Victoria Market, Trinity Street Stalybridge

Victoria Market Hall, Trinity Street, Stalybridge
Victoria Market Hall, Trinity Street, Stalybridge

The beautiful Stalybridge Market Hall, as I remember it; full of people inside and out. I grew up in Dukinfield in the 1970s & early 1980s and for me, a trip to Stalybridge on a Saturday afternoon was a treat, only allowed if, my room was tidy. We’d go to the library and change our books, have a wander around the Market Hall and buy whatever we needed; often books from the second hand book stall (anyone remember what it was called?) and then best of all a trip to the cafe for a cream cake. Another stall I remember fondly was a clothes stall on the outside Market, the buyer had great taste (in my young teenage opinion) I think it was called Fizz and sold clothes with the label “Honey”.

Obviously my memory is in colour…

For those interested in history….

The original Stalybridge Market was built in 1831 and was under The Town Hall (now demolished). Work on the Victoria Market (above) started in 1866 and the Market was formally opened 18 July 1868, by the Mayor of Stalybridge, James Kirk, Esq. The total cost of the Victoria Market was £8969.

From my understanding the Victoria Market then carried on happily until Tameside Council tried to “improve it” in the 1990s…

Perhaps it wasn’t Tameside’s Hubris or desire for a grand Civic Hall that closed the market, perhaps it is a story of the inevitable decline of regional shopping centers in general or perhaps it was a deal behind closed doors with TESCO…who knows what goes on in the ivory towers in Ashton…

Moving on to 2014 and we once again had the doors of the Victoria Market open thanks to MWL Events and their regular Handmade Market and also events like the Stalybridge Motorcycle show and the Tameside Beer Festival.

Here are photos of the beautiful interior taken during one of the regular Handmade Markets of 2014. Thanks to Katherine Brooks of MWL Events for these photos. I love the view of the ceiling in the second picture.

Stalybridge Handmade Market in the beautiful Stalybridge Civic Hall @MWL Events


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Stalybridge Handmade Market in the beautiful Stalybridge Civic Hall @MWL Events

Moving on to 2015 we had the sad news that the use of the Civic Hall is once again “under review” by Tameside. First Tameside Council planned to requisition it for offices, then Councillor Sweeton said: “We are thrilled that the Council have listened to the people of Stalybridge, who clearly value this space a great deal. We are delighted that much loved events like the Handmade Market, Beer Festival, Horticulture Show and bloodbank service will now be offered the chance to continue to run in the Civic Hall.” See Stuart Valantine’s excellent blogpost.  (I think there were issues with listed building consent to the alterations planned rather than “listening to the people of Stalybridge” ) but it was good news none the less. BUT now we find that the fabulous MWL Events cannot get confirmation from Tameside Council for dates we are told that the Hall’s use is once more “under review”…

I have to say – please don’t mess it up again Tameside – we love our Market Hall and want it used more, not less…

Victoria Market, Trinity Street Stalybridge. Also showing the rooftop of the British Restaurant, Trinity Street.
Victoria Market, Trinity Street Stalybridge.  Also showing the curved rooftop of the British Restaurant,              Trinity Street.


6 thoughts on “Victoria Market, Trinity Street Stalybridge

  1. cockerhill January 5, 2015 / 11:23 am

    From memory, the council initially shut the front door on the Market Hall in the early 1990s. They redesigned the traffic flow away from the market and paved the front (where the outside market on the picture above) and possibly cleaned the exterior. This meant that shoppers had to walk round to the rear entrance of the Market Hall and that combined with the lack of outside market massively reduced the footfall into the market and reduced the number of traders…Those loyal traders remaining were then forced out of the Market while the interior was updated and all the lovely girders at the top were painted. As with the improvements to the front of the Market Hall the interior improvements took awhile… When all was complete and shinning bright Tameside Council decided not to re open it as a Market Hall and told the traders that it was not viable; this decision appears to have been based on the takings of previous years (when the front of the Market was a building site and shoppers couldn’t get in)… Tameside Council then announced the bright idea of remodeling the now shining Market Hall and re-branding it the Civic Hall to provide a flagship civic space to attract visitors from far and wide…which didn’t quite work…It seems a shame I wonder if the Market, and therefore the whole Market Town would have fared better without it ever closing for refurbishment…

    On the upside though, the Handmade Market has been fab and it would be possibly even better than a permanent market to have regular specialist markets in there…

  2. chris longden January 15, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    Thanks to my good pal Stuart Vallantine for drawing my attention to this excellent article. My GGG Grandad Robert Stanley (former Mayor of S/B) was on the planning committee for the market hall. Even before I knew this I spent many Saturdays (and after-school time-fillers) in the market hall scoffing dazzle drops and sipping hot vimtos.

    Market Hall is a legend. Recently I met a woman in UAE who used to help her dad on the underwear stall on the regular outside market, back in the early 80s.

    A framed photo of the market hall takes pride of place in my home in west Yorkshire (yes I defected… but only slightly…) and my first fiction book (a northern comedy) of course… features S/B and its shopping traditions!

    Please drag me into any forum that seeks to preserve this incredible building and S/B pride!

    • cockerhill January 15, 2015 / 3:29 pm

      Thanks, wow that is a long history, GGG Grandad did a great job – the building is gorgeous, I have always loved it. Yes I’ll keep you posted. The latest on the Market Hall it is available for rent BUT the council is reviewing their policy for Independent Markets…so we might not get anyone to fill it. Thanks for your comment – I’m off to look at your blog now.

  3. Mike October 27, 2015 / 1:08 pm

    I remember that secondhand bookshop! It was called Paul’s Books, and I used to be in there at least twice a week. I bought pretty much the entire Ian Fleming Bond collection for about 10p each in the early 80s. There was a baked potato place out front too, facing the fish market, and a little cafe at the back where they did toasted currant teacakes with butter and a cup of coffee for 35p; not that I went there a lot during my West Hill days at lunch time 🙂

    • Stephanie April 2, 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Hi Mike, sorry I missed your comment before. I remember Paul’s books too. It was where most of my pocket money went!

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