Mums In The Know Hale

June 19, 2012 10:45 am

Mums in the Know Hale

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Steph Smith and I recently became the Hale manager of Mums in the Know.  You can see our website here:  We’re a group of local mums with professional backgrounds in advertising and our aim is to make parents’ lives easier and kids’ lives more fun!  We detect what is going on in the local area and provide daily inspiration for families.  In doing this, we are also keen to support local businesses.  We enable busy parents to receive regular updates as to what’s on and where, and our website includes lots of fun advice and hot topics!  We are frequently active on Facebook and Twitter with daily suggestions.

How long have you been living/working/trading in Altrincham?

Mums in the Know was established in Wilmslow & Alderley Edge last September and, in May this year, expanded into 5 more locations including Hale.  I grew up in Bowdon but so I’ve spent a lifetime in Altrincham!  It literally is my stomping ground!

How do you contribute to the Altrincham community?

From both a corporate and personal perspective, I’m really keen to support the local businesses.  Our website very much focuses on what is happening in Altrincham and the surrounding areas of Hale and Bowdon for families with children.  We have a weekly listing of clubs and classes that run at various places from Tiny Teds at Altrincham Leisure Centre to Buggy Fit at John Leigh Park.  We also encourage families to enjoy the fantastic amenities on our doorstep whether that’s local parks, play centres, cafes, shops or theatres.  I think its very important to keep as much business in the area by shopping locally as well as enjoying the great array of restaurants and bars here. From a family perspective, I also appreciate the importance of a strong community spirit and I know this is especially important to new mums.  At Mums in the Know, we really try to unite mums in the area and foster that community spirit.

What do you love about Altrincham?

Altrincham is a brilliant place to live and work.  It’s in a prime location in that it’s just a short journey into Manchester city centre – we’re very lucky to have such a convenient Metrolink service.  Equally, the motorways are very accessible which is very handy and, better still, we are on the doorstep of some of the country’s most beautiful countryside.  As a town, Altrincham has lots to be proud of.  The historic market offers a fantastic range of produce and the market traders have always got a smile and lots of advice to share.  It’s great to see the market evolving with the times too with the vintage and craft market and farmer’s market events.  The shops in Altrincham are really improving too.  When the Trafford Centre came along, there seemed to be a mass exodus from our lovely town.  Thankfully, the shoppers are returning and the recent facelift to the shopping centre is a great improvement.  It’s good to have big brands like H&M, Monsoon, Waterstones and River Island on our high street but small independents like The Laundry are also a breath of fresh air!

In terms of eating and drinking, there are some amazing hidden gems like Yara on Oxford Road and The Belgian Bar on Greenwood Street.

What would you like to see in Altrincham?

As we all know, it’s not only the Trafford Centre that has affected Altrincham’s trade – the recession has played a major part in the store vacancy rates.  It’s saddening and frustrating to see so many boarded up businesses.  Like most people, I would love to see these empty stores occupied!  I’m not sure what the best solution is, clearly the rent is prohibitive for many businesses.  I wonder if the landlords could offer some form of incentive whist the country is trying to climb out of the recession.  Surely landlords would rather have their properties occupied?  With a more thriving shopping centre, we would once again be welcoming droves of shoppers as we used to in the pre-Trafford Centre days when people would travel significant distances to shop with us.

There have also been a number of great cafes that have also gone to the wall over the last couple of years.  Queenie Mumbles in Goose Green was a gorgeous family cafe by day and a Portuguese restaurant by night.  Similarly, Hullabaloo in King’s Court offered the best fresh produce for lunch.  Both of these had to fold due to an obvious lack of business.  Thankfully, not all have been casualties of the recession – Y.. McGregor is a welcome addition with a delicious and healthy menu.

What improvements do you think Altrincham needs?

I’d love to see more independent bars and restaurants open in Altrincham.  We know there’s a viable market as our close neighbour, Hale, is a thriving village with a host of packed restaurants and bars – this is all less than a mile away from Altrincham.  Goose Green is a good little spot for a night out and King’s Court could be transformed into something similar.

An increased police presence at night time around the bus station would be welcome too to deter any anti-social behaviour.

How do you think we can help Altrincham grow?

Altrincham has suffered a bad press of late, largely due to the empty shops, and this is demoralising for residents.  Good news travels fast and bad news travels faster so we really need to keep talking positively about what’s on offer in Altrincham.  As residents, we need to ensure that we’re patronising the great local businesses and spreading the word!

Take a look at the Mums in the know Hale area for activities and events for families in Hale and the Altrincham area.

Write a comment

Your Comment