Nineteen Nineties

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Warrington - A Town of Many Industries

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This page last updated Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Yo, can you do the Lambada?...Or the Macarena?...Whatever...Spice it up with Girl Power...LOL..Wicked...Take a chill pill!...Not!

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Nineteen Nineties is a series of photographs taken in Warrington during the 1990s!

Most of the photos were taken in 1995 and 1996, with a few additional ones from the 21st century for illustration purposes. I embarked on a few walks into the town centre from the north, south, east and west, taking photos as I went, but I didn't photograph everything along the way - it was back in the days of film so I had to be selective. In the middle of all this, Midland Way was constructed. I present the photos as if entering the town centre from the north, south, east and west, then show the town centre views in the same compass pattern before travelling out to the north west part of the New Town. I will add some history bits along the way, so an unofficial Tour 3, if you get my drift. There are even older photographs of the town in Peter's Gallery and Memory Lane. The scrolling text above mentioning the Lambada, etc simply reflects the new words and phrases that entered our language during the 1990s. And yes, most of it is rubbish.

Featured on this page

From the North From the South Town Centre View to the North
From the East From the West/North-west Along Midland Way Beyond the Old Town

From the North

We begin at Longford Island. In 2011 this roundabout was removed and a new traffic light-controlled crossroads junction took its place. You will, of course, remember the earthquakes in Japan earlier in 2011 and the fact that they replaced one of the major roads affected by the quake in just SIX DAYS. So, being the cream of the crop of British workers, how long do you think it took them to replace the roundabout? Would you believe an incredible ELEVEN MONTHS! Many Warrington folk ask why they couldn't do the work at night time. If noise is a problem, then most people will say they have double glazing anyway. Businesses were angry because customers were held up in long queues and some buses were temporarily rerouted.

The first photo (below left) looks north on 9 August 1995. The Mobil filling station is now a Tesco Express filling station and the branch of NatWest bank in the brown building on the left has now gone. Notice how much petrol cost in 1995: 55p-61p per litre. In the distance is The Longford Hotel, now demolished and replaced by a car showroom. The second photo is the view in the opposite direction towards town centre, showing the entrance to Warrington Collegiate on the left. Read more about Warrington Collegiate on the My Warrington and Memory Lane pages.

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Longford Island Winwick Road Tetley Walker Brewery The Lord Rodney pub
(The Rodney from 2011)

Tetley Walker Brewery is featured in the third and fifth photos, above. Peter Walker moved from Liverpool to Warrington with his son Andrew Barclay Walker in 1846 and acquired Pemberton's Old Brewery at Towns End. They traded as Peter Walker and Son and leased an existing brewery on King Street in 1850, buying it outright in 1883. King Street Brewery closed in 1906. The Tetley brewing business was first established in Leeds in 1852. In 1866 Peter Walker and Son purchased the Monks Mills property in Dallam Lane and built a new brewery on the site. Initially, the capacity was 500 barrels a week but it was producing 10,000 barrels a week by 1890.

His beers were marketed as Walker's Warrington Ales (fourth photo). Walker's merged the business with Tetley in 1960 to form Tetley Walker and the Dallam Lane site was rebuilt in 1967. The company later merged with Carlsberg and in 1996 closed down the Dallam Lane site. The site is now occupied by the Warrington Wolves Halliwell Jones Stadium and Tesco Extra. The fifth photo shows The Lord Rodney pub at Towns End (the name of the area of town where Winwick Road and Pinners Brow meet at the roundabout). In 2011 the pub was renamed The Rodney. Pinners Brow, to the right of the pub, is so named because pinmaking was undertaken in the area. Tetley Walker Brewery is to the left of the pub as we look.

Before we continue, I thought you might like to see some pubs in Liverpool city centre which still feature the Walker's Warrington Ales logo on the buildings. Also, there is another pub with a Walker's connection in West Kirby on the Wirral Peninsula.

The first two photos (below left) show The Crown Hotel at 43 Lime Street, next to the railway station. It was built in 1905 in the Art Nouveau style and became a Grade II listed building on 14 March 1975. It is constructed in brick with some stucco, and has marble facing on the ground floor. The interior has richly moulded coffered ceilings, two fireplaces, original bars and engraved glass. The building is in three storeys with an attic. Read more in Wikipedia.

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The Crown Hotel, Lime Street, Liverpool The Vines, Lime Street, Liverpool
The Vines at 81 Lime Street, Liverpool, is seen in the next three photos (above). It was opened by Albert B. Vines in 1867 and the architect was Walter Thomas. Walker's took over the pub in 1907 and rebuilt it in the baroque style we see today. Inside you will see a large glass chandelier dangling from the tall ceiling under a big oval stained-glass skylight. The regal furnishing is enhanced by a huge beautiful fireplace in copper and marble, incredible plasterwork in the ceilings, frosted windows, carved wood and polished copper. The pub has now been designated a Peter Walker heritage inn (fourth photo). If you can't make out the wording in the brickwork on the building next door (fifth photo), then I can reveal that it says Child Welfare Association and it was based here at Copperas Hill off Lime Street.
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The Beehive pub (left), at 14 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, is close to the famous Adelphi Hotel on Lime Street. The walls are covered with pictures of old film stars from the 1930s to the 1950s. When you first enter this emporium you may fail to notice its historic features because, if it’s a Friday or a Saturday night, it will be wall to wall with people. I don't know when it was built. If you can help, email me.

You can read more about the Beehive at www.pubsgalore.co.uk and merseypub.com.

The first and second photos (below) show the Midland Hotel at 25-29 Ranelagh Street. It dates back to the early 1800s and is a Grade II listed building. Some of its main features are the woodwork, etched glass in every window and gold-plated mirrors. The striking decor in the second photo hints at the elegance possessed by these older buildings.
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Midland Hotel,
25-29 Ranelagh Street,
Liverpool
Central Commercial Hotel,
31 Ranelagh Street,
Liverpool
The Dee Hotel,
West Kirby,
Wirral

The third photo (above) is the Central Commercial Hotel at 31 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool. It is a wonderful riot of etched glass and mirrors. What makes this one of the splendid old pubs of Liverpool are super ceilings, wrought ironwork, marble fireplaces, dark wood, comfy pub seats and Britannia tables. The fourth photo shows The Dee Hotel at 44 Grange Road, West Kirby, which takes its name from its location on Dee Bank. The hotel was enlarged in the 1930s, when it got its distinctive Tudor-style façade. It was owned by Walker's from 1935 and opened as a JD Wetherspoon pub on 15 October 2001. My reason for including it here is because a friend of mine has worked there.

And so back Warrington.

The first photo (below left) shows the junction of Winwick Street, Tanners Lane and Haydock Street. Tanners Lane gets its name because there were tanneries along here. On the left of the photo is the former KFC fast food outlet, now Daniel Anderson hairdressers in 2011. On the right of the photo are the petrol station, the Rainbow cafe and Rex Jones bicycle shop. You can see more detailed photos of the petrol station and bike shop on the My Warrington page. The Bay Horse pub, a listed building, is seen further along the street on the right. Warrington Central Station, which originally opened in 1873, is featured in the second and third photos (below) and received a makeover in 2011.

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Winwick Street Warrington Central Station Winwick Street

The fourth photo (above right) looks back along Winwick Street to the north. Most of the buildings on the left have now been demolished, including the Bay Horse pub, which was 'accidentally' knocked down, earning a fine of £15,000. All that remains are the Kings Head pub and the buildings this side of it. The site was meant to feature The Wire Works redevelopment (featured on the My Warrington page), but that has been put on hold due to the recession. The Tetley Walker Brewery can be seen in the distance.

From the East                                

All the photos in this section were taken on 6 February 1996 when Warrington had a rare visitor - snow! We'll start with more views of Warrington Central Station - you arrive from Manchester and the east by train into Central. On the left of the second photo (below) you can just make out the former Legh Street car park, which was demolished to make way for the extension to Golden Square shopping centre. Nobody misses that one, unlike the Bay Horse! In the fourth photo we see the former Cheshire Lines warehouse, which has now been converted into luxury apartments called Grand Central. There are also five new apartment blocks surrounding it.

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Warrington Central Station
If you travel into town centre by road from the east, the route splits into two after St Elphin's Park in Howley.
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You can travel along Church Street, or you can take the A57 Manchester Road towards Cockhedge Green roundabout. Along Church Street you would pass the Parish Church of St Elphin (left). A church has stood on this site since 642 A.D. The church spire was added in 1867. Next to the church is the Ring O' Bells pub (right). The two photos were taken on 6 February 1996 from Sainsbury's car park, which stands on the site of Rylands wire factory.

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Along the Manchester Road route you would have seen the former Boteler Grammar School building on School Brow (first photo below left). It was established on the death of Sir Thomas Boteler in 1526 and the original building was rebuilt in 1863. But in the 21st century it became a victim of the "let's knock it down and build a housing estate" brigade. Residents tried to get it listed, but the official response was that the quality of the building was not sufficient for it to be saved. The pub in the second photo is the Brickmakers Arms on the corner of School Brow and Hopwood Street. In recent years it was converted into a gay pub called the Candy Bar and was later rebranded as The Road House, but is currently vacant in 2011. Continuing round the corner we arrived at Cockhedge Green roundabout (third photo below). Long before this photo, there was a staggered junction where Battersby Lane, Brick Street, Lythgoes Lane and Hopwood Street met. The Glassmakers Arms once stood roughly where the red car is in the photo and was demolished in early 1990. And for your further research, off Hopwood Street there was a fustian cutting works. In the distance is the Rylands Wire factory office building with the Cheshire Lines Railway to its left.
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Boteler Grammar School Brickmakers Arms Cockhedge Green James Lee House Office World
On Fennel Street there is James Lee House hostel (fourth photo above) run by The Salvation Army. Fennel Street Tannery once stood close to the site. Actually, the tannery was alongside Orchard Street, so why didn't they call it Orchard Street Tannery? To the right of James Lee House (off the photo) there was a travel company called something like the Grand Edwardian Coach Company, who specialised in travelling in an old coach to relive the glory days of coach travel. Does anybody remember the company, and have I described it correctly? Let me know via email. The Office World and Norweb names in the fifth photo no longer exist. Office World merged with its American rival, Staples (still going on the same site), and the electrical shop is now two shops, Farm Foods and a bed shop (that unit used to be Blockbuster DVD and video).

From the South                             

We'll start at Wilderspool. St James Church (first photo below left) was originally built in 1777 close to Warrington Bridge on Knutsford Road and rebuilt on this spot at a later date. The roundabout was originally called Brian Bevan Island, in memory of the Warrington rugby league winger who played at nearby Wilderspool Stadium (second photo). The plaque, statue and blue stand were later moved to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, where Warrington Wolves were based from 2004. The Halliwell Jones Stadium is currently being extended to allow more fans to see the games and Brian's statue has been removed for safekeeping until the work is completed. The third photo shows the town's heritage bus, the Leyland 'Titan PD2/40 Special' next to a single decker Dennis Dart parked at the Warrington Borough Transport depot on Wilderspool Causeway.

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Brian Bevan Island Wilderspool Stadium Bus stop Waterside Inn Wilderspool Bridge
Across the highway at Centre Park we see the beginnings of the construction of the Waterside Inn on 16 February 1996 (fourth photo). The fifth photo shows the town centre side of Wilderspool Bridge. The bridge was built over the Warrington and Altrincham Junction Railway (later the Warrington and Stockport Railway) to improve the traffic flow and was officially opened on 16 May 1957. In the distance we can see the remains of the factory chimneys which occupied Bishop's Wharf for many decades. The area is now the location of Riverside Retail Park and in the warehouses behind there is, for one, the Coach House Brewing Company, set up by former employees of Greenall Whitley when the Wilderspool brewery closed down in 1991. My relation, Tony Gandy, is one of the people behind the brewery. I will feature more on the brewery at a later date in a different section of the website.
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In the first photo (left) we see Mr Smiths nightclub. This was originally the Ritz/ABC cinema and once welcomed comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. In the early Mr Smiths days, the venue was host to the Pete Waterman Granada TV music show, The Hitman and Her, her being Michaela Strachan, now famous in her own right as an animal documentary presenter. After Mr Smiths (the name of the man who launched it and who has since passed away) the nightclub changed hands a few times, becoming Synergy and later Halo, before closing its doors once again. 

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Mr Smiths Mr Smiths 2011 Promotion

But according to a promotional banner, it is reopening in October 2011 as Mr Smiths again (second photo). This didn't last long and the owners of the site requested planning permission to demolish the building. However, after a public campaign from local residents in 2014, the building was saved for future use for young people to be run by a charitable trust - a commercial company and Warrington Borough Council have offered to fund the redevelopment of the building.

If you come into the town from the south by train, you will arrive at Warrington Bank Quay Station. The photo (below left) shows the station in August 1995. This is not the original location of the station - it used to stand where Aldi and Iceland food stores are today on the site of National Carriers a quarter of a mile north. Since this photo was taken the station has received a makeover.

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It also featured in the national news when a "No Kissing" zone was created on Friday 13 February 2009 to speed up departing trains. It was done light-heartedly, and the two signs featured in the photo (right) were eventually auctioned off. One ended up at Shelly's Restaurant on Bold Street. See the Community page for more on the award-winning Shelly's Restaurant. Thanks to Michelle for supplying the photo. Read The Independent, BBC News and Sky News coverage of the news story and see a video at the Daily Telegraph website. mywarrington is not responsible for third party websites.

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Bank Quay Station Shelly's sign

From the West/North-west             

This gave me two routes into town from the junction of Folly Lane, Lovely Lane, Lodge Lane and Bewsey Road. You can travel along Lovely Lane past the hospital and Crosfields, or you can go straight down Bewsey Road. The junction was referred to many as Bewsey Bridge because the Cheshire Lines Railway (straight section) crossed over by a bridge from south west to north east. See a photo of it in Making Tracks 2 (Cheshire Lines section). The original Bewsey Bridge is the stone bridge over the Sankey Brook at the bottom of Lodge Lane by Sankey Valley Park (still marked on maps).

At one time, both road routes were served by bus - the Bewsey Road route was served by the original 5A service which left town via Winwick Street and travelled along Tanners Lane, Bewsey Road, Lodge Lane, Troutbeck Avenue and Norreys Avenue. It then turned round in the space on Lilford Avenue between Norreys Avenue and Molyneux Avenue for the return journey. Notice I said original 5A service. Nowadays service 5A is the one all the buses use to take them back to the depot by St James' Church. The other route is now served by the 16, 16A, 20A and 21A services. In times past there were six bus services on this route - the 2, 2A, 4, 4A, 9 and 16, but that was in the days before privatisation in 1986 when all of the Dallam services crossed the town to Orford and Birchwood.

Anyway, since I started talking about Bewsey Road, that's the section I'll present first. The first and second photos (below) show Greenings wire factory, known as the Britannia Works for a reason I still don't know. The first one looks down Bewsey Road towards town, while the second shows the main entrance from Catherine Street. Nathaniel Greening started his business in Church Street in 1799 and later went into partnership with John Rylands. Regular readers will know I mentioned Fred Dibnah bringing down Greenings chimney at 11.55 because the pub opened at 12.00. Well, the pub in question is this one, the Imperial Hotel, in the third photo.

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Bewsey Road Greenings Wire Imperial Hotel

Further down the road was the Dolphin Hotel, built in 1825. My memory of this hotel was as the venue for a Christmas dinner one year for the charity I used to assist in running, Help the Needy Over Sixties Club. We booked the comedian Johnny Casson who entertained the senior citizens. I love the use of words in his act, such as telling us he is Yorkshire bread and buttered, or when he goes into his doctor's he is led into the insulting rooms, and also the times when he made the wife a cup of decapitated coffee. Well, his humour entertains me! The hotel is now a children's nursery.

The second photo (below) shows St Alban's Youth Club next to St Alban's School. Nowadays it is Musclehouse Gym. As we reach the end of Bewsey Road we come to Eric Moore Health Centre (third photo). Dr Eric Moore was the Medical Officer of Health for Warrington from 1949 to 1972. The health centre was opened on 19 April 1973 and destroyed by fire on 23 July 1974. It was rebuilt and reopened on 29 November 1976. The centre is about to be rebuilt again, not because of fire, but to expand the services, and should be ready for 2012.

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Dolphin Hotel St Alban's Youth Club Eric Moore Health Centre
Back to the other end of Bewsey Road, and I now select some of the views along Lovely Lane and Delamere Street. We pass under the bridge of the Cheshire Lines Railway (straight section), now the route of TransPennine Express, Northern Rail and East Midlands Trains, to reach Warrington Hospital. The two photos (below right) show the hospital on 9 August 1995. The main entrance in 1995 was where the ambulances are parked in the photos.

Warrington General Hospital opened in 1898 and developed from the Workhouse (later called the Whitecross Institution). I assume the building was adapted or extended for hospital use. There were two other hospitals on the site at the time - Aikin Street (an infectious diseases hospital) and Whitecross Hospital, which was run by the military. In 1929 Warrington General Hospital was renamed Warrington Borough Hospital and to this day is referred to as the Borough by many people. In 1973 a decision was taken to merge all three hospitals into Warrington District General Hospital. Aikin Street was demolished in the 1970s to make way for Appleton Wing of the current hospital (where the A&E, medical wards and theatres are located). Burtonwood Wing opened in 1988 with the stroke, elderly care and children's wards. The main building of Whitecross Hospital was demolished in the late 1980s to make way for the Croft Wing which opened in 1994 and houses maternity and women's services. The Daresbury Wing opened in 1998 and is surgical unit. In 1993 the government decided to separate the role of health authorities and hospitals and the hospital was handed over from Warrington Health Authority to the newly formed Warrington Hospital NHS Trust. North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust was formed by the merger of Warrington Hospital NHS Trust and Halton General Hospital NHS Trust in 2001.

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Warrington Hospital

It is now known as Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Some information from Wikipedia.

Holly Bush Nursing Home in the first photo (below) was originally the vicarage to St Barnabas Church. The home hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in September 2011 when it was closed down due to poor caring practice. All of the residents of the home, which caters for people with dementia, were moved to new homes. St Barnabas Church is seen in the second photo. You can see the edge of the new vicarage on the right of the photo. The church building has been extended since this photo was taken in the summer of 1995 and now features ramp access towards the arched door seen here. The third photo shows Memory Lane cake works on Delamere Street (older residents of the town will remember this as Bennett's). The factory closed down in 2000, despite appeals to keep it open, including an Early Day Motion in Parliament by Helen Jones MP on 3 June 1997, which failed to change the decision. Houses were built on the land.

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Holly Bush Nursing Home St Barnabas Church Memory Lane Cakes
On 'The Green' as locals call the area (after Little Sankey Green) there is The Hatter Pub. When it first opened it was called The Mad Hatter and is named after the character in Lewis Carroll's books about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (his real name) was born in Daresbury, just south of Warrington, in 1832. There are more sections of this page which show areas of the town commemorating his work.
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Dodgson had connections with the Greenall family of brewers who built Walton Hall. I don't know when or why the pub lost its 'Mad' title, but if it was done for politically correct reasons then I think we have the answer to 'why'... The green space in the foreground of the photo (left) now features a children's park and enclosed ball-play area. The photo (right) was taken from Lovely Lane.

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As we approach town centre we pass Crosfields soap works at Bank Quay (first, second and fourth photos below). Joseph Crosfield opened his Warrington business in 1815 and Persil soap powder was first manufactured here in 1909. The name "Persil" is derived from two of its original ingredients, sodium perborate and sodium silicate. For the technically-minded, the manufacturer had found a method of adding sodium perborate, a bleaching agent, to its base washing agents (silicate), creating a "self-activating powder" detergent. Read more in Wikipedia. The company later became part of Lever Brothers and is now part of Ineos Silicas. Bank Quay Bridge (third, fourth and fifth photos) was widened in the 1970s to cope with the extra traffic passing through this part of town. In August 2010 the bridge was strengthened and new safety barriers were put in place along both footpaths (fifth photo, taken on 19 September 2011).
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Crosfields Lever Brothers offices Bank Quay Bridge Bridge and Crosfields Bank Quay Bridge 2011
Before 1830 the River Mersey might have been your route into the town (photo below right).

In 1697 Thomas Patten made the river navigable from Warrington to Liverpool to support his copper works at Bank Quay. Bank Quay was an important landing stage for ships transporting goods through the region - no Manchester Ship Canal in those early days; that didn't come until 1894.

As well as making the river navigable, the route was also changed to make it even easier to reach Bank Quay. In the photo we see Fairclough's Flour Mill and Crosfields soap works. The photo was taken from Forrest Way bridge by Gatewarth Industrial Estate at Sankey Bridges on 27 February 1996.

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River Mersey/Bank Quay

Town Centre

The official boundary for the town centre is the area within Midland Way, Brick Street, Fennel Street, Mersey Street, Wilson Patten Street, Parker Street and Crosfield Street.

Town Centre From the North

As we pass under Midland Way we reach NatWest bank (first photo below left). This is located in the former Parr's Bank building, which was built in 1877. Joseph Charlton Parr was the man who provided funding for the Parr Hall, seen later on this page. The second photo shows Winwick Street and Horsemarket Street with Golborne Street on the right and Scotland Road on the left past the traffic lights. Scotland Road is where Oliver Cromwell rounded up the Scottish troops in the English Civil War. Golden Square shopping centre is on the right and the land in front of it, including that section of Golborne Street became the site of Warrington's new bus station in 2006. The town clock and Garnett's water tower can be seen in the distance. Horsemarket Street and the Hop Pole pub are featured in the second photo, and in close-up in the third and fourth photos. The Hop Pole dates back to 1762. The bus is a Warrington Borough Transport Dennis Dart on service 18 to Callands. The terminus in those days was in Buttermarket Street.

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Parr's Bank Winwick Street Horsemarket Street Hop Pole
The photo (below left) shows Hatters Row shopping arcade. In the triangular sections of the roof you can see the decoration featured in the photo (right). It is the second area of town connecting to Lewis Carroll during this section on the 1990s.
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Personally, I'm still not sure why we should dedicate areas of the town to a man who wasn't actually born here, especially when Pete Postlethwaite, an international film star born in the town, only gets a room at the Pyramid Arts Centre dedicated to his memory, and possibly a willow statue in Orford Park later. It makes you wonder what is going on. I ask you, WILLOW? Other towns and cities would have put up a granite statue to a famous associate of the town.

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Oh we have, haven't we? He is some writer called Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who was born elsewhere - Daresbury, in fact, OUTSIDE the town's boundary! Is Gordon missing something here? Well, now I AM sure - and it shouldn't be happening! And I have only featured Carroll's memorabilia because it is here - I am as excited about Lewis Carroll memories in the town as I am about the TEN GREEN BOTTLES at Market Gate, aka skittles, er sorry, Ten Guardians of the town and Well of Light.

Town Centre From the East

We enter town via Buttermarket Street. The pub in the first photo shows Yates's Wine Lodge from Buttermarket Street during the day and, in the second photo, from Scotland Road in a night scene. This was built on the site of the Odeon cinema, which opened on 11 January 1937 and closed on 28 August 1994. The pub is now The Looking Glass, one of two owned by JD Wetherspoon in the town centre (the other is The Friar Penketh on Barbauld Street, built on the site of Warrington Friary). The Looking Glass keeps in with the Lewis Carroll theme. The third photo (below right), courtesy of Peter Spilsbury (of Peter's Gallery), shows one of the two town centre post offices at the time (we will see the second later). Both offices eventually merged into one building in the Old Fish Market at Golden Square shopping centre. Halifax Building Society (later, Bank) extended their branch into the post office building on Buttermarket Street.

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Yates's Wine Lodge Post Office

Town Centre From the South

Bridge Street was originally known as Newgate Street. The first photo (below left) is taken from Bridge Foot. On the left is the Academy building. Warrington Academy was established in Warrington in 1757 by Reverend John Seddon, minister of Cairo Street Chapel and became known as "the Athens of the North". You can read more about the Academy in Tour 2. A branch of the Co-operative Society occupied the building next to the Academy. On the opposite side of the street was the Bible Book Shop, which originally stood on Knutsford Road and is no longer in business. A new Christian bookshop, Book Aid, now occupies the building. They are a charity set up in 1986 in order to make large shipments of new and second-hand Christian books and Bibles to needy areas. It concentrates mainly on Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, with smaller shipments being sent to other areas. The second photo (below) shows the Co-op Bank on the corner of Bridge Street/Rylands Street. This has previously been Barclays Bank and Martin's Bank. In the 18th century the site was occupied by cabinetmakers, S.E. and R. Johnson. The Co-op Bank has since relocated to Golden Square shopping centre.

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Bridge Street Co-op Bank Bridge Street
The third photo (above) looks towards Bridge Foot from near Rylands Street. Apart from some of the shop names changing, it is much the same as today. So my only other observation must be the double-yellow lines near to the bollards - the very small section lying horizontal in this view must be no parking for unicycles (you wouldn't get much else on the spot). The fourth photo (above) is taken from roughly the same spot, but looking north. The River of Life fountain and street decor was created a few months after this photo was taken and remembers the victims of the IRA bombing of the town centre on 20 March 1993. On the left is one of two Army and Navy shops on the street at the time. It reminds me of the Dad's Army film where Godfrey is asked what experience he has had in military fields and he says he worked in the army and navy. Mainwaring is impressed and asks him how he came to serve in both sections and Godfrey informs him he was in Army and Navy stores, Gent's Outfitting!
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Further along the street we see the Boots store located in the Howard Building (left), commemorating prison reformer John Howard. He lodged at a house on this spot while writing his books and reports on the subject. His books were printed at Eyres Press on the corner of Horsemarket Street by Market Gate (where Thomas Cook is today). A plaque to Howard's memory is fixed to the Boots building. Boots left the building in 2007 and relocated to Golden Square shopping centre.

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Boots (Howard Building) Dolman's Lane

Dolman's Lane (photo above right) is so named because it is believed to be home to an official called the Doleman who gave out (or doled) charity to anybody who said a prayer for the dead. You won't find Dolman's Lane on the modern street map, which is a shame, but there is a plaque halfway down the lane describing the history of the area (photo right). The Scott clothing shop is now an RSPCA charity shop in 2011.

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Lane
Plaque
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The photo (left) shows the east side of Bridge Street with Hancock and Wood in the centre. The building was originally constructed in 1857, and has seen one or two changes since. See the Hancock and Wood website for older photographs of the street scene and a brief history of the company. On the right of Hancock and Wood is a branch of NatWest Bank, one of three in the town centre at the time (the other two are in Winwick Street and Sankey Street, which are still open). The Bridge Street branch closed and staff were relocated to the other two branches. The building is now occupied by the Woolwich Building Society (2011). Notice the telephone kiosk outside NatWest. This was operated by Mercury Communications as a rival to BT, but is no longer there.

Hancock and Wood (centre)

On the opposite side of the street we see an alleyway on the left (photos right). This is called Patten Lane and once led to the home of the Patten family, the owners of Bank Hall (now our town hall) on Sankey Street. The plaque was installed in 2011, but it is rather disappointing that it was fixed to the green utility box and not the wall. Also on Patten Lane was the Eagle and Child coaching inn, a photo of which is etched onto the plaque.

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Patten Lane
The building on the left before the alleyway was an amusement arcade until 2011, but was originally Hodgkinson's department store, which closed in 1962. Stationery Box is no longer in business. Its head office was on Hawleys Lane near Dallam. McDonalds now occupy the unit vacated by Boots when they moved across the road into the Howard Building.
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The photo (left) is taken from Market Gate and looks down the length of Bridge Street. Clarks shoe shop on the left has been operated by the Roberts family since 1858. The shop front has changed since this photo was taken and the shoe business has now relocated to Golden Square shopping centre. See My Warrington page for more. The brickwork in the foreground was actually a seating area - not the most interesting feature of the time, but there all the same. The location of the Holland and Barrett store was known as Boots Corner because Boots occupied the site until they moved to where McDonalds is now. Holland and Barrett have now relocated to Golden Square and the shop was then occupied by Phones 4 U from 2011 until the chain store folded in 2014.

From Market Gate

Town Centre From the West

Sankey Street shows us Taylor Trading (first photo below), the electrical wholesale store on the corner of Parker Street. The company is no longer trading (no pun intended) and the building was demolished in 2013 and the site is now a car park. Bank Park is on the left. The second photo shows the former Warrington Guardian office, occupied by Martin Dawes Communications at the time who have since relocated to Gemini Retail Park near Ikea in northwest Warrington. The building on Sankey Street, along with the former print house of the newspaper, is now The Gateway, a community base for organisations like Citizens Advice Bureau and the offices of Warrington Housing Association. The white building on the left of the photo is the former Cameo/Picturedrome (Picture Drome) cinema. The cinema closed in 1956 and the building has been occupied by various businesses since then, including Visionhire TV rental and at the time of this photo, by Jones Chapman estate agents. In recent years the building has served as two restaurants and in 2011 part of it has been converted into a hairdressing salon, with a restaurant in the remainder.

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Sankey Street Former Warrington
Guardian office
Sankey Street Legh Street
Further along Sankey Street we pass Bank House for the viewpoint of the third photo (above). There hasn't been much change since 1995, apart from the widening of the footpath around the trees, which I assume are protected. We will break off Sankey Street for a look at Legh Street (fourth photo above). The view is from the corner of Sankey Street and shows Legh Street car park, which linked to Golden Square shopping centre via a bridge over Golborne Street.
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Also on Legh Street is the Ebenezer Baptist Church building featured in the two photos here. The church dates back to 1870 and the wording in the stonework above the door says "Particular Baptist Ebenezer Chapel". It was up for sale at the time of the photos on 16 February 1996. The building is now occupied by Kids Planet Day Nursery.

Ebenezer Baptist Church

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Back to Sankey Street.
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In the photo (left) we see the White Hart pub on the corner of Sankey Street and Golborne Street. The Warrington Guardian office moved next door as a temporary measure until it relocated to its permanent home in The Academy building at Bridge Foot. To the left of the Guardian office is the location of the shop that gave me my first job in 1979 - Lowes (Warrington) Ltd, booksellers and stationers. It was until 2014 an estate agents.

Again, a slight detour, this time for a trip to Golborne Street.

White Hart pub

Golborne Street, along with Scotland Road, was originally part of the Inner Circulatory Road, and was officially opened on 19 February 1976. Golborne Street itself no longer exists. It was closed when Golden Square shopping centre was extended in 2007. One small section of Golborne Street remains, but it was renamed Hilden Square in 2008 to mark the 40th anniversary of the twin town partnership with Hilden in Germany.

The first photo (below left) looks north along Golborne Street towards Legh Street car park. A Daimler Fleetline bus approaches, with a Dennis Dart parked on the left in the distance. The second photo looks back to the White Hart pub from a moving bus and shows Regent Street, the street behind the pub where the cars are parked. The other road section in front leads to the underground delivery area of Golden Square shopping centre (third photo). The fourth photo shows Marks and Spencer (M&S) and WHSmith.

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Golborne Street White Hart pub Underground deliveries M&S and WHSmith
The next five photos were taken from the top of Legh Street car park. The first shows the old bus station and the car park link bridge. If there was an award for the grottiest, most-horrible bus station, this one would come in the top two! Unless you know a worse one... There was a newsagents on the upper floor. The second photo looks south along Golborne Street and shows Garnett's water tower in the skyline. This was recently saved from demolition by Warrington Borough Council. The third photo shows the link bridge and in the skyline is the water tower mentioned, plus the town clock at Holy Trinity church. I believe one of the reasons for saving the water tower was due to comments from the public who always referred to it as a landmark in the town centre. It could be seen from most angles and was therefore a good reference point. 
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Bus station Golborne Street Golborne Street link bridge Golborne Street

The fourth and fifth photos (above right) show the northern section of Golborne Street at the time when Midland Way was under construction between 1995 and 1996. We will look at the Midland Way construction in more detail later. On the right of both photos here we can see British Home Stores (BHS) at Golden Square shopping centre with the bus station alongside. The four single-decker buses in the fifth photo belong to the North Western bus company who ran rival services in the so-called "bus wars", with the intention of putting Warrington Borough Transport out of business and thus gaining control of the services in the town. The idea failed and both companies eventually came to an agreement on the future of the routes in the town.

And now back to Sankey Street again.

The first two photos (below left) show the Gatehouse Co-op from Sankey Street and Cairo Street. The building was constructed in 1908. The Co-op eventually moved out and TJ Hughes (TJ's) moved in. In 2011 TJ's went into liquidation and the store was taken over by the 99p shop. On the extreme left of the second photo was Bookland book shop, which had served as the offices for the Co-op in the early days. I remember going there for my mum to get her 'divi'. I even remember mum's divi number, but I am keeping that to myself! As a bookshop, Bookland was one of my favourite shops in the town. I spent hours in there looking for research material, long before I came up with the idea for this website. It must have planted a seed in me all those years ago. I wonder how many books I actually bought, or did I just have a good memory? I don't think it was the latter, so I must have bought something while I was in there. The former book shop is now a restaurant and bar.

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Gatehouse Co-op Woolworths Holy Trinity Church

The third photo (above) shows the former Woolworths store, which traded from 1912 until closure on 6 January 2009. Asco supermarket moved in for a short period in 2009 and the store has hosted a Poundland store since September 2010. The green canopy to the left of the Woolworths store as we look on led to the Carlton Club, a first-floor nightclub and bar. The history of the NatWest bank building is featured on the Events page, where you can see photos of how it looked in the old days, both inside and out. The fourth photo above looks back along Sankey Street from Market Gate, with Holy Trinity church on the left. The church has existed since 1709 and nowadays has the added feature of an access ramp alongside the low wall covered in snow. Clinton card shop has now moved into Golden Square shopping centre. True Form shoe shop occupied the building in the 1960s and 1970s, and it is now Greggs the bakers in 2011. 

Around Market Gate                                    

In the 13th century the centre of Warrington was based around Church Street, whilst Market Gate is the centre of modern Warrington. Market Gate is where the four original main streets coming into the town meet. Those four streets are Horsemarket Street, Buttermarket Street, Bridge Street and Sankey Street. As you might have guessed, Horsemarket Street and Buttermarket Street are named after the commodities which were traded there in the past.

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The photo (left) looks towards Holland and Barrett in August 1995. As already mentioned this area was known as Boots Corner. The shop was also used as Hepworths clothing store in the 1970s. A roundabout graced the scene at Market Gate between 1938 and 1966. Holy Trinity church and the town clock are on the right of the photo, with Stead and Simpson shoe shop to the left. Burger King on the extreme left no longer trade from the town centre - they have a drive through close to the M62 motorway near Winwick.

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The three telephone boxes (seen in close-up in Albert Hickson's photo from 1998) have been a regular feature of Market Gate for many years. They are the K6 (kiosk number six) model, also known as the "Jubilee Kiosk", which was designed in 1935. The K6 was the first red telephone kiosk to be used extensively outside London. Check Tour 2 for a photo of our K4 combined telephone, post box and stamp dispenser at Bridge Foot.

The first three photos (right) show Market Gate from Horsemarket Street. Pizzaland is now Santander Bank and Going Places have now gone somewhere else! Fast Film were victims of the digital age, but the newsagents and Boots Opticians still trade from there.

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Market Gate in summer 1995 and winter 1996

The fourth photo (above right) shows the entrance to Golden Square shopping centre from Buttermarket Street. Next, Burtons and JD Sports moved inside Golden Square, while Thomas Cook still sells holidays from the same spot, but with blue shop signs today.

The first photo (below left) looks north along Horsemarket Street. Notice it was before the area became pedestrianised. The image (left) was taken on 10 August 1995.  Do you remember Pizzaland in the right of the image? It has served as Burtons menswear before that store moved over to the other side of the street (next to Thomas Cook, here on the left). Pizzaland is now the Alliance & Leicester building society (or is that bank?). At the far end of the street is the Royal Bank of Scotland (the building with the pointed roof). The previous building housed Williams and Glyn's Bank in the 1970s, and was The Griffin Hotel before that. It was demolished in mid-1991.
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Market Gate in summer 1995 and winter 1996

The second photo (above) looks in the opposite direction towards Bridge Street. Notice again a Mercury telephone box. The council workers were spreading salt onto the paths to clear the snow. The third and fourth photos look onto Buttermarket Street. Notice the very interesting(!) concrete flower pots in the centre. The question is, are they better or worse than the 21st century skittles? And those brick seats are here again. At least with the modern street scene we managed to get rid of those two monstrosities of the past, but the biggest one remains, that being New Town House in the distance. And as Janice from the museum says, it is better than what they really wanted to put there. Can you imagine there really was something worse? Notice the pelican on top of the former Pelican Hotel next to Going Places. The post box has been relocated to the opposite side of the street, whilst one of the telephone boxes is now further back near Bank Street. The other one was removed. The fifth photo shows another view of the entrance to Golden Square shopping centre, where we go next.

Around Golden Square

The photos in this section show Golden Square shopping centre on 2 February 1996. The first photo shows the Old Fish Market canopy, which was thoughtfully left standing when Golden Square was built in 1973. There were three buildings which made up the market - the Fish Market mentioned, the Meat Market (at my camera position) and the General Market to the side of the Barley Mow pub. The view here features the final area of town in this 1990s section commemorating Lewis Carroll in the shape of the granite sculpture of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party on the right of the photo.

The second photo shows the replica of the old town hall, which once stood on this spot. Wildings photography shop was originally on Bridge Street and has now moved inside Golden Square with a different name. Bradford and Bingley Building Society has also moved and the two units are now Ask restaurant. The third photo shows the entrance to Golden Square to the right of Wildings. Unlike Fast Film at Market Gate, Wildings moved with the times and now sell digital cameras, memory cards and other accessories.

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The fourth photo (above right) shows The Barley Mow pub. This was established in 1561 and is the oldest building in the town centre. It was independently owned until November 1838 and was later leased to Mr J Hepherd in 1844, remaining in his estate until 1919. It is said members of his family haunt the pub to this day. I don't know about that, but I was walking through the cemetery the other night and I heard a tapping sound of a hammer and chisel on Mr Hepherd's grave. I asked the shadowy figure what he was doing and he said, "They spelt my name wrong..." In 1964 the premises were leased to Walker Cain Ltd, joining the estate of Tetley Walker Ltd in 1987, then Allied Domecq Inns in 1998 and finally becoming Bass Leisure Retail in 1999. Did you know that a 'mow' is a heap or pile of hay, corn or barley, etc? A motif is visible along the right hand side of the building (fifth photo). I recommend a visit the pub and to take note of the structure inside. Most locals pronounce the second word of the pub name like 'now' rather than 'no'. I only say that because I have heard it pronounced both ways - make your own choice.
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The first photo (above left) is the Old Fish Market viewed from the side of the Barley Mow pub. The Meat Market was on the site of the buildings in the centre of the photo. The second photo shows the scene from the north east corner. It seems brick-surround seating was the norm in the 1990s because Golden Square has some too. Garnett's water tower is here again. The third photo looks on from the south east. If I remember correctly, the shop on the extreme right was either Paper Scene or Paper Chase, or something like that. Can you confirm that for me? The shop next to it was County Bookshops, a discount bookshop specialising in warehouse clearance titles which were no longer selling at the original price. They used to offer a free discount card giving 10% off all purchases. It was one of my personal favourites in its day and I was sorry to see it go into liquidation. There is an alternative today in The Works, which has a branch at Golden Square in the unit to the rear of the Old Fish Market as we view here.

Around the Cultural Quarter

The Cultural Quarter is the area surrounding Queens Gardens, the museum and the entertainment venues of the town centre.

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The Parr Hall was celebrating its centenary in the year these photos were taken. Funding for the Parr Hall was donated by Joseph Charlton Parr of Parr's Bank seen earlier. The building was designed by William Owen and opened in 1895. One of the regular visitors to the venue is Liverpool comedian Ken Dodd who always give value for money at his shows. As he says, everybody goes home in daylight!

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My favourite Ken Dodd joke is the one where he is describing how Percy Shaw from Halifax, West Yorkshire, saw the reflection of a cat's eyes in his car headlights in the 1930s, after which he invented cat's eyes for the middle of the road and that if the cat had been walking in the other direction he would have invented the pencil sharpener! My second-favourite story of his refers to William Pitt the Younger M.P. who invented income tax in 1798. He set the level at tuppence in the pound, and Doddy thought it still was! For readers who don't know why he tells that story, it is because he was cleared of tax evasion in the 1989. Back to the Warrington story...

Queens Gardens were originally private gardens for the houses on Palmyra Square. The houses have now been converted into offices. The gardens were purchased for the town in 1897 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Warrington Borough Council on 3 April 1897 and to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

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The gardens opened as a public park on 17 October 1898. The statue of Lt. Colonel McCarthy O'Leary (photo right) was unveiled on 21 February 1907 to commemorate local men killed in the second of the Boer Wars in South Africa (known in Afrikaans as Vryheidsoorlog, literally 'freedom wars'). The building on the left of the photo (far right) was the Royal Mail sorting office. The one in the middle was Holy Trinity vicarage.

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Queens Gardens
from Bold Street 1996
Queens Gardens
O'Leary statue 1995
Queens Gardens from
the south west 1995
The post office building itself, the second of two in the town centre at the time, is located on the corner of Springfield Street and is seen in the first photo (below left). It was built in 1908 and after it closed the mail sorting operation was moved to a new site on Milner Street and the post office moved to Golden Square shopping centre. The Springfield Street site was up for sale at the time of this photo on 10 August 1995. It was converted into a restaurant and the former sorting office was replaced with Knightsbridge Court, an apartment block. Bank House is on the left of the photo. Bank House was occupied at the time by the council housing office, which was later rebranded as Golden Gates Housing, an 'at arm's length management group' of the council. Golden Gates Housing became Golden Gates Housing Trust on 29 November 2010 after a majority vote by the tenants (91.9% of the 63% who voted). One of the persuading factors in the vote was that part of the rent collected by Warrington Borough Council was being transferred to London under government rules. That money now stays in Warrington for the benefit of the tenants in the form of extra funding for repairs and services.
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Springfield Street
Post Office
Bold Street Rylands Street Palmyra Square South Winmarleigh Street

The second, third and fourth photos (above) show the streets close to Queens Gardens. The scene hasn't changed much, apart from the road layout and the replacement of the building at the far end of Rylands Street (third photo) which used to be Argos. The replacement is now occupied by Pound World. Palmyra Square South nowadays provides access to many of the solicitor's buildings and the Parr Hall, otherwise it is closed to through traffic. At one time it was my bus route home. Some of the town centre solicitor's offices are on Bold Street. Winmarleigh Street is seen in the fifth photo. The building on the left is the Christadelphian church. This has now been demolished and a half-finished apartment block called Pyramid Court has been built on the site. The town hall is in the distance. The building on the right is the former court building, which eventually became the Pyramid Arts Centre. The first performance was given there in 2001. That first performance featured some guy called Gordon I Gandy in a community play called The North Face of Longford Street. I wonder what happened to him?

Along Midland Way                         

This section shows part of the construction of the Midland Way town centre bypass, which re-routed a section of the A57 east-west road. The original route of the A57 was along Church Street, Buttermarket Street, Sankey Street and Liverpool Road. The new route takes traffic from Manchester Road at its junction with Church Street, via Cockhedge Green roundabout, Midland Way, Froghall Lane, Priestley Street and Sankey Green roundabout to Liverpool Road and Sankey Way. Manchester Road was extended along a new section of road which crosses parts of School Brow and Hopwood Street to meet up with Cockhedge Green. Midland Way itself runs alongside the southern boundary of the Liverpool to Manchester (former Cheshire Lines) Railway from Cockhedge Green to Crosfield Street. The western section of Midland Way replaces part of Kendrick Street.

Midland Way (known as the Southern Expressway during construction) opened on 13 November 1996. But why call an east-west road in the northern part of the town centre a 'southern expressway'? The first two photos (below) were taken from Winwick Street. The building shown in close-up in the second photo was once occupied by the Warrington Observer newspaper. The third photo was taken from the edge of Warrington Central Station platform looking towards Golborne Street and Golden Square shopping centre. 

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Photos here taken Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 August 1995
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The first and second photos (above) look east along the site of the future Midland Way embankment. The road was to run alongside the outside of Warrington Central Station over the arches which were extended out over Crown Street. The space above the arches was originally the stabling point for engines alongside the railway station, a sub-shed of Liverpool Brunswick shed. Part of the white building on the right of the first two photos was occupied by Copydraft, an art, crafts and office suppliers, one of my favourite shops in the town. The Midland Hotel once occupied the space to the left of the white building. On the left of the second photo you can see the outline of a building which was once attached to the arch, but I don't know what it was. The third photo (above) looks eastwards along Kendrick Street towards Golden Square shopping centre, with the Cheshire Lines Railway on the left and Bank Park on the right.
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Photos here taken Tuesday 6 February 1996
Six months have now passed and in the two photos (above) we see the construction of the embankment and supports for the bridge over Winwick Street. I imagine they were working under previous health and safety regulations due to the proximity of the ladder against the wall. Today they would use a cherry picker and be attached to a safety harness. It also looks like work stops when it snows as there is nobody about. So how come the ladder wasn't stolen?
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The photo (left) shows Crown Street from the east looking towards Winwick Street. The photo (right) looks towards Golden Square shopping centre, which is named after an area close to Market Gate called Golden Square. Well, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Winwick Street and Horsemarket Street are on the left of the scene.

Horsemarket Street was named because they held horse markets on Winwick Street! Yes, that's right - Winwick Street? Why, you might ask?

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Crown Street
6 February 1996
Winwick Street
6 February 1996
Well, the section of Winwick Street on the north side of Warrington Central Station bridge was wider, so they held them there. I know I'm going to ask the obvious question, but here goes: Why didn't they rename Winwick Street as Horsemarket Street? I know what you will say. It's because Winwick Street runs into Winwick Road, right? Well, it does, but that still doesn't explain the logic of not renaming it Horsemarket Street. Anyway, who really cares? I'm sure you don't, so we'll move on...
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Photos here taken Tuesday 6 February 1996

The first photo (above left) shows the opposite view of the embankment and also the progress on Crown Street. Crown Street is being moved slightly to the south to accommodate the extra space for the extended arches below the future road section. This will eventually be turned into small business units. One of them today is an office for Abba Cars taxi firm. The office building for Rylands Wire on Battersby Lane can be seen beyond Crown Street.

The second photo (above) shows the construction close to Bewsey Street and Foundry Street. Pedestrians will eventually pass under Midland Way from this point to gain access to the bus station and Golden Square shopping centre. Tetley Walker Brewery at Dallam Lane can be seen in the distance beyond the two railway bridges.

The third photo (above) shows the Cheshire Lines warehouse next to Warrington Central Station. This has now been converted into luxury apartments, with new accommodation blocks alongside. The photo was taken from the edge of Cockhedge Shopping Centre car park.

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To accommodate the extra traffic which Midland Way would generate, the bridge over the West Coast Mainline and approach road from Priestley Street were widened (first photo above). The junction at Froghall Lane and Crosfield Street needed to be adjusted too, which also included widening the road (second photo). Originally, Froghall Lane (which gets its name from a building called Frog Hall) was the main road east to west between Priestley Street and Tanners Lane. The third photo shows the Froghall Lane Bridge junction in 2003, with Midland Way becoming the main route east-west from November 1996. Midland Way starts at Crosfield Street and runs along the former western section of Kendrick Street (fourth photo). The fifth photo looks south along Froghall Lane towards Froghall Bridge over the West Coast Mainline.

The two photos below show progress along the main section of Midland Way between Crosfield Street and Winwick Street on Friday 16 February 1996.

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Legh Street car park is seen on the right of each photo, with the Parish Church of St Elphin in the distance and Parr's Bank (NatWest) to its right. The public were given a right of way across the construction, which can be seen in the centre by the safety barriers. They simply moved the route to different positions as required.

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The next set of photos show the construction from the former link bridge over the eastern section of Golborne Street.
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As with the pedestrian route, vehicular traffic was also allowed access across the works. The road in the foreground in the photo (left) leads to Legh Street car park. The open land behind the trees in the centre of the photo is where the Travelodge hotel was built in later years. St Paul's National Infants School used to stand on the northern side of Kendrick Street.

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The photo (left) shows Victoria House on the left, an office block which was eventually demolished to make way for the extension to Golden Square shopping centre constructed between 2004 and 2007. The bridge I am standing on was originally destined for Birmingham Airport, but when they loaded it onto the lorry it was too high to go under the bridges, so it was taken off again and recycled. The photos here were taken on 16 February 1996.

When Golden Square shopping centre was extended, a new link to the car park was added from Midland Way, but only for vehicles entering from the east. You can leave Golden Square via Midland Way in both directions, but you cannot currently turn right off Midland Way into Golden Square when approaching from the west - you must travel on to Cockhedge Green roundabout and come back again. This frustrates some drivers who basically vote with their car wheels and shop elsewhere. This situation is now being looked at again in 2011, with the intention of creating a second access point from Midland Way. The obvious question, therefore, is why didn't somebody have the foresight at the time to realise that this situation would have arisen in the future? I suppose the response would be that traffic turning right off a single carriageway would cause delays for through traffic. And asking them to make Midland Way a dual carriageway would have been out of the question now, although it could have been done at the time.

On the subject of foresight, when they built Warrington Interchange they installed a pedestrian crossing on a bend in the road leading to the tunnel used by buses and permit holders, making it dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. It was so serious that one bus operator threatened to pull all its services from the town unless the crossing was repositioned. The crossing was eventually moved to its current position about four years after the interchange opened!

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The original crossing is seen in the photo (left) taken on 11 May 2007 during construction. It is understandable why the bus drivers expressed concern. The photo (right) shows the alterations, which were completed in 2010, and seen here on 14 September 2011. The photo (far right) shows the view from Winwick Street. warrington_interchange_zebra_crossing_110914.jpg (129042 bytes) warrington_interchange_110914.JPG (88559 bytes)
Delivery and construction vehicles are not allowed onto the bus interchange under normal circumstances; they must use the entrance from Legh Street.
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Photos here taken Friday 16 February 1996

The first three photos (above) were also taken from the link bridge over the eastern section of Golborne Street. The first shows the continuing process of construction near Bewsey Street and Foundry Street. The building on Bewsey Street under the bridge in the top left of the second photo is St Albans Social Club, which was demolished in November 2008. The third photo (above) looks towards Warrington Central Station and the embankment created to take Midland Way over Winwick Street. The fourth photo is taken from Legh Street car park and shows a wagon pumping concrete into the foundations for the raised sections of the new road. The fifth and final photo of the Midland Way construction looks over Golborne Street from Legh Street car park. The old bus station is on the right next to British Home Stores at Golden Square shopping centre.

View to the North                            

The next three photos, and the fourth panoramic, show the view of northern Warrington from Legh Street car park. The former Cheshire Lines Railway line is now used by Northern Rail, TransPennine Express and East Midland Trains. On the right of the first photo (and the left of the second) we can see Wycliffe United Reformed Church on Bewsey Street.

On the right of the second photo we can see the Tetley Walker Brewery on Dallam Lane in the distance. Beyond the railway bridge is Making Space day centre on Allen Street. The former Liberal Club with the blue chimney is on Bewsey Street in the centre of the photo, nowadays used as offices. The foundation stone was laid by Mr John Crosfield on 8 May 1913. To its left is St Alban's Catholic Church. The blue building in the distance on the left is Lancashire Steel on Bewsey Road.

The third photo shows the Tetley Walker Brewery on the left, whilst on the right in the distance is Evans House on Norman Street. This was once occupied by Alliance Box Works and is now used by a variety of small business, including the 147 Snooker Club, O'Malley's Gym, IndepenDANCE and Direct Taxis. Link to the Evans House website.

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Beyond the Old Town

And finally, three photos from the north west of the town. The first shows Ikea at Gemini Retail Park. This was the first UK store for the Swedish company who started the flat-pack furniture system we all take for granted now. But how did it start? Quite simply, a member of staff wanted to take a table home in the back of his car and it was too big, so he took the legs off. The rest is history. It was also one of the first businesses to occupy the former farmland and the site has now grown into a massive business and retail park. So much so that a new junction off the M62 motorway was constructed to cope with traffic. The second photo shows the M62 from the side of Ikea and gives a view of Winwick Hospital in the distance. Warrington's only cinema is now at Westbrook. It started out as UCI and is now operated by the Odeon group. It is shown here on 17 February 1996 when films including Heat, Loch Ness, Babe, Father of the Bride 2 and Jumanji were on general release. At one time there were fifteen cinemas in and around Warrington. For the full list, see the At the Flicks section of the Memory Lane page.

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Ikea M62 and Winwick hospital UCI/Odeon Cinema

If you have photographs of the town from the 1990s and would like to contribute them to this page, feel free to email them to me. Or indeed for any other period in the town's history, but please don't extract them from books as I cannot use them without copyright clearance. If you own an image then no problem!

Warrington - A Town of Many Industries

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