ONE of the things about living in a
place for a while is that you see things change. Buildings are
knocked down and what replaces them can be good or bad, depending on
Or buildings stay as they
are but the name is of the latter. That is the name by which I have always known the building
and so I am very pleased to see that it has been renamed
A banner, headed "Feline
Groovy!" declares: "The Cat is back". I'm not too sure about the new
logo (right) but you can't have everything.
As times changed, the Cat
was transformed from a restaurant to a nightclub called Korky's (after a character in a children's
comic, Korky the Cat) in 1972, and until recently it was known as Curshaw's.
In later form it was
a "cafe, bar, eaterie
and rooms" but now a sign on
the building says simply "Hotel".
The building stood empty
for four years between its time as a nightclub and when the three
Schofield brothers - John, Paul and Mark - changed it into
I remember it mainly as the
place where Nantwich Players held a dinner on the Monday after a
successful production in the Civic Hall. The cast and the backstage
team assembled and there were speeches.
In a room behind the dining rooms - all low ceilings and with a
black-and-white theme - there was a larger room, called The Barn,
where dances were held.
Over the front door of the
hotel is a plaque - one of several placed on buildings of interest -
by the Rotary Club of Nantwich (with the help of Nantwich Civic
Society) to mark 75 years of the movement. This one records that the
building began life in the early 17th century as (three) cottages
and was converted in 1676 to almshouses for six widows by Sir Roger
Wilbraham, "moved by the death if his wife and sons".
The story goes that there
were two widows to each almshouse and that there was a line drawn
down the middle of each house to designate the area that was to be
occupied by each widow.
The Cheshire Cat is one of
three premises named The Cat - the other two are at Whitchurch (in
Shropshire) and Leek (in Staffordshire). As I say, The Cheshire Cat
was called Curshaw's. The Internet also lists a Curshaw's at The
Mill, at Sandbach, but that doesn't appear to have become a Cat.
Assuming it is still there. Sometimes, websites go out of use but
stay on line.
One extra thing I found of
interest about the Cat's website (www.thecatat.com/nantwich)
was that it refers to Salt Dabbers but it
is not clear whether that means the people or if it perhaps refers
to an implement used in salt production (something like a salt
pat?). I haven't heard of either version before.
Nantwich building that has returned to its original name is
The Talbot in Oat Market which dropped
its trendy name of The Frog and Ferret. Unfortunately, with the
advent of the No Smoking rule in public buildings the original view
of the front of the pub has been somewhat obscured with a raised
area and a marquee for drinkers who have to go outside to smoke. The
name was restored in September 2007.
a Nantwich brand name, Baronia, from the
factory where the clothing was produced reappeared in February 2008.