UPDATE (28th April 2020): And now, in 2020, things have moved on once more. During 2019. its fiftieth year, British Salt started work on a new boiler house at the factory, with new state-of-the art boilers and a new and much shorter flue. So that tall 'smoke-stack' (actually a gas flue) will soon be disappearing from the Middlewich skyline.
'Church and Chimney' was the name I originally gave to this piece, and I'm glad to be able to restore it here. As you'll know if you've ever had dealings with newspapers, it is a matter of honour among sub-editors that, however perfect and fitting a title might be, they must change it. In the original newspaper, the title is 'Some dim and distant dream-time a mere twenty or thirty years ago'. Perhaps they were thinking of entering a 'clunkiest title for a newspaper article' competition? Those same sub-editors also inserted the sub-headings, which I've kept intact. So here we go, with a double nostalgia whammy - the nostalgia for 1987 when Middlewich was emerging as a pleasant 'dormitory town' and the nostalgia for the time twenty or thirty years before that when smoking chimneys were the order of the day - Dave Roberts July 2011