Monday 14 May 2012


We're leaving Middlewich behind for a little while as we take a circular tour around the old County of Cheshire as it was just before the Second World War (although we do end up just a short distance down the road at Bostock Hall).
Clifford Ridgway took his 16mm camera, loaded with some early colour film and recorded the sights of the pre-war county for posterity, taking in Sandbach, Barthomley, Moreton Old Hall, Marton, Gawsworth, Warburton, Lymm, Arley Hall (near Northwich), Chester & the River Dee, Eaton Hall, Shocklach, Peckforton Castle, Beeston Castle, Horsley's Well*, Bunbury, Eaton, Rushton, Cotebrook, Great Budworth and Bostock Hall (near Middlewich).
Sadly old colour film does not seem to stand the test of time as its more stable black and white equivalent does and the colour is somewhat faded, but this film is beautiful nonetheless.
It's worthwhile remembering too, that Cheshire today is just as beautiful .
One day, when time allows, we plan to remake this film in HD to prove the point.

*a word about 'Horsley's Well'. The caption included in this film is the only mention we've ever seen of 'Horsley's Well'.
As can be seen in the film, it appeared to be quite a well-known tourist spot situated close to Beeston Castle, but very little is known about it in the present day.
The closest we can get using an internet search is a mention of 'Horsley Bath' which is in the grounds of a private house at Beeston and is reputed to have its origin in Roman Times.
 It is 'fed by its own underground spring', so must be the same place as there are shots of  water flowing into the 'well' in the film.
Recent pictures show it looking more like an ordinary garden fish pond than anything else.
Accounts suggest that it was a tourist attraction 'up until around 1904' but our film seems to suggest that people were visiting it long after that date.
As always, we welcome any information on this.

We recommend that you watch the film on Youtube by clicking on the link below.


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