leisure and entertainment. The Light cinema is the group’s best

performing in the UK and has already added two new screens and a dedicated corporate events space.

The Produce Hall’s array of food from around the world sets an international vibe; the numerous new bars and restaurants around the Market Place are proving popular with shoppers, workers and visitors The award winning Holiday Inn Express is the best performing in the country with near maximum capacity daily and has recently beaten its continental rivals to win the European crown for customer service.

What’s next?

Totally Stockport Food & Drink Festival 6th – 8th September Celebrating all things delicious in Stockport Visitors will be treated to three days of tasty treats and tempting delights from over 70 traders, from jams to jalapenos, burgers to bagels, chipolatas to chorizo – something for all the family including the Strawberry Sounds stage on Mersey Square. Read more on pages 18 & 19 This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase all the great food & drink businesses in Stockport. If you’d like to get involved contact Jackie Casey on 0161 478 6060 or email: Stockport’s Food & drink Festival is organised in partnership with Totally Stockport, Market Place Europe, Stockport Council and Merseyway Shopping Centre To find out more about how Totally Stockport is working for you and to find out how you can get involved, please email or call the office on 0161 537 9382 Follow us on: Facebook - Instagram - totallystockport Twitter - @totallysk

Have your say on Stockport

Totally Stockport are hosting a series of steering groups to plan future projects. If your business is in the town centre and you’d like to get involved, please email or call 0161 537 9382

perience as a customer to town centre and how can this improve’

The groups are based around our areas of focus: Experience Stockport – ‘What is my ex-

Business and Digital Stockport – ‘How do we work with Town Centre Business and adapt for the change ahead’.

Dates for your Diary

Business Watch & Licence Watch: 3rd September 24th September 29th October 26th November 10am – 11.30am at the Light cinema

Marketing Stockport – ‘How are we marketing the changes in town and the future plan’

It’s Christmas! A few dates to remember with more exciting things to follow Saturday 15th November Christmas Light Switch on Saturday 7th December & Sunday 8th December & Sunday 15th December Santa’s Grotto in Merseyway Sunday 8th December Ice Sculpture trail and Santa Train Saturday 14th December Santa’s Grotto in Merseyway Sunday 15th December Ice Sculpture trail and Santa Train


The Building Society that is ‘Totally Stockport’


ur local independent retailers provide a great antidote to frustrating impersonal automated telephone answering systems. If you value a personalised approach for your mortgages and savings then you’ll appreciate Stockport based Vernon Building Society which provides the individual care and attention to its customers that has been sadly lacking from many other businesses. The Vernon’s promise to its existing and future customers is to approach every individual’s situation with a personal attitude, understanding their circumstances (which can sometimes be quite unconventional) and then trying to say ‘yes’ – particularly important for those applying for a mortgage! The Vernon has been on the local landscape for 95 years this year which is fitting because at the time of writing this article they have a 95% five year fixed rate mortgage aimed at first time buyers that has reached the top of the best buy tables for England and Wales. Of the 13 financial mutuals founded in the town, only the Vernon remains, serving the Stockport area with its six local branches. The Vernon’s vision is clear: to be the first choice for mortgages, savings and employment in Stockport. To help achieve this it caters for a broad section of the mortgage market, including retirement, self-build and buy to let mortgages as well as the more conventional residential mortgages for home buyers and those remortgaging. Unlike most mortgage lenders the Vernon’s experienced advisers and underwriters take time to understand a borrower’s individual situation, which can sometimes be quite complicated. This means they can agree unusual cases which would immediately be rejected by others. The Vernon employs local staff who know the area (and many of their customers) personally and mortgage advisers are available in each of the Vernon’s branches. With no call centres or automated answering systems, callers go straight through to the relevant branch or department, meaning they can quickly speak to the person they need. The Society makes a valuable contribution towards local causes - their Community Awards initiative has donated over £70,000 to a variety of local charity and community groups in the last 7 years making a lasting impact on the Stockport community. For more information about Stockport’s Vernon Building Society visit, call into any of their six branches or contact their Head Office on 0161 429 6262.

Vernon Finance Director Judith holding the award for best savings provider 2019


What’s On Fri 23 August 10am - 5pm and throughout the Summer

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

Sun 25th August 10am - 11.30pm

Roughleys Bike Show

St Petersgate Bikes, bands and a whole lot more! And all for charity. £3

Wed 4 September 1.30pm - 4pm

Tea Dance

(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

Fri 23 August 10am - 5pm

Fri 6 - Sun 8 September

Hat Works Museum A self guided activity trail. Collect your discovery pack, full of ideas and activities to help you enjoy your visit to the museum. Suitable for ages 6+. Younger children may require adult help. £3

Stockport town centre A 3 day festival of food and drink with over 70 traders. A live Cookery Theatre on Saturday 7 September with TV chef Simon Rimmer. Mr Bloom and his vegetables will be around on Sunday See pages 17-20 for more info

The Great Hat Works Hat Hunt

Fri 23 August 12pm - 4pm

Emergency Services Day

St Peter’s Square Pop along to meet the emergency services and enjoy mascots, face painting, competitions plus many more stalls and attractions Fri 23 August 1pm - 5pm and throughout the Summer

Household helpers trail

Staircase House Looking after Stockport’s oldest town house was hard work. Find the figures hiding in the House and discover what life was like for the servants who once lived here. Suitable for all ages. £1 per trail Fri 23 August 2pm - 4pm

Flower painting with a difference workshop

Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Join Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery artist, Bee Morrison, for this 2 hour workshop to re-create a style of painting using pen, watercolour and collage. Materials provided include Daniel Smith watercolour dot cards and watercolour paper taster packs. Suitable for all levels Age: 16 and over Price: £5 suggested donation Booking essential

Stockport Food & Drink Festival 2019

Tue 27 August 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

Sat 7 & Sun 8 September 10am - 6pm

Mind, Body and Spirit

Stockport Masonic Guildhall 169-171 Wellington Road South Over 50 exhibitors, including over 30 workshop talks and demonstrations of mediumship. £4. Concessions £3.50. Full weekend pass £6 or £7 on the day

Thu 29 August 7.30pm - 10pm

Sat 7 September 10am - 6pm

(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

Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Explore the creative possibilities of joining pieces of fabric together to produce a picture with Teresa Sutcliffe. Please bring an image along for inspiration or use one of the images provided on the day. Fabric, yarn and some equipment provided. Please bring some needles and thread and a small pair of scissors. Suitable for ages 16+ and all abilities. Booking essential. Email or call 07776 352901 £35

Sing with Crystal Chords

Introduction to textile collage

Fri 30 August 6pm - 9pm

Sat 7 - 14 September 7.30pm

Stockport Market Street food, craft ales, live music and hundreds of people.

Garrick Theatre A poignant and bitter-sweet story about four generations of women exploring the immense social changes of the twentieth century. Set in various

Foodie Friday!

My Mother Said I Never Should

locations including our own Cheadle Hulme, Moss Side and Oldham as well as London. Sun 8 September 10am - 4pm

Vintage Village

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 September 1.30pm - 4pm

Hatting walk

Hat Works Museum Walk in the footsteps of hatters with hatting expert Sue Lea. This popular guided walk takes in the key sites and characters that played a part in Stockport’s hat trade. Don’t forget to wear your comfy shoes and dress for whatever the great British weather has in store. Meet at the Hat Works. Suitable for adults aged 10 and over. £8 Booking essential Tue 10 September 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 Tue 10 September 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

What’s On


All the big events in and around the centre of Stockport up until the end of November. Keep up-todate with what’s going on at www.totallystockport. existing Stockport foster carer about their experiences of fostering. More info: 0161 474 3400. Wed 11 September 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. Wed 11 September 7pm - 8.30pm

Explorer tunnel tours

Air Raid Shelters Take an evening tour around the shelters and see the extent of Stockport’s air raid preparations. Visit areas not usually open to the public, including unlit and reinforced tunnelling. Suitable for adults and children aged 11 and over. Booking essential Adults £6.50, concessions/under 16’s £5.50 0161 474 1940 Thu 12 September 6pm - 10pm

Museum late - screen printing

Hat Works Museum Screen print a design onto a cloth bag. Suitable for ages 18+. Booking essential: call 0161 474 2399. £7.50 Thu 12 September 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Childminding information session

Room 206, Stockport Town Hall Do you have a passion for working with children and their families? Would you like to work from home and own your own business with a flexible role that works around your family? Childminding could be for you. For more information visit Free Fri 13 September 1pm - 1.30pm

Object of the Month:

Town Crier’s Bell

Stockport Museum Meet in the browse area of the museum at 1pm Free Fri 13 September 10.30am-4pm Sat 14 September 10.30am-4pm

Garrick Theatre Open Day

Garrick Theatre Guided theatre tours every half hour Sat only: history slide presentation & 2pm. During the tour you’ll be able to see all accessible areas of the theatre, and see how shows are put together. The theatre is in an old mill building which they acquired in 1920, it has many rooms where they keep lots of theatrical paraphernalia. There is a bar and coffee lounge but no disabled access. Free Fri 13 September 9pm - 1am

Night Owl Soul Club

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 Sat 14 September 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 14 September 7.45pm

Cheshire Theatre School Present: A Million Dreams Stockport Plaza An eclectic journey through the decades to present day From dancing teddy bears to daring circus folk there will be something for everyone!

Sun 15 September

Big Stockport Family Fun Run Frog Dash See Page 16 for details

Sun 15 September from 11am

Heritage Open Day

Stockport Plaza The Plaza throws open her doors as part of the National Heritage Open Days for a full day of events and an opportunity for you to investigate behinds the scenes of our much loved Art Deco gem. Sun 15 September 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. Artist Judith Donaghy will take you through the process and learn techniques to achieve varied, lively and colourful paintings. All materials supplied. Refreshments available but please bring a packed lunch. Suitable for ages 16+ and all abilities Booking essential. Email or call 07886 338285. £45 Sun 15 September 4pm - 8pm

Live Pro Wrestling

Stockport Town Hall Family friendly live pro wrestling featuring former WWE superstar PAC - formerly known as Neville. In the main event former WWE Cruiserweight and NXT champion makes his debut as he goes to war with C.J. Banks. It’s an all British dream match that’s sure to have everyone on their feet. Suitable for all ages. £14. Concessions £10 Family of four £35

Stockport County Edgeley Park

Mon 26th August 3pm Stockport Co. v Chesterfield Tue 3rd September 7.45pm Stockport Co. v AFC Fylde Sat 14th September 3pm Stockport Co. v Aldershot Sat 28th September 3pm Stockport Co. v Torquay Utd Wed 9th October 7.45pm Stockport Co. v Hartlepool Utd Sat 12th October 3pm Stockport Co. v Dagenham & Red Sat 2nd November 3pm Stockport Co. v Woking Sat 23rd November 3pm Stockport Co. v Ebbsfleet United 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: match-tickets Ticket prices: Adults £18 Concessions: £12 6-17: £5 5 and under: Free

Thu 19 September 7.30pm - 10pm

James Dowdeswell’s Pub Manifesto

Angel Inn, Market Place, SK1 1ES James is a comedian, actor and author who was brought up in a pub.


What’s On He’s a regular on the London comedy circuit and has appeared on numerous TV shows including Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC) and Extras (BBC) where he played the Count in the David Bowie episode. He’s the author of The Pub Manifesto: A Comedian Stands Up For Pubs. Free Tue 24 September 10am - 2pm

Stockport Jobs Fair

Stockport Town Hall There are over 500 jobs available for roles including: cleaning, contact centre, warehouse, drivers, HR, IT, care, security and hospitality. There are over 40 businesses recruiting in Stockport including: Vodafone, Manchester Airport Group, Sky, Lex Autolease, Alpha LSG and BUPA. Free Wed 25 September 7:30pm - 9pm

Put that light out!

Stockport Museum Meet our Air Raid Precaution Warden and be enlightened on the work and life of wardens in WWII. Handle authentic items which are not usually available to the general public and ask questions. Suitable for ages 11+. Booking essential: 0161 474 4444. £10 Thu 26 September 2pm - 2.30pm

Central Library Storytime

Stockport Central Library Stories, rhymes and songs suitable for pre-school children. Free Thu 26 September 7.30pm

An Evening with the Treble Winners of Manchester United

Stockport Plaza Three Manchester United legends are coming to The Plaza to talk about the most iconic season in the clubs history. 20 years ago at Camp Nou the Champions League Trophy was added to the Premier League and FA Cup. Alan Keegan, ‘The Voice of Old Trafford’ will host an unforgettable evening with Andrew Cole, Denis Irwin and David

May as they recall their own stories and personal memories of the all-conquering 1998/99 season. This unique event will offer a VIP meet and greet and photo opportunity before the show. Check box office for details. Fri 27 September 10am - 12pm

Mad Hatters art and crafts club

Hat Works An action packed session of arts and crafts with the emphasis on fun and age ability appropriate crafts. Dress to get messy. Suitable for children aged 2 to 5 years. Booking essential. 0161 474 2399. £6 per child (max of two adults free) Fri 27 September 2pm - 4pm

‘Trees in the Landscape’ Ink and Stick Workshop

Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Using a Chinese-style pen handmade by artist Bee Morrison from black bamboo plants and working with original Chinese ink, you will be exploring how to create original landscapes filled with trees! Materials provided. Suitable for all levels. Age: 16 and over booking essential: 0161 474 4453 £5 suggested donation Fri 27 September 6pm - 9pm

Mercury Climbing

Various venues See page 22 for details Fri 27 September 6pm - 9pm

Foodie Friday!

Stockport Market Street food, craft ales, live music and hundreds of people. Sat 28 September 7.45pm

Disco Fever Live: With Boney M, Jaki Graham & Funky Town

Stockport Plaza The legendary Boney M and Jaki Graham are joined by The Funky Town Disco band and the Legendary Leroy Lurve to complete this night of disco magic.

Sun 29 September 12pm - 2.30pm

Wedding Fayre

Stockport Masonic Guildhall, 169-171 Wellington Road South If you’re planning a wedding, celebration, christening or party you’re sure to find what you need here. There are stalls for all events, discounts, offers, samples and more. Free

The course will cover millinery techniques such as blocking, wiring, finishing and trimming. Students will aim to make a finished percher hat. Suitable for adults. Booking essential. £100 Sun 6 October 10am - 4pm

Stockport Book and Record Fair

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

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. Live music will be provided by local band, Pigs Can Fly and the Oak Tree Café will be open in the Market Hall. £5 at 9am - Free after 10am

Mon 30 September 7.30pm - 10-30pm

Sun 6 October 10am - 4pm

Mon 30 September 12pm - 1pm

Lunchtime Wurlitzer Organ Concert

Social dance

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 Five week course beginning Wed 2 October 1.30pm - 4pm

Fabric hats: A very skilful art

Hat Works Museum Tutor: Lorna Young A 5 week course focusing on blocking foundation fabrics such as buckram. This technique provides a wonderful lightweight but stable base that can be covered in a variety of ways.

The Talking Pictures TV 6th Festival of Film

Stockport Plaza This memorable event will include a variety of films, shorts and celebrity guests from the world of film and the eras we all love, on stage throughout the day, all included in the ticket price! A truly great day out for fans of British film and TV from the 40s, 50s and 60s. £20 Thu 10 October 6:30pm - 11:59pm

Stockport Business Awards

Stockport Town Hall The Stockport Business Awards is an event organised by Clarke Nicklin Chartered Accountants, with the aim of celebrating business excellence within Stockport and continue to grow the business community in the area. To book tickets call 0161 495 4700 or email £95 Fri 11 October 1pm - 1.30pm

Object of the Month: Trevor Grimshaw print ‘The Viaduct’ Stockport Museum Meet in the browse area of the museum at 1pm Free

What’s On


All the big events in and around the centre of Stockport up until the end of November. Keep up-todate with what’s going on at www.totallystockport.

Sat 12 October 7pm

Thu 17 October 7.30pm


Stockport Plaza The evening begins with you learning how to use your free interactive prop bag and how to hand jive. Then sit back and watch Danny & Sandy and the gang, while singing and dancing along to the lyrics as shown on the screen. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged and full audience participation essential. Sat 12 October 7.30pm

Stockport Symphony Orchestra

Stockport Town Hall Arnold: Peterloo Overture Brahms: Double Concerto Prokofiev: Symphony no 5 Conductor Rob Guy Info: Sat 12 - 19 October 7.30pm

Romeo and Juliet

Garrick Theatre Sat 12 October 10am - 12pm

Crafty Saturday

Staircase House Make salt dough and discover ways to colour and decorate it. Spell your name or make ornaments to take home. Suitable for ages 5+. Booking essential £5 Sun 13 October 10am - 4pm

Vintage Village

Stockport Covered Market Hall Vintage clothing and accessories for men and women, vintage jewellery, homewares, decorative items, textiles, luggage, furniture and collectables. £2. Concessions £1.50. Under 12’s free

Sun 3 November 2pm

Don’t Panic!

Stockport Plaza A variety tribute show in the style of Dads Army, set during the Second World War and including magic and human puppetry Thu 24 October 11am - 12pm

Crime and Punishment

Staircase House Discover gruesome deeds and how the guilty were punished. An interactive child friendly family event. Suitable for ages 7+. Booking essential: 0161 474 4444. £3 Fri 25 October 6pm - 9pm

Foodie Friday!

Stockport Market Street food, craft ales, live music and hundreds of people. Tue 29 October 2pm - 4pm

Hocus Pocus family Halloween party

Stockport Guildhall A party that’s suitable for the whole family with three special guests to sing and entertain you. Child £10, adult £5 Thu 31 October 7.30pm

Halloween Special: From Dusk Till Dawn

Stockport Plaza After kidnapping a father and his two children, the Geckos head south to a seedy Mexican bar to hide out in safety. But, when they face the bar’s truly notorious clientele, they’re forced to team up with their hostages to make it out alive! Cert 18

Festival of Remembrance

Stockport Plaza 2005 brought the reintroduction, after a thirteen year absence, of The North West Festival of Remembrance and after the resounding success of this show the Festival has been staged at the Plaza every November. The concert will feature songs and big band numbers from the War periods and will include the standards and representatives from many of the Services that saw conflict. Mon 4 November 10:30am - 11:30am

Reading Friends

Stockport Central Library Bringing people together to read, share stories, meet new friends and have fun. Using reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else – to start everyone chatting. Everyone is welcome. Free Fri 8 November 2pm - 4pm

Create jewellery in pewter

Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Artist Bee Morrison introduces you to the Art of Pewtercraft, helping you design your own brooch or pendant made from thin pewter sheet using simple tools to produce a raised design. Materials provided Suitable for all levels, 16 and over Booking essential: 0161 474 4453 £5 suggested donation Fri 9 November 7.30pm

Stockport Symphony Orchestra

Stockport Town Hall Bloch: Schelomo Mahler: Symphony no 5 Conductor Mark Heron Info:

Sun 10 November 10am - 4pm

Vintage Village

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 Sat 12-16 November 7.30pm

A Steady Rain

Garrick Theatre Two Chicago policemen discuss their role in a traumatic case in which they inadvertently return a Vietnamese boy to a cannibalistic serial killer claiming to be the child’s uncle. Strong language and adult themes. Saturday 15th November

Christmas Light Switch on

Merseyway Keep a look out for the line up of stars who will be switching on the Stockport lights this year. Sat 16th November 9am - 3.30pm

Antique and collectors fair Stockport Town Hall See 14th September for details

Tue 19 November 4.30pm - 7pm

Grow your new business 1-2-1 advice Stockport Central Library As 10th September

Fri 29 November 6pm - 9pm

Foodie Friday!

Stockport Market Street food, craft ales, live music and hundreds of people.

Key contact details The Hat Works

Wellington Mill Wellington Road South Stockport SK3 0EU 0161 474 2399

The Plaza

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


Totally Stockport Magazine Issue 9  

Everything thats great in Stockport Town Centre, Whats On and Whats New

Totally Stockport Magazine Issue 9  

Everything thats great in Stockport Town Centre, Whats On and Whats New