Sunday, 31 May 2015


Issue number 52 of GO LOCAL is out now, spanning the months of June and July, and has been delivered to every household in Middlewich, giving it unrivalled access to the population of the town and supplying residents with a great source of information.

If  you haven't opened your copy yet, this is what you can expect:

WHAT'S ON listings for June and July
READY REFERENCE - your guide to local services
COMMUNITY PAGE  - Announcements and information on community matters
DID YOU KNOW? - Strange and unusual facts.
MIDDLEWICH HERITAGE - Julie Elizabeth Smalley celebrates a milestone with her 50th heritage article for Go Local, summing up all the many and varied aspects of Middlewich history she has covered in the series so far.

...and much more!

There are also pages of adverts for local businesses, forming an additional local reference service in itself. On pages 18 and 19 you'll find all the information you need on this month's 25th Middlewich FAB Festival.

It's  recommended reading for all Middlewichians!

courtesy of GO LOCAL

Friday, 29 May 2015

WHAT'S ON 2015

Once again this year Middlewich Town Council has published its handy colour guide to the many and varied events happening in the town this year. 
The guide, which is available at outlets all over the town, contains an introduction by Jonathan Williams. This is a special year for Jonathan, as he celebrates 30 years as the  Clerk to Middlewich Town Council. We'd like to add our own congratulations to the many which Jonathan haas received on reaching this milestone. As he says, 'I am more proud than ever to serve this, my home town, and this very special town of ours'.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015


by Dave Roberts

Here’s a shot  taken from the Church Tower during one of its periodic open days, this time in 1972, revealing a long-vanished but still vividly remembered version of Lewin Street. These open days were always hugely popular, with people clamouring to take otherwise unobtainable 'aerial views' of the town.
As far as I can recall the last of these trips up the tower took place in the 1990s, during the early years of the Folk & Boat Festival. Quite possibly Health & Safety concerns have put paid to them (there was always an awkward little jump to be made to actually get onto the roof itself, and this might have something to do with it).
It's a pity, because it would be wonderful to be able to take some modern-day pictures of these streets, with the vastly improved equipment we have today, for comparison.
I wonder if there is any way these  open days could be revived?
The buildings on the left-hand side of the street, and heading in the direction of Sandbach are:
Gibbins Shop (extreme left) - this shop later became the premises of J&M Print and even later (2014) the premises of Peter Forshaw, Funeral Director.
Next comes the CofE Infants School, Square One, the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and Seddon's Workshops. All these buildings, together with the Wych House Lane Seddon's Salt Works behind them, were replaced in the 1990s by Salinae and its grounds. Beyond that is the still extant Middlewich DIY.
On the right, the building with the square white roof is the then new Middlewich Library.
Above that is a small row of cottages with Yearsley's Menswear Shop (formerly Fred Dodd's) at the top
(now replaced by Longcross Court) and then the Crown (now the 'Narrowboat')
Further on still is what is now Middlewich Post Office and then the huge bulk of
the Victoria Building with the Civic Hall attached. These buildings have now, quite rightly, been re-christened 'Middlewich Town Hall'
Update: From 2016 the former Civic Hall was re-christened the Victoria Hall.
Notice the relative absence of traffic (and the total absence of heavy trucks) in what is now our town's worst traffic blackspot. But, to be fair, appearances are, once again, deceptive. Even in those days heavy industrial trucks were very common in Lewin Street, it being the main route from Sandbach and the industries along Booth Lane to Winsford, Northwich and Merseyside. We seem to have caught the road at a quiet time. Perhaps it was a Sunday...?

Dave Roberts

(Description updated 27th May 2015 and 4th July 2016))

First published 10th June 2011
Revised and re-published 27th May 2015

Sunday, 24 May 2015



Theresa Kay writes:
The Middlewich Rose Fete will be holding a Talent Competion for children aged 3-17 years. This 'Salt Stars' contest welcomes all talents, singers, dancers, actors, variety etc.
There will be 3 age categories- 
Mini Stars: 3-7
Junior Stars: 8-12
Senior Stars: 13-17

The Winner of each category will take home a Salt Stars Trophy and certificate.
Entry to the talent show will cost £1 per child with all money raised going towards the Rose Fete and Leighton Hospital Childrens Ward.
To enter, please arrive for registration at 12pm on Monday 25th May.
The show will commence at 1pm.

If you are providing music to perform with, please ensure this is available in CD format.
Please note, all types of performers welcome. 
mini stars may perform nursery rhymes if they wish.

Monday, 4 May 2015


by Malcolm Hough
Here is another post card of the church, which I have not seen before, and bought recently off eBay for £4.50. Worth every penny!
I don’t have a date for it , but it is likely to be the early 1900’s (see below - Ed).
The rear of the postcard  states that the postage cost is a Half-Penny for inland and One Penny for foreign destinations.
There is also a dividing line to separate the address from the communication and I believe this line came into use around 1905, according to a post card collectors site I was looking at a few years ago.
Bottom left you can  see where lines have been drawn, or scratched, to write the Middlewich name on the front of the card before printing.
I remember the very talented sign-writers doing something similar with chalk at Foden’s before the use of transfers.

I'm not exactly sure where the picture was taken from.
To me it does not look like it was taken at ground level. You can just about make out the Kings Arms pub sign; half way down left-hand side and you can also see the gap in the shadow where the entrance to Queen Street is. 
The trees are quite small as well.
Editor's Note:
I think Malcolm's estimate of the early 1900s as a date for this postcard is correct. Look at this view which was taken from the end of Lewin Street, looking towards the Church and Town Hall, and we know to date from 1906.
Hightown 1906. From Middlewich 1900-1950 by Allan Earl (Cheshire Country Publishing 1994)

The Church (or what we can see of it) and the old Town Hall to its left appear to look exactly the same in this photo as they do in  Malcolm's postcard, so I think 1906 is about right. Incidentally, on the photo from Allan Earl's book you can just see, behind the cluster of buildings around the churchyard, the top of one of the chimneys at the Pepper Street salt works belching out black smoke.

Returning, briefly, to Malcolm's postcard, it's also interesting to note that the entrance into the Churchyard seems to be a lot further away from the church than it is at present. Is this a trick of perspective? Or were there two entrances in this section of wall in those days? just below the Town Hall you can see what might be the present day entrance (these days minus its gate) in the form of a distinct 'V' shape in the wall. You'll also notice that the arrangement of the churchyard itself is also a lot different. Of course,we know that the current layout, with its pathways made from old headstones and gravestones only dates back to the early 1970s.
But take a close look at the Town Hall in both pictures. Here's an enlargement of part of Malcolm's postcard.

It's the old Town Hall all right - the one which was demolished in the early 1970s and stood on the ground next to the churchyard where the 'Roman Amphitheatre' is now, but it appears to have what's known as a colonnade - a row of pillars at the front of it.
Here's the Town Hall as we remember it...

...and from this we can see that the gaps between those arches appear to have been  filled in at a later date to form a door and two windows. Did this occur, perhaps, in the early 1930s when the rear part of the Hall was demolished for road-widening and the Urban District Council moved its offices to Victoria Building (now, somewhat ironically, itself re-christened 'Middlewich Town Hall'?) It would be interesting to get hold of a clearer picture from the early 20th century of the front of this venerable building to see just what the entrance really looked like before these alterations. - Dave Roberts