Penny English, See Saw Lingerie - Why I live in Hale.

Penny English with daughter Beth

Penny English with daughter Beth - Credit: Archant

Penny English is the owner of See Saw Lingerie in Hale. She moved to the village with her parents when she was 18 years old but left when she married. She has lived in a three bedroom Victorian terrace since returning to the village 11 years ago

Penny English at See Saw Lingerie

Penny English at See Saw Lingerie - Credit: Archant

I moved here ...

After my marriage split up because my parents were close by and I love the place. It was also lovely to come back into the family business. It was important that it had good schools as my daughter Beth was five and son William was aged seven at the time. They went to Stamford Park Primary which is very good and I love the boys’ grammar. Hale also has great transport links. We’re close to the airport and I love going into Manchester, which is near enough but not too near to spoil the feeling of being away from the city.

My favourite restaurant

Is the Hale Grill, which is a brilliant place for all the family. It has something for everybody really. I also like Gastronomy which is great for coffee and where I get all our lunches from. The children love the American Bar now they’re older and we also like the Cinnamon Club.

Great shops

Apart from See Saw, which won a best shop award last year and has been nominated again this year, Hale has lots of ladies dress shops (not much for men though). There’s a real fight on the high street not only against the chain stores but the internet which is hitting even affluent places like Hale pretty hard. But what you get here is service. You can’t buy that on the internet.

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We have good butchers, a fishmongers and got other grocery stores so you don’t have to go to supermarkets all the time and a new opticians is opening here soon too although it would be nice to see the return of a store like Sinclairs - which was the kind of shop people could browse in, or go there for coffee or lunch.

Things to do

As well as the shops we are close to Dunham, close to Tatton, we can walk by the Bollin, in fact you don’t have to go very far for walks. We are also close to the Peak District and places like Chatsworth House and not far from North Wales.

If you want to be energetic then you can do Yoga at the Balance Studio nearby and they have fitness classes at the Grammar school. There’s a pool at the Bowdon Hotel and a pool and gym at the Hale Country Club which opened a year or so ago.

The downside

Because of the recession shops are closing. I believe there will soon be four charity shops in Hale but the saddest closure for me was the bookshop. Somebody came into my shops and said how it was such a shame , but they’d never really shopped there. She said she bought her books on the internet. But let’s face it, we can all afford to pay the right price for a book. To pay an extra few pounds for a book is so much better than to see the bookshop close. Of course, shop owners need to play their part. We need to make the experience easy and pleasant for our customers too.

Best thing about Hale

The great thing here is the sense of community. We’ve always gone to St Peter’s Church and it is a lovely community. I love the fact that you get to know your customers and chat to them, it’s just really nice that you can get that feeling of community in the place where you live.