The 1990s still doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? Except it is sort of is now – and in many ways Buxton has changed beyond recognition. We thought we’d unearth and relive 90s Buxton and remember some of our favourite spots. We’d love to hear from you – which do YOU remember? Are there other places you think we should have included? Watch out for part 2 coming next week…
[box style=’success’]1. MINI CINE ON CHARLES STREET[/box]
Arguably one of the worlds smallest cinemas at the time – well, who knows if it was but when it opened, the folk of Buxton couldn’t quite believe it. The Spa Cinema on Spring Gardens was eventually demolished in 1987 when the age of the VHS video was hitting the big time. Buxton wouldn’t be beaten and along came the Mini Cine in the early 90s. With around 30 seats, it showed pretty good films of its time too. Unfortunately though, the VHS video shop still ruled and you could nip to many a local offy in Buxton to find Freddy Krueger or Jason for a nights entertainment. Alas, by the mid 90s it was no more.
[box style=’success’]2. STRAWBERRY FIELDS CAFE[/box]
In the early 90s, this cafe (where Tech Corner is now) in the precinct was a hive of activity but in particular on a Saturday afternoon. It was the meet up place for mates and mums. You felt like you were at the heart of what was going on; who was up to what, who was seeing who, etc.
[box style=’success’]3. X-TRA VISION VIDEO SHOP[/box]
The love for the video shop was in full swing by the early 90s and this place was loads cheaper than Blockbuster, not that Buxton ever had one that is. Who remembers the orange and yellow shop front of this place on Spring Gardens?
[box style=’success’]4. MI CASA WINES[/box]
A small off-licence that discreetly graced the peripheries of middle-class suburbia, Mi Casa is fondly remembered by a generation as being a place to stock up on booze and cigs on the way to a party. Its once inviting façade has long since assumed the non-commercial normality of its neighbours.
[box style=’success’]5. TRIANGLES SNOOKER CLUB[/box]
A classic haunt for lads in the 90s – sometimes their girlfriends might get dragooned along there too. There was a mini scene going down here for a while. Snooker’s golden age was the 80s and 90s with players like Stephen Hendry, Jimmy White and Alex ‘Hurricaine’ Higgins, so young lads (and occassionally some girls to be fair) were keen to try and be the next big thing.
[box style=’success’]7. SAFEWAY CARPARKS THRIVING SKATE SCENE[/box]
When Safeway opened in the early 90s, its shiny white tiles and long row of tills was something of a novelty for Buxtonians – some of us had never seen a supermarket this big before. It smacked of Americanism too, which, back then we didnt see much of, compared to today. But the car park was the real draw for many youths with skate boards and its large smooth expanse of concreate was ideal for skaters meet up’s.
[box style=’success’]8. WOOLWORTHS[/box]
A British Institution. The place you could buy the vinyl Top 40, buy a huge bag of Pick ‘n’ Mix sweets, a whole load of kitchen ware and your Christmas decorations – all under one roof (as well as much more). ‘Woolies’, was where many of of us bought our favourite records in the 80’s and then cd’s in the 90’s. Sadly it was no more when the business went into administration in 2008 and the Buxton store (along with all of its other UK stores) closed in 2009.
[box style=’success’]9. CAPERS CAFE[/box]
Tea for 43p. And a solid traditional English menu too. The toasted teacakes were mmmmm. Best spot was always by the window, to watch the world of Buxton go by.
[box style=’success’]10. DK SOUND & VISION[/box]
Any computer gaming fans around in the 90s will remember the Commodore 64 and later the Sega Megadrive and Nintendo 64. Sourcing games, particularly if you lived around the Fairfield area, meant only one place to go – DK Sound and Vision, at the bottom of Fairfield Road. And, upon every visit, classic 90s TV show Quantum Leap almost always seemed to be on the TV in the store, without fail – who remembers this?!
[box style=’success’]11. BUXTON MICRARIUM[/box]
In 1981 the doors opened to the world’s first Micrarium – an exhibition display devoted entirely to the natural world under the microscope. The Buxton Micrarium immediately obtained an enthusiastic following. The Micrarium which means a ‘place for small things’ was the dream of the late Dr Stephen Carter who, prior to taking early retirement, was a senior research scientist with ICI Pharmaceuticals. It became a regular attraction for school parties, was featured on television several times and in 1985 was judged Museum of the Year. Sadly, Dr Carter died suddenly in 1987 and whilst part of his family carried on running the exhibition, in 1995 closure became inevitable when the lease on the premises expired and no suitable home could be found. In the 14 years it was open in excess of 250,000 people visited Buxton Micrarium.
[box style=’success’]12. GOYT VALLEY RAVES[/box]
The Rave scene was alive and kicking in the north of England in the 90s and Buxton was no exception. The favoured location for these wild and hedonistic gatherings was a ruined mansion house called Errwood Hall in the Goyt Valley, around two miles outside of Buxton. Small at first, the Goyt Valley raves grew in size, notoriety and ambition until they eventually drew the attention of both the local thugs and consequently the local constabulary. Although a beautiful and idyllic location for a party, the broken foundations of Errwood Hall were responsible for a few twisted ankles. Many revellers also recall the horror of the local mosquito population when the sun came up.
[box style=’success’]13. BUXTON MINERAL WATER[/box]
1987 saw the opening of this new bottled water brand. By the 1990’s, many of us had done a stint in the factory and throughout the decade almost everyone in Buxton knew someone that had worked in ‘mineral water’.
[box style=’success’]14. HIGH PEAK COLLEGE[/box]
Once a bastion of adult education, the highest college in the country now exists only in the memories of its former students. The majority of its buildings have been demolished. To be fair, the top of Harpur Hill was a peculiar place to put a college and it certainly won no prizes for architecture. Remembered for its laid-back atmosphere, the college taught everything from welding to crochet. The common room was somewhat of a den of iniquity.
[box style=’success’]15. NEW CULT CLOTHING[/box]
Buxton was thin on the ground for decent ladies fashion in the 90s. There was a Next but it was tiny (before they extended it) and of course Dorothy Perkins – but New Cult offered a cheaper option and sometimes something a bit more alternative than the mainstream offerings. Sheer white hooded blouses adorning celestial symbols were rife.