Thursday 23 June 2011


Here's a 'late evening' shot of the top end of Wheelock Street (in Middlewich-speak, 'Toppender Wheelock Street'. Note that in the case of the street the name is pronounced as seen, whereas in the case of the village it's named after- and where I was born, by the way - it becomes 'Willock'. There is no 'Bottomender Wheelock Street'. That's called 'The Bullring'). The slide is dated 1970.
It's a pity that this slide is so underexposed, as there is so much of interest here. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has a better picture of this area, not least because we were recently asked by Middlewich Community Church if we had a photo of the former Crosville Garage, which is now home to the MoCoCo cafe.
Clicking and double-clicking on the photo will help you to better identify what lies in the murk. On the left is the building which now houses 'The Cabin', at this time in use as a garage and workshop. The building was originally the town's first cinema, 'The Star'. To the right of this, underneath the street lamp, is a Crosville double-decker bus, stabled there overnight. I think I'm right in saying that, by this time, the Crosville depot itself had closed. Above the bus can be seen Gater's pie and cake shop which has been closed for many many years but still has its original shop front. Beyond that is the Cheshire County Council's clinic (now the 'Acorn Surgery') and beyond that the Red Lion. On the opposite side of the road you may be able to make out part of Whiston's Garage, as seen in previous photos. There's another Crosville bus directly below the Whiston's sign. This will be parked outside the low one-storey building which, as Geraldine Williams reminded us, was Whiston's radio department. In the present day  a brick-built bus shelter and a couple of telephone kiosks occupy more or less the same spot.
In the foreground is one of those bland and boring 1970s cars. It's hard to believe that at this period the country's short-lived love affair with the car was at its height.


  1. On Facebook Geraldine Williams said:

    Loved your 'Topender Wheelock Street' (you can take a person out of Middlewich...etc, etc!). Funnily enough, Over was always the 'Top End of Winsford' and I seem to remember them naming one the pubs as such.
    I just wanted to tell you about Gater's. Apart from the 'pie' theme (they used to make unique little steak pies - the same size as custard tarts - Elsie Gater was the sister of Vi Carter (Vi and Clarence who must have lived near to you on King Street). Other sisters were Lily Gater (the sisters married two brothers!) who lived at the top of Dierden's Terrace, and Dorothy Hough, wife of Frank Hough in Brook's Lane and mother of the scouting Houghs! They were all Yoxalls and the brother, Albert, was married to my mother's sister, Kathleen. While we're talking rellies, another close neighbour of yours would have been my husband's aunt, Mrs Battersby. Small world, innit!

  2. Thanks Geraldine. Yes, Vi and Clarence lived a few doors away from us and were our honorary 'Aunty Vi and Uncle Clarence'. And I remember Lily in Deirden's Terrace being the owner of some enormous tortoises - the kind you normally only see in zoos (or perhaps they weren't so big, but looked it to a child's eyes?) We had another neighbour who had some dealings with the Yoxalls - a Mr Henshall. He and one of the Yoxalls rented out some houses in Webb's Lane and, during my time at the MUDC, they sold them to the council and the occupiers became instant council tenants. I took them their first council rent books and some of them expressed consternation at the fact that their rents would be rising to 50p per week. Not so long after it doubled to £1. But, at the same time, some tenants of the new 'pensioners bungalows' in Long Lane South were charged the unheard of sum of £1.50 from the outset. And yes, isn't it a small world? (comment from Facebook)

  3. On the subject of Winsford, Over Square was (and is) called 'The top end of Winsford' ('Toppender Winsford') and the area around the Weaver Bridge (the area actually called 'Winsford', which gave its name to the whole town) was the Bottomender Winsford. But, going in the other direction, up a very steep hill, you eventually got to one of Winsford's three railway stations (at the end of a branch from the LNWR main line). There was a pub opposite named 'The North Western' after the railway. This pub has been renamed the 'Top House'. The railway station, of course, is long gone and Winsford can now only boast one station. Still one more than us, mind you. (Comment from Facebook)

  4. Here's a thought: Maybe Wheelock Street was named after the River Wheelock, which runs through the town, rather than the village. That would explain why it's pronounced with the long 'ee' sound rather than the short 'i'. I think it's more likely to take it's name from the village, though.


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