Thursday, 8 December 2011

AN AWKWARD TURN TO THE LOMPON II - THE ANSWER

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We're very grateful to Dave Thompson of Middlewich Town Council for sending us an aerial view of Middlewich as it was in 1928. I've seen this aerial view many times, as it hung for a long time  in a corridor in the Boar's Head Hotel in Kinderton Street (it probably still does)* The picture above is a section of that aerial view showing the  Town Bridge area as it was then, and solving, after all these years, the mystery of where the 'Awkward Turn To The Lompon' photo was actually taken. It's strange indeed that no one I ever spoke to about this ever made the connection between the two photos, because the truth is plain to see. That's a very distinctive group of buildings.

When we said in in our first posting that we may have been looking at the picture 'the wrong way round' we were closer to the truth than we knew.
It's obvious from the above that the motorbike and sidecar combination was not in Kinderton Street at all, but in Lower Street and travelling in the opposite direction, towards Holmes Chapel.
To drive home the point, and to coin another phrase - X Marks The Spot.
There even seems to be another motorbike and sidecar combination on the bridge in this shot.
So Kinderton Street itself may not have changed its alignment very much in the sweeping changes of 1931, but, on the other side of Town Bridge, Lower Street certainly did. In fact it's still hard to get one's head around that abrupt turn off the bridge. But it has to be remembered that a section of Middlewich churchyard was removed in 1931 to enable the widening of Lower Street. Part of the Town Hall was also demolished at this time, and the building can be seen in its original form at bottom right. In the changes of the 1970s the 'Church' side of  the street was left alone, and all the demolition took place on the opposite side of the road.
At the top of the photo, Middlewich Town Wharf can be seen, seemingly in those days much more a part of the town centre, rather than being separated from it as is the case today (a situation which, we hope, will change once again when the 'Gateway To Middlewich' scheme finally comes to fruition).
All the buildings around the Town Bridge also went in 1931, of course, and the  road  crossing it was considerably altered and widened.
We'll be returning to this fascinating 1928 view of our town to study other sections of it in future postings.
Very interesting stuff of course (for some of us, anyway) but we still have to find out why this particular part of Middlewich should be called 'The Lompon'. So on we go...
* that corridor in the Boar's Head is filled with fascinating old pictures of Middlewich and is well worth a look next time you're in there.+ (SEE UPDATE, BELOW - ED)
Facebook feedback:

John Capper I'm glad that has been solved. That 1928 picture is fascinating. Looking at the position of the sidecar on the road in that picture I think confirms it was an awkward turn. It's a good job the roads were quiet then.

Dave Roberts Yes. Were there a lot more motorbike/sidecar combinations about at that time, John? Because that could explain the title. That turn from Lower Street onto Town Bridge may have been notorious among the biking fraternity, and well enough known for everyone to 'get the joke'.

John Capper. I believe there were. An alternative to the family car which would have been unaffordable to a lot of people then.

  • +UPDATE (AUGUST 2013) Re-decoration of the Boar's Head in 2013 meant that the collection of Middlewich Pictures was removed (only temporarily, we hope - Ed

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