Yvonne G. Rybka-Erskine - Why I Live in Marple Bridge

PUBLISHED: 11:11 10 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:54 16 February 2016

Yvonne Goldsmith-Rybka

Yvonne Goldsmith-Rybka


Yvonne G. Rybka Erskine, owner of the The Bay Horse, Manchester reveals to us why she’s settled in Maple Bridge.

Yvonne Goldsmith-RybkaYvonne Goldsmith-Rybka

Who am I?

My name is Yvonne G. Rybka Erskine and I have worked in the food and drink industry in Manchester for the past 15 years. I may have grown up in the South but I’m a fully fledged adopted Mancunian and now call this home. Since starting out in the business I’ve managed a few historic celeb haunts, for those of you old enough to remember – Reform and Lounge 10. I then opened one or two venues of my own – The Bay Horse, Soup Kitchen, and Thomas; all situated in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The latter two businesses have now been sold but I can still be found at The Bay Horse with business partner and best friend, Nicky. We own this together after ten years of successful trading.

Why Marple Bridge?

Over ten years ago my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to buy a property and picked up a load of brochures for houses in South Manchester as he was local to this area and works nearby. Being on the impulsive side, we chose the only house we loved out of about 50, purely on the way it looked. We had never actually heard of Marple Bridge and drove to take a look at the area that night. It had a very old fashioned, traditional postcard feel, with a railway station a couple of minutes away (a must as I didn’t drive then) and lots of green areas for our dogs. So we decided to put in an offer!

What sort of house is it?

We live in a four storey terraced town house built in the late 1800s. Being situated on the only main street of Marple Bridge (Town Street) it’s very bustly at the front. But all birds singing, church bells and trees are at the back so we get the best of both worlds!

Marple BridgeMarple Bridge

Favourite places to eat and drink

When we first moved here there were few places we enjoyed to eat and drink as it felt much “older” and we tended to travel into Manchester.

Over the past few years two main operators have made such a positive difference to the area- Justine and Dermot Sheedy named their first venue, Libby’s, after their youngest daughter. It’s a real family affair; what started out as a simple bakery has since doubled in size and now operates as a coffee shop by day and a casual restaurant by night.

Every single cake, pastry and loaf of bread is made fresh on the premises; they also blend their own coffee so it’s a real treat for all the hungry mums and families that fill Libby’s every day. The evening offer is tapas style with Mediterranean influences, all very colourful and tasty; prices are competitive and this value for money keeps the locals coming back!

Local brothers Paul and Matthew Dutson opened Dutson’s two years ago. It’s a high quality delicatessen and wine shop with adjoining café. Their choices of cheeses and wines especially are divine, I love their gorgonzola dolce for something a bit different. And a bottle of their Skillogalee Basket Pressed Shiraz from Clare Valley Australia would impress any dinner guest.

Staff member, Sara Sanchez at Libby's Bread and WineStaff member, Sara Sanchez at Libby's Bread and Wine

They have introduced popular monthly wine tastings which highlight their level of knowledge in this field, and do always ask their advice when shopping for wine as their recommendations are spot on!

Also you can’t go wrong if you just fancy a pint at The Royal Scot followed by a chippy dinner from Town Street Fryer – both worth a visit or two.

How do you wind down?

It is so easy to wind down in Marple Bridge as there are lots of green areas with all the parks, canals and farmland.

The scenery is breathtaking with views for many miles around, and the clear air is really needed after spending so much of my week working in central Manchester. We now have a very large dog, a Briard named Monty, who “takes me” on long walks. I also enjoy playing tennis with Derek Waterfield, my coach, at Brabyns Tennis Club every week.

Yvonne Goldsmith-Rybka at Libby's Bread and WineYvonne Goldsmith-Rybka at Libby's Bread and Wine

What are the shops like?

The good thing is there are a lot of shops on this small street with no empty units, so it feels like a very vibrant community. My favourite is Talisman Books, a proper bookshop full of great finds for any true book lover, with many first editions like my Hercule Poirot collection which increases weekly! Oh and there’s a great Post Office which I think every good town needs to function but unfortunately not many still have.

Is it a good place to work?

I have never worked in the area as it’s nice to work in Manchester city centre and then come back here to relax. I commute most days from Marple train station and it’s just over 20 minutes into Manchester Piccadilly.

Could anything improve Marple Bridge?

Brothers, Matthew and Paul Dutson discuss wine with Yvonne Goldsmith-Rybka at Dutsons Delicatessen and CafeBrothers, Matthew and Paul Dutson discuss wine with Yvonne Goldsmith-Rybka at Dutsons Delicatessen and Cafe

Although Marple Bridge is definitely an area on the up, some younger, creative independent businesses would improve the development of the area making it more of a destination for new visitors.

It would be lovely to see a high-end vintage shop with a hire section for special nights out. And a local butcher and greengrocer would be amazing; either that or the Dutson’s brothers could expand their shop to a full-on gourmet grocery store with fresh produce and meat? Just a thought!

What would be your perfect day in Marple Bridge?

A bright Spring day, preferably a Sunday, starting with a nice big walk with Monty and my family, maybe to The Roman Lakes or up to The Hare and Hounds in Glossop for some refreshments; followed by a browse in Dutson’s for some gorgeous cheese and wine to devour with the Sunday papers!

Would anything tempt you to move away?

Marple Bridge is just so convenient with everything we need on our doorstep; and our daughter’s school, Ludworth Primary, is fantastic, so it would be good to see through her last three years there. We would love to stay in the area if we can, but with a growing child, dog, and walk-in wardrobe, a move to a bigger house is long overdue!

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