Small independent shops and businesses play a vital part in attracting shoppers and visitors to local towns.

In Ashton over the years we’ve had and still have a diverse range of local independent shops to buy from and browse in.

Featured here are some of those gone but not forgotten stores of yesteryear, who in their own time were something different but very popular in their own way.

Based at the top of Stamford Street, Petite Feet was the go-to place for your youngsters shoes, school shoes, sandals, trainers and more. They stocked a large number of big brand names and had a specialised fitting service.

Also on Stamford Street was the long established store Auguste Interiors. Specialist quality items including blinds, made to measure curtains were the big draw of the store as well as high end fabrics, curtain rails and brackets.

A mainstay on George Street for many years was O’Briens Menswear. A real quality retail gent’s outfitters. The shop was famous for its stunning window displays with mannequins showing bespoke quality suits, shirts and ties.

Texas Chicken was a great addition to the stores on the Ladysmith Shopping Centre. A new and different place, this brightly-coloured food outlet catered for both eat in and takeaway food specialising in mainly fried and grilled chicken. There was also seating on two levels.

It has been several years since Marks & Spencers relocated to its present location on Ashton Moss. Can you remember the next store to move in to the Warrington Street location? It was the discount store Bargain Buys which opened to customers in December 2013. 

A favourite shop for clothes was Store 21 which was on the Ladysmith Shopping Centre. The store was a modern and quirky place popular with female shoppers which stocked all kinds of fashion items including blouses, leggings, lingerie and shoes.

Images and text by Howard Murphy.