So long Hyde Music Centre, and thanks for all the CDs.
Walking past the Brasserie this morning, the sad site of a van, and an entrance full of packing boxes. Inside, the furniture had mostly gone, leaving an empty looking bar and not much else.
Doing some research showed that the premises haven’t had a happy life over the last few years. Around 2000 it became an Italian restaurant called Duemila, which whilst getting some good reviews, didn’t last. Before that it was called "Henry’s Bar". Somehow the future doesn’t look that promising for the next occupants.
Still that’s not what I was going to write about.
Writing about the demise of the Brasserie reminded me of something I was going to write about at Christmas but simply forgot. For it was then that I discovered that Hyde Music Centre had closed down.
Hyde Music Centre was a music retailer in Hyde, seven miles to the east of Manchester.
Tapes, vinyl and CDs – I bought them all from there in my youth.
It was a bit of an institution tucked away next to Asda. I can remember it being there from when I was very young, and a very large proportion of the singles I own were bought in there. At least once a week, I’d go in and rummage through the new releases, looking for singles I liked.
Being the early 1990s, Britpop ruled and Music Centre (as it was shortened too) tended to have a good selection of the latest releases from the independent labels. Quite often you’d find stuff you just couldn’t get in the chains like HMV. Most of my Out Of My Hair CDs came from Music Centre.
Indeed I spent much of my adolensce in the store, hence why it was such a sad moment to walk past the place at Christmas 2002 to see it had just closed.
Why it had closed, well I don’t know.
The aggressive squeeze of a new Asda and a new Morrisons on either side of the town centre looked like it had put a fair few business out of, well business. There were no other music shops in Hyde before that – just Woolies and for a few years, a branch of John Menzie, which closed when WH Smith took over the stores.
And despite the fact that I had moved to London in 1999, and had spent half my year in Durham between 1996 and 1999, I still had a nice warm feeling every time I was back in Hyde, and I could walk into my old rumaging ground again.
So it was a bit of an emotional wrench to see it closed and empty. Well empty bar the assortment of CDs that sat on some of the shelves.
Some were probably still there from my youth. Rumaging through the album racks would often reveal a rather battered looking copy of Rick Astley’s Greatest Hits, or the Bros album that my sister taped after getting it from the library.
There probably aren’t many people who would find that appealing, given the slick operations that are Virgin and Sanity. Although they have the choice, they don’t have the atmosphere that small shops like Hyde Music Centre exuded.
Even indies like Andy’s Records and Fopp don’t have it, despite the fact that both have a bit more of the indie credability, despite being chains, abliet small ones.
So to the much missed Hyde Music Centre… I salute you and all who shopped in her.