Saturday 5 August 2017


by Dave Roberts

It's hard to  believe that the two photos above show exactly the same place.
Forty-eight years separate the two shots - nearly half a century in which Middlewich, like every other town, has seen immense changes.
We're standing next to the bottom lock of the Brooks Lane flight and looking down towards the Town Wharf, Middlewich Church and, in the first picture Seddon's closed Wych House Lane salt works, in the second the Salinae Clinic and its grounds.
The problem with any modern day view of Middlewich is immediately apparent; the immense profusion of trees and bushes which has grown up in the intervening years makes it difficult to photograph anything identifiable at this distance.
Behind the trees on the left, where that singularly unattractive scrubland littered with the remains of old salt workings and old cars was in 1969, can be found Andersen's boat yard. There aren't many boats to be seen at the moment (August 2017) as we're at the height of the boat hire season and most of them are out cruising along Britain's waterways. The boats you can see on the other side of the canal, however, are part of the Andersen fleet.

A full description of the top picture can be found here.
To try to connect the two photos together, we can only refer you to our old friend St Michael's church tower, which can just be glimpsed amongst the vegetation above the canalside canopy at Andersen's.
One further thing ties the two photos together; on the left, just above the 'V' where the two paths diverge can be seen a gap in the wall.
We think this might just be where that blue brick pillar (thought to be part of a pipeline bridge over the canal at one time) stands in the earlier picture.
Here's a close up of that part of the wall, and you can see that there are certainly plenty of those industrial blue bricks still in evidence.

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