Monday 10 October 2011


Pronounced, for the uninitiated, 'Lee-ahs'. Lea's Passage is a  footpath which links Nantwich Road with the top part of Newton Heath. The entire area has been completely re-developed since Jack Stanier took his photograph but, in a strange way, does not look startlingly different. The interesting looking house on the left has gone and so has the stepped terrace of houses along Nantwich Road, which runs along the right hand side of the picture, and a sheltered housing development has taken their place. The house at this end of the terrace appears to be huge, and was probably two smaller houses at one time. The other houses in the row look positively tiny in this picture; there were a great many of these little houses in Middlewich at one time and many of them were, and still are, in this area of the town. At the top end of the terrace, at the junction of Nantwich Road and Newton Heath, was a corner shop which served this part of Nantwich Road and 'Newtonia'.
The large red triangular road sign is the 1970s version of a long series of signs in Nantwich road which have, over the years, warned lorry drivers of the presence of, and height of, the aqueduct (pronounced 'th'ackerdock') which carries the Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch canal over Nantwich Road about half a mile up the road. Its smaller predecessor is just to the right, and obviously must haved proved ineffective.
The latest warning sign, placed a few yards further up the road in recent years, is a high-tech electronic version which flashes a dramatic warning to any excessively high vehicle to 'turn back'.
Unfortunately, when some unfortunate trucker does activate the sign, innocent motorists, seeing it, and thinking it is meant for them too, also try to 'turn back'.
Notwithstanding all these warning signs, bridge strikes are a frequent and apparently increasing problem.
UPDATE (October 2016): The introduction of 'satnavs', rather than improving the situation, only seemed to make things worse, with the number of high vehicles hitting the aqueduct increasing all the time. It was revealed in October 2016 that, quite incredibly, some satnavs show Nantwich Road passing over the SU Canal rather than underneath it!


  1. There appears to be the shadow of a man on the wall between the two warning signs. Has anyone else noticed it ?

    1. By George, you're right! I've never noticed that before. It looks like it should be the shadow of that triangular sign, but I can't account for the human-like form the shadow takes.


Leave your comments here. Please note that comments are moderated and, if they are particularly relevant, may be incorporated into the original diary entry.