hometown in my lifetime
nine years online
is a journey
through my hometown of Warrington,
northwest England, featuring photographs,
stories and memories
Warrington is an industrial and market town with a population of around 200,000. It is situated on the River Mersey mid-way between Liverpool and
Manchester. The first crossing point of the River Mersey was at Latchford, by way of a ford. The name Warrington comes from "werid" meaning ford, "ford town",
the town on the ford. The Saxons called it Walintune ("Town of Welshman in a river
bend"). See History for more.
Ever wondered where the
first crossing point of the Mersey was? Or where
Oliver Cromwell slept when he stayed in the town? Or what Manchester
called in the past? Or what day Early Closing was in the town? Well,
find out those
answers and more by listening to the Mywarrington Radio Show on Radio
Warrington every Thursday lunchtime between 12 noon and 3 pm.
or on your phone with the Tune In app.
Yes, I am back on Radio
Warrington every Thursday lunchtime from 12 till 3
Mr Smiths is no more...or is it?
The iconic Mr Smiths nightclub at Bridge Foot is set to be demolished
in August 2014.
||In July 2014 plans were submitted to Warrington Borough Council by LPC Living
Ltd, Salford Quays-based owners of the venue. The borough council says
it cannot oppose demolition because the building is not listed or
protected by law. The council now has until 11 August 2014 to approve
how work to knock down the building should be carried out.
The venue has been a landmark in the town centre for decades. The
building opened in August 1937 as a 1,928 seat cinema and the first film
starred Robert Armstrong Without Orders and Chester Morris "I
promise to pay."
Before it was renamed Mr Smiths for the second time in
its history, it was known as Halo nightclub. This used to be the ABC
cinema, or the Ritz. Famous visitors include world-famous comedy duo
Laurel and Hardy, who visited in 1952, not to entertain, but to promote
performances in Southport and Liverpool. Local entertainer George
Formby, who once resided in Stockton Heath, did perform at the venue.
The club was previously known as Synergy, and before that Mr Smiths for
the first time.
Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachen
presented the Granada TV music and dance show, The Hitman and Her,
from here in the 1980s. In the time between Mr Smiths and the opening as
Synergy in March 2008, it was opened for one night a week, usually for
school discos. It became Halo in November 2009, but closed in 2010. It
reopened once more as Mr Smiths on 1 October 2011 after it was bought at
auction in London earlier in 2011.
A group called Theatre 4 Warrington
had been campaigning for it to be converted into a theatre. In the past,
there have been discussions in Warrington Borough Council to create a
riverside leisure area alongside the Mersey close to the building. Readers
have suggested a Pete Postlethwaite Theatre should be established. And
Pete Waterman has offered his support to the campaign.
No decision has been made on what would replace the building, but there are rumours of an apartment block
on the site.
Save Mr Smith's
Click the image above to be taken
Soon after the Warrington Guardian reported on the
proposals for the demolition of the building, the Save
Mr Smith's group was set up on Facebook by Diane Kerfoot to negotiate with the owners on how the building could be saved
for the community. At a meeting on 31 July
2014, Diane was told that it
will not be demolished on 11 August so there is still hope. Some
have suggested The Pete Postlethwaite Theatre, in recognition of the late
international actor, who was born in Orford. Others have suggested a cinema once
again or another nightclub.
It is believed it is only one of two Art Deco buildings
still standing in the town. The other one is the Masonic Hall on Winmarleigh
street in the town centre. The Odeon cinema on Buttermarket Street was also in
the art deco style, but still demolished. Interest from the business world did not bring any
offers to buy the building to run it as a commercial venture. The feedback was
that the inside was just too large for one company. Also, the borough council
does not have money spare to purchase the building. However, I was told that the
building was offered to the council in 2004 for a very cheap price. I
don't know if that is true, but if it was they missed out on a great
opportunity to save it for the community. The Save
Mr Smith's group has agreed that it is not appropriate for it to become just
a theatre or just a cinema or even just another nightclub.
My suggestion as a member of the Save
Mr Smith's group at our first meeting was to secure the building as a
non-profit-making venture whereby different community groups and charities could
make use of the building. The inside could be sectioned off into entertainment
areas, workshops, offices, play areas and conference rooms, etc.
I even offer
the suggestion as a radio presenter on Radio
Warrington to move our studios into the building when the station begins
broadcasting on the AM (medium wave) band later in 2014. The site Radio
Warrington has been
offered is only temporary due to redevelopment of the town centre in the near
future. A permanent base for us in the former cinema/nightclub building would be
another good use of the building. Radio
Warrington is run by volunteers who are passionate about music and the
community. We are proud to be at the heart of your community. Listen in live now
on the internet or download the Tune In app on your mobile phone.
The former cinema/nightclub building
could also incorporate a small theatre stage and cinema area for groups like the
Cine and Video Society to showcase their work in the town centre. They have
been making films since 1936, a year before the original Ritz cinema opened. The
venue could also be used a training ground for budding
artists/entertainers/musicians of the future to compliment the work done by the Pyramid
Parr Hall on Palmyra Square.
Of course, it would take a lot of investment to make the
dream come true, but there is the National Lottery good causes fund, which
was set up in 1994 by former prime minister John Major to raise funds for good
causes across the country. What better use of an iconic art deco building could
there be than to hand it over the community as a lasting legacy for the town?
However, having read the planning application, it seems the owners are only in
favour of a commercial venture rather than a charitable trust or similar.
The alternative is to demolish it sometime after 11 August 2014 to
replace it with - what? A car park? Offices? Houses? Is it a good cause or a
lost cause? if you support the idea of saving the 1937 building, see the Save
Mr Smith's Facebook page and get involved.
I congratulate Dianne Kerfoot on
her hard work so far to put pressure on the owners and the local authority to
make good use of the site. Also thanks to the Warrington Guardian, Pete Waterman
and Chris Evans for supporting the cause. If our
campaign fails, at least we can say we had a go.
Remember, if the building is
demolished it won't be coming back and the only places to see it will be in
photographs in books or on websites like mywarrington and Facebook. I wonder if I won Euromillions this week
they would accept my offer to buy the building? I wouldn't need to run as a
commercial venture. Just cover the running costs.
Meanwhile, another Facebook page, Mr
Smith's Memories, features stories and photos from its days as a nightclub
has been set up.
in this section taken from the At the Flicks
Click the image above to be taken
to the Save Mr Smith's Facebook page
is a local Warrington community recycle shop, who are committed
to support our local communities.
They are based in one of the most deprived wards of Warrington, which
are in the most 20% deprived in England.
See the Community page
And don't forget Head in Golden Square for
sales of vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, games and books.
They also have a Facebook
|My Grandfather, John Webb, served in WW1 he was injured at the Battle
of Le Chateau. He was a prisoner of war, later sent via the Red
Cross to Switzerland he died as a result of his Injuries shortly after
his return to Warrington. My father, also John Webb, was too young to
remember him. He had a photo of his father in his uniform and a letter
written when he was a prison of war. I have these items. The letter
detailing the serious abdominal operation performed without anaesthetic
and the treatment he received as a prisoner is beyond belief.
He gave away two of his war medals. I have the remaining Mons Star and
would love to find the two lost medals. Printed on the medals would be
his name J.Webb no 53 Manchester Regiement.
Sheila Rotherham (nee Webb).
|If any reader can help, please email
me here at mywarrington and I will pass your responses onto Sheila.|
If any links to external sites do not work,
please let me know. Every one of them
worked at the time of publishing,
but things do get moved around or deleted.
Addition to Shop! page - More on the
Edwin Allen story and now including Corker's Pharmacy.
Brand new section - At the Flicks
- a history of the cinemas in Warrington.
New name added to Hamilton Street photo 21
(Michael (Mick) Monaghan. Also two of his sisters: photo 24 middle row, 3rd
child from left and photo 30 front row 5th from left. Did you go to that school in the 50s and 60s? There
are lots of unnamed people on there. Have a look - you might be pictured! I have
more photos from Hamilton street to add, plus some more names for other
pupils on existing photos. I will get round to adding them as soon as possible.
A reader has asked if anybody can remember
who the first headmaster/headmistress of Dallam County Primary school was. The
school opened on 24 April 1953. Let me
know if you have the answer.
More updates coming soon...
Warrington Family Businesses Closed Down in 2014.
2014 saw the closure of three of
Warrington's family businesses. The Waysiders on Horsemarket Street, Edwin Allen
arts and crafts shop on Buttermarket Street and Whites Sports shop in Warrington
Market have all closed down their high street shops due to retirement. One of
them, Whites Sports, will continue to have an online presence at WhitesSports.com.
I have created a new Shop! section which features the
history of the shops which includes some fascinating photos which I have been given
access to for the mywarrington website.
BEGAN IN 1894
SAT 17 MAY2014
31 MAY 2014
BEGAN IN 1944
30 APR 2014
|If you have memories of either working or shopping at
any of the three stores, then get
and I will be delighted to add your stories to the
Memory Lane section of the mywarrington website.
of RMS Tayleur: The Lost Story of the Victorian Titanic
19 January 1854 the Tayleur, a large Warrington-built merchant vessel,
left Liverpool for Australia; packed with hopeful emigrants, her hold
stuffed with cargo. On the 160th anniversary of the disaster, Gill Hoffs
reveals new theories behind the disaster and tells the stories of the
passengers and crew on the ill-fated vessel:
John Noble, record breaking hero of the Gold Rush era.
Ship surgeon Robert Hannay Cunningham and his young family, on their way
to a new life among the prospectors of Tent City.
Samuel Carby, ex-convict, returning to the gold fields with his new wife
– and a fortune sewn into her corsets.
But the ship's revolutionary iron hull prevented its compasses from
working. Lost in the Irish Sea, a storm swept the Tayleur and the 650
people aboard towards a cliff, studded with rocks 'black as death'. What
happened next shocked the world.
book is available from Waterstones and WHSmith in Golden Square shopping
centre in Warrington, or direct from the publishers
Pen & Sword books http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Sinking-of-RMS-Tayleur/p/6053/
Hardback 160 pages ISBN: 9781783030477 Published:
15 January 2014
See also Gill's website: http://gillhoffs.wordpress.com/
Warrington Borough Council's
general enquiries number changed to (01925) 443322 on 2 April 2013.
mywarrington has no connection with the council. Telephone number appears for
A special study of how towns and
cities have developed during the past century has revealed
Warrington as the top town in Britain for economic growth.
The report was published by the
‘Cities Outlook 1901' in July
2012. Read more at warrington-worldwide.co.uk.
released in October 2013 show that 9.1 million people visited Warrington during
The report says that the tourism industry in Warrington employs 6,000 people
directly and indirectly.
has a population of 202,228 (101,928 women and 100,300 men),
according to the 2011 Census.
This is an increase of 11,144 or 5.8% on the 2001 Census figure of 191,084.
Here is the breakdown for residents answering the religious question:
not stated 11,837
released in January 2014 show that there were more than 1,000 women and over 300
90 or above living in the town. It is also estimated that 37 people in the town
have celebrated their 100th
birthday. The Office for National Statistics predicts that the number of
over-80s in the UK is set to double
to six million by 2037, with 111,000 centenarians in the same year– up from
13,000 in 2012.
Information reproduced in good
faith. mywarrington accepts no responsibility for inaccuracies.
Reader Request for Photo
I wonder if you could help in any way. For
many years Nigel Sharpe has been a collector of Wardonia shaving items and has a
great interest in the firm of Thomas Ward & Sons Ltd.
In his research he has obtained photographs
of the Wardonia works in Sheffield but nothing for the premises in Eden Street,
Warrington, and wonders if any reader knows if such a photo exists.
Nigel maintains a web page www.wardoniarazors.co.uk
showing the Sheffield works and would love to be able to include the Warrington
If you can help, link to Nigel's
website or send any photos to me here
at mywarrington and I will pass them on to him. Posted 1 Oct
Peter Spilsbury adds that Wardonia is
not mentioned in the 1935-6 Warrington Directory, but there is a Thomas Ward
& Sons listed as jewellers and he had two
addresses in Suez Street (nos. 6 & 11).There were other Thomas Wards but
no hint of Wardonia with them.
||On 20 April 2013 I visited the
Museum of Road Transport in St Helens and the
volunteers gave me permission to photograph the Warrington Corporation
Transport vehicles in their collection and to present
them here on mywarrington. They are featured in Where Are They Now -
Warrington's Preserved buses section of the On
The Buses page. It's a great museum if you like vintage transport
and they are open every Saturday, Sunday and Bank holidays between 12
noon and 4pm.
photograph was emailed to me in January 2013 by one of my readers. He
tells me he bought an old oak picture frame in a antiques shop on Orford Lane
in the 1970s to use for family photos. It contained this old photograph
which he left behind his picture. The name on the photograph is Ingham
Bowdon and the contributor of the photo and I wonder if anybody knows anything about the gentleman
or if indeed the owner of the photograph would like it back. Does the name
ring any bells with anyone locally? Please contact
me and I will forward your details on to the reader who would be happy
to reunite the photograph with the owner. Posted 5.3.2013.
(21 March 2013): one of my readers in Australia says she used to live in
Longford St Orford and there was a shop on the street called Bowden's
Furniture shop. She wonders if this was the same family.
Warrington became the new name for culture services in Warrington. The
services transferred from Warrington Borough Council to a brand new company
limited by guarantee in May 2012 and are currently going through the process of
becoming a registered charity. They will be responsible for running the museum,
Parr Hall and Pyramid. In a similar move Live
Wire became responsible for local leisure, libraries and lifestyle services.
ONLINE and on
hours a day,
for Warrington -
on the internet.
we see presenter, DJKenny, at Warrington Market's Classic Transport
Show on 27 June 2009.
News is provided by Warrington
Worldwide. Radio Warrington
has been online since March 2007.
was granted a temporary FM radio licence to broadcast on 87.8 FM from
7 to 15
This included live shows from the Warrington Market Transport Show,
the Warrington Music Festival,
the 21st Disability
Awareness Day at Walton Hall Gardens
and coverage of Warrington Wolves matches
Challenge Cup Semi-final win over Huddersfield to take the team to
third time in four years). The
station secured a 28-day licence in 2012 which ran from Monday
12 November to Sunday 9 December. Another licence was granted for
15-29 May 2013 to broadcast
during the NATIONAL LOVE YOUR LOCAL MARKET
campaign. The station hopes to apply
for a five-year
licence in 2013.
Warrington - Proud to be at the Heart of your Community.
has his own website www.djkennylive.me.uk.
Click here or on the station
banner above to be taken to the Radio Warrington website.
|A reader is trying to trace the whereabouts
of the above photo, which is said to be of a shop at 29 Padgate Lane from the
1930s. The location is currently occupied by Chapel Walks Garage near the
traffic lights. Can any reader shed any light on the shop, business owner,
location, etc? If you can help, email
me here at mywarrington. Posted 17.6.2012.
A reader poses a question about the
See Cockhedge Mill Fire section of Memory
Lane to see what he is puzzled about.
And I think I now have the answer.
Read the story behind this image in Memory
OFTEN RECEIVE REQUESTS FROM READERS ASKING TO TRACE MEMBERS OF THE
PUBLIC FOR FAMILY TREES OR SIMILAR.
PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITIES NOR THE INTEREST IN
PROVIDING THIS KIND OF
SERVICE. DESPITE THIS NOTICE, I AM STILL RECEIVING REQUESTS TO LOCATE
PEOPLE IN PHONE BOOKS, ETC. PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL NOT RESPOND TO
FUTURE EMAIL REQUESTS OF THIS NATURE. THANK YOU. 11.2.2011.
||Throughout the website you
will see my two
assistants - Email and Femail. They have been part of the
mywarrington team from the beginning, working away tirelessly in the
background answering all your emails. So if you want to keep in touch,
email me (or femail me) with your memories of the town, comments and
suggestions by clicking on their images wherever they appear.
You can, of course, click my pen at the top and bottom of each page too
or on other email links throughout the site. Images Copyright © Fletcher
|The Inchicore Pressed Glass
Works Private Museum website
gives information on Orford Lane Glass Works (see Edward
Bolton section under English Glass). If you can help fill in any of the
history of the works, the author would be extremely grateful. He is particularly
interested in the date the works finally closed down before the site was used
for Alliance Box Works from 1900. Contact him via his website, rather than here
at mywarrington. Page 9 of the October 2010 edition of Warrington-Worldwide
gives more on the story. Posted 27 Sep 2010.
Read about policemen Jock Hay and
Bobby Dooley in Memory Lane.
An account of the
Warrington and Stockport Railway by a local resident. Click
Read about The
Bridgewater Players drama group in Community.
BURTONWOOD, a section covering Europe's largest air base
War Two until its closure in 1993.
Burtonwood Association website www.rafburtonwoodbase.org.
Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am to 5pm
near Gulliver's World theme park
ON EMAIL OR FEMAIL TO CONTACT ME
Warrington News is a free newspaper which is distributed throughout
Stockton Heath, Appleton, Grappenhall, Thelwall, Stretton, Hatton, Walton, Lymm,
Latchford, Moore, Daresbury, Weaverham and Northwich FREE every month with
an online version. South Warrington News started life in 1993 as ‘SHOPFRONT’,
a quarterfold publication which quickly established itself as the main press
presence in South Warrington. Based in Stockton Heath, its main aim was to give
South Warrington its own voice and identity with the mission statement ‘Use
your local shops, businesses and amenities, or lose them’. SHOPFRONT, fuelled
by the loyalty of the area it served, went from strength to strength.
mywarrington is proud to promote the newspaper on this website. See their
website at www.southwarringtonnews.com
where you can download it for offline reading.
Also check the two other newspaper organisations in the town: Warrington
Worldwide and the Warrington
- Proud to be at the Heart of Your Community. Online. On your smartphone. 24
hours a day.
FM for music, news and sport, 24 hours a day since 1 September, 1998.
Although they broadcast to Warrington, Runcorn and Widnes and originally from a
site off Long Lane, Warrington, they are now part of UTV media (GB) and based in
Featuring images of the
town centre taken from the air, including the top of the Big Wheel which visited
Warrington at Christmas 2007.
I rode it in its first week. My special
thanks go to the ride's owners, Jan
de Koning Fun Fairs for their assistance.
Warrington Wolves successfully defended their 2009 Challenge Cup win over
Huddersfield by beating Leeds Rhinos 30-6 at Wembley on Saturday 28 August
2010. They became
Super League Champions 2011 after
beating Hull FC 34-12 on Friday 9 September 2011. Their nearest rival
Wigan also won, but Warrington Wolves were one point ahead in the table.
Read about their
history-making games and other events in the club's history in Warrington Wolves.
Occasionally readers ask me for
information on events, happenings, things they remember, etc in the town. I
don't always know the answers, so visit the Community
page to see if you can help with some of those questions.
PHOTOS FROM THE 4TH ANNUAL FIDDLER'S FERRY CLASSIC
VEHICLE SHOW AND
WARRINGTON MARKET SHOWS.
page for more
The Winwick Pig
in the History
Warrington Borough Council
have announced a new plan for the Time Square and market areas, along with
the areas around the River Mersey at Bridge Foot. Work is expected to begin in
2014 or 2015. Warrington Partnership was
formed in 2001 and is the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) for
Warrington. It is a collection of key public, private and third sector
organisations from across Warrington that develop plans and work together to
help improve and shape Warrington's future. It has produced a document
entitled 'One Warrington: One Future'.
The document sets out their vision for the future of Warrington from 2009 to
2030. Read more at www.warringtonpartnership.org.uk
A group called Theatre 4 Warrington wished to convert the former Mr Smiths
nightclub into a theatre. However, Mr Smiths reopened
as a nightclub in the spring of 2008. The nightclub has since been renamed:
Synergy first, and now Halo from November 2008 until it closed down in 2010.
It reopened in October 2011, again as Mr
Smiths, after new management purchased
the venue by auction. Theatre 4 Warrington
are still looking for a venue. And in
conversation with one of the construction workers at Golden Square on 1st June
2006 he complimented the improved nightlife in the town. He says he goes to
Liverpool one weekend and comes to Warrington the next, staying overnight at a
local guesthouse. Praise indeed!
Parr Hall, seen above, right in this photo from 4 November 2005, opened in 1895 and
still attracts major artists to the town. But some residents felt it was due for
an upgrade. This has now happened with a £1.2 million investment.
A JOURNEY ALONG THE RIVERS
AND CANALS OF WARRINGTON
Green. Click here
for On The Waterfront
you are in Warrington Market, have a look at the video screens. The
traders have made their own adverts which show throughout the
day. They were featured on BBC Northwest Tonight on Wednesday 14 March
2007, going live the next day. See Warrington
Market page for more on the market's history.
The extension to Golden Square shopping centre opened to
the public on Thursday 24 May 2007, celebrating the arrival of Debenhams
department store, along with new names like H&M, Oasis, Jane Norman, La Senza and Bank. Boots moved into the centre from Bridge
Street on 20 June 2007. See
the official Golden
Square website for details.
My thanks to Bovis
Lend Lease for permission to use the image of Golden Square
Keep up to date with events
and happenings at
Warrington Museum and also at Warrington
Did you know: the Captain of the Titanic, Edward John
Smith, married his sweetheart Sarah
Eleanor Pennington at St Oswald's Church Winwick in 1887? Read his profile in Warrington
for the story
of RAF Burtonwood. The
page also includes the
town's war memorials.
The photo above is a Douglas
C-47D Skytrain on display
Air Base in 1957.
It is part of a series of
photographs now featured in
Image Copyright © P. Spilsbury
Transporter Bridge over
the River Mersey at
Bank Quay on 23 January
It was built in 1916
has a span of 187
feet (57 metres).
not been used since
1964 and is now a
Grade II* listed monument.
history of Bewsey
Secondary Modern School
from its beginnings in 1934
to its closure in 1993.
See the creative side of the young people of Dallam. Click
the link below and then
'Dallam Youth Art' section in the contents box of the My
Have a look at Warrington
in the smoky 70s! My
On The Buses
- my history of buses in Warrington
and street scenes
old and new
Looking at the railways
around the town
Click the image
Cycle Museum at Walton Gardens
Click the image for the Events
Also in Peter's Gallery:
175th Anniversary of Warrington to Newton Railway.
Remember the cattle markets in the town? See where they got off the
Images around Bank Quay.
Views from the top of St Thomas' Church in Stockton Heath. Link to the
church website here
photo by Peter of Crossville's old bus garage on Chester Road can be
viewed in the
online edition of South
Warrington News, issue 173, week ending 27 July 2007, under the
Latchford Life section
OF THE THORN
Read about this event, unique to
for the story and more pictures.
ON EMAIL OR FEMAIL TO CONTACT ME
a stroll through Sankey Valley Park from Callands to Fiddlers Ferry.
Click the image above
Occasionally, I will
feature items with a Warrington connection from other areas. At Bridge
Foot you might notice a large telephone box. It is a K4 "Vermillion
Giant". You can read more about it on the Tour
2 page. On my travels in January 2006, I located another one (it is
believed there are only 5 remaining examples in the country). You can
see it outside The Cholmondeley Arms pub on Church Street in Frodsham.
Cholmondeley Arms near
the railway station approach,
with the K4 "Vermillion Giant" (31 Jan 2006),
and Warrington's version at Bridge Foot.
The pub itself is very
interesting. It received its present name around 1900. Previously it had
been a beer house with a wine licence, known as the Albert Inn,
and received a full licence in 1960. Previous owners include a Mrs
Farrell (1872), the Atlas Brewery (1890) and Burtonwood Brewery from
1923. It is believed the pub opened in 1841. If you are passing through
Frodsham, don't forget to call in. You will be made very welcome by the
Check out some
history of Fiddler's Ferry on My
20 Oct 2005
Warrington's association with
the wire-weaving industry came to an end in 2005 when Carrington Wire
closed its Battersby Lane works. Take a last look at the factory through
photos of the site and eventual demolition on the My
How many of us remember these town centre shops from many
BARLOWS...animal & pet feeds
HODGKINSONS TIMOTHY WHITES LIPTONS ...
you do your weekly shop here?
|Do you have any memories of life in Warrington? Would you like
to share them on mywarrington? I am always on the lookout for any stories from
residents of the town or from those who have moved away. You might remember the
war period, or the Teddy Boy 50s. Flower Power 60s or Glam Rock 70s? 3-day
weeks? Power cuts, strikes? The Yuppie 80s? What about the cinema - or is that
the flicks? Sport? Down the pub? Factory life? Summer days? Winter nights? Tin
baths in front of the fire? Early closing day? Sleeping top and tail? Coal in the bunker? Oil cloth for carpets? Parking
lights on your car? Did you
work at Burtonwood base? What about your first telly? Or the wireless? Or the
Gramophone? Were any of your relatives around at the turn of the 20th Century?
Was it better or are we better off today? Do you have photographs to
illustrate your story? You can attach them to email address (click
here). Please make sure you are the copyright owner or have the owner's
permission. I cannot reproduce work without it, or from books or newspapers
(unless it's yours, of course). If you do make contact, it would be nice to know
where in the world you are emailing from, especially if you are an ex-pat. In
the meantime, see what others have shared on the Memory
in 1999 when I did my City & Guilds in computers, my mobile office
always had something in there that somebody wanted, to which one group
member asked if I had the kitchen sink in there as well. So I said
yes, and created this photo for my file. It was then a case of not
whether I had something, but can I borrow... So hopefully regarding
the town's history, I will have the answer to your questions. And if
not, I will go to the DIY store archive and try to locate it... So
don't be afraid to contact me by email.
|So why this website?
Well, I, Gordon Gandy, hail from Warrington (you know,
where the M6 is cobbled). My interest in local history began when I was
given a copy of Warrington Hundred, a book published by the
Corporation of Warrington in 1947 to commemorate the centenary of the
incorporation of the Borough. I found this to be a fascinating read and
have treasured my copy ever since. In my final two years at school I
took Photography as one of my C.S.E. subjects (on good old film cameras
where we processed our photos in a darkroom - none of this digital stuff
back then in the 1970s, well not for the likes of me anyway).
When I left
school in 1979 I worked at Lowes (Warrington) Ltd, bookshop and
stationers, of 60-62 Sankey Street. During my eight months there a book
on old photos was published called Warrington As it Was. In the
mid-1990s I walked around the town centre to photograph the streets on
film. Since then I have taken
literally thousands of digital images of the town and thought it was a
good idea to
do something useful with them! I wanted to do what many had done in the
past - record the town's history for future generations to look back on.
But how would my interest in photography
and the history of the town come together in one project? And from what
angle? My big chance came when the Internet revolution arrived.
In 2001 I began
researching the town's history in a bit more detail. But again, I asked
myself "from what angle?" I had learned lots about the town in
my younger days and there were loads of great pictures of the old town,
but I wanted to do something different - an ongoing project to fill my
free time. I didn't want to write a book, so I thought - I'll take my
own photographs, write my own stories about the town, combine it with my
knowledge of the past and publish the results on a website. Over the
next four years I travelled round the town with my camera and notebook
to begin recording my hometown in my lifetime. I was so pleased
that I did because many of the scenes in my photographs are already part
of history and cannot be seen for real today due to redevelopment. I had
collected enough information to publish my findings, and so on
Thursday, 12 May 2005, the mywarrington website went live.
But it didn't
stop there. Because it is a website, I can keep adding bits to it as I
go. And some of the ideas have come from readers of the website. For
instance, the Memory Lane page was originally just the Memory Lane poem
which my dad helped to write, and I published it in his memory when he
passed away in 2008. But a reader suggested that I turn the page over to
readers' memories of life in the town, and that is what you see today.
I will continue
to feature many aspects of the town's
history in words and pictures, plus some of my personal memories of life
in the town. If you would like to send in your own memories, please use
the feedback link and indicate if you wish to share it with others. I will only
add your name if you want me to. Your comments are very welcome.
is meant to look like
me - the one standing
up, not the panda!
Actually, this is the
real me (above).
(Warrington) Ltd - the logo of the company where I had my first job and
where I first got the idea to record the town's history after the
publication of Warrington As It Was. My boss, Roland John
Tipping, retired from the business in 1990 when the shop ceased trading.
He passed away on 19 July 2014 aged 73. RIP John.
here's a bit of history on my name...
meaning of Gandy Recorded as Gandy, Gandey, and the very rare
Gandee and Gandie, which are probably extinct, this is an English
surname. Like the surnames Game, Games and Gammons, the origination is
from the pre 7th century word 'gamen', meaning game, and hence was a
nickname for a person (-day) who was good at games (gamen). It
is not easy to explain how over a period of some fifteen hundred year
'gamen' should become (for instance) Gandy, but during that period the
language passed through at least three distinct and complete changes,
which effected both spelling and dialect. This is in addition to the
French influence following the Norman Conquest of 1066, when for three
centuries thereafter, French was the official language of England and
most of Scotland. Briefly it may be summarised that the changes were
from Gamen which may well have been used as a personal name as well as a
nickname, to Gameday, with John Gameday being recorded in Suffolk,
apparently the centre of the surname, in the tax rolls of the year 1327.
Thereafter it changed again to Gandy or Gandey, with as an example,
Katherine Gandy marrying Thomas Munnes at the church of St Nicholas
Acons, in the city of London, on May 20th 1562. (Information
courtesy of www.surnamedb.com)
while I'm at it, here's some information on my first name, Gordon:
it is of Old English and Gaelic origin, meaning "large
fortification". Also possibly a place name meaning "hill near
meadows" or "triangular hill". It is also said to come
from the Scottish surname Gordon,
clan Gordon. The first Gordon on record is Richard of Gordon, previously
of Swinton, said to have been the grandson of a famous knight who slew
some monstrous animal in the Merse during the time of King Malcolm III
of Scotland. This Richard was Lord of the Barony of Gordon in the Merse.
Between 1150 and 1160 he granted from his estate a piece of land to the
Monks of St. Mary at Kelso, a grant which was confirmed by his son
Thomas Gordon. Alicia Gordon, IV of the Gordon family was the heiress
who married her cousin, Adam Gordon. Adam Gordon was a soldier who King
Alexander III of Scotland sent with King Louis of France to Palestine.
Adam's grandson, Sir Adam Gordon, supported Sir William Wallace in 1297
to recapture the Castle of Wigtown from the English and Adam was made
the Governor. He later supported Robert the Bruce. Read more in
my middle name Ian: it is of Scottish and Gaelic origin, and
means "God is gracious". It is a variant of the name John.
Iain is the normal Scottish Gaelic spelling.
squirrel, left, was pointed out to me in Walton Hall Gardens by a small
I was taking some pictures in the grounds and he shouted across
to me. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime shots.
He is called Wirey after his tail
and the fact that he is from Warrington! Thanks Tony for giving him a
thanks to all readers who have helped to make the site such a great
success since I launched it in May 2005. Many contributors are ex-pats
from all over the world - Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada,
Europe, Africa and Hong Kong, making the site truly a worldwide event! And
all been achieved by word of mouth and by handing out cards like the
one here. Click on it and print it out to pass on to your friends - tell
them what they've been missing! I'm still waiting for contact from
Russia - but they are probably busy preparing for the football World Cup Finals in
This website, www.mywarrington.me.uk,
is a personal collection of photographs, stories and reports about my home town of
Warrington (Lancashire), Cheshire, England, past and present. It also
features written and photographic contributions from readers and official
sources, used with permission and credited as appropriate. This website is
not connected to, nor endorsed by, any
charitable or non-profit group, Warrington Borough Council, Warrington
Borough Transport (Network Warrington), Golden Square shopping centre,
Bovis Lend Lease, Warrington Wolves, Galliford Try, or any other companies or agents
mentioned, whether public or private, commercial or non-commercial,
including any other website or online service. Unless otherwise stated, all text and images are
Copyright © Gordon I Gandy and may not be reproduced without permission,
including other websites. I
am happy for educational establishments to make use of the content in
lessons, lectures and homework - no need to ask permission in those
circumstances. I will not publish locations or private email addresses
of respondents online (unless you specifically request me to - some
readers have asked for that so old friends can contact them). PLEASE
NOTE THAT I ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER FOR SPAM or other
problems occurring due to a reader requesting their private email address to be
displayed on this website. INCLUSION IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK. Also note that I will
NOT give out an email address of a
contributor to anybody who asks for it. If you need to make contact I
will be happy to forward your email and/or email address to that person, and by doing so you
accept that you have given me permission to forward your email and/or email address
to them, and for that person to make their own decision about contacting
you. However, that is NOT an invitation to create a forwarding email
facility. mywarrington is not responsible for the content of
external websites or online services. I do not provide a research or
search facility for family trees or similar and email requests of this
nature will be ignored. The views and comments expressed on this website
are my own,
unless otherwise stated. All content is edited and
controlled by myself. Any errors on the website will be corrected as
soon as possible. Gordon
I Gandy, Thursday 12 May 2005, as updated Thursday 21 March 2013.
created by Gordon I Gandy. Copyright © 2005-Present, Gordon I Gandy (mywarrington).
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Please be patient.
(I've been there - for the first two years of this site being online I struggled
with dial-up to upload the pages!)
Welcome to mywarrington