Monday, 19 November 2012


The meeting of the waters...Croxton Aqueduct in September 2012
by Dave Roberts and Bill Eaton
Throughout the year the weather in Britain has been, to put it mildly, somewhat extreme. The early part of the year saw an unseasonal heatwave, leading to hopes of a pleasant warm summer.
Instead we had a traditional British summer with more rain than sunshine (although Middlewich's annual events and festivals were lucky and escaped almost unscathed).
Towards the end of the summer rainfall records had begun to tumble and talk was of 'the wettest September for a hundred years'.
On the 21st of the month the BBC was forecasting that parts of the North-West, including Cheshire could expect 'two weeks worth of rain in twenty-four hours'.
Locally, one sign that the amount of  rainfall, even by Cheshire standards, was becoming exceptional, was, as noted here by Bill Eaton, when the Trent & Mersey Canal was breached near to Croxton Aqueduct (though things were even worse near the top end of the canal where it joins the Bridgwater near Preston Brook - a massive breach in the bank there caused massive flooding and meant that the entire section of the Trent & Mersey between the Big Lock and Dutton Stop lock was out of action and many boats were left marooned.
The Canal and River Trust, successor in England to British Waterways, immediately put out an appeal for funds to repair this massive damage to the local waterway infrastructure).
Observing that something truly out of the ordinary was happening, Bill Eaton took a walk down to Croxton Lane and took the above photograph.

Here's his report to go with it:

'I had a walk down to the canal to see the floods. Bullock's Meadow and the Flint Mill were well under water. This was caused by the aqueduct bridge (where the canal narrows to half its normal width) being unable to cope with the amount of water flowing into it.
The aqueduct was closed off when the canal breached its bank.
To make things even worse, at the point where the Rivers Dane and Wheelock meet the water had backed up to make one mass of water from both sides of Chester Road back to the aqueduct.' - BILL EATON

UPDATE (NOV 27th): As November drew to a close, the work to repair the breach at Croxton was nearing completion, although the bad weather continued, with severe flooding in many parts of the country.


Sunday, 11 November 2012


Lest We Forget...

Saturday, 10 November 2012


The Roberts Collection

by Dave Roberts
To mark the season of Remembrance this year we bring you a precious piece of Middlewich history from our private family collection. 
This illuminated document was presented to William Shore of Middlewich in 1919 to mark the town's appreciation of the part he played in World War I, the dates of which, you'll notice, are given as 1914-1919 rather than the more usual 1914-1918. This is because the Treaty of Versailles which, it was hoped, would bring a chance of a lasting peace in Europe, wasn't signed until that year. The years 1918 and 1919 are regarded as interchangeable by war historians.
William Shore was my mother's uncle and lived all his life in the town.
His son, Harry Shore, was responsible for building number 44 King Street just before the Second World War and this certificate of appreciation was hung on the wall of one of the bedrooms in that brand new house, and stayed there for over fifty years, gradually fading in the sunlight as the years went by.
The certificate was signed by the Chairman of the District War Committee, Oswald B Whitehead, and the Committee's Hon. Secretary C F Lawrence, who was, as we've seen before in the Middlewich Diary, a noted Middlewich historian, as well as being clerk to the Middlewich Urban District Council.
Mr Lawrence's influence is very strong in the wording of the certificate. He was a staunch patriot and Royalist and never missed an opportunity  to stress Middlewich's strong Royalist traditions.
The certificate also feature the crest and motto Virtus Semper Viridis ('Virtue Is Always Flourishing') which was used for many years on Middlewich UDC stationery, but  never officially adopted as the town's coat of arms due to objections from the College of Heralds.
A version of this crest is carved into the back of the Council Chairman/Mayor's chair in the council chamber. The device was also used as an emblem by Middlewich Heritage Society in its early years.

On Thursday November 10th the Middlewich Diary was looking at a well-remembered view of the town centre as seen from King Street and, to acknowledge the time of year when the people of the town come together to remember the fallen, also took a look at Middlewich's main war memorial which, despite all the changes over the years, still stands only a few yards away from its original position in the town centre.



On Remembrance Day itself, which fell on A Friday last year, we looked at the wreaths left at the War Memorial after its re-dedication in 1972


Thursday, 8 November 2012


by David Roberts

Here's an interesting piece of Middlewich sporting history from just before the Second World War.
 This Bricker Cup Winners' Trophy was loaned to us by Leo Sykes who discovered it in a house in Sutton Lane which he  moved into recently.
Now that we have photographed the trophy Leo plans to donate it to the town so that it can be displayed on suitable occasions.
A close-up of the inscription shows that the cup, which is 5 ½ inches high and 4 inches across, was given to the winning team, or a member of the winning team, in the 1938 competition.

According to Allan Earl's Middlewich 1900-1950 (Cheshire Country Publishing 1994) the Bricker Cup was founded in January 1913 when Mr Bricker 'presented a cup to the Children's Aid Charity Football Committee for the "material benefit of the poor children of Middlewich"'.

We're hoping that someone has records somewhere which show which team won the Bricker Cup in 1938.
The competition itself has had several revivals over the years, usually as a consequence of the re-discovery of the Bricker Cup Trophy - the actual 'Bricker Cup' itself, that is - in a forgotten corner of a local pub undergoing refurbishment..
Does anyone have any information on the current 'state of play' as far as this popular local competition is concerned?

Originally published 8th November 2012
Re-formatted 6th April 2020

6th APRIL 2020

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Continuing our series of photos of Middlewich as it was twenty-five years ago, here's one of the town's favourite Lewin Street pubs, the Cheshire Cheese. Always a cosy and welcoming sort of place, 'The Cheese' continues as an unpretentious but well-frequented watering hole. 
In the last twenty five years the pub has expanded somewhat, while at the same time managing to keep its traditional atmosphere.
The licensed premises have now been extended to incorporate the small cottage to the right of the 'Cheshire Cheese' sign and the former car park at the rear (indicated by the small black and white sign on the extreme right) has been transformed into an excellent outdoor performance area which has been well-used for Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival and Middlewich FAB Festival Events.
In 2012 the Cheshire Cheese looks smarter than ever, as can be seen from the entry on our sister site, the Middlewich Directory:

Facebook feedback:

Geraldine Williams: It's a good many years since I was last in The Cheshire Cheese but I do remember that at Christmas they used to cover an entire wall with fir branches and fairy lights instead of having a Christmas tree (probably because of lack of space) and how effective it was.

Robert Sheckleston: Always been a great little pub. The last time I had a pint in 'The Cheese' Graham Woodbine was the landlord.

On November 4th 2011, the Middlewich Diary was making one of its numerous visits to