This and that
A COMPANION page to "Things You Say" (where visitors
to the website comment on the site itself), this page is for people to write
about anything local. To add a comment, see the
foot of this page. Visit
Things you Say for more comments. Other pages that may be of interest are
Ask Andrew and Family
Lines (family tree matters).
Nantwich Book Shop through the ages
I'VE just discovered your website, and spent
far too much time enjoying it when I should be working.
So, in haste . . . I hope the enclosed pictures are of interest.
They show what is now
Nantwich Book Shop at various times.
On the left is the building when it
was Lovatt's and the drawing is, as can be seen, when it was Frank Clayton
Frank Clayton was my paternal
grandfather, and I believe that the motorbus on
Old Pictures No 7 belonged to an
ancestor on my mother's side.
I know that the shop was George Bros when my grandfather
bought it as an ironmongers and re-named it Frank Clayton Ltd. I think that
before that it was Lovatt's and before that a saddler called Lightfoot
Thanks for all the work you have
put into your website.
Alan Clayton, Blakenhall, Nantwich.
Thanks for the pictures and information,
Alan. Very interesting. [In fact, Alan sent these last October and while I
set up the item as above, it all dropped off the page somehow - a fact I
have only just become aware of. The pictures stayed in my images files, but
it took a search of his e-mails for Alan to provide the text again.]
Stapeley Manor joint owner - and Wayside
THE Mr Birchall mentioned on one of the website
pages about Stapeley Manor, as the owner of the building, was Samuel
Birchall, 1891-1970. He was the eldest son of George Birchall and Hannah
Maria Dutton, both of Baddiley, and farmed at Gorse Croft, Audlem, where he
ran a cheese factory.
His cousin, Roland Birchall, worked with
him there for some time. Samuel married Elizabeth May Bennion, daughter of
James Bennion and Sarah Ann Hobson; they had no children and moved to Rhos-on-Sea
How do I know all this? My mother,
Olive Chetwood, nee Birchall, was cousin to Sam, sister to Roland and first
cousin to May Bennion.
Now I have a question: can anyone
tell me when Wayside School (right) in Hospital Street - formerly part of Sweetbriar
Hall - was founded? It was, I believe, established by Miss Dorothy Baker, a
daughter of William Baker of Highfields, Audlem, sometime before the Second
Miss Baker lived on the premises
with her sister, Charity – perhaps the Bakers were a Quaker family. This
excellent school closed in 1972 on the retirement of Miss Baker’s successor,
Mrs Doris Johnson. Apparently the cost of "improvements", made compulsory
by new regulations, ruled out continuing the school in the same premises.
It certainly gave me an excellent start.
I really like your website. The old
pictures of Beam Street are especially interesting as they’re not so often
Lynda Burke, nee Chetwood (another Dabber),
I don't have the information myself, Lynda, but I
know a man who will have. Bear with me. Mr Birchall and a local solicitor, Mr
Norman Afford, bought Stapeley Manor and divided it into two. In 1957, Mr
Birchall sold his half to a Mr and Mrs White. Read on.
The pictures of Beam Street are down to Andrew Lamberton.
on Bounty sailor educated in Nantwich
been trying to find out what school Captain Peter Heywood was educated
at during his early years. He was one of the mutineers on the Bounty and
only just escaped execution in 1792.
A piece in a book about him says: "Captain Peter Heywood was the fourth
son of one of the deemsters of the Isle of Man, who held the office of
seneschal to his Grace the Duke of Athol. He was a member of a family
resident in Lancashire for many centuries, and was connected by marriage
with the Asheton-Penkeths of Penketh, the Worsleys of Platt, the Holmes
of Holme, the Chadwicks of Chadwick, the Kenyons of Kenyon, and many
other local families. He was born at the Nunnery, Douglas, on the 6th of
June, 1773, and educated by the Reverend Mr Hunter, at Nantwich,
I was born
at the Cliffe Maternity home, Wybunbury, in 1958 and then lived in South
Crofts, Nantwich, until 1979.
My mother, who still lives at this address, is a Dabber born and bred.
As a girl, she lived in Malbank, off Manor Road. My father died in 1976.
His name was Raymond (Ray) and he played professional football for Crewe
and cricket for Nantwich. Our house backed on to Harvey's Tannery. As a
boy, I would watch the men working the leather. Boy, did it stink!
Bedson, Talke, Staffordshire
Thanks for that, Ashley. Andrew Lamberton, local
historian, writes: "This is very intriguing and is all new to me. After some
fairly extensive research I could at first find no reference anywhere to the
Reverend Mr Hunter.
The only schools that I am aware of
at this time were the Grammar School (the Rev. John Kent) the Blue Cap
School (the Rev. Joseph Partridge) and the Unitarian School (the Rev.
Richard Hodgson). I don't think there were any schools at that time
connected to other religions. There is no mention of a Reverend Mr Hunter in
Hall ("Hall's History of Nantwich".)
But it looks like the
information is correct. On the website
Lareau Web Parlour in
the USA, it says: "In his 11th year, Peter Heywod was sent to school in
Nantwich in Cheshire, remanded to the care of the Rev.Mr Hunter."
He had joined the Navy when he
was 15 so was only in Nantwich for four years. I have read some
background on the family and they seem well-to-do. There is no mention
of non-conformism, therefore I think we can rule out Unitarian and the
Blue Cap schools. I think he was educated privately.
The Rev Thomas Hunter died
in 1809, described as clerk and of Broxton Hall. Apparently he had
leased the hall from the Egerton family and his widow is listed as
living there in 1810.
So, I think we may have
the man but as yet no connection with Nantwich. I have looked in the
Nantwich Parish Registers but drawn a blank. I did find a John Wood,
Memories of the Heath Keeper's cottage
Nantwich Beam Heath Trust members in 1946.
Standing, left to right: S. Barlow (Distributor),
S. Speed (Heath Keeper), W. T. Maybury, S. Davies, Dr J. R. T. Turner, Cllr J.
Blagg, N. Hilditch (Treasurer), A. R. Whittingham (Clerk). Seated: E. Moulton,
H. T. Johnson,
E. Steventon, J. Bowyer (Chairman), L. Vaughan, H.
Whittaker, W. H. Owen
I DISCOVERED your website a few days ago and spotted your writings re:
the Beam Heath Trust. I was particularly interested in the picture of
the trust which showed my father, Sam Barlow, falling off the left hand
side. As the picture seemed familiar I checked to see if I had brought a
copy home with me after I had cleared the family home in Birchin Lane in
the early 1980s after my mother had died.
Luckily, I went to the right
box - sheer luck - and the picture was the second that I looked at. I
think you will agree that it is a better copy than the one you have,
even though it needs a bit of touching up. I did nothing to it apart
from lightening it slightly after scanning.
My father is described as the distributor, and this is how I like to
remember him. He used to take time off from his regular job in order to
distribute the "divi". Looking back, I am sure he must have walked miles
but I do not recall him complaining.
My personal memory of him in
connection with the trust was one occasion when he took me up to see the
Beam Heath ley which I think was in Alvaston. I seem to remember the
heath keeper's cottage near the gate to the ley.
Beam Heath trustees used to meet
occasionally at the heath keeper's cottage, and it is possible the picture was
taken in front of it. The cottage was close to the entrance to the ley and on
the right-hand side.
My father could have taken me there
during my later years at the prep.dept. at the Grammar School, or even
within the first year in the senior school. I have an old 2.5 inch Ordnance
Survey map from about that time and there is no building which fits the bill
unless it is one of those that are shown almost opposite Alvaston Hall.
Sam Speed, the Heath Keeper.
certainly lived in that area. I certainly remember him as he came to our
house in Birchin Lane on a number of occasions.
My recent interest was aroused when my wife and
I were talking on the phone to Brian Moore's daughter, Carolyn, and she said
that her father, who does voluntary work at Nantwich Museum, had told her
they were trying to find out where the race course had been situated.
Alvaston, came to mind immediately. I must have been told that years ago
by my father. I wondered if it had been on or near the ley. I also seem
to remember stories of aristocracy by the name of Schroeder who
lived in that area and wondered if the toffs had anything to do with the
racecourse. This is all guess work, though the name of Alvaston came
from somewhere in the past.
I certainly remember Sam Speed as he came to our
house in Birchin Lane on a number of occasions. My recent interest was aroused
when my wife and I were talking on the phone to Brian Moore's daughter Carolyn,
and she said that her father, who does voluntary work at Nantwich Museum, had
told her they were trying to find out where the race course had been situated.
Alvaston, came to mind immediately. I must have been told that years ago
by my father. I wondered if it had been on or near the ley.
All the names
mean something to me, with the exception of one - N Hilditch.
photograph appears to be signed in pencil at the bottom right hand
corner by Clifford V Kendall who took the picture (right).
Dorothy Vaughan used to write about Nantwich history. Her father-in-law, L
Vaughan - front row in the picture, was a trustee. H.T. (Harry) Johnson was
the local printer and wrote pieces on Nantwich history in the red almanacs
Another memory came from my maternal grandfather who lived in Park View
and was a traveller for the Baronia clothing factory. He remembered the Schroeder family travelling by horse and carriage along the Barony from
their home in Alvaston to Nantwich.
John Barlow, Inverness
Thanks for all that, John. The fact of your
father "falling off the left-hand side" of the photo (on
this page) is due, as you may realise, to the fact that it is a photograph
of a page of the Nantwich Chronicle in a bound file (held by
Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies).
The centre of what is, in effect, a large book, bends in towards the binding. So
I am pleased to see a "straight" copy of Clifford Kendall's actual photograph.
The head of the von Schroeder family
of Nantwich in the late nineteenth century was Baron von Shroeder who lived at
Rookery Hall on the road from Nantwich to Worleston. It was the baron who
created across fields from the hall to a point near to the Rising Sun public
house on Middlewich Road. This gave him a short cut to Crewe railway station.
This fact is included in "Lost Houses Around Nantwich" which also includes part
of the Greenwood map of 1819 showing Nantwich racecourse (top left of the image
on the left).
Nantwich races were held on Beam
Heath land on a few days in June between 1729 and 1824. The course, of which no
trace exists, was on the vicinity of Alvaston Hall and crossed Middlewich Road
twice on its circuit.
told me: "When they were running the races there was little or no traffic along
Middlewich Road. It wasn't until after the racecourse was ploughed up c1824 that
the road became a thoroughfare. I came across a reference in a Crewe history
book about Coppenhall and it said that the state of the road over Beam Heath was
so bad and muddy around, I think, 1830-40 that it was advisable to go to
Nantwich via Nantwich/Crewe Road from Coppenhall. I'm not sure when the road was turnpiked but I know it was quite late."
"Lost Buildings Around Nantwich" was written by Andrew Lamberton and
the late Robin Gray and published by
Landmark Collector's Library. Andrew Lamberton e-mailed me to say: "I've just
had information that the publishers of the two books have gone into
However, regular website visitor,
Eileen Jones, told me: " 'Lost Buildings Around Nantwich' can still be
bought on Amazon.co.uk, price £9.98. I was looking at my copy only last night.
What a pity I wasn't full of all this knowledge when at school. I'd be a
Museum has a painting of a racehorse, Perdita, on Nantwich Racecourse.
This item continues as Old
Nantwich Pictures 13 >>
Entry mystery solved
PLEASE can you help me or know anybody that can? I
think the Dabber' Nantwich website is great and full of so much information
In the 1901 census a place called Library Entry (numbers 1, 2 and
3) is shown between the Cocoa House and 29 Pillory Street. My relatives, Charles
and Alice Stockley, lived at number 2 and Mary A. Highfield at number 3. Where
is this place? What happened to it or is it still there?
I have been to Pillory Street and stood
at the Museum many a time trying to work it out!!! Could it have been the
Library in which they lived or maybe there was somewhere behind/within the Cocoa
House Yard or maybe some houses that numbers/house names have changed in recent
I haven't yet looked into the 1911 census to see if it is listed on
there and I have emailed the Records Office to see if they keep documents
regarding buildings. I also go to the Nantwich Family Historical Society and
they think that this place is a mystery too.
Any help will be greatly appreciated as I would really like to know
about the place and I am out of people/options to ask!
Amy Highfield, Crewe
Clearly, "A Dabber's Nantwich" website is the
first place to ask next time . . . ! Just joking. Mind you, all
I did was pass the question on to
local historian, Andrew Lamberton. He replied: "I'm pretty sure that
you are referring to Heath's Entry which later came to be known as Wright's
Yard. If you go immediately past the library (now the Museum) you will see an archway on
the side of which is the front door to the hairdressing shop.
"I remember a cycle shop there in the
1970s and a Mr Smith repaired bicycles down the side of the shop, through the
entry. I'm sure that there were cottages down there at one time.
"I have copies of Johnson's Almanacs in
which Nos 4 and 5 are listed. There is no mention of them in the 1969 edition,
so I presume they were demolished by then. I can't see any evidence of cottages
on the other side of the library."
Andrew's prompt reply brought
response from Amy: "Thank you very much for your help. It is much
appreciated. It certainly answers my question and I might now be able to sleep
Another stroll down Memory Lane
I'VE just been looking at the Snow Hill pictures
again... They like something out of Dickens' books. When I showed my
granddaughter where I lived until I was eight her face was a total look of
disbelief, and looking at the pictures, I can see why.
We've had some good laughs when
looking at them and remembering where my life started. My nan and grandad lived
at No 4, then my mum and dad until we were offered a flat right at the top of
Queen's Drive - which seemed miles away after living on the Hill for eight
years. I remember the bonfires, the Coronation party in 1953 when we were given
a cup and spoon (I was five), the gunnel where the old lock up was (us kids used
to get told off for playing down there), Mellor's Yard and Cartlake.
Happy times looking back, but not
so happy ones remembering the outside loo, the gas mantles and no central
heating, dolly tubs and me standing on a box turning the mangle handle for mum.
Thanks again for the pictures.
It's been nice going back down memory lane. Charles Dickens would be proud of
yer . . .!
Eileen Jones (nee Perlman), Telford, Shropshire.
WE visited Nantwich at the weekend with friends and
were bowled over by the buildings and the floral displays. Just before heading
for home we came upon the fabulous building where Clive Christian has their
shop. Do you know who built it and what it was originally used for? We'd love to
Caz and Tony B
original building on this site (left) was opened in 1859 by Philip Chesters as a
grocery shop and many people still know it as Chesters'. But
the "fabulous building" admired by Caz
and Tony was a replacement designed by local architects, Bower and Edleston.
Pillory Street, to the right of the top picture, was originally much narrower
and the rebuilding gave town planners the
chance to widen the road. The Pillory Street facade was originally
occupied by pubs. Boots the Chemists later occupied the building before Clive
Christian took over the premises.
See this page for more on the building.
Hotel across the lake
I ABSOLUTELY love the website! I live in Baddington.
Where? Exactly! No one but us folk who live here know about it. Perhaps we are
twinned with Brigadoon? I think we've been here for 1,000 years. Can you help?
Could you do a piece on the hotel that was across the lake years ago? It was a
spa sort of affair, largish building which stood on the whole site where the
Hacienda was....all the way to Shrewbridge Road junction. I'm a newcomer - only
lived here 25 years. I'd love to see a photo
Su Beech, Baddington, Nantwich
I think Su could be correct about being twinned
with Brigadoon. Baddington isn't listed on any map I have and so perhaps it does
only appear every so often. But more about the hotel she asks about can be found
on Old Nantwich Pictures No 8 on this website.
Snow Hill houses
I remember Carringtons and the Zan (this
page), but I am wondering if Andrew
(Lamberton) or Paul (Simpson) have any old photos of the houses on Snow
Hill. Numbers 2, 4 and 6 had gardens (I lived at No.4 ) and the rest of the
houses were terraced.
Cecilia (and Malcolm) Tomlinson, Qualicum Beach,
Vancouver Island, Canada.
Andrew has come to the rescue with an aerial picture
of Snow Hill (right), taken from the Appendix in "Lost
Buildings Around Nantwich" - which shows additional pictures from Nantwich
itself. You can't make out the details? See this page.
Both my homes have fallen to the 'dozers
Hi, Just came across your site and saw Dave Sealey
mentioning me and Strife. Hello Dave; good man.
My very best wishes to you and to all
my friends from Nantwich, wherever you may be (personally I'm in Ireland). And,
yes, the Hacienda is gone. I guess the new plans went in before the property
Both of my old Nantwich homes
have fallen to the 'dozers; first, the Golf House, that went during the late
sixties (I think) and now the Hacienda. It was a great place to grow up in but
all things must pass. (One of my favourite poems is Shelley's Ozymandius
- read it and you'll get the picture).
Yes, Strife did annoy the neighbours. I
still have some hearing damage myself! My Dad was a great defender of the band:
One time a neighbour rang up to complain about the noise; my Dad said, "You're
lucky. I have to live with it!" He never asked us to quit.
I remember him working out that the Government could afford to pay
everyone who lived in the country a basic living, 'universal benefit', so that
there would be no stigma and no real poverty; less anxiety. Then, everyone would
be encouraged to continue to work and pay taxes to make the whole thing work. He
said he was inspired to figure it out by the idea behind 'the Beam Heath',
Dabber's money. Only last week, someone told me that a couple of economists had
come up with a similar 'universal benefit' idea in the 1980s and had shown it
By the way, I checked out the
page. The house was built in 1961. We moved there in 1962, from across the
fields at the Golf House. My Mother is a wonderful woman called May and my
father was Walter Ellson, a corn merchant, but the main family business was as
pet requisite manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.
I can give you more info on the house -
or, rather, my Mother should be an even better source!
Paul Ellson, Ireland.
Nice to hear from you, Paul. It would be great to
have some of your mother's recollections.
Can't recall the Red Lion
IT'S been a while since we were in contact.
Since then we have moved to Vancouver Island to a place called Qualicum
Beach. It's like living in paradise, only a ten minute drive to the beach
and the Pacific Ocean.
The last time I wrote to you I said
that we check your website every
day and we still do and that is one reason I am writing again.
I read about all the coffee shops
and that there used to be 39 pubs in Nantwich, but for the life of me I
can't remember the Red Lion at the junction of Swine Market and Oat Market.
I do remember a garage at the
corner of Beam Street and Wall Lane (I think it was Mottrams) because from
our back yard on Snow Hill we could see the garage.
Maybe you could put me in the picture
where the pub was. Thanks a lot, John, and we still think your website is
Cecilia (and Malcolm) Tomlinson, Qualicum Beach,
Vancouver Island, Canada.
Red Lion (pictured) was one of a number of pubs with that name in Nantwich -
not all at the same time, of course, and not to be confused with the present
one in The Barony near to Beam Bridge. It was at the Beam Street end of a number of
buildings standing between Oat Market and Swine Market. There is now a
pavement, with flower beds, forming an island where the buildings stood.
Clearly the two roads were much narrower than they are now. The picture is
taken from Beam Street with Oat Market the narrow road to the left and
buildings in Swine Market visible in the distance (right). The picture was
published in Lost Houses of Nantwich by Andrew
Lamberton and Robin Gray, in which it is said the pub had four front doors
and no back door.
UPDATE: Andrew tells me (and the fact is in
"Lost Houses") that this Red Lion was demolished in 1959. The
building had closed in 1950 when the licence was transferred to the public
house on The Barony.
Shame about The Hacienda
from Nantwich about The Hacienda really brought
back some memories.
to school with Paul Ellson and consequently spent some time at The Hacienda.
I have vivid memories of the numerous practice sessions of Paul’s group,
eventually known as Strife, taking place in the upstairs room with the
balcony. They must have driven the neighbours batty. They later released a
great LP and I remember watching them perform at what used to be Bluto’s.
Great memories. Shame The Hacienda has been demolished, but I suppose they
need to build more houses like the ones on the old football field. We
visited Jackson Avenue during our recent trip, and we were not impressed
with the ‘houses’ they are building.
I took the wife from Willaston round the ‘new’ ring roads through Welshman's
Lane to Malbank. When we stopped by the new road she had no idea where we
were. The new football ground looks good by the way. Pity about the pitch
Dave Sealey, Johannesburg
Website brings back memories
I JUST came across your website. It is great and
brings back so many memories.
I am not a true Dabber, arriving in
Nantwich I think about 1938 at the age of seven when my father took over
Carrington's news agency on the corner of High Street and Oat Market (since
demolished). I went to school in Nantwich before my family purchased a
second news agency and moved to Wistaston, opposite Grocott's cafe.
From the school at Wistaston, I won
a scholarship to Nantwich and Acton Grammar School (now Malbank). I
played truant with most of the Sixth Form to watch the 1948 Cricket Test
Match versus Australia (The Invincibles) at Old Trafford. I still have a
couple of old school photos - 1946 and 1948.
I have fond memories of the
smell of roasting coffee from Stennett and Afford's in High Street, opposite Chetwinds, and of Tom Maybury trying to make a bowler out of me.
My family sold up (the house was
bought by the Bull family) and emigrated to Australia in late 1948. I
returned for a visit 50 years later, on May 9, 1998. I stayed with my cousin
Bob and Nancy Bailey in Wrenbury and did a Rotary make up at The Crown with
Derek Grocott, who put me in contact with some old school and boyhood
friends. I was able to show my two adult children where I went to school. A
I am planning to return briefly in
September this year and hope to renew contacts.
All the best and well done.
Alan White, Buderim, Queensland, Australia.
Thanks, Alan. Your reference to Chetwind's in High Street puzzled me.
I am sure you were thinking of Worsey's which
was a baker's shop with a cafe behind it (No 9). That was next door to
Carrington's (No 11). Perhaps you were getting mixed up with Chatwins who
are still on The Square (part of High Street). As you will imagine,
things have changed greatly since then. You might be surprised when you see
the area in September.
I'm even more homesick now
HAVING moved to a village north of Brampton in
Cumbria four years ago, I recently discovered your site and it has made me
even more homesick for Nantwich than I was before!!!
It is lovely to see the
images of the town where I grew up and lived until my early 30s. Up here
the place is dull, the local market town of Brampton does not even have a
gift shop, nice cafe or decent clothes shop and Carlisle, the nearest proper
town, is 20 miles away.
As you can see, I miss Nantwich so much. The
people are so friendly compared to up here where nobody wants to know you
unless you are three generations of family. So THANKS so much for your site.
It is lovely to see the old place and I hope to return one day.
Charlotte Stewart, Cumbria.
lI'm glad to keep you in touch, Charlotte. Keep
visiting the website. Is there anything in particular that you would like to
see a picture of . . .? (See also Things you Say).
So many changes
I ENJOY reading your
web site. It brings back lots of memories, and keeps me up to date with
developments in and around Nantwich.
Nantwich in 1983 to move to Johannesburg. Well, strictly speaking, we were
living in Haslington at the time, but I still consider myself a Dabber.
We have visited a few times since then, and my last visit was in
have been so many changes since our previous visit in 2001, particularly
around the old ‘NAGS’ and around the Stapeley area.
Having lived in
Jackson Avenue for many years whilst growing up, it is really the end of
an era to see the football ground moving. As a real youngster we used to
play on the pitch before it was upgraded, then later I used to play
there with Salvador (NAGS Old Boys team). We could also see most of the
pitch from our spare bedroom window!
planning a visit next June/July time. Hope for a drier summer than this
year. I still keep in touch with my old cricketing mates, and follow the
exploits of the rugby club.
Keep up the good work.
lNAGS: Nantwich and
Acton Grammar School - now Malbank School - in Welsh Row,
Nantwich. Both Welsh Row and Stapeley have seen new housing developments
in recent times.
Any photos of band?
I AM the fellow who originated from Birchin Lane (see letter
on Things you Say). In the early Sixties I had a band called
Vince Storm and the Tempests and our first professional gig was at The Civic
Hall where we were the supporting group to Emile Ford and the Checkmates. We
played several more times at The Civic but unfortunately I have absolutely
no record of those times and wondered if any of your local readers might
have photos taken at that time.
If my memory serves me we
did have quite an effect on the young ladies of the area since there were
not many "groups" performing there at that time.
I continue to monitor your site and it is very nostalgic for me so
keep up the good work.
Roger L. Moors, President and
Chief Executive Officer (for a properties trust in Canada).
lIf anyone has memories and/or photographs
of Vince Storm and the Tempests contact A Dabber's Nantwich and I'll
forward them to Roger.
you have any memories you would
like to share, the address is:
I may edit the comments. Your e-mail, together with a reply from
the experts, will be published on these pages.