Upper Unit 41/42 Stretford Mall, Chester Road, Stretford M32 9BB
Opening Hours:Monday to Saturday 9-5pm
This shop, of course, takes it’s name of course from an old Smiths tune. Mozzer grew up on Kings Road, a short cycle ride of Stretford Mall where this shop is located, and the song references a fountain – stocked with live fish – that once graced the mall in the 1970s. Stretford Mall (formerly Stretford Arndale) is a bit of a relic 1970s town planning. It is now far too big for the town it was built to serve, and is dwarfed by the Trafford Centre enormo-mall just a couple of miles away, so inevitably you’ll encounter empty shop units, a proliferation of Nail Bars and the dreaded BrightHouse. Nevertheless, fans of 70s urban architecture will probably find something to admire – and the place is still the heart of the local community. Reel Around The Fountain had modest beginnings with a few crates of Vinyl in the rather forlorn indoor market area – but soon became an oasis of wonderment in the Mall and a Vinyl destination for those in the know. The owners of the Mall have now lopped off the Market area in order to downsize the site so RATF how now relocated to a very smart, spacious and bright new shop on the upper level, just opposite Tesco in the main shopping area.
At the counter you’ll find the legend that is Nigel, and a very friendly and knowledgeable fella he is too. Inside you’ll find most genres covered – Classic Rock, Jazz, Indie, Punk, Reggae, Folk, Soul etc as well as some bargain racks, CDs and other memorabilia. There are some new reissues but mostly it’s secondhand goodies. You’ll also find sections devoted to Morrissey/Smiths and Manchester music. There are some mega rarities too – keep an eye on the shop Facebook page as Nigel has a habit of turning up some jaw-dropping finds. There’s also a big sofa so you can have a sit down after a well earned rest browsing through the racks. From humble beginnings this is now one of the biggest Record Shops in the north so you really don’t want to miss this one. If you’re heading into the suburbs to visit King Bee on your Manchester record shopping spree, it’s a short bus or tram ride to Stretford so don’t miss RATF off your itinerary.