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Meet our New Centre Manager – Eileen Holroyd

The past few weeks at The Ridings have been very exciting as we have welcomed a new Centre Manager. Well when we say new, we mean new to the role because Eileen Holroyd who has taken over the reins from Barbara Winston, is actually our longest serving member of staff!

01.27.15 Eileen Holroyd

Centre Manger, Eileen Holroyd

Eileen knows The Ridings and the city of Wakefield inside and out. She has been at the centre since the first foundations were being excavated in June 1981 – so before the centre was actually built!

Back then when Eileen was first attracted to the bright lights of The Ridings, she worked as a Secretary/ Receptionist. Her office was on the top floor of the portacabins that were erected during the build process.

But once the shopping centre doors opened, Eileen jumped at the chance of taking on a new role after being offered the Administrator position and slowly began working her way up the ladder. Swapping the portacabin for a glamorous office, Eileen worked hard to complete a course in Business and Finance at Wakefield College, which allowed her to become an accounts person rather than just the office admin girl. And she’s not looked back since!

Sharing Memories

Here Eileen shares with us her fondest memories at The Ridings and also explains what the future holds for the centre.

“Whilst we have always had lots of exciting events going on at The Ridings, the one that stands out the most to me was 2013’s Christmas Lights Switch On where we welcomed X factor finalist Kye Sones. And boy was he popular! I have never seen the centre so busy. It wasn’t actually my weekend to work, but it was one of those events that you simply couldn’t miss, so I braved the crowds and screaming fans to pop along.

“Believe it or not, we have had a number of famous people grace The Ridings’ floors over the years too. In the early days, we always nominated a charity around the festive period and inevitablty had whoever was the star of the local pantomine visit us to show their support. I remember Duggie Brown and Helen Shapiro visiting us.

“Another famous face to walk the centre’s floors was Sandra Dickinson for an event to promote CPR. All I can remember was her being down on her hands and knees blowing into the mouth of the dummy. It is a sight I will never forget!

Famous Faces

“Newscaster Anna Ford was also one of our visitors and, of course, we had Black Lace entertaining us on one occassion. We’ve had various actors here when we’ve had film crews visiting for shows and we used to get regular unannounced visits from Geoff Boycott, Jane MacDonald and Geoff Capes to name but a few. It’s great to spot celebrities walking around incognito!

Looking to the Future

“I’m honoured to be The Ridings’ new Centre Manager and I am very much looking forward to taking over the reins and steering the centre into the future. There’s no doubt that the high street has changed over the past 30 years and we have had to change too. We now have lots of exciting events including our craft markets, themed fairs, car boot sales and events to attract visitors and are keen to offer so much more than simply a shopping destination.

“We have seen a noticeable shift in shopper habits too. People no longer want just convenience and high street stores, but independents too. That’s why we have worked hard over the past few years to draw these types of shops into the centre with the likes of Created in Yorkshire, Feather’s Confectionery, Dickey Bow Boutique and Present Days – I am sure you’ll agree that these stores are truly unique!

“2015 is set to be a fantastic year for The Ridings. We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey!”

Say Hello to Sara

As well as Eileen becoming Centre Manager, we have also welcomed a new face to the centre – Sara Hassan who joins as Marketing Manager.

In the next few weeks we’ll be having a sit down with Sara to talk all things The Ridings and find out a little more about our newest member of the team.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

If you’re looking for some Mother’s Day gift inspiration, our shops have everything you need to treat your Mum or Special Person. From snuggly sleepwear to tasty treats and handmade mementos, there’s something to suit every taste and budget and you’re guaranteed to make Mum smile this Mother’s Day…



Spoil your Mum with some luxury chocolates from M&S, we can personally recommend the Dark Chocolate Coated Orangettes, which are just delicious! Add a bottle of wine for some extra sparkle, you can choose from Champagne, Prosecco and lots more fabulous fizzes!

M&S  M&S 2


Sometimes it’s the little things that really make Mums smile and we just love these message bottles from M&S which you can personalise with a very special message she can keep forever.

Message in a bottle



Every Mum loves to snuggle up in comfy sleepwear and we love these butterfly print PJs from Peacocks which are just £8.00. We also love their range of spring scarves, which add a splash of colour to any outfit and are £9.00 each.

PJs   Peacocks Scarves 9.00 each



Team a pair of pajamas with a pair of fluffy slippers like these ones from Primark, which at £3.50 are very pocket money friendly!

Primark 3.50



Chocolates, Flowers or Both at Feather’s Confectionery

If your Mum loves chocolates AND flowers, why not head to Feather’s Confectionery and combine the two with a Sweet Explosion. You can choose your colour theme and select your own truffles or sweets to make your Mum a bouquet with a difference!

Feathers Sweets



The Perfume Shop

Treat your Mum to her favourite scent and much more at The Perfume Shop with these beautiful perfume hampers. Choose from a selection of beautifully wrapped goody packs, which include fragrance sets, chocolates, teddy bears and more!

PS 1 PS 2


Created in Yorkshire

Created in Yorkshire is full of beautiful, unique items which are all (yes you guessed it!) made in Yorkshire! Choose a special gift for your Mum which won’t be found elsewhere, there are handmade cards, soaps candles and much more in-store. Our favourites are these fabulous tea cup candles which look ever so cute and smell amazing too!

Cupcake Candle Created in Yorkshire


Present Days

Present Days is a treasure trove of beautiful gifts and cards, and has a great range of Mother’s Day gifts to suit any budget. We love their quirky tins which you can fill with your Mum’s favourite treats and there are also some lovely gifts for Grandma in-store too.

Present Days 1 Present Days 2


F Hinds 

The My Diamonds silver and diamond Mother And Child Heart pendant and chain from F Hinds, is the perfect, to be treasured forever gift – the 1.8 x 1.3cm silver heart is edged with diamond accents plus there’s a charming depiction of a mother and little one as part of the loop, strung from an 18″/46.5cm chain.

You can enjoy the Mother and Child Heart pendant for just £9.95 when you spend £50.00 on other items, making this a great value, yet timeless gift for Mum.



As you can see, our stores have everything you need to give your Mum or special person a wonderful Mother’s Day and we hope you all have a very happy Mother’s Day!


A Blooming Good Time at The Ridings

The Ridings flourished on Saturday when we welcomed a very special visitor in to the centre – Mr Bloom from Mr Bloom’s Nursery!

Helping us to join in with the city’s Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb, Mr Bloom brought all the fun of the allotment to the stage with puppet vegetables and his famous ‘Compostarium’ compost bin.

The green fingered children’s TV character proved very popular with lots of shoppers turning up to see the entertainer take to the stage for two special performances that encouraged youngsters to explore nature and the environment around them.

We also had Marks & Spencer giving away free fruit to shoppers enjoying the shows. Yum, yum!

We were very excited to be taking part in the festival and had lots of fun as you can see from the fantastic pictures showcased below.

Mr Bloom’s talking vegetables went down a storm.

_MG_5316  _MG_5319

There were lots of laughs!

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Just look at those crowds, Mr Bloom was just as famous as his show.


Fans even got to say hello to Mr Bloom and have their picture taken with the character. What a special photograph to have!

_MG_5368  _MG_5371

Our stores also got into the festival spirit with Feather’s Confectionery producing some delicious rhubarb and custard sweets, sticks and truffles. The Perfume Shop had rhubarb fragrances that were good enough to eat and café Esquires baked a rhubarb frangipane which they served with rhubarb tea.

Feather's Collage collage  rhu fran

taylors tea

We had a blooming good time and we hope you did too. A huge thank you to everyone that made it along to the event and the stores that chose to get involved.

The Ridings’ Valentine’s Gift Guide

With the most loveable day of the year just around the corner, we’ve scoured the shops for the coolest gifts to buy your other half this Valentine’s Day.

Forget wilting bouquets and corny teddy bears, our gift guide is sure to take the difficulty out of shopping for the perfect present for that special someone. What’s more with all the items available to buy from The Ridings Shopping Centre, you don’t have to travel far to ensure you put a big smile on your significant other’s face this February 14th.



Take the hassle out of staying in and cooking a delicious meal by presenting a meal you haven’t had to rustle up yourself. M&S Valentine’s Day Dine In for Two for £20 includes a starter, main course, side and dessert, as well as a crisp bottle of Cava or wine and a box of chocolates, leaving you with more time to celebrate the special occasion.

To spice up your love life, there’s also the new Rosie for Autograph fragrance and luxurious lingerie collection from M&S.

The first perfume from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is described as being fresh yet warming and embodies the famous supermodel’s love of the British countryside. Available in two sizes including 30ml at £14 and 75ml at £28, a large scented candle and oil diffuser is also available, guaranteeing that your special someone can enjoy the delicious scent of the perfume every day and at home.

Prepare to be smitten……

RHW Fragrance   RHW Lingerie


The Perfume Shop

Say it with diamonds this Valentine’s Day with Gucci Guilty Diamond Limited Edition for him and her, which both come in a beautiful handcrafted flacon. Available exclusively at The Perfume Shop priced at £52.50 (50ml Gucci Guilty Diamond EDT) and £61.50 (90ml Pour Home EDT), these are perfect together on any dressing table.

Gucci Guilty Diamond




Feather’s Confectionery

If chocolate and shoes are your loved ones favourite things, head to Feather’s Confectionery for the perfect gift. The confectionery store is offering a chocolate shoe making workshop where your partner will be able to make their bespoke chocolate shoe and take it away with them to either eat or admire at home – all for £25.

Also available are sweet bouquets with handmade truffles for £45 and a fantastic selection of truffles, just like these Valentine’s Day white chocolate and passion fruit ones pictured below.

Feather's Valentine's Day Shoe     Feathers Bouquet

Feathers truffles



The ‘love lock’ bridge in Paris has become best known for the practice of attaching padlocks inscribed with lovers’ names, initials or simply a heart, but now you can indulge in some of that Parisian love without heading to the romantic city.

Chloé Love Story perfume is the perfect gift for her, with its padlock shaped bottle reminiscent of the love locks left on the famous Parisian Love Bridge. You can even make it extra special by engraving the bottle with a message.

What’s more with every purchase of the Love Story fragrance in 30ml size or above, you’ll get a voucher entitling you to £2 off engraving at the Timpson’s inside The Ridings. Personalising your gift with a special message couldn’t be any easier!

Chloe Love Story

By selecting any one of these lovely gifts you can be sure that Saint Cupid’s arrow will strike your lover this Valentine’s Day ….. You can thank us later!


All price and product information correct at time of publication. Subject to availablity.

Counting Down to Christmas

It’s not long now until Santa Claus comes down the chimney and in preparation for the big day we have hosted a range of exciting activities for all our shoppers to enjoy.

Shop Local and Support Small Business Saturday

Saturday 6th December is not only one of the busiest shopping periods in the calendar, but it’s also marks Small Business Saturday. Following hot on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, takes place across the UK and is an initiative, highlighting small business success and encouraging consumers to ‘shop local.’ (more…)

Talking Monochrome #fashionfix #humpday

Love this time of the year when trends and fashion styles are in abundance in the stores, lots of choice to satisfy every taste. Black and white statement pieces are everywhere – available in dresses, trousers, skirts, tops and shoes leaving us with decisions, decisions, decisions – what to choose? Monochrome has always been a wardrobe staple and long may it continue….. (more…)

Looking back..and forward

As the marketing manager for The Ridings for the last 3.5 years, I’ve experienced a rollercoaster of events, emotions and experiences. And as I enter my last week at the Centre I thought I’d share a few reflections-and goodbye- via the blog I started not long after my first few weeks here. (more…)