Saturday 30 December 2017


Here's a nice colour shot by Jack Stanier to cheer us all up during the cold winter days.
Taken on a Summer day in the early 1970s, it shows the River Wheelock meandering its way from the aqueduct which takes it under the Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch and flowing on alongside Nantwich Road, later to run under a bridge in Chester Road just outside the town and borough boundaries, on its  way to join the River Dane near the narrow canal aqueduct not far from Croxton Lane.
The combined rivers then flow on another five miles or so to join the River Weaver at Northwich.
The Chester Road bridge, is perfectly level, so that many people will not even realise they are crossing the River Wheelock as they drive in and out of Middlewich. The bridge was rebuilt a few years ago, resulting in it looking even less like a bridge than before.
In the middle distance can be seen the little bridge which takes Mill Lane across the river on its way to Stanthorne. The whole footpath from Nantwich Road to Stanthorne is, by the way, a public right of way, although the owners of Stanthorne Mill (the white buildings seen to the left of the photograph) always made a point of disputing this in former days.
Close to this bridge is a weir which you can see here in a black and white photograph taken around the same time, or possibly a little earlier. The weir is very difficult to photograph these days, so overgrown has it become - a point we were making here, when we were looking back at the general area as it was in 1967.
In fact a quick glance at Google Earth will show that the whole course of the river, certainly between Nantwich Road and Chester Road, has become completely engulfed in trees, making it very difficult to follow.
I originally thought that this was a recent phenomenon but, in fact, as a glance at page 52 of Allan Earl's Middlewich 1900-1950 (Cheshire Country Publishing 1994) will show, these trees have been here for many years and were at one time being cultivated by Boosey's Nurseries until the First World War intervened and they were left to run wild
The village of Wheelock, by the way, was named after the river and Middlewich's main street was named after the village.

To see the aqueduct this picture was taken from go to SUC AQUEDUCT OVER THE RIVER WHEELOCK 2012

First published 30th December 2011
Re-published 30th December 2017

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