70 Years in Sale!!!

Ashbrooks House Furnishers are proud to celebrate 70 years of continuous trading from their Washway Road Store this coming June giving them the proud distinction of being the longest running private retailer in Sale, by far.  Indeed,  it was back in 1949 as Britain was getting on its feet after the Second World War that the youngest son of the Ashbrook family  John Ashbrook , opened his shop at 18 Washway Road.  The family already had two successful furniture shops, one in Stretford and the other on Alexander Road Moss Side but felt a move to the up and coming township of Sale to be a good one.  Sale was already a prosperous residential district but there was also the advantage of a large housing scheme that was being built  on Farm Land past Firs Road in Ashton on Mersey and to the east the open countryside past  Baguley Lane Sale Moor  was also being acquired for a large overspill estate.  Sale also was noted for the many independent prestige shops on the tree lined School Road  attracting shoppers from neighbouring towns around.  Yes in 1949, Sale was the place to be.  So when John spotted the shop for sale at 18 Washway Road he jumped at the opportunity.

18 Washway Road  was set in an imposing parade of shops with the Pyramid Cinema , later to be renamed The Odeon at its centre.  Previously number 18 had been run as a furniture retailer under the name of Jeffersons.  Also on the parade were Horrocks Bakery,  Kinsellas Tailors, A Sweet Shop and Tobacconists and  Burts toy Shop. There was also a smart dress Shop, an Electricians and a Hairdressers/ Barbers.  The shops were fronted by a large forecourt which would fill each evening as crowds queued to get into the cinema to see the latest films. Saturday afternoons were also busy, this time with youngsters going to the matinees. So plenty of people around to look at the displays of 3pce Suites and Dining Sets. Another advantage the shop had was the Belisha Beaconed crossing off Washway Road which brought people across more or less to the front of the shop, many on their way to the bus stop or the main Post Office just further along the road.

Once acquired, Ashbrooks set about making many changes to No. 18, a new sign and a new front,  also the stairs were reversed giving more showroom space and when after several years the Tailors decided to cease trading  No. 16 was added, an arch way being knocked through between the two shops.  In between times tragedy struck the family when John died of Cancer in 1956 and it was William, the next youngest son, who took over the store.  The sixties saw a rapid change with fitted carpets , divans and  bedroom units replacing carpet squares, bedsteads and wardrobes. Washing machines and hoovers were also now being displayed.  All these needed extra space and when towards the end of the sixties the Sweet Shop became vacant Ashbrooks took this over and the builders were once again in knocking down walls and extending the showroom.

Sale was changing as well. The new precinct and Tesco were forcing some of the smaller shops out of business and School Road was being pedestrianised .   The Co-op had a brand new store with large furniture showrooms but New Day and Cantors had closed leaving only Partingtons as Ashbrooks other competitor.  The crowds that queued for the cinemas also dwindled.  Where Sale had had three cinema’s only the Odeon now remained with the Savoy and the Warwick closing. Washway Road was also changing. What had been a grocers on the corner of Ashton Lane now became Sale DIY. Next door to that was Chadrain mens outfitters next to PSM Cameras, then  a Royles Tobacconists and finally the Atomic Cleaners.  Across the road from Ashbrooks  four  large houses were being demolished  in order to build the New Council Offices which was later replaced by Marks and Spencer. Also on Ashton Lane shops were being demolished to make way for the Trafford Magistrate Courts.

Yes Sale and its shops have seen many up and downs over the past 70 years which is why it is so satisfying for us to have successfully come through all these changes, still remaining a family run business and still being able to offer a personal friendly helpful service. We would also like to think it is because of this policy that we have survived and can look forward to many years  ahead.