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Books by Philip Martin Williams & David L. Williams


For Your Delectation and Delight

A History of the Music Halls and Theatres of Ashton-under-Lyne...

...and some of the shows and people who have appeared in them.

This book is the first comprehensive account of popular live entertainment in the northern market town of Ashton-under-Lyne. Starting from the early 1800s to the closing of the last remaining theatre in 2008. It presents a fascinating story. At their finest Ashton’s theatres and music halls were opulent pleasure palaces whilst others were simple wooden structures temporarily erected on the market ground or fashioned from old stables, churches or numerous industrial premises. ‘For Your Delectation and Delight’ will fascinate lovers of music hall and theatres everywhere. The authors take in all aspects of the buildings, the shows, the performers and the business. This volume will hopefully inform, educate and thoroughly entertain, as Ashton’s theatrical history is played out from its every page.



'For Your Delectation

and Delight'

Available NOW from

Hari Market Newsagent - Stall 31 Ashton Market Hall. 

Tameside Local Studies Library,

Cotton Street East, Ashton-under-Lyne

PRICE: £15.00


Also Available

Flickering Memories

The story of Ashton-under-Lyne’s cinemas begins with the town’s first film presentation at the Tivoli Music Hall in 1896 and continues through to the modern 14 screen multiplex at the Ashton Moss Leisure Park. This edition of ‘Flickering Memories’ is expanded and updated from the original 1995 publication. It now includes the final years of the Metro Cinema and its eventual closure along with the end of the film shows at the Tameside Hippodrome. The town’s cinema-going heyday was in the 1920s and 30s when Ashton supported nine cinemas. There was the luxury of the lavish ‘picture palaces’ like the Majestic with its orchestra, lounge and cafe or the simpler pleasures of the wooden seated ‘Bunnydrome’, as the Ryecroft Cinema was nicknamed. From a post-war high in the mid-1940s the town’s cinema business steadily declined with closures coming most notably in the 1960s and 1970s. The last to close being the Metro Cinema in 2003 the same year that saw the arrival of the Cineworld multiplex. This new volume features additional text to the original chapters along with extra illustrations. Also included is the original foreword by comedian and film expert the late Bob Monkhouse.

Flickering Memories

From Fleapit to Multiplex

A History of Ashton-under-Lyne's Cinemas

The book was officially launched  from Cineworld, Ashton.

It can be purchased from Hari - Market Newsagents, Ashton Market Hall.

Price £12.00

Launched at Cineworld Ashton.



'The Knight Rides Out' - Medieval Ashton, The Black Lad, The town’s famous Black Knight and the much loved Black Knight Pageants. 

'To Market, To Market' - The story of Ashton-under-Lyne's Ancient Market.

'Bygone Ashton-under-Lyne' - Written in 1909 by Samuel Hill this edition was published in 2009 to mark the centenary of Samuel Hill’s death.

'Frank Randle's Film Fun' - A wonderful book for all British Comic Collectors. The comic strip antics of film comedian Frank Randle Culled from the pages of vintage ‘Film Fun’ Annuals and Comics.

'A Backdoor to Fleet Street' - A history of the newspapers of Ashton-under-Lyne.


For Your Delectation and Delight - Book Launch (abridged) 24 August 2019






Click HERE for report and videos of the George Formby Senior - Blue Plaque unveiling - Ashton-under-Lyne 2012

Read about the search for the 'Lost' films of the Mancunian Film Corporation HERE