Monday, 16 January 2017



The Way We Were: A MOM Night poster from the early 2000s

Dave Roberts writes...

These days you can't take a few steps in any town in the kingdom without stumbling across a pub featuring an 'Open Mike' night. Most pubs try the idea out at least once, with varying degrees of success. Middlewich, of course, is not immune to the Open Mike Night phenomenon ('Mike', by the way, is the correct form, rather than 'mic.' Mike is the accepted abbreviation for microphone in the music industry, whereas 'mic' is a technical abbreviation used by engineers), with practically every local hostelry having a go at one time or another.
Well, we were the first, in Middlewich at least, back in the early days of this century.
Middlewich Open Mike had its origins in the Salt Town Poets' 'Poetry & Pints' nights at the Kings Arms, the Newton Brewery, and - most enduringly - the Boar's Head.
We noticed that there was in increasing amount of musicians coming along to our P&P Nights and decided to formalise the situation and call the evening 'Middlewich Open Mike Night' or 'MOM Night' for short
Our MOM Nights were a great success over the years, running regularly on the third Wednesday of every month, with regular 'specials' for the Folk & Boat Festival and the FAB Festival.

And now here's news of a revival, for one night only, of those halcyon days, with the MOM Night Reunion!

Here's a word from none other than Professor Parsons....

Mike Parsons writes...

Dear all,

Having spoken with one or two who can remember the original 'Middlewich Open Mike (MOM)' Nights, we thought it would be nice to have a 'Celebratory Reunion' for old times' sake, in which we could get together as old friends and once again enjoy

sharing each other's company and music.

As a result of this idea, I am happy to inform you that on the evening of Wed. 18th. January the back room of the Boar's Head has been reserved for just such an occasion and you are all cordially invited to come along and help make it a really fun evening. If you could also please help to spread the word (as there are those for whom I do not have contact details), that would be great.

So, please do not be shy or slow to shake off those Winter blues; do not let modesty (or anything else for that
matter!) forbid. 

What else could rival the X Factor tour other than the combined billing of the likes of Andy (the Voice) Roscoe; Wolfy; John (Biker JC) Capper; The Legendary Dave Roberts; Davian Reel; Lake, etc. and our other renowned comrades who (with your help) we still need to trace and bring along on the night.

Old friends; new contemporaries, all welcome!

The evening will be hosted by Chris & The MGs.

See you on the 18th; hope you can make it!


Tuesday, 10 January 2017


100 years on - The remains of Middlewich Station in 1989, a century after football supporters caused mayhem on its platforms.

by Dave Roberts

Many years ago someone told me that he had read somewhere that Middlewich railway station was once 'the scene of one of the first reported football riots in history' and the information has lodged somewhere in my mind all this time.
So I thought it was time we got to the bottom of the story and recorded it for posterity in the Middlewich Diary. After all, Middlewich, and Middlewich station in particular, don't have so many claims to fame that we can afford to ignore one of them.
The information about the 'riot' originates in a book called The Roots of Football Hooliganism written by Eric Dunning, Patrick J Murphy and John Williams and published by Routledge in 1988, a time when such unsportsmanlike behaviour was a growing problem in many parts of Britain.
The book attempts, as its title implies, to get to the root causes of football violence (and, I imagine, though I haven't read the book, suggest some remedies for it).
Although this incident has been touted as an early example of such behaviour, the authors are at pains to point out that it was by no means an unusual occurrence in those days,  and probably only made it into the press because a newspaper reporter 'happened to be there at the time'.

That reporter was from the Liverpool Echo, and this is what he had to say:

Liverpool Echo 1st April 1889/The Roots Of Football Hooliganism (Routledge 1988)

You'll have spotted the immediate puzzle, of course: what were groups of Nantwich and Crewe supporters doing at Middlewich, several miles away from either of those two towns? Was the match, perhaps, held in Middlewich because it was 'neutral territory'? Did Middlewich have football facilities in 1889 good enough to host even a minor clash between the two towns? They could, of course, have been on their way back from either Crewe or Nantwich, as both had good railway connections with Middlewich at the time. But the fact that they were on opposite platforms and waiting for trains rather than a train indicates that they were travelling in opposite directions. On the other hand, the report says that after  the skirmish 'the special' then came in, which implies that they  all intended to travel on the same train. Which will have made life interesting for the guard. But if they were all going on the same train, why were they on opposite platforms? So that they could better shout and jeer and threaten each other?
Whatever the truth of the matter, it's fascinating to hear that our own humble railway station was once the stamping ground of such ne'er-do-wells.

Sunday, 8 January 2017



Middlewich Town Crier Devlin Hobson, who attends the Makers Market whenever he's available


Our town's much admired community spirit really came to the fore in early January 2017, leading directly to the creation of the MIDDLEWICH HELPERS Facebook Group.

Laura Lucas writes:
It is agreed that Facebook has many down points, however tonight I have witnessed something great: A man posted a comment on the Middlewich Community site regarding a man who was homeless and is residing under the bridge.
The whole of the community has come together to provide him with essentials to get him through the cold nights before he is rehoused,hopefully on Monday. We spoke to him for a while and despite his current situation and health implications his spirit and fight is phenomenal! I truly believe that this will get him through this hardship!
Tonight has shown, not only that there are still people out there who are genuinely decent human beings,but also that there is always a reason to smile and appreciate what and who we have in our lives.No matter how big or how small this may be! 

7th January 2017

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