Sunday 31 July 2011


'Salt Works Sunset' 1971
 by Dave Roberts

I was so pleased with this fortuitous evening shot taken in 1971 that I gave it the title Salt Works Sunset and, when presenting slide shows, always used it as the last slide in the show. I've always thought of it as a nostalgic, moody picture which somehow, I hope, captures the feeling of the end of an era in Middlewich.
Now, you may have noticed, it forms the basis of  our Salt Town Productions logo.
The chimneys are at Seddon's works in Pepper Street.
Originally I had this picture dated as 1972, but gradually came to realise that it must have been taken earlier, in 1971.
My Dad died, aged 66, in 1972 and he and I and the rest of the family, together with friends and neighbours from all over King Street, watched the demolition of the Pepper Street chimneys from our grandstand seats in the garden of no 33.
From the late fifties to the early seventies the view from that garden was pure L.S. Lowry, with the gasworks very prominent, but overshadowed by the smoking chimneys of Seddon's across the canal.
In fact I passed my O-level art exam with a picture of Seddon's Works.
Interestingly my art teacher was Robert Westall, later to find fame as the author of such classics as The Machine Gunners.

(first published on Facebook on 11th May 2011. The original feedback is below.)

Geraldine Williams Can't Get 'Matchstick Men' out of my head now!

Dave Roberts I often wish I could take some of the country's 'professional northerners', who seem to slightly despise Cheshire as 'too posh', back to those days and show them what this particular part of the county was like.
There's an old story about an official from the National Union of Mineworkers who came to Middlewich to see the conditions which salt workers had to endure. He told his hosts that there was 'no way' that miners would ever have put up with them.

Geraldine Williams Many children from the Webb's Lane area used to go 'cinder picking' amongst waste dumped by the salt boats, to keep their home fires burning.
Imagine this generation doing the same!

(revised and reformatted 19/1/2012)

1 comment:

  1. I have many memories of Robert Westall he taught me and I went to school with his son who tragically died very young


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