Thursday, 30 June 2011

MUDC SIGN (KING STREET) 1972













    •  This slide is so badly damaged as to be almost unusable, but it’s included because, like the others, it has a tale to tell. It’s the ‘Urban District Of Middlewich’ road sign photographed in 1972 when the old MUDC had just two years to go before being absorbed into the District of Daneborough (Congleton to you and me).


      The sign has a very passable picture of the Parish Church on the left and two ‘Middlewich Witches’ top left and top right. And that’s where the sign hit problems when some people complained that it showed the left hand witch ‘flying over the Church’
      Someone took it upon him/herself to paint out the witches, and you can just make out the marks where they’ve been re-instated. 
      The words‘superstitious nonsense’ spring to mind.
      The ‘Middlewich Witch’ thing is a simple pun on the similarity between the words ‘wych’ (or ‘wyche’) and ''witch', and nothing more.
      Something similar happened many years later when I was involved with local radio station 'Witch FM' in Crewe. Word reached us from Middlewich that the same complaints had been made about the use of the word 'witch'. Such silliness, as Bertie Maddock used to say, 'makes your feet ache'.
      And while we're here, let's reinforce the debunking of the old myth that 'wich' means 'salt town'. It just means 'town' which (?!) is why there are numerous other 'wiches' around the country without a salt connection. Again there is merely a similarity between 'wich' and 'wych', which (!?) does mean 'salt', as in 'Wych-House. There, that's enough to chew on for one day, I think.

      (Originally published on Facebook on 28th May 2011. The original feedback is below)


      28 May at 09:55 · 

    • Sharon Mather Interesting stuff about the witches. I've never heard of this before. How funny! I was taught by Mr O'Neill in the 3rd year Comprehensive (1987ish) that 'wich' means salt town and that every single town that has 'wich' in their name is a salt town. I'm not really impressed with his false teaching now!
      28 May at 11:10 · 

    • Dave Roberts Well he's not really to blame. Everyone was taught the same, and it's only recently that opinions have been revised. It's probably not as simple as I made it sound, either, because Northwich, Middlewich and Nantwich have indeed always been known as the 'three wyches'. Perhaps they should be Northwych, Middlewych and Nantwych?
      28 May at 11:17 · 

    • Gaynor Mcclelland What about Winsfordwich? We have salt too!
      29 May at 20:17 · 
    • Yes indeed. Winsford had more salt works than anywhere else, lining the Weaver Valley. And of course, the pit head for the salt mine is there (on the road to Moulton actually - it's been enclosed by a boring industrial building now, but at one time you could watch the pit wheels turning. It looked like a bit of a coal mine in the middle of a Cheshire field. That aerial on  the top of the building, btw, was Cheshire FM's transmitter.
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