Friday 18 November 2011


The Kinderton Arms, Booth Lane. Photo: Alan Murray-Rust/The Lost Pubs Project/Creative Commons
Here's an interesting link. The Lost Pubs Project aims to gather information on the country's lost pubs.  According to information from the trade, 25* British pubs pubs per week are closing down, most of them in London and here in the North-West. The rate of closure has slowed down (last year 40 pubs were closing every week) but it is a measure of just how severe the current recession is that so many licensed premises are shutting their doors for good.
Breweries and pub companies cite the smoking ban and supermarket off-licence competition as contributing to the problems pubs face.
Our own town is currently represented on the Lost Pubs site by just two pubs - the White Bear and the Kinderton Arms. 
There is, of course, good news to report on the White Bear, and we eagerly await its re-opening, but the Kinderton Arms, opposite Rumps Lock in Booth Lane and very close to the British Salt Factory,  is a different matter altogether. It's been closed for many years now and an attempt to revive its fortunes as a restaurant ended in failure. The pub was, unfortunately, just too far out of town to attract much custom from Middlewich and passing trade from both road and canal obviously wasn't enough to make the place viable. It might have been a different story had the pub been on the other side of the canal, but its industrial setting was always against it.
So do you remember the Kinderton Arms? If so, you might like to look at the Lost Pubs site and let them have those memories. Do you know if there are any plans to make use of the building? Don't hesitate to pass the information on. Alternatively, you can post any memories or information either here or on our Facebook pages and we'll pass them on.
Incidentally, since the above  photo  was taken, the car park at the Kinderton Arms has been securely fenced off.
The Lost Pubs Project website in general is well worth investigating, with details and photographs of many lost pubs in this region.
* The Lost Pubs Project home page puts the figure at 50 per week

Facebook feedback (from the 'You Know You're From Middlewich, When...' group):

  • Robert Sheckleston I used to pop in every Friday dinner time, when I worked at RHM, before the club was built. Norman, Vera and Trevor always made you welcome, but they would never put the heating on. It was always freezing!

  • Dave Roberts Thanks Robert. I'll pass that on. I'd forgotten the connection with Trevor, who later had the Cheshire Cheese, didn't he?

  • Robert Sheckleston Yes that's right. Trevor and his wife went on to run the Cheshire Cheese.

  • Carole Hughes I used to go into  the Kinderton with my dad sometimes.  I remember they had a room upstairs for functions, and you're right, Rob, it was always freezing!

    UPDATE (27th November 2011) : Cliff Astles has contributed some interesting information to the Lost Pubs site:
    My wife ( Barbara Astles, nee Evans) was one  of eight daughters, and two sons of Mr Alfred (Alf) and Mrs Hilda Evans
    They lived in the Lock House, opposite the Kinderton Arms, by the side of the Trent and Mersey Canal, for very many years, as Alf was a British Waterways “lengths man” for the company, and the house provided as part of his working conditions.
    Alf, used to garden the Pub gardens for himself, with flowers and vegetables for his family, and provided produce for the pub and his family as a condition for him having the gardens to work for himself.
    The gardens were always kept in an immaculate condition, were Alf’s pride and joy, and if not in his house he would always be across at his  gardens.
    When garden produce was in good supply, on occasions would also offer for FREE produce to the very many working canal boats that would go past 24 hours a day (late 40’s and early 50’s).
    The Kinderton Arms was always good for a night of traditional pub singing around an old piano, particularly on a Friday and Saturday night  where at such times their younger children would be allowed to sit in the Pub corridor and front door step.
    They were provided with a small bottle of “pop” with a straw and a bag of Smiths Crisps ( with a blue twisted bag of salt), to keep them quiet, and the kids always looked forward to doing this on a Saturday night.
    Some weekends, when Alf and Hilda had decided to stay at home instead of going to the pub, Hilda would be sent over to the pub with a large enamelled water jug, to get Alf a few pints of beer.
    In those days, with plenty passing trade of the canal boat people, and the local community the Pub was always very busy and a nice place for locals to have a good beer.


  1. Ahh the Kinderton Arms...Believe it or not I’m writing this because of a Steak & Kidney pie with Worcester sauce…
    My heart sinks a little whenever I drive past it now, but in the early 80's (as I recall when I frequented it for a while) it was a thriving and cozy (perhaps a tad old school) little pub with Norman & Vera at the helm. Myself and it’s -'youngish' loyal group of regulars loved it! In the back room, it had a pool room with a hole cut in the wall to allow space for the pool cue for 'breaking' off (I said it was cozy right!), but there was also room for PACMAN (and possibly Invaders) for a leader-board challenge that I never achieved. Norman and Vera served hot pies through the small bar...Steak & Kidney with Worcester sauce was always part of my pub night ritual. Pie & Worcester sauce still reminds me of the Kindo with Norman & Vera, which is why I’m writing this, as I decided to Google them and found this place.

    It was over 32 years ago now but as I remember….Adjacent to the pool room and connected by an 'open plan' link area and the 5ft, hole in the wall bar, was a subtly wall lit 'posh bit'.. with a real log fire and soft-ish seating, I never used that much but it usually had folks sitting and drinking in there. The main bar sat on the other side of the wall, was more brightly lit, and was where the regulars and darts team practiced and played. I didn't frequent that side overly much, but it was always a very friendly atmosphere throughout the various rooms. I seem to recall Vera would occasionally sell the odd bit of clothing from an upstairs room or maybe that was the Worcester sauce talking, I don’t know..

    The Disco Night at 'RHM' down the road meant that the pub was fairly packed with a young crowd at least once a week, but the pool room was always ours (about eight or nine of us) and we still had our space to chat and enjoy.. The group changed a little but quite often it was the same crowd for quite a while...I've lost touch with all but one of them now but they were a great bunch and great times for a chap in his early twenties..

    Why is it so memorable? It's where my wife and I first met and stole our first kiss in Dec 1981 (by the main entrance). You won’t want to know that, but it's part of our history with the place. But like many places of the past it's inevitably faded (the building ,not us)... just as the place we married in, is now a fishing tackle shop, the Knights Grange where we had our first date and wedding do, is now a housing estate! Yep Times change. I guess we all find ourselves thinking ‘I remember when this was all fields' at some point, but I do hope, one day I'll drive past the 'Kindo' and see it doing something other than fading...Ok so the later restaurant idea, didn’t work for it, which is a shame, but maybe, just maybe one day it will get a revival. We no longer live locally, but do visit each Dec, so it’s a poignant point on the Middlewich landscape place for us.

  2. We passed the pub today as we boated up through Rumps Lock and there is work being carried out in the old pub. I didnt see anyone to speak to so don't know if it will be a pub again or a private house


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