What the locals really think of Hale

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 October 2015

Clock tower by the rail station

Clock tower by the rail station


There’s always something happening in the urban village of Hale, writes Rebekka O’Grady

Louise Duerr at G.I.F.T.Louise Duerr at G.I.F.T.

When her company went into liquidation two years ago, Louise Duerr didn’t let it get her down. ‘I had run a food manufacturing business since 1983.Unfortunately as a result of paying off loans, I had to sell my home on Victoria Road.’ At this stage, the majority of us would have crumbled. However, Louise used the money she had left to start something new.

‘I had always fancied the idea of becoming a shopkeeper. I have never been involved in retail before, but I liked quirky shops that you see in the likes of Brighton and London and saw a gap in the market for something here in Hale.’

Louise, pictured above, opened G.I.F.T. (Great Ideas, Fabulous Things) in November 2014, on the site of the old Jackson Stops and Staff office in Millfield Court. However, this isn’t just your typical gift store. Although it is packed with gorgeous items to browse, Louise also provides a service to help those who perhaps may be too busy to shop for loved ones, or just need a helping handing picking that something special.

‘It’s a one stop gift shop, where essentially you can purchase, wrap and then send the gift,’ explained Louise. ‘People email me with details such as how much they would like to spend, the type of present they are after or information about the recipient. I will then take a photograph of a few ideas so they can choose, before I gift wrap and sent it on with a card.’

G.I.F.T. offers the client the benefits of shopping online but still retains a personal touch. Louise says the feedback has been really positive and that she couldn’t have hoped for a better start to a new business.

‘I want to cover all ages, from newborn to grandparents. The items you purchase here aren’t run of the mill, they’re something different. In the future I would like to move to a bigger shop in Hale, as I’m always seeing new things to stock but am restricted by space.’

Hale Library Customer Services Advisors, Jane Bradford and Lorraine Woolstenholme with Mrs Gazala Choudhry and twins, Noor and Anaya (aged 10) from HaleHale Library Customer Services Advisors, Jane Bradford and Lorraine Woolstenholme with Mrs Gazala Choudhry and twins, Noor and Anaya (aged 10) from Hale

Library’s new chapter

Some people say that libraries are a thing of the past, but for the residents of Hale, their library is very much a part of their future. Following the library service budget consultation earlier this year, an ambitious bid by Hale Community Trust, a group of active local residents working together with Hillcrest Homes, will see a new library being built in Hale.

This new project will secure the future of library and community facilities on Leigh Road in Hale. Sarah Curran, head of customer service at Trafford Council, said: ‘Discussions are on-going and plans will be subject to appropriate planning permission, but it is an exciting time for Hale residents. The local new, modern facilities, which can be enjoyed by everyone, will help reinforce strong communities and provide opportunities for the next generation.’

The bid involves the purchase of the current library site, together with the purchase of the freehold of the pavilion building off Ashley Road. A community charity trust would run the toilets, pavilion and other community assets.

Councillor Alex Williams, an executive member leading on the project, said: ‘By working with and supporting groups of enthusiastic, determined people, we can help bring their visions to improve and maintain important community facilities such as these to fruition.’ w

Five historic nuggets about Hale

The first settlements in Hale were probably in the 7th century. The name derives from the Saxon word ‘halh’, meaning nook or shelter. Towards the end of Saxon times, Hale, along with Dunham and Bowdon, belonged to a thegn called Aelfward

Hale is one of the few Cheshire places still to be called by exactly the same name as it was in the Domesday Book

Hale Barns cricket club was formed in 1947, by a number of ex-servicemen whose previous clubs had either disappeared or ceased to function during World War 2

The Cheshire Midland Railway opened from Altrincham to Knutsford in 1862, with a station in Hale named Peel Causeway. It was the arrival of the railway in Hale in the mid-19th century that prompted the change from an agricultural village to a commuter area for middle class merchants working in the city

Royd House on Hale Road is a Grade I listed building designed by the architect Edgar Wood and built by him as his home. It is regarded as one of the most advanced examples of early-20th century domestic architecture and is referenced in a number of architectural digests.

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