Monday 15 May 2017


by Dave Roberts

It's 1973 and we're in Kinderton Street just to look at this road sign, a relic of motoring days gone by. There is no mention of the M6, although Junction 18 had opened a decade earlier in 1963. There were plenty of other signs to direct people to the motorway and this relic of times past was left in situ until the buildings were demolished after which it was, presumably, scrapped. The white, slightly askew, sign further up the road is a local sign directing people to Holmes Chapel. Most of this row of buildings was ready for demolition at this point, but Costello's, the shop nearest to the camera sporting the Lyon's Maid Ice Cream sign, lingered on until the bitter end. Here are a couple of other shots taken at around the same time, showing just what a deplorable state the shop had been allowed to get into.

When Charlie Crabbe Met Tom Jones

Talking of the M6, there's a story told of Charlie Crabbe, former landlord of the White Bear.
One day, some time in the late 1960s, the pop singer Tom Jones happened to come into town with his entourage, en route to a gig (this was in the days before Middlewich became the Entertainment Capital of the North-West).
Everyone was stunned to see this sixties icon in their local pub, except Charlie who wouldn't have known him from Adam.
Tom grinned at him and gave him that, 'yes, it's me! Aren't you lucky to have me here?' look which famous people always use.
Charlie gave him a blank look.
Tom walked over to the juke-box and selected It's Not Unusual.
Charlie looked at him again with the light of dawning recognition in his eyes.
'Blimey!' he said, 'I didn't recognise you at first!'
Tom gave him the standard, self-deprecating pop star smile.
'It's a while since I saw you,' went on Charlie, 'you were in that gang that worked on the M6 and you used to come in here every day for your dinner!
'How are the rest of the lads?'

I don't know if it's a true story. I hope so.

Originally published on Facebook 13th May 2011

First published on the Middlewich Diary 21st July 2011

Expanded and re-published 16th May 2017

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