Geoff Crossley moved to Altrincham as a boy and has lived here ever since. After 25 years in business he moved into product and fashion photography, and has also exhibited as an artist across the North West. His work is currently on display at Local Creation as part of the Altrincham Arts Collective Exhibition. In the third instalment of our regular feature, he talks about his Altrincham.
My favourite pub
I’m going to go with the Market House. OK, so it’s not strictly a pub but it’s everything you would want from one! Thirst-quenching beer, fine wines, a friendly atmosphere and good food! Nick Johnson has given Altrincham a venue to be proud of.
My favourite restaurant
The Swadesh is a personal favourite – welcoming friendly staff and excellent food (I recommend the Jhinga Pyaz Masala!).
My favourite coffee shop
It’s a chain, but Caffé Nero is at the heart of Altrincham and what makes it ‘more’ is the staff, always friendly and keen to please. If in a different town I find their Caffé Neros never quite as perfect. Maybe it’s because I also meet so many friends in there, some with laptops open using it as a venue for a business meeting, others just enjoying a coffee. There are other Neros but this one is ours.
My favourite place for a walk
Difficult, with so many routes to choose from, but I think my favourite is more of a hike than a walk! Set off across the Bollin river from Hale or Bowdon Vale via Rostherne and Tatton Park to Knutsford, before catching the train back. If you pick the route well it’s all green footpaths or minor roads.
My favourite shop
Atelier Rose & Gray in Hale is a bit of a hidden gem, with a changing selection of stunning art. Chris is always welcoming and as he puts it, shows “leading artists, including Royal Academy Artists, Turner Prize nominees and winners and other international names of world-wide standing”. If passing, call in to look at the new exhibition.
My favourite market stall
Yoko, a fellow member of the Altrincham Arts Collective, often takes a stall under the name of Meadowlark, where she sells her beautiful prints and cards.
My favourite building
I only recently discovered Watling Gate, a listed Arts and Crafts house on our doorstep. After years of neglect it’s now in desperate need of repair and renovation, but its rescue is being spearheaded by a dedicated local group.
My bugbear about Altrincham
I’m sure Altrincham has a fantastic future – it’s populated by people who care about our community and are keen to help out when and where they can. My bugbear is the inertia and the time it takes to make ‘official’ progress.
The best thing about Altrincham
Which neatly also leads on to the ‘Best’ of Altrincham: its people. A shining example is Mary, our very own ‘Guerilla’ or unofficial gardener. Mary spotted a plot of untidy, unloved and unused land and decided to do something about it. A few people spotted her working and donated plants, quickly turning the spot into a tidy and much-loved little public garden.
My hopes for the future of Altrincham
Altrincham is a bit of a building site right now and there are plans for further work ready to roll but I feel the real success can be seen slowly permeating from the spirit of the Sunday Markets, when the town feels alive again.