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Monday, 8 August 2011

THE WHITE BEAR 1960s


A rare colour foray into the 1960s today with this slide taken by Jack Stanier sometime in that decade and showing the White Bear, complete with its Wilson's Brewery signage. In fact there are two versions of the same photograph here; the original and a zoomed shot showing more details of the pub and the now notorious 'two shops' next to it.
Looking at the wider shot first: Note the grocery shop on the extreme left and the drop in the pavement next to it. Can that small entry possibly be the bottom end of Dierden's terrace? And who ran the double fronted grocery shop we're talking about? Was it one of the original Co-op shops, replaced in the 1970s by the 'Co-op Superstore'?
Turning to the right hand side of the road we can see that even in those days the pub was not maintained to a particularly high standard. The frontage looks distinctly shabby and down-at-heel. Returning to the 'two shops' which we've spent so much time considering, I can't make up my mind whether or not the right hand one was Johnson's The Cleaners at this time. The colour scheme looks slightly wrong in this picture, but the lettering, just in shot, says 'Dyers, Cleaners', so it most likely was.
The other shop, which will now forever be known as 'Sharon's Cafe', was, as can be seen, Pimlott's which, I seem to recall, was a dress shop. I think this is the same firm which had a much bigger, grander shop in Winsford High Street now, like so much in that stricken area, fallen into rack and ruin. Pimlott, of course, is a very popular Mid-Cheshire name, famous in the worlds of salt boiling and boat building.
Those are my initial thoughts. I am, as always, open to correction.
There is a much older photograph of the White Bear on page 67 of  'Middlewich - Images of England' by J Brian Curzon and Paul Hurley (Tempus Publishing 2005), showing that there was once a door where the side window (below the lower 'White Bear' sign) is on this photo.
Feedback from Facebook:
Geraldine Williams Yes, it was the old Co-op shop but there was also a large grocery store, Cooper's (formerly Kinsey's) in that area at the bottom of Dierden's Terrace. Pimlott's also had a dress shop in Sandbach.

1 comment:

  1. My Name is Ken Brophy
    I had a flat above a clothes shop between 1968/9. The falt was on Wheelock st on the same side as the white bear, right in front of the Zebra crossing. I enjoyed my time there, I was about 20 at that time. I worked during the daytime at a clothing company in Winsford called P.T.Hartley but also worked part time in the evenings at the vaults in Middlwich. It has fond memories for me. I used to park my Mini over night in the Vaults car park, it was quite handy as there was a slight slope and a could jump sart my Mini on my own as it didn't always start straight away. Any way, hi to anyone that may remember me.

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