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Thursday, 8 December 2011

WHEELOCK STREET, CARNIVAL DAY 1973

In the bright sunshine of a long-ago Summers day Wheelock Street waits for the 1973 Carnival procession to arrive. This Kodachrome slide is the companion to this one which was taken  the evening before. The general air of expectancy seems to indicate that the procession, on its epic journey from the Big Lock to Sutton Lane, was due at any moment.
Note the yellow and red Middlewich Caledonian Society flag a little way down the road on the left which is mentioned in the description for that companion slide..
At this time Middlewich was just beginning to change from the drab but workmanlike town it had always been into the brighter, more welcoming town it is today - a change brought about by the closure of the salt works in the middle of the town and the concentration of  the industry on the new British Salt works in Cledford Lane..
An early venture into the restaurant business for one local businessman can be seen in the companion slide, also a little way down the road but on the right, in the form of the Kings Mexon, a name derived, slightly confusingly, from an old name for The Bullring. The businessman in question was Steve Wells, who later ran a newsagent and record shop just a little further still down the road. A certain Mr David Gareth Roberts provided 'background music' for the restaurant using those new-fangled compact cassette tapes.
Contrary to popular belief  Middlewich Carnival, which was organised by Middlewich & District Round Table, was not replaced by the Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival in 1990. Both events took place that year and in 1991. The spirit of the carnival lives on in the new Middlewich FAB Festival which combines the best of both the Carnival and the original Folk Festival.
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Daniel Preston

I remember what I was doing on that day. Me and an old mate of mine, who now lives in Toronto, were working on my Morris Mini Cooper in my garage on the I.C.I. garage site. The garage site was in Brooks Lane just over the bridge, which I am sure many of you know. Anyway, there we were, fettlin' the car up, when we heard the big bass drums coming up Lewin Street. Quick as a flash, we downed tools (a popular pastime in those days) and ran to the wall overlooking the canal. Up on the wall we clambered (being both young fellows at the time) and wetched th' carnival from that vantage point. Ah, yes, it was a grand day, no doubt about that.

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