St Ann's Charity Shop

Before St Ann's Charity shop, there used to be a bakery and cafe aptly named the Premier Cafe, which there is more information from an article from Alan Jabez here.

The bakery which originally stood on this site was owned by the Oldhams and August Weinholt took it over in the mid-1900s. August, with his wife Margaret and their five children, lived above the shop.


The bakery was very run down when they moved in and they completely refurbished the ground floor first then sold bread and cakes made in the bakery at the back of the shop. As the business improved, they built a larger bakery on Ashfield Road, which was connected by a corridor to the shop. The shop was very popular and sold a wide variety of bread and confectionery at reasonable prices.


For some years after the War people queued along the pavement on Ashfield Road, waiting to get into the shop and I have been told (sic) that the queue was entertained by Wilfred Pickles on at least one occasion, while they waited their turn. Wilfred Pickles was a very popular radio entertainer who had a show named "Have a Go" and who lived locally.


The Weinholt's had built themselves a house on Ashfield Road and their next venture was to covert their old flat into a stylish restaurant and cafe. An impressive staircase was built at the back of the shop and the customers (which could be as many as 35 at a time) could have lunch or afternoon tea. The lucky diners who were seated in the bay window had an impressive view of the High Street.


The service in the restaurant was exceptional with good quality china and silver bearing the name 'Premier Cafe'. The uniformed waitresses were always immaculate.


The 1930s saw the cafe used for wedding receptions and one of their promotional ideas for the cafe was a short film (which apparently still exists).


The cafe closed down in the early 1960s but the shop was still run by one of the sons as a delicatessen and wine shop but the name Premier Cafe was lost as he called it 'Michael Weinholt'.


The shop is now the St Ann's Hospice Charity shop but many of the Art Deco decorative details can still be seen, including mirror tiles, clocks, signs and the magnificent staircase. The front room upstairs with the bay window where the main cafe was, is now the bridal area of the shop. You can have a tour of the premises on some Saturdays by arrangement but just walking past you can admire the etched design at the top of the front windows of the shop.


***Continue ahead, passing the George and Dragon on the right with Cheadle Green across the road on the left and Ockleston Memorial in its new home on the Green opposite Haw Bank House.

This was move from the entrance of Queens Gardens where it has stood from the mid-1960s.