This picture shows the bottom of Wharton Hill and the way that the traffic over the Town Bridge used to be two-way outside the Red Lion. You can see the road become the High Street at the top of the picture – now, of course, the Old High Street. All buildings on the left of the photo have now long gone.
This is a great photo, taken in the early 2000s, I think.
The picture shows the Verdin Exchange which was built in 1895 as Verdin Technical School which eventually became Winsford Verdin Grammar School.
These days the buildings are used as bases for businesses.
The land behind it now includes a nursery. There are also football pitches and the fair visits there every year. In the picture taken, there are some travellers.
As you move up the picture you will see Winsford Fire Station and the Cheshire Fire Headquarters.
You can see the River Weaver at the top left.
On the right of the picture you’ll see the Civic Hall and the junction which was upgraded (at a cost of £2.5million, in 2012. It too five months.
Always described as Winsford’s best natural asset, the Flashes are three lakes along the course of the River Weaver. The lakes are called Top Flash, Middle Flash and Bottom Flash, and they extend over some 200 acres (80 hectares).
They formed in the 19th century (cartographical evidence dates their formation to between 1845 and 1872), due to the subsidence of surface ground into underground voids. The voids were largely the result of brine extraction, in which rock salt deposits were dissolved and washed out by water. As the ground slumped into the voids, the River Weaver widened at each point, until lakes were made where arable land had once been.
From the late 19th century, Winsford Flashes became popular with working class day-trippers from the nearby industrial centres of Manchester and the Staffordshire Potteries. Visitors came in large numbers for a day’s leisure boating, picknicking, and sightseeing. However, the Winsford Flashes were never developed as a public amenity, and their popularity soon fell into decline.
Today, they are primarily enjoyed by the local community, and are used for sailing (Winsford Flash Sailing Club is based on the 90 acre (35 hectare) Bottom Flash), fishing, and walking. They support a wide range of wildlife, with several species of migrant wildfowl, such as Canada Geese, using them as an over-winter destination.
The people of the town are rightly protective of them and potential development near to them was one of the key issues of the Neighbourhood Plan.
This photo clearly shows how large the Flashes are. You can see the Ways Green holiday park development on the right. Much of the housing on the right of the picture (off Weaver Street) was only developed in the last ten to fifteen years.
On the right of the picture you can see the gas tower which was demolished in the early Nineties (I think). Mid-Cheshire College is there now.
At the bottom right of the picture you can see Pimlotts which was demolished around five years ago.
At the bottom of the picture you can see The Vale/Jaxx/Liquid Lounge in better times. Today it lies derelict.
At the bottom left of the picture you can see Greedy Pig/Lighthouse chippy/Old Post Office which was demolished in 2014.
Despite the loss of some of the buildings described the road layout remains entirely the same since its construction.
I can’t quite place the time that this picture was taken – but it does prove one thing – de.bees hasn’t always been there after all! The picture shows in its place the market place which the bar’s address is named after.
The Red Lion is clearly visible on the right and the town bridge.
Thankfully the factories have disappeared and the buildings on the left of the bridge which is now a beautiful nature area by the Weaver.
The road layout has remained quite similar, although, of course, a one-way system exists.
This incredible picture must have been taken in the 1970s before the completion of the High Street A54. It shows buildings in the middle of the Weaver Roundabout and the development of the Station Road junction with the roundabout.
Don’t forget, of course, the Station Road by-pass hadn’t even been considered by then!