Wednesday 22 June 2011


by Dave Roberts

This was going to be an easy one - a quick fill in job designed to get just one more slide into the collection and preserved for posterity. I even had a title in mind: 'Old Police Station Stable' or something along those lines.But when I looked a little more closely, doubts began to form in my mind. Was this building a stable? It was certainly associated with and built at the same time as the old nineteenth century police station, which would be likely to have such a requirement at the time it was built. But where were the stable doors? If it is a stable block, the doors would have to be on the left hand side and, although it is not clear on this photo, there did not appear to be any access to that side of the building. Maybe there was once such access? The opening at the top of the building , with a beam to which a pulley would no doubt be affixed, suggests a hayloft, and the chimney to the right would indicate that some form of heating was provided but whether for horses, or people, or both, we can't know. The building was on the right of the police station main building, and at right angles to it, next to the garden of the beautiful house which still exists today and faces down Queen Street. Behind our old police building can be seen the bulk of the Queen Street United Reformed Church (or Congregational Church as it once was). The white flashing at the bottom of the slide is not snow, as it might at first appear, but damage to the original transparency, showing once more how urgent it is to get these slides preserved digitally as soon as possible. In among the flashing you can just discern a pile of sand, and other builders' accoutrements. The new police station was taking shape to the left , replacing the old. So, was this a stable? If not, what was it? I realise that even some seasoned Middlewich veterans may never have even see this Victorian edifice or even known of its existence.


  1. Dave Roberts said...
    When this was published on Facebook with the title 'A Police Stable Block - Or Was It?',
    Hannah 'Twiggy' Taylor commented:

    only if the horses could climb a ladder :-D

  2. This was originally a stable block. The entrance to the stables were along the side of the building to the left of the picture. When I lived at the back of the police station in the 1950's part of the building was used as a garage for police cars but some of the stables were still there. There was a floor above the stables ( where the door is shown ) but the only access to it was by ladders attached to the ground floor walls. Great play area for us kids at the time. My father, Jack Shaw, was station sergeant in Middlewich in the 1950's
    Ian Shaw ( ianshaw20249@outlook )


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