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 Warrington - A Town of Many Industries


 Click Email, Femail or my pen to send email
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Local Radio - Local Issues - Local Presenters - Proud to be at the Heart of your Community.

Click the station banner, above, select 'Listen Live' and choose your media player.

The mywarrington Radio Show every Thursday lunchtime between 12 and 3 on Radio Warrington.

welcome to mywarrington

my hometown in my lifetime

nine years online

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Site last updated Wednesday September 17, 2014

Where is the nearest city to Warrington? Liverpool? Manchester? Chester? Click this text to find the answer...

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mywarrington is a journey through my hometown of Warrington,
northwest England, featuring photographs, stories and memories

Disclaimer

If aliens built the pyramids, why didn't they come back again and show us how to get Wembley Stadium finished on time?

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.

Previewed on this page

What's New

I Never Knew That About Warrington Memories
Bawming of the Thorn Classic Motor Shows On The Waterfront South Warrington News
Bewsey School Golden Square Peter's Gallery Town Centre Tours
The Big Wheel Lymm Market Radio Warrington Warrington People
RAF Burtonwood Making Tracks Reader Requests Warrington Wolves
The Cycle Museum On My Travels

Sankey Valley

Wire-less

About Me/Why This Website?

Website Disclaimer

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warrington_coat_of_arms_030527.JPG (174600 bytes) The town's Coat of Arms.
The motto Deus Dat Incrementum,
translates as "God giveth the increase".
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Warrington's media organisations

Radio Warrington Proud to be at the Heart of your Community.
Local Radio - Local Issues - Local Presenters
Since 2007
South Warrington News   Your local free newspaper Since 1993
Warrington Worldwide The online daily newspaper Since 1999
Warrington Guardian Local news Since 1853
Wire FM Today's best mix Since 1998

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 Road was
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.
www.radiowarrington.co.uk, or on your phone with the Tune In app.

 

Yes, I am back on Radio Warrington every Thursday lunchtime from 12 till 3

Drink responsibly. www.drinkaware.co.uk

 

New Section Launched 17 Aug 2014

At the Flicks - a history of Warrington's cinemas.

Click here to read the page

Mr Smiths is no more...or is it?

The iconic Mr Smiths nightclub at Bridge Foot is set to be demolished in August 2014.

mr-smiths_bridge_foot_060910.JPG (69811 bytes) 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 had until 11 August 2014 to approve how work to knock down the building should be carried out. This approval was granted.

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 The Ritz/ Mr Smith's Art Deco Building

Click the image above to be taken to warringtonian.com

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 The Ritz/ Mr Smith's Art Deco Building group has agreed that it is not appropriate for it to become just a theatre or just a cinema or even just another nightclub.

When I was a member of the Save The Ritz/ Mr Smith's Art Deco Building group, my suggestion 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 Warrington 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 The Ritz/ Mr Smith's Art Deco Building 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.

Information in this section taken from the At the Flicks page.

Click the image above to be taken to the Save The Ritz/ Mr Smith's Art Deco Building Facebook page

 

RRRRe-vamp 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 for more

6 Legh Street,
Warrington
Steven Davidson
07813 633143
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Lizard Inc Records is an independent retailer in second hand vinyl
Steven opened the shop in March 2014.

Find him on Facebook

And don't forget Head in Golden Square for
sales of vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, games and books.
They also have a Facebook presence.

Reader request

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.

What's New?

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.

Additional memory added to Legh Street Baths page from G Berry.    Posted 17.9.2014.

Photos from behind the scenes of the BBC drama Our Zoo have been added to the Walton Hall Gardens section of Warrington Green 2.    Posted 16.9.2014.

Addition to Shop! page - More on the Edwin Allen story and now including Corker's Pharmacy.    Posted 23.8.2014.

Brand new section - At the Flicks - a history of the cinemas in Warrington.    Posted 16.8.2014.

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.    Posted 27.4.2014.

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.    Posted 16.1.2014.

More updates coming soon...

 

Three 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.

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EDWIN ALLEN

BEGAN IN 1894

CLOSED

SAT 17 MAY2014

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WHITES SPORTS

BEGAN 1901

CLOSED

SAT 31 MAY 2014

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THE WAYSIDERS

BEGAN IN 1944

CLOSED

30 APR 2014

If you have memories of either working or shopping at any of the three stores, then get in touch
and I will be delighted to add your stories to the Memory Lane section of the mywarrington website.

The Sinking of RMS Tayleur: The Lost Story of the Victorian Titanic

On 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:

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Captain 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.
The 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 your convenience.

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.

Figures released in October 2013 show that 9.1 million people visited Warrington during 2012.
The report says that the tourism industry in Warrington employs 6,000 people directly and indirectly.

Warrington 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:

Christian 144,405  Buddhist 457 Hindu 1,118 Jewish 147 Muslim 2,097
Sikh 361 Other religion 513 No religion 41,293 Religion not stated 11,837 Total Population: 202,228

Figures released in January 2014 show that there were more than 1,000 women and over 300 men aged
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 Works too.

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 2013.

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.

nwmort_sthelens_130420_6.jpg (64403 bytes) On 20 April 2013 I visited the Northwest 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. nwmort_sthelens_130420_1.JPG (98279 bytes)

Ingham_Bowden__b10in_bm.jpg (78819 bytes) This 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.
Update (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.

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School days: the best years of our lives? See the rest on the Hamilton Street page

I Never Knew that about Warrington:

The centre of the town used to be on Church Street.
Warrington became the first paved town in Lancashire in 1321.
Warrington experienced an earthquake on 2 April 1750.
The first newspaper in Lancashire, the Warrington Advertiser, was published by Eyre's Press on Horsemarket Street in 1757.
Sailcloth for Nelson's fleet was made here in the 19th century.
The Glaze Brook and the Sankey Brook were formally the eastern and western boundaries respectively of the ancient Parish of Warrington.
Entertainer George Formby is buried at Warrington cemetery. And something you won't know: his song The Window Cleaner was about a real-life window cleaner John Edwin Marlow. His (John's) grandson was my late friend, Myles Crozier. Read George's biography in Warrington People.
Salmon swim in the River Mersey once again - the industrial revolution finished them off originally, but the river has been cleaned up in the 21st century.
Warrington had a castle at Mote Hill, close to the Parish Church.
The former Warrington Housing Association office building on Buttermarket Street opposite St Mary's Church was originally a residence for nuns.
St James' Church Sunday School opened in 1779, believed to be the first in the county.
Warrington Wolves (The Wire) have never been out of the top flight since the Rugby League was formed in 1895.
The first Boulton & Watt steam engine used in Lancashire was installed in a Latchford cotton mill in 1787.
The town's first MP was E.G. Hornby (Liberal) in 1832.
The first ever Lancashire county cricket match was played in Warrington in 1864.
World light-heavyweight boxing champion Freddie Mills was based at RAF Padgate during the Second World War.
Jim Hancock (ex-BBC northwest political editor), former Liverpool footballer Roger Hunt and Matthew Corbett (of The Sooty Show fame) all live in the town.
Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott originally planned to propose to his wife at the Patten Arms hotel opposite Bank Quay station in 1959 where he had worked as a commis chef some years before. He eventually got nervous and proposed in the train toilet instead! So says his wife in her autobiography.
Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and Johnny Weissmuller were stationed in the town during the Second World War.
Charlie Chaplin performed at the Royal Theatre of Varieties on Scotland Road before it became the Futurist then Regent cinema.
There are currently no street names in Warrington beginning with either X or Z (unless you know different!).

And that's just for starters. Delve into the site for more fascinating stuff on this important gateway to the north west, from ships in the old days to the modern rail and motorway network of today.

Culture 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.


radiowarrington.co.uk

The community
radio station
for Warrington.
ONLINE and on 
smartphone NOW!

radio_warrington_djkenny.jpg (74853 bytes) Broadcasting 24
hours a day,
from Warrington,
for Warrington -
on the internet.

Here 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.
It was granted a temporary FM radio licence to broadcast on 87.8 FM from 7 to 15 July 2012.
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
(including the great Challenge Cup Semi-final win over Huddersfield to take the team to Wembley
for the 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.

Radio Warrington - Proud to be at the Heart of your Community.

DJKenny 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 photo below.
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 Lane

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I 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 1999.

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.

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Read about policemen Jock Hay and Bobby Dooley in Memory Lane.

WARRINGTON TO LYMM - LOW LEVEL : 150 YEARS OF CHANGE By Bert Harris

An account of the Warrington and  Stockport Railway by a local resident. Click here.

Read about The Bridgewater Players drama group in Community.

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RAF BURTONWOOD, a section covering Europe's largest air base
from World War Two until its closure in 1993.

Burtonwood Association website www.rafburtonwoodbase.org.
The Heritage Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am to 5pm
near Gulliver's World theme park in Westbrook.

CLICK ON EMAIL OR FEMAIL TO CONTACT ME

South 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 Guardian.

Radio Warrington - Proud to be at the Heart of Your Community. Online. On your smartphone. 24 hours a day.

Wire 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 Wigan.

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On Top Of The World

Featuring images of the town centre taken from the air, including the top of the Big Wheel which visited Warrington at Christmas 2007.

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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.

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Read about their history-making games and other events in the club's history in Warrington Wolves.

READER REQUESTS

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.

CLASSIC TRANSPORT SHOWS. 
PHOTOS FROM THE 4TH ANNUAL FIDDLER'S FERRY CLASSIC
VEHICLE SHOW AND WARRINGTON MARKET SHOWS.

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 See CLASSIC MOTOR SHOWS page for more

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Read the story of The Winwick Pig in the History section.

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The Future

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!

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The 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.

 

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On the Waterfront

A JOURNEY ALONG THE RIVERS AND CANALS OF WARRINGTON

complementing Warrington Green. Click here for On The Waterfront

GOLDEN SQUARE

If 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.

LYMM MARKET

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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

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Keep up to date with events and happenings at
Warrington Museum and also at Warrington Library

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© P Spilsbury

© G Gandy

See more pictures like these in
On The Buses
and Peter's Gallery.

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 People.

RAF Burtonwood

Warrington
Transporter Bridge

THE BEWSIAN

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Click here 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
at Burtonwood
Air Base in 1957.
It is part of a series of
photographs now featured in
Peter's Gallery
.
Image Copyright © P. Spilsbury

The Transporter Bridge over
the River Mersey at
Bank Quay on 23 January
2007. It was built in 1916
and has a span of 187
feet (57 metres).

It has not been used since
1964 and is now a
Grade II* listed monument.

A history of Bewsey
Secondary Modern School
from its beginnings in 1934
to its closure in 1993.

click here

See the creative side of the young people of Dallam. Click the link below and then
go to 'Dallam Youth Art' section in the contents box of the My Warrington page.

WARRINGTON PEOPLE

Warrington People profiles famous people with a Warrington connection.
Read about Joseph Priestley, Pete Postlethwaite and others.
See also the Sporting People and Entertaining People sections

Read a brief introduction to the Boteler family on the History page. Click this text...

Have a look at Warrington in the smoky 70s! My Warrington page

TRANSPORT IN WARRINGTON

On The Buses - my history of buses in Warrington

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Buses and street scenes
old and new

Looking at the railways
around the town

Click the image

The Cycle Museum at Walton Gardens
Click the image for the Events page

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 trains.
Images around Bank Quay.
Views from the top of St Thomas' Church in Stockton Heath. Link to the church website here

Incidentally, a 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

 

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BAWMING OF THE THORN

Read about this event, unique to Warrington.
Click here for the story and more pictures.

CLICK ON EMAIL OR FEMAIL TO CONTACT ME

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TOWN CENTRE WALKING TOURS

Updated for 2009

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Tour 1
visit ye olde town centre

Discover some of Warrington's rich heritage in my walking tours of the town...accessible to all

Tour 2
travel through the newgate of old down a river to a river

Some of the information in the Tours was reproduced from a series of books on Warrington
with the kind permission of the author, H. Wells. Visit his website www.hwells.co.uk

 

SANKEY VALLEY

Take a stroll through Sankey Valley Park from Callands to Fiddlers Ferry. Click the image above

 

On my travels...

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.

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The Cholmondeley Arms near
the railway station approach,
with the K4 "Vermillion Giant" (31 Jan 2006), left, and Warrington's version at Bridge Foot.

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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 licensee!

 Check out some history of Fiddler's Ferry on My Warrington page

Wire-less

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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 Warrington page.

memories
  memories      memories      memories      memories

How many of us remember these town centre shops from many years ago?
BARLOWS...animal & pet feeds    HODGKINSONS    TIMOTHY WHITES    LIPTONS ...
did 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 Lane page.

Back 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.

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So why this website?

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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. 

The caricature, below,
is meant to look like
me - the one standing
up, not the panda!
Actually, this is the
real me (above). 

lowes_warrington_ltd.jpg (69479 bytes) Lowes (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.
And here's a bit of history on my name...
The 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)

And 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, especially the 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 Wikipedia.

Finally, 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.
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The squirrel, left, was pointed out to me in Walton Hall Gardens by a small child.

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 name.

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My 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 it has 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 2018!

 

DISCLAIMER. 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.

Website created by Gordon I Gandy. Copyright © 2005-Present, Gordon I Gandy (mywarrington).

This site is best viewed with a screen resolution of 1024x768.
Apologies to non-broadband visitors if images take a little while to load. 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

Wild weather...flash floods...down to global warming?...if so, I have the answer...let's all go back to living in caves and searching for food with spears...any offers to go first?...I didn't think so...and if it's down to us using up the planet's resources to make the technology and gadgets, then you are as guilty as I am for coming here to read this in the first place...

  

 Warrington - A Town of Many Industries


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