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Tuesday, 12 July 2011
An unexpected and hidden Middlewich delight - 'Poppityjohns' (said to be a possible corruption of 'Property John's' or 'Poverty John's') in 1973. This footpath ran from Brooks Lane, past the ICI Works (by this time replaced by Pochins and the ERF Service Centre) along the edge of the ICI lime beds to reach Cledford Lane near 'The Villas'. At this time it was quite a pretty spot, despite its industrial origins, but when British Salt (whose then four year old works can be seen in the left background) acquired the land they bulldozed a straight and very utilitarian roadway through the lot, so that dumper trucks could reach the top of the lime-beds to dump salt scale there. The other more substantial chimney to the right of centre belongs to Steventon's Pottery Works (now Ideal Standard but soon, alas, to be no more)*. More about the limebeds, and Poppityjohns, soon.
*Editor's Note: In July 2011 the local newspapers reported a ray of hope for the ex-Ideal Standard works with news of negotiations for its sale to 'a Japanese bathroom manufacturer'. Let's hope this comes to fruition and that we can update this posting soon with some good news (posted 13th July 2011).
Update: Yes we can! In November 2011 the local newspapers reported that the works would shortly be re-opening under the ownership of Imperial Bathrooms- ed) (posted 16th November 2011) UPDATE: After several uncertain years Middlewich's 'Potbank' ended its days under the ownership of 'OURS Bathrooms'. In late 2015 the site (with the exception of the office block) was being cleared for its controversial new role as a waste-transfer site for Cheshire East under the ownership of ANSA (a company owned by Cheshire East) (Posted 29th September 2015)