Mike Jennings was out with his camera at the start of 2012 to bring us these pictures of White Horse Alley which, for those who don't know, runs from Lewin Street (alongside the pub which gives it its name) and past Market Field (best known these days as the venue for the Middlewich FAB Festival) to join with St Ann's Walk immediately adjacent to the Oaklands Medical Centre.
At one time pedestrians could take a more direct route through the school grounds, but this was never popular with people who at times had to run the gauntlet of some cheeky and appallingly bad-mannered schoolchildren.
The main picture (above) shows the alley looking towards Lewin Street. Part of the Wych Centre on Market Field is just visible top left.
This part of White Horse Alley was always a good short cut from Market Field to the White Horse during the original Folk & Boat Festival. The festival's compere could make it back to the mainstage in less than a minute after a Festival Saturday afternoon drinking session with Jerry at the pub.
I know, I was that compere.
The alley does not run in a straight line; there is an S-bend close to the remains of the little houses which once fronted onto the alley (see below).
On the other side of the hedge on the right is a field where Mr Smallwood, who lived nearby, kept sheep.
It was the presence of those sheep just yards away from the main Folk Festival site which led, among other considerations, to the cancellation of the 2001 Folk & Boat Festival in the middle of a Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak.
The risk was just too high.
Some have claimed that 'the festival went ahead anyway' because a couple of pubs held music sessions.
Not so. A couple of sessions in a couple of pubs do not a festival make.
An older photograph of the Lewin Street end of White Horse Alley, showing those tiny cottages before they fell into complete disrepair, together with a 'Now & Then' comparison can be found here
Facebook feedback (from 'You Know You're From Middlewich, When...'):
Cat Cotterill My Nan used to live next door but one to the alley, and I can remember her taking my cousins and I to the smaller field behind the White Horse to see John's cows.
Also I can remember the fair moving to the field behind that (which I believe now has tennis courts on) (Quite possibly Cat means the all weather football pitch at the top of the alley - Ed)
Daniel Preston I remember windows in the cottages along there, the glass green and bulging at the bottom, the sound (sic) having slowly succumbed to gravity over the centuries.
Andy Kendrick The cottages which used to be on White Horse Alley were where my parents used to live when they had just married. My Dad told me some good stories about the characters who used to knock around in those days.