Visiting Fred Aldous Manchester

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As you may have seen on Instagram, a couple of weeks ago I visited Fred Aldous‘s original shop. I was on a hen do in Manchester and where ordinarily on a weekend like that there isn’t time to wander off and go stationery shopping, luckily on the last day we went for brunch around the corner from non-other than Fred Aldous! Not only that but we had half an hour’s free time AND it was raining so of course I had no excuse but to go in…

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The shop is pretty big, which I think is a rarity for stationery stores. Usually, small products = tiny shop, and a fairly intense shopping experience. I like how spacious this shop is. It allows you to wander around and look at things without feeling like you’re being watched! The upstairs is stationery focusses with cards, gift wrap, notebooks for miles (including lots of Leuchtturm 1917!), pens, pencils, all the usual suspects. Also, lots of super cool Hay stuff. The downstairs of the shop is more arts and craft focussed. They’re also well known for their baker’s twine selection, as pictured above. ALSO, and possibly most importantly, there are 3 photo-booths in the shop. Like proper old ones. 4 us of crammed into the booth, all a bit hungover looking, and got a pictures taken, obviously.

So, what caught my eye enough to make me part with my cash:

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This little lot.

The “burg-day” card is by Yellow Owl Workshop and was £2.49. I LOVE risograph (in fact, our wedding invites were risograph printed).

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I couldn’t walk out without a couple of those spools of bakers twine – one sensible, one funsies. These were £2.97 each.

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Then a couple of American staples (no pun intended…); Field Notes Cherry Wood, £8.68 for a 3 pack, and a Palomino Blackwing 1138, £2.29 for a single. I’m a massive fan of Field Notes but I’m not a collector (just because I’d never get through using them all). The Cherry Wood is a stock edition, which I don’t think has been the most popular one but I think it looks cool and I wanted to try the wooden cover. Apologies for the terrible photo – I should have taken off the plastic but I wasn’t ready! I’m also not a Blackwing special editions collector either so I was really excited to see they were selling singles of the 1138. I’m always curious about these editions but I don’t want to buy a 12 pack of each so this is perfect.

I also picked up this Hay pencil (on the right) for £2 because… well, because I like how it looks.

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And finally, I bought this book of gold foil letter stickers by Suck UK, for £10.07. I don’t really know why… It just caught my eye and I thought these stickers would be great for making cards or decorating things. And I’d never seen it before.

So, there you go. I do wish I lived closer to Fred Aldous, but it some ways I’m glad it’s not. I only really went in to look around and see if they had Kaweco ink cartridges in blue-black. They didn’t, but I still spent over £30… Oops!


Loved your guest appearance on the Pen Addict podcast (just discovered their podcast in the last two weeks!)… anyway… I work in Greater Manchester and will have to look at paying Fred Aldous a visit. As a graphic designer I’m more and more surprised by the lack of true art and stationery shops now I’m get older (they should still make FunFaxes for grown ups by the way!). I think it’s always worth supporting independents like this, even if it’s the odd notebook, pencil or pen (or two, or three… ) =D . I’m new to the area so thanks for the heads up on this shop!

Posted 5 years ago by Ally @ Brand Cottage Reply

Ahhhh love your purchases… and Fred Aldous! hehe It’s a creative paradise isn’t it? I need to head up north to visit soon 🙂

Posted 5 years ago by Natasha Nuttall Reply

This definitely sounds like a shop I should visit! 🙂

Posted 5 years ago by Nikki-ann Reply

Lovely post – I was in Manchester visiting family recently and my wife and I stumbled on the same shop…and what a find! My wife was most disappointed the G.F. Smith tote bags in the basement were for display only 🙁

Posted 5 years ago by Andy Youings Reply

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