Sunday 27 May 2012


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As so often happens in our Middlewich Diary, today we  find ourselves walking down an already much-trodden path to view once again the lock-keeper's cottage which  stood opposite the pub at the Big lock.
Built on a basically similar pattern to the much better-known (and still extant) Wardle Lock Cottage, but never extended in the same way, due to its chronic problems with unstable foundations, the Big Lock cottage was, nonetheless, a picturesque edifice in a quaint, ramshackle kind of a way, and, if it hadn't been for its tendency to threaten  to collapse and fall into the River Croco behind it for much of its life, would have made a much sought after canal-side dwelling in the new, modern canal age.
There's more on the cottage here (follow the links).
In the foreground are those utilitarian metal lock  gates which were only replaced by gates of a more traditional style in recent years. You can make out the crumpled bit on the nearest one where some overenthusiastic boater gave it a bit of a bashing.
The land to the rear of the cottage, on the other side of the River Croco, and stretching away to the right to the houses in King Street on the skyline is 'Down Bill Hewitt's', a hinterland of old salt workings with a public footpath running right through the centre of it which was ideal for the testing of bike riding skills.
Housing has now been built on much of 'Bill Hewitt's', but the footpath still survives, diverted somewhat to run alongside the River Croco to a point just out of shot to the left of the photo above.

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Paul Greenwood Demolished by Baskerville Demolition of Stoke-On-Trent round about 1980 (give or take a year)

On the 27th May 2011 we took a look at a picture of Wheelock Street which had been lurking in our archives for 38 years labelled 'Lewin Street'.
Oh the shame! We'll have to give that award back...
Also the strange tale of the MUDC sign and the 'witches flying over the church'.

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