Last Minute Christmas from Independent Urmston

There are only a few days left to get your Christmas fripperies from Urmston’s independent businesses.    From Station Road to Church Road, from the market to Flixton Road you can find some lovely things and support your local economy.

I’ve previously posted about some gift opportunities, but here are a few things I’ve spotted in the past few days:

Free!

Frances in the bookshop has prepared some lovely snacks for hungry reindeer.  Get down there and get yours now.

Free reindeer food from Urmston Bookshop on Flixton Road.

Free reindeer food from Urmston Bookshop on Flixton Road.

Cheap as chips

Traditional Scottish tablet from Candy Stripes sweet shop on Flixton Road.  Why not buy some for Hogmanay?

Traditional Scottish tablet from Candy Stripes sweet shop on Flixton Road. Why not buy some for Hogmanay?

After you pick up your free reindeer food you can trot over the road to Candy Stripes, the newly-opened sweet shop on Flixton Road.  Sandra has many sweet treats and Christmas indulgences for you.

Pear drops from Candy Stripes sweet shop on Flixton Rd.  The vintage Santa is from Mrs M Vintage, just across the road.

Pear drops from Candy Stripes sweet shop on Flixton Rd. The vintage Santa is from Mrs M Vintage, just across the road.

Say it with flowers

I got some last minute flowers from the market; there is also Floribunda on Flixton Road.  While I was there I got two jars of jam – mulled wine and pink champagne.

Flowers from Urmston Market.

Flowers from Urmston Market.

Costly but covetable

This limited edition bike costs £300 from Eddie McGrath on Station Road.

This limited edition bike costs £300 from Eddie McGrath on Station Road.

At £300 this bike is no stocking filler but it’s a limited edition design classic commemorating 70 years of the Beano.  Get it from Eddie McGrath Cycles on Station Road.

Finally, all that remains is for me to wish all the readers of this blog a very festive winter break and a Happy New Year when it comes.  Thank you for reading this blog in 2013 and please carry on in 2014.

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Use it or lose it …

I haven’t the talent to say what follows any more eloquently than the articles I have linked to, but I do recommend you read on …

Use this on Facebook to spread the word about Urmston Independents.

Use this on Facebook to spread the word about Urmston Independents.

The first is a poignant description from Manchester Confidential of Stretford Mall in what is described as its dying days.

The second is a more positive piece from last Saturday’s Guardian giving Seven Reasons to Shop Local.

Some striking quotes from the article:

“Clare Rayner of Retail Champion says: “Christmas sales can account for between a third and nearly two-thirds of a retailer’s annual turnover. A bad Christmas can mark disaster for a small business. Sadly, it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’.””

and

“Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.”

If you think the demise of independent shops won’t affect you, think again, because:

“High streets populated with thriving independent businesses boost the prices of nearby homes, according to a recent study. The research by American Express found that house prices near a prosperous town centre have risen by an average of £40,000 more over the past decade than other properties.”

Please read the articles and if they inspire you to shop indie more often, you could make a note of Urmston Market’s Christmas Fair this Saturday, 14th December.  With everything from artisan jams to festive wreaths, Christmas jumpers, crafts, sweet treats and gorgeous homewares, it has a lot to offer and it needs our support.

Independent Christmas, Direct from Urmston

Can Urmston’s independent businesses supply everything you need for merriment and marvellousness this Christmas?  Yes indeed they can!

Christmas cuteness from Mrs M Vintage on Flixton Rd.

Christmas cuteness from Mrs M Vintage on Flixton Rd.


Forget battling the thronging masses at the Traffic Centre: supporting 
independent businesses in Urmston can put the fun back into your festive gift hunt.  Read on for the low-down on Christmas gifts, decorations and and festive trimmings from around Urmston.

Cards and Decorations

Card World on Crofts Bank Road has a keenly-priced range of quality cards and gift-wrap.  As well as multi-packs, they stock ‘Merry Christmas from Urmston’ and a range of religious cards.

Christmas tree bunting from Belle Amour Home on Urmston Market

Christmas tree bunting from Belle Amour Home on Urmston Market

Next, decorations.  I got three metres of charming, Christmas tree bunting from Belle Amour Home on Urmston Market for £8.  Mrs M Vintage has some beautiful, 1950s original baubles and some other vintage-style decorations.

The haberdashery stall on 
Urmston Market has some lovely Christmas ribbons and trimmings for wrapping and decoration.

Gifts

Here is the news just in from the North Pole: women don’t want to receive a loganberry and courgette foot scrub any more than men want an over-packaged box of ‘golf lovers’/ car lovers’/ garden lover’s’ mugs, flannels or other random items that might as well be labelled ‘nobody wants this’.  It’s not difficult to find quirky, beautiful gifts in Urmston’s independent shops.

This Love Urmston print by Jocelyn Wright is available at Urmston Bookshop.

Local designer Jocelyn Wright supplies some beautiful prints  – her Love Urmston print (above) is a must for the stylish Urmstonite.  You can buy from her website or from Urmston Bookshop.

Speaking of Urmston Bookshop, it was from this very lovely shop that writer, campaigner and darling of the Davyhulme set Jayne Dillon launched her debut book: Jessi-cat: the Cat that Unlocked a Young Boy’s Heart.  Jayne describes how her fabulous cat helped her young son begin to overcome selective mutism, won the Cats Protection League Cat of the Year award and went on to achieve global media recognition.  The book was published in August, quickly appeared on the Sunday Times Bestsellers List and since then has been translated into many languages.

I should mention that I am biased because I am mentioned by name in the book and I am also a personal friend of the author.  No matter: it’s a great book with an charmingly heart-warming tale and I recommend Jayne as a writer AND a friend (you can follow her on Twitter if you want to give that a go).  Books make fantastic Christmas gifts and buying a local author’s book at your independent bookshop is a nice way to support the local economy.

Six is an Independent boutique on Station Road.

Buy stylish Christmas gifts and clothing at Six.

Other great places to buy gifts are Mrs M Vintage, Six, Woodaloo and Top Marks on Moorside Road.  For stocking fillers, why not fill a jar of sweets at Candy Stripes or buy some of their cute Christmas-themed sweetie gift bags?  A colourful plant from Floribunda or Parker’s Garden Centre makes a nice gift for a neighbour.

Experience,  Learning and Mollycoddling Gifts

Image

Buy gift vouchers for everything from manicures to matrix reimprinting at Salon Pierre.

This type of gift is generally well-received because it gives the recipient something they will actually use, supports the local economy and has a lower environmental footprint than the usual plastic-packaged bin-fodder offered by big chains.

Many local beauty salons offer seasonal
gift vouchers.  One example is Salon Pierre on Moorside Road, which is offering some fabulous bargains, from discounted eyelash extensions (yes, gentlemen, this is a real thing) to great deals on block bookings for facials.  You can get everything from a manicure to matrix reimprinting at Salon Pierre!  Ring salon owner Sharon Pierre on 0161 748 1213 she can advise you on what’s best to buy.

LAMs driving school offer Christmas gift vouchers for driving lessons, as do many other driving schools.  This is an excellent gift because learning to drive can be life-changing.

Photo courtesy of Marie's Bakehouse.

Photo courtesy of Marie’s Bakehouse.

Marie’s Bakehouse runs wildly popular cake baking and decorating classes, which range from modelling a mermaid cake to cupcake masterclasses.  I shall be posting full dates for Marie’s classes at a later date, but a good one to book as a Christmas gift would be the adult beginner’s cupcake class on Monday, 20th January at 7.30-9.30pm (£30 a head).  Classes can be booked through Marie’s website.

Cakes and other indulgences

We have more cake makers than bus stops in Urmston.  I cannot recommend any of them as I only ever eat lettuce, but you can find some of them on the Urmston Independents A-Z (and I’ll happily add any who care to contact me with their details).

Urmston Market’s Christmas Market on Saturday, 14th December promises to offer many foodie treats for hungry shoppers.

Christmas Cuppas

Judging by the proliferation of independent cafes, if there’s one thing Urmston folk enjoy, it’s a nice cuppa (that and getting their nails done).  Lily’s at Eden Square has really pushed the festive boat out with lavish decorations and a menu of Christmassy specials.  You can also enjoy a relaxing break from Christmas shopping in the Garden Cafe, Appleby’s, or in Lily’s on Flixton Road, to name just a few.

Dressing for the season

What about all those Christmas parties?  If you’re a lover of luxe fashion on a budget, check out Scarlett’s Bazaar on Church Road, opposite Affordable Fancy Dress.  This little boutique offers an Aladdin’s cave of pre-loved designer, modern and vintage clothing and accessories at surprisingly low prices. You can also enlarge your repertoire of winter chic at Six on Station Road.  For party shoes or winter boots for those post-Christmas dinner strolls, visit Shoetique, on Railway Rd.  The Glass Slipper is sadly no longer open: use it or lose it!  For little ones, Budget Baby Boutique on Urmston Market is selling the cutest elf outfits and Santa suits for babies.

It is absolutely possible to buy all your Christmas presents from Urmston’s independent traders: there is nowhere better to buy unique, thoughtful, even quirky Christmas gifts than right here in Urmston.  I cannot cover everything that is available and if you have any Urmston gift tips, please post a comment.

Acknowledgements
Love Urmston print is published here courtesy of Jocelyn Wright.
Photo of Mrs M Vintage’s Christmas window published here courtesy of Mrs M Vintage.