Tuesday, 22 December 2015



A Christmas to Remember

On Saturday 13th December, Chris Eaton and Abby Scott will be in concert at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Middlewich at 7:30pm.  The Middlewich Festival Choir, based at St. Michael’s, will also be taking part. 
The evening will be a very special concert which will commemorate 100 years of the Great War and also celebrate the ultimate Peace and Hope of the Greatest Promise given to us at Christmas through the birth of Christ.
Chris Eaton is a contemporary Christian singer-songwriter who has recorded his own albums and also written songs for numerous artists: he wrote “Saviour’s Day” the 1990 Christmas number 1 for Cliff Richard.  
Chis has written a new song called ‘1914 , The Carol of Christmas’ and it has been recorded by an ensemble of military voices and soloists. It is to be released as a single to raise money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and ABF The Soldier’s Charity. 
Chris says: "My hope and prayer is that my song '1914, The Carol of Christmas' will move and inspire all generations as they listen, to remember with honour and respect  those, past and present, engaged in war, and be filled with hope for everlasting peace through the message of Christmas!"
The song will be available for download on iTunes from 15th December with 100% of the profits from the sale of the single going to the three charities. 
Tickets for the concert cost £7.50 for adults and £5 for concessions with refreshments included.  All proceeds will be donated to St. Michael’s Restoration Fund.  Tickets are available from the Church Office at No. 28 Hightown or by calling 01606 619721.

This entry also appears on our

(Part of the Great War Centenary commemorations in Middlewich)

Facebook Feedback:

Peter Cox Absolutely Marvellous! A great show and a good night's entertainment.

Originally published 10th December 2014
Re-published 22nd December 2015

Saturday, 19 December 2015



The Makers Market

Middlewich's Makers Market has continued to go from strength to strength during 2015 and has proved its worth as an asset to the town. The Market has been an additional attraction as each highlight of the Middlewich Event calendar came up throughout the year. This diary entry has been updated as the year has flown by and has now been archived. The Makers Market will continue monthly during 2016 and we will be bringing you Market news month by month.
The final Makers Market for 2015 was on 

from 10am - 3pm

featuring Santa's Grotto
brought to you by
St Luke's Hospice!

Kelly Roberts wrote:

Saturday the 19th of December…. WE ARE BACK!!!
We will be popping up on Wheelock street in the heart of Middlewich. With Christmas upon us we thought we would jump on the festive hype and pull together the very finest local food, drink, art, craft and design artisans from Cheshire and the North West especially for you!
With this being the last Middleiwch Makers Market for 2015 we thought we would make extra special and joining us will be the fabulous Tarpoley Brass Band joining us and will be keeping us entertained throughout the day…. Make sure you pop down! This Saturday promises to be your one stop shop when it comes to Christmas shopping… from Vintage watches to handmade bespoke Jewellery, beautiful ceramic pottery and stunning Ladies Fashion and accessories, if it’s something for your pampered pooch we will be brining you the finest pooch couture which are guaranteed to be unique!

If you are more of a food and drink lover we promise to have your taste buds tantalised with award winning pies and cheeses, the finest ales. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to sample our brownies, cup cakes, scones and biscuits. We have it all covered, Christmas shopping has never been so much fun!

Join us on Wheelock Street, 10am – 3pm on Saturday the 19th of December for this fabulous Christmas community event.
See you there!

Here's our little musical Christmas Card featuring the Christmas lights as they were in 2013:

Direct website link:

And here's a great video by MILES WEST featuring
Pastry Shoes at the Makers Market
Miles West


First published: 29th January 2015
Re-published: 28th February 2015
                    28th March 2015
                  25th April 2015
                 30th May 2015
                  27th June 2015
                 25th July 2015
                      29th August 2015
                            26th September 2015
                           27th November 2015
                          19th December 2015


Friday, 18 December 2015



FRIDAY 18th 7pm
SATURDAY 19th 1pm and 7pm

Facebook Feedback:

(We're sure FIONA CHESTERS won't mind us sharing this and recording it for posterity!)

'I just wanted to say a huge congratulations and thank you to Middlewich Youth Theatre for producing an outstanding panto this year. What a talented cast that are an absolute credit to young people and our community, led by such a dedicated team of adults. Xx'

Thursday, 17 December 2015


by Dave Roberts

Occasionally we like to relax our 'Middlewich only' rule in order to bring you something truly exceptional. And this is just such an occasion. 
This photo, by Julie Kavanagh who lives in Northwich, first appeared on a local Facebook group and immediately struck a chord with a lot of people. 
It was taken on the afternoon of December 16th 2015, from Hunt's Lock, Northwich, looking towards Hartford Road Bridge. 
Very little else is required by way of description because, as they say, a picture paints a thousand words. 
But aren't we lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and to have people around us with the talent to capture that beauty?

Wednesday, 16 December 2015



Courtesy of 
Middlewich Round Table

With grateful thanks to the Round Table, the 41 Club, those skilful tractor drivers who successfully steered Santa around our streets and to Marc Holmes who kept everyone informed!

Direct links:

First published 29th November 2015
Re-published 9th/10th/11th/15th/16th December 2015

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


by Dave Roberts

(First published 18th August 2011)

This morning I was looking through some photographs taken during my time working for ERF Ltd in Middlewich (1974 - 2001) and, among all the photos of trucks, fork-lifts, pallets and boring workaday stuff, found this photograph, which struck a rather sinister note and reminded me of just one of the hundreds of truck drivers who came to the site over those twenty seven years.

One of ERF's biggest suppliers was Kirkstall Forge Engineering of Leeds (later part of
the GKN Group) and most of their deliveries were made by a transport firm called Clark's.
The 'Yorkshire Ripper' murders which took place during the years 1975 - 1981 gripped the entire nation and, in particular, the North of England. The murderer seemed to  possess almost supernatural powers which enabled him to escape without detection from the scenes of his appalling crimes time and time again. Of course, as it turned out,  he had no supernatural powers at all, but he did have extraordinary luck.
ERF Middlewich had a constant stream of spares deliveries from early in the morning until early evening and some of the drivers would drop into the Goods Inward office to eat their sandwiches. Clark's driver, Peter Sutcliffe, a quiet, softly-spoken little man with strange eyes and a camouflage army 'bush hat' always seemed to arrive around lunch time and would sit with us, telling us about his life - how his wife Sonia was 'very artistic' and was planning to set up her own pottery business; how they were re-decorating their new house and all the other tedious little details of everyday life which everyone talks about.
Occasionally we would all comment on the news of the day (we were well supplied with daily  newspapers, taking in The S*n, The Mirror and The Daily Star every day) and the 'Ripper' murders, which filled the tabloids for days on end  were always cause for comment.
'He's Mad,' 'I hope they string him up when they catch him', 'He should be shot' - the usual remarks flowed whenever the subject came up. And, of course, Peter Sutcliffe joined in with the rest of us.
When the truth came out our colleagues at ERF Sandbach, where Sutcliffe also made deliveries, reported that on one occasion he had parked his truck in front of the entrance to the company's Sun Works, which was immediately adjacent to Sandbach Magistrate's Court in Middlewich Road, and shouted abuse at a prisoner who had been brought in for a preliminary hearing accused of murder. Whether this is true or not, I can't say. 
Now, thirty years on,Sun Works has gone, and so has the Magistrates Court.
In 2015 the building disappeared to make way for a sheltered housing scheme.
What did happen when the truth came out was that we immediately rushed to our 'returnable empties book', where details of empty pallets returned to Kirkstall Forge were recorded, and found umpteen carbon copies of Peter Sutcliffe's signature.
Unfortunately for us, before we could do anything about it, a foreman from the repair shop borrowed one of these signatures and sold it to the Evening Sentinel for £40, effectively destroying the market in Sutcliffe signatures.
'Epitaph' found in the cab of  Peter Sutcliffe's truck
Naturally we were all a little bit stunned at having on several occasions been in the company of Britain's most notorious serial killer and I, at least, have taken a great interest in the case ever since. Hence the photograph above of Barbara Jones' book Voices From An Evil God (Blake Hardbacks, 1992) sitting among the computer equipment and telephones of the Goods Inward office. I took it into work for a little light lunch time reading. The over-dramatic lighting, by the way, is not deliberate - it came about because of the camera's flash bouncing off the book's cellophane dust-jacket.

The Yorkshire Ripper
(Photo: Forensic Science)

UPDATE (1st December 2015)
In early December 2015 psychiatrists at Broadmoor, where Peter Sutcliffe had been detained since 1984, determined that he was 'no longer insane' and was fit to be moved to a conventional prison.

UPDATE (26th August 2016)
On the 25th August 2016 it was announced that Sutcliffe, now calling himself Peter Coonan, had been moved from Broadmoor to Frankland Jail In Co. Durham, A spokesman said that Coonan would continue to be under observation because of his psychiatric condition and would 'never' be released.

P.S. The telephone which you can just make out in the background was rescued from a skip when ERF Middlewich closed in 2000 and was the Middlewich Diary office telephone until October 2015 when it was finally scrapped while we were moving house. Waste Not Want Not!

First published 18th August 2011
Re-published 1st December 2015

Thursday, 22 October 2015


by Dave Roberts

Today we wave goodbye to our home for the last eighteen years, no 5 Whitley Close, Middlewich.

It's a modern, comfortable detached house in a quiet and attractive part of the town, just down the road from the point where Middlewich becomes Cledford.
Although situated in what might be termed a 'modern' part of the town Whitley Close is, like the rest of Middlewich, not without its historical associations.
In this case, those historical associations are all to do with Middlewich Manor, which lies just a few yards away.
MIDDLEWICH MANOR Photo: Middlewich Guardian
The Manor was built in 1830 for the Court family, and we'll be delving into the history of the building in later Middlewich Diary entries.
It was a descendant of the Court family, a Mr Roylance Court, who indirectly had a hand in the creation of Whitley Close when, in 1978, he sold off part of the historic parkland surrounding the Manor for housing development.
Just how close what is now Whitley Close was to the Manor can be seen from this Google Earth view:

The Manor itself, now a care home, is hidden behind the trees seen in this view from our front garden:

Incidentally, according to the deeds to our house (which we only managed to snatch a brief glimpse of before passing them on to our solicitors), the housing estate which includes Whitley Close was originally intended to be called the Woodlands Estate, a rather obvious and uninspiring choice of name which, dyed-in-the- wool Middlewichians will understand, might have been better applied to Glastonbury Drive and Malmesbury Close and other roads in the more recent Nantwich Road development.

But the name 'Woodlands Estate' never caught on - indeed, the mention of the name in those deeds was the first I ever heard of it.

In the 1980s some people were pleased to refer to the housing developments clustering around Middlewich Manor as 'the Manor Estate' or 'the Manor Park Estate' but these names too rather fell by the wayside over the years.

So too, thankfully, did the ludicrous 1980s practice of calling our ancient town 'the village', a crime for which I once, quite justifiably, proposed the death penalty.

Be that as it may we have had eighteen happy years in this lovely part of town and will miss living here.

Now it's time for us, and the Middlewich Diary, to move on to pastures new.

Our new HQ is situated in a much older part of the town.

Rest assured, our study of the rich and endlessly fascinating history of Middlewich, together with our untiring efforts to promote the very best of what's happening now in the town will continue, as we settle down right in the heart of things.

So, it's a fond farewell to Whitley Close and a big HELLO to...


This was the last Middlewich Diary entry written at 5 Whitley Close


by Dave Roberts

22nd October 2015

Today we bid a fond farewell to the house which has been our happy home for eighteen years.

Number 5 Whitley Close is in a quiet and attractive part of the town, just a short distance from the point where Middlewich merges into Cledford.
Although this could be termed a 'modern' part of the town, the area, like every part of our town if you bother to investigate, does have its historical links.

In the case of Whitley Close, those links are connected with the close proximity of Middlewich Manor.

MIDDLEWICH MANOR    Photo: Middlewich Guardian
The Manor, the history of which we'll be studying in more detail in future Middlewich Diary entries, was built in 1830 for the Court family, and it was one of the family's descendants, a Mr Roylance- Court, who indirectly led to the building of Whitley Close when, in 1978, he sold part of the Manor's grounds for housing development.
Just how close the present-day Whitley Close is to the Manor can be seen from this Google Earth picture:

We only managed a quick glance at the deeds to Number 5 Whitley Close, when they were on their way to our solicitor, but it appears that the area was originally to be called the 'Woodlands Estate', a name which, for reasons obvious to dyed-in-the-wool Middlewichians, might have been better reserved for the Glastonbury Drive/Malmesbury Close development off Nantwich Road which came a few years later.

There have been half-hearted attempts to call the housing developments around the Manor 'The Manor Park Estate' or simply 'The Manor Estate' but these seem to have fallen by the wayside over the years.

In this view from the front garden of Number 5, the Manor is hidden behind the tall trees on the skyline:

It's been a happy eighteen years in a lovely part of town surrounded by good neighbours, but now the time has come to move on.

Our new Middlewich Diary HQ is situated in a much older part of the town, close to the town centre, and from there we'll be continuing our researches into the history of this endlessly fascinating town, as well as promoting what's brightest and best about Middlewich today.

So, farewell to Whitley Close and hello to....


This was the last Middlewich Diary entry written at No. 5 Whitley Close

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


our postal address will be:



CW10 9AR

Our other contact details remain the same:

Tel: (01606) 833404

Mobile/Text: 07808 063921



From the Mike Jennings Classic Collection comes this precious relic of sporting times past at Seddon Street; the Middlewich Select XI Team of 1985. 

BACK ROW (l to r):
Norman 'Nudge' Smith, Mike 'Jake' Jennings, Mike Hatton, Paul McAleer, Tom Beevers, Mike Tully, Dave McIvor, Gordon 'Torchy' Kay, ???*

FRONT ROW (l to r):
Gary Dawson, Glyn  Fletcher, Chris Dodd, Dave Myles and Dave Hardman

* can anyone supply the missing name?

Update: Martin Spurr has been suggested for the missing name. Both the name and the face ring a bell. Can anyone confirm? -Ed.

Mike says, 'This match was held on 20th April 1985 at Seddon Street, when our opponents were Endeavour F.C. from Middlesbrough.  It was one of our annual matches against our friends from Middlesborough, a team we played at home and away throughout the 1980s. Below is a copy of the programme cover.
The kit was the Boars Head Argyle's strip from the 1977 season. It was an Admiral kit from the same batch made for England in the 1976 European Championship Finals. They failed to qualify and so never used it - But Boar's Head Argyle did!'
And so, it seems did the Select XI!
Stretching the meaning of the term International Soccer ever so slightly, here's the cover of the programme for the game (photo: Mike Jennings)

And here's a report on the match, presumably from The Middlewich Chronicle or The Middlewich Guardian 
Note the Boys Own Comic-ish tale of 'Mick' Tulley (sic) who 'just happened to be standing on the sideline with his boots' and was brought on for the second half to score a hat-trick and help the team win a glorious victory  over Middlesborough Endeavour.
Well known experienced official Phil Hitchen refereed, his final whistle no doubt being the signal for an epic evening of celebration at the Boar's Head.

Mike has a lot more information on this series of friendlies which he promises to publish as a series in the near future.

UPDATE: (6/10/2015) Just when we thought we had this one sorted out (after several attempts) and had settled on 1989 as the year of the photo (which would, if the date is correct, have meant that this match took place on the same day as the Hillsborough disaster) our old friend and correspondent Geraldine Williams chipped in with this:
'My nephew, Mike Hatton, says that the year couldn't have been 1989, as his mate Dave Hardman went to the Isle Of Man in 1988. Mike thinks it is more likely 1986'.
So the jury is still out on the actual date of the main photo. It could, in fact, have been taken any time after 1977, which is the year the strip was first worn, and there is no proof that the two pictures featured here were taken on the same occasion. We'll leave things as they are for now, and await further information! - Ed

UPDATE: (16/10/2015) In the light of the above information, Mike's now revised the year once again, this time to 1985. It's not clear whether the press cutting and associated information still relates to the main photo, but we've left it there until someone tells us differently - Ed

Note: This is a revised version of a Middlewich Diary entry, originally published on the 3rd October 2015 under the title 'Boar's Head Argyle F.C. circa 1978', re-published on the 6th October under the title 'Middlewich Select XI 1989 and then re-published again on the 16th and 20th October as 'Middlewich Select XI 1985. Thanks to Mike Jennings and Mike Tully for amended information - Ed

FINAL UPDATE 20/10/2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015


Here's a message from Middlewich Library...
We now have FREE WIFI available here at the library. 
Please ask a member of staff for more details.

Please share so others are aware.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Direct email link:


Dianne Coleman writes:
We're nearly halfway through the month already! Don't forget, if you've never experienced my classes before, or haven't been to a class in the last six months, you can take advantage of the FREE PASS to all classes for the rest of October. Please feel free to share! Dianne


Dianne writes:
We're nearly halfway through the month already! Don't forget, if you've never experienced my classes before, or haven't been to a class in the last six months, you can take advantage of the FREE PASS to all classes for the rest of October. Please feel free to share! Dianne

Monday, 12 October 2015


Courtesy of DRINKS & BITES AT NO 35

Courtesy of SCRIBE
 17th October:
Courtesy of SCRIBE

 17th October:
Courtesy of SCRIBE

17th October:

Courtesy of SCRIBE

Courtesy of SCRIBE
On the 21st August 2015 the Middlewich Literary Festival was relaunched as SCRIBE.


You can find out all about this exciting new festival for Middlewich here:


and here....


Our Middlewich Literary Festival site will stay on line as a record of the early days of what will, we have no doubt, become yet another successful Middlewich annual event.

Many thanks to those who have followed the birth of this great initiative both here and on the original Literary Festival site.

We wish every success to SCRIBE!

Dave Roberts

(l to r) Jonathan Williams (Town Clerk), Fiona Bruce MP, Paul Edwards (Mayor of Middlewich), Cllr Sonya Edwards (Middlewich Mayoress)

Launch of the first Middlewich Literary Festival, 23rd May 2014 at Middlewich High School
(Photo: Middlewich Vision)


First published 21st August 2015
Re-published 12th October 2015



Details: Jeff on 0756 3561118
        Direct email link: stonesmanor@hotmail.co.uk         

Sunday, 11 October 2015


Nikki Hughes writes:
I am a co-founder of a new charity organisation called InTune-Middlewich. We are a group of passionate Middlewich residents who have a combined aim in wanting to make music more accessible and affordable for our town.
 All proceeds from our events go to fund a music workshop day for over a hundred Middlewich children who will work with professional musicians on one of three areas; singing, samba drumming and orchestra/improvising. This workshop is planned for January 2016 and we are hoping to be able to fully fund this event.