Tuesday 12 July 2011


Until now I have been picking slides from the Middlewich collection at random and posting them here, but I sought this one out specially, to follow on from the last one and to prove to myself that I wasn't dreaming, or making things up. So here it is, the official Middlewich UDC POPPITYJOHNS sign, placed there around 1971, seen here in 1973, and long since vanished. It isn't photoshopped or anything like that. It's real. Council Surveyor Donald Stubbs had the sign made, against the wishes of the council, apparently, and later said that it was 'a mistake'. But Donald was a man with a strong sense of the town's history, and I like to think this 'mistake' was a deliberate one. Behind the wire fence to the right is ERF's car park.

This photo was first published on Facebook on 1st May 2011. The original Facebook Feedback is below

  • Lynne Barnes So what is the story surrounding Poppityjohns Dave ?
    02 May at 00:57 · 

  • Dave Roberts I don't think anyone is too sure, Lynne. Received wisdom has always been that it's a possible corruption of 'Poverty Johns' or 'Property John's'. Derek Appleton posted a comment on a previous photo to the effect that 'John' was the farmer who owned the land before the ICI works and lime-beds were there, which sounds plausible. I feel a spell of research coming on. This could be a job for the esteemed Mr Alan Earl...
    02 May at 08:41 · 

  • Colin Derek Appleton I was originally told the story by my grandfather, he was born in 1900 and ICI bought the land and moved in in 1921 so my guess for the date of the story being some where around 1910 to 1914 because in 1915 he started work for Seddons as a boatman,
    03 May at 13:45 · 

  • Colin Derek Appleton Have just checked the OS map from 1914 and Poppity Johns path is not there !!! there is, however a building about midway along what would now be the path, could this be Pop Johns farm ?
    03 May at 14:08 · 

  • Colin Derek Appleton Ok, have now checked the 1939 OS map, this now shows the path as being half built ( from the ICI end ) leading down to a pumping houseon the railway side of the path, before this on the same side it still shows a wooded enclosure and building on the site of what I susspect to be the old farm house ????
    03 May at 14:16 · 

  • Lynne Barnes Wonder if there is a right of way retained in a sale doc?

    See also:


1 comment:

  1. I used to go walking and exploring with pals over Poppity Johns. I think we accessed it by walking through the ICI works on Brooks Lane! I’ve not heard of Poppity John’s since my childhood. I was born in 1944 in Hayhurst Ave, Middlewich so it would have been during the late 1950s that I knew it!!!I am RON EVANS.


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