THREE Uppermill businesses with nearly a century of trading between them will soon disappear from the High Street.
But the boom era for Saddleworth’s most visited village is far from over as new shops are opening and existing ones are being extended.
The ‘closing down’ notices have already gone up at Copy Right and Rip Van Winkle, and Ski Miguel have confirmed their main business will transfer to Sussex after this winter season.
Copy Right, an art and stationery shop owned by Uppermill printers Taylor & Clifton, have been a High Street mainstay for nearly three decades.
“It’s very sad but we have kept the shop open for as long as we can,” said Tom Barr from Taylor and Clifton.
“It’s just the changing face of shopping habits. People buy things online or go straight to Tesco.”
No date has been finalised for the closure but it will take place before the end of September.
Meanwhile, Martyn Rafferty, genial owner of Rip Van Winkle, has been selling household goods for over a quarter of a century but his premises are now available for rent.
Martyn started selling his products on the markets in 1981, and opened his store 24 years ago to sell bedding, towels, blankets, pillows, cushions and even dressing gowns.
But he has decided to call it a day after seeing a decline in customers due to a new age of internet shopping.
“I am a lot cheaper than most places,” he said, “But people are just going online to shop so I can’t even get them in through the door to see that.”
The large shop and forecourt area are now available to let and there has already been much interest from businesses including cafes, a deli, hairdressers and a tanning salon.
Ski Miguel, owned by local businessman Richard Johnson, has operated for 37 years, 26 of them in Saddleworth after moving from central Manchester.
The company will finally close its front door, nestled between Java and Uppermill Conservative Club, next April.
The name, however, will continue though as Richard’s eldest son, Ralph, will re-open new premises in Hove, Sussex.
“It’s an age thing really,” said Richard “I am 72 now and there comes a point when you have to step away.”
Operation Director, Richard Barton, responsible for staff recruitment at Ski Miguel’s six European resorts, since the move to Uppermill will also scale down his workload.
“When we first moved here people suggested we would lose business coming out of Manchester but we actually got more people calling,” explained Richard J.
The building won’t stay vacant for too long as Java No 73 Delicatessen have plans to expand their business into Ski Miguel’s current offices.
Java owner Nigel Skinkiss has submitted proposals to Oldham Council to change the use of the first and second floors into a restaurant/café plus ‘drinking establishment.’
If successful, the expansion will create two new part-time and two new full-time jobs.
For full details of the application search online at planningpa.oldham.gov.uk with the reference PA/340529/17
Meanwhile, moving into the village for the first time is a hair salon in premises previously occupied by Freedom Travel.
The Mill Hair Salon opened its doors last month and offers hairdressing and styling for ladies, children and men.
And a new General Store is set to open in Saint Mary’s Gate in October, run by Helen McCarthy.
She said: “Fine foods will grace our store including freshly baked bread, cheese, butter, home made soups and meals to take home.
“We’re trying our best to make this a local shop for everyone. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free products will be available.”
The future of the former Spar supermarket is still to be decided while greengrocers, Alimentari di Alberti, remains up for sale.