Morrisons & Nat Lane Industrial Estate

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A great picture which shows really clearly the Nat Lane Industrial Estate and Morrisons.

Morrisons is one of three large supermarkets in Winsford. It opened in the 1990s – does anyone know the exact year? – after the construction of the Wharton Road bypass.

You can see the roundabout outside Morrisons. If you follow the road to the left you’ll see Wharton Park pub and then Arnold Clark car showroom. You’ll also notice Focus (now Wickes).

All of the cars next to Morrisons were at Car Transplants which has since moved elsewhere. A vehicle sales showroom is now at the site.

The huge Stanley Cooper buildings can be seen on the Nat Lane Industrial Estate.

At the top of the picture is the Winsford Industrial Estate.

Across the road from Morrisons you can see McDonalds which opened in around 1996 – I think.

The Queens Arms (Wetherspoons)

In this picture you can see Wetherspoons and its car park.

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The photo also clearly shows John Street and Dean Street. I’ve never noticed the modern building on John Street before.

The Queens Arms was built in 1958. It became a Wetherspoons on 26th January 2003.

The other thing to notice is that the old Chicoland takeaway on the edge of the town centre, opposite Wetherspoons, hasn’t become a Chicoland yet. I can’t remember what it was before.

High Street and Winsford Town Centre

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A great picture showing the High Street, the Civic Hall and Town Centre.

At the bottom left you can see Mid Cheshire College and as you follow the road up you’ll notice Winsford High Street School on the left, Foodcraft and then Queens Court retail park and Kwik Fit.

You’ll see the gas tower at the top in the middle.

At the bottom of the picture you’ll notice the Civic Hall which was demolished in 2013.

At the front of the town centre it appears to be Choices Video Rentals which closed in approximately 2006.

Aerial Photo

I think this photo was taken around about the year 2000.

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There have been a few changes to the view you can see here.

The Dene Drive Primary Care Centre hasn’t been built yet next to Aldi in the bottom right of the photo. Also, Taylors Opticians has relocated to the house nearest to Aldi on Dene Drive.

The Civic Hall has been demolished in order to widen the junction.

The gas tower has been demolished and replaced with Mid-Cheshire College.

The multi-storey car park next to Asda has been demolished and replaced with a new one and some modern shops.

Over United Reformed Church

Over United Reformed Church is in Swanlow Lane. It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building, and continues to be an active congregation within the United Reformed Church.

The church is built in polychromatic brick with a slate roof and red sandstone dressings. It was originally built as a Congregational chapel and was the second church to be designed by John Douglas. 

It is an unusual building which Douglas’ biographer Edward Hubbard describes as being “experimental” and as presenting “an astonishing sight”. The architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described it as “very ugly”.

There is a church hall which hosts various organisations throughout the year.

Town Centre

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This is a fantastic picture. It shows the town in the mid-Nineties.

In the foreground you can see Well Street, Lower Haigh Street and Overdene Road. The large building at the lower left of the picture is a care home, Overdene House.

At the left of the picture you can see Aldi which was built in the first half of the Nineties. You can also see the Queens Arms (now a Wetherspoons, but not then).

At the right of the picture you can see Dene Drive. Above it you’ll notice the old Winsford Swimming Baths. The Winsford Lifestyle Centre was built on the car park behind it. Above that you’ll see Wyvern House. This was built in the early 1990s.

At the top of the picture you’ll see Morrisons which was built in the early Nineties.

In the middle of the picture you can see the Town centre. This has largely been unchanged externally since it was built. But there is one significant difference. The multi-storey car park was demolished in the 2000s and replaced with a new one and a row of modern shops including Argos.

Here’s a slightly different angle:

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St John the Evangelist’s Church

In 1860 Hugh Cholmondeley, 2nd Baron Delamere, commissioned the Chester architect John Douglas to build a church in the centre of Over, which was then a village separate from Winsford, as a memorial to his wife, Sara.

 

At that time Douglas was at the start of his career and was working for Lord Delamere at his house and estate at Vale Royal Abbey. A new parish of St John the Evangelist was created out of the parishes of St Mary, Whitegate and St Chad, Over. The church was consecrated by John Graham, Bishop of Chester in June 1863. 

This was the first church designed by John Douglas.

In 1961 a new choir vestry was formed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the church. A Lady Chapel was dedicated in 1972 with an aumbry added the following year. Outside porch doors were fitted in 1979.

In the churchyard there are many memorials; these include one to those who died in a cotton mill fire in Over in 1874. This memorial is constructed in yellow sandstone ashlar and carries inscriptions, including a quotation from St Mark’s Gospel, and the names of the four victims which include a baby aged three months.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John_the_Evangelist%27s_Church,_Winsford

http://www.stjohnover.org.uk/

St. Chad’s Church

St Chad’s Church is the oldest place of worship in Winsford. Recent archaeological opinion suggested that it occupies a pre-Christian place of pagan worship, though tradition says it was dropped out in the fields by the devil when he tried to steal it to prevent worshippers using it.

 

Legend has it that the church was originally built in Over Square, but the devil was so angry at the people’s use of it that he decided to fly off with it. The monks at Vale Royal Abbey were said to have seen him and rung the abbey bells so that it was dropped at its current location.

In fact, its location is probably due to it having always belonged, along with its tithes, to St Mary’s Convent in Chester. This presumably convinced the Abbot to build the town far enough away from the Church in order to gain the tithes himself.

A tiny fragment of a Saxon cross shows that Christian worship has taken place here for over a thousand years.

Links:

http://www.the-old-star.co.uk/history.html

http://www.winsford.gov.uk/more_info.asp?current_id=78

http://www.stchads.org.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Chad%27s_Church,_Over

Telegraph Garage, Delamere Street

This picture shows the Telegraph Garage on Delamere Street in 1985.2014-11-28 20.20.47

 

For around three decades (as far as I know) there were two garages on Delamere Street. One was the Dickinson Bros. Shell Garage opposite Saxons at the beginning of the road. This continues to thrive with a large Spar shop accompanying it.

The other was, for a long time the Telegraph garage. This garage was busy as Delamere Street was for a long time one of the main routes out of the town. The Delamere Street bypass section of the A49 was built at the end of the 1980s and suddenly the garage was no longer on the main road – it would now start to miss out on passing traffic.

During the 1990s the garage became a Shell garage! There were now two Shell garages on the same road. It was still known locally as the Telegraph garage and it was until its demise in around the year 2009 when it finally shut its doors, unable to compete any longer with the very busy Shell/Spar station up the road, and the cheaper petrol at Morrisons at the other end of town.

The forecourt now seems to be use as a car park. On site there is also Winsford MOT Centre and a shop called the Wonky Shed. It seems like a prime site for some houses to be built at some point as this is a relatively large piece of land in the middle of Winsford!

 

The Flashes

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.

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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.