Friday, 20 December 2013

OUR CHRISTMAS CARD TO YOU!


Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!. Some images of Middlewich at Christmas from the not-too-distant past, courtesy of Cliff Astles. 


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Geraldine Williams Lovely. Well done, you two......

Jacqui Cooke Lovely. Thank you. We passed through Middlewich yesterday and admired your town's Christmas lights. Everywhere looked lovely. Merry Christmas to you all...from an ex-Middlewicher....



Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Monday, 16 December 2013

MUSIC IN MIDDLEWICH: LIVE & LOCAL 'OPEN HOUSE' ACOUSTIC NIGHTS (ARCHIVED)



ARCHIVED

Singers, Musicians, Poets, Storytellers and Performers of every kind always more than welcome


 ON THE THIRD WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH

at THE BOAR'S HEAD,
KINDERTON STREET

FINAL ONE:

WEDNESDAY 18th DECEMBER

Starting at 8.30pm

One last chance to take part in the Live & Local Open House nights which have been running under various titles, and at various Middlewich venues, since 1995.



Further details: DAVE THOMPSON on
 07765 025596



It started in 1995 as 'Poetry & Pints' (I know this, because I started it) at the Kings Arms, spent a short time at the Newton Brewery; went back to the Kings Arms for a bit and then settled down for a long stretch at the Boar's Head. The name changed over the years, becoming 'MOM Nights' (Middlewich Open Mike Nights), then simply Live & Local Acoustic Nights, and finally Live & Local Open House Nights. Tonight it comes to an end after 18 years. I can't be there, but I'll be raising a glass in remembrance of some fantastic nights in days gone by. Cheers!
-Dave Roberts, 18th December 2013

Facebook feedback:

Sharon Barnard: I loved working on Poetry & Pints Nights. Great!




LAST UPDATED 16/12/2013

Saturday, 14 December 2013

MUSIC IN MIDDLEWICH: LIVE & LOCAL ACOUSTIC SESSION AT THE BOAR'S HEAD (ARCHIVED)

ARCHIVED

ON THE SECOND SATURDAY OF
EVERY MONTH AT THE BOAR'S HEAD, KINDERTON STREET, MIDDLEWICH
Live Music at its very best!
Singers, musicians and  performers of all kinds very welcome
Starts at 8.45pm
Be early to make sure of a seat!



14th DECEMBER


This is the last Saturday Night session for the foreseeable future. 
ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN THE CELEBRATION  
Many Thanks to all who have supported the sessions over the years
and to the BIG LOCK,BOARS HEAD and KINGS LOCK for hosting them. 
Dave Thompson




Archived entry: This was the last diary entry for the Boar's Head acoustic session (formerly folk session) which had
been running since the first Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival in June 1990, and possibly before that

Friday, 13 December 2013

ERF BADGES

Photo: Salt Town Productions 2011

by Dave Roberts
Go to any meeting of truck enthusiasts and you'll find stalls selling all kinds of souvenirs of trucks, past and present.
Particular favourites among truck fans are  lapel badges such as the ones shown above, which were the last remnants of a collection I built up during the years I worked at ERF and...er...had occasion to do a little - shall we say - stock checking?
ERF Ltd was founded in 1933 by Edwin Richard Foden, a member of the famous  Foden family of Elworth, manufacturers of industrial and agricultural machinery, notably steam lorries and traction engines.
My mother's side of the family has strong Sandbach connections. They lived in Moston and my Mum went to school in Elworth. My Grandmother, Mary Mason, was 'in service' with the Foden family in her younger days.
When Edwin Richard  was unsuccessful in persuading the Fodens that the future of lorries lay with diesel power, he decided, at the age of 63, to start his own company to manufacture the 'ER Foden Diesel'.
As a shrewd businessman, ER realised that the Foden name still carried a lot of clout even if the company were refusing to move with the times, and had no compunction in sticking the name Foden on the front of his prototype.
The first ERF, with the legend 'ER Foden & Son' emblazoned across its radiator. The first ERF lorry was given the chassis no 063 - ER Foden's age in 1933 -and sold to Gilbert Engineering of Leighton Buzzard. It's perfectly possible that this truck is not actually the first ERF ever built at all. Rumours persist that the real ERF 1 was scrapped many moons ago, and this is a slightly later model brought in to play the part. Such goings-on are not unknown in the arcane world of truck preservation... (photo: Truckphotos)
After complaints from Fodens Ltd, the name was shortened to ERF Ltd and after first looking at what later became the Steventons/Ideal Standard pottery works in Cledford Lane, Middlewich+, the company established a factory on land in Sandbach where now stands a medical centre, an Aldi Supermarket and a branch of MacDonalds.
The company was a thriving part of the British truck industry until the end of the 20th century, when, after a series of takeovers, it was eventually swallowed up by MAN Trucks and production moved to Germany where it ceased altogether shortly afterwards.
ERF Ltd played a brief, and ultimately inglorious, part in the industrial history of Middlewich.
In 1971 (co-incidentally the year that ERF 1 was restored by apprentices at Sandbach) the company wanted to expand its service and warehousing operations and, as the Sandbach site was full to bursting, looked at a site off Brooks Lane in Middlewich where part of the former ICI Middlewich soda ash plant had stood until a decade previously.
The ERF Service Centre was closed in 2000 as part of a re-organisation which would see the entire company moved to a new, allegedly purpose built, truck 'factory' off Pochin Way.
Before too long the company had, effectively, ceased to exist.
Towards the end of its independent existence ERF made great play of its Britishness, billing itself as the last British Truck Maker.
The slanting lines on the front of the trucks, originally put there by ER Foden to represent sunrays, because of his belief in the health-giving properties of sunlight (hence the name of the Sandbach Factory, 'Sun Works') were adapted into red and white stripes to look like part of a Union Flag and no chance was missed to stress the 'British' motif.
Photo: Commercial Motor
The badges shown in the illustration above (originally created when I sold them on ebay) are from ERF's 'British' era.

Here's a brief description of them 

1: This black, white and gold enamelled badge was created for the launch of the ERF 'EC' Series in 1993, the company's Diamond Jubilee year. The 'EC' was the last product produced by the independent ERF Ltd and was designed to attract custom away from DAF, Scania and the rest of them by getting away from the 'gaffer's truck' image and providing something approaching luxury for the truck driver (the EC 'Olympic' was even more luxurious). According to those in the know at ERF the 'EC' didn't stand for anything in particular (it followed on from the 'E' series, which followed on from - you guessed it - the 'C' series. There was never a 'D'series.) but was 'supposed to remind people of Europe'. Rather than Sandbach, probably.


2: This bronze badge was also created in 1993 for the company's 60th anniversary and shows 'ERF 1' alongside a new EC Series vehicle. Although the trucks, understandably, look rather different, according to Peter Foden, the company's MD, there was a 'family resemblance' which meant anyone could tell one of the company's trucks 'at a glance'. Maybe so, but I always thought the letters ERF on the front were the real giveaway.


3: The spectacular (and rare) 'ERF Professional Drivers Club' badge, always referred to by us, for obvious reasons, as 'sheriff's badges' were presumably designed to make ERF drivers feel like the undoubted stars they were (and are, of course).



4: Plugging the 'British connection' for all its worth, this 'Union Jack' badge couldn't possibly put it any more clearly.



In the centre is one of what seemed like hundreds of millions of button badges we had in stock. We gave them away by the handful, but the stock never seemed to diminish. 'Sunpar' was a contraction of 'Sun Parts', named after the Sun Works (one of the least sunny places in the world, in actual fact) and was the trade name for the Middlewich parts operation*.


You can find out more about ERF Service, Middlewich, here

* ERF's use of 'Sunpar' as a trade name gave rise to an urban legend. Someone told me that Fodens, who always kept a jaundiced and resentful eye on what was happening 'down the road', were considering calling their own parts operation 'Fo-par' in similar style. Until, that is, someone realised what it would sound like.
I've no idea whether or not it's true, but I hope so.

+ Many years later to become the site of ANSA's controversial waste recycling site.





Wednesday, 4 December 2013

FAMILY PHOTOS BY CLIFF ASTLES




Cliff writes

Following a very successful family and promotional photo session at the WYCH Centre, Middlewich, in November this year, we have decided to continue these local community photo sessions to raise funds for charities. We therefore plan to have another session on Jan 26th 2014, all afternoon and evening. If you are interested in having photos PLEASE make contact ASAP to discuss and review your requirements.Sessions will be available from 1.00pm until 8.00pm, but please book early to reserve your family photo session.


Contact Cliff Via Facebook



Monday, 2 December 2013

SAY, OOPS UPSIDE YOUR HEAD!!!! POSTPONED




UPDATE (MONDAY 2nd DECEMBER):
SADLY, DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY IN 
GATHERING TOGETHER ENOUGH PARTICIPANTS
IN THE BUSY WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THE
RECORD ATTEMPT HAS HAD TO BE POSTPONED.
WE'LL BRING YOU THE NEW DATE AS SOON AS WE HAVE IT!
by Dave Roberts
AKA " I Don't Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance (Oops!)" and a huge dance floor and radio hit for The Gap Band in 1979, this classic track is a staple for all occasions. 
No deejay worth his or her salt would dream of presenting music for a wedding reception, birthday party or any other major event without playing this and watching everyone, young and old, doing the strange and hilarious dance that goes with it.
Now this disco sensation is helping put Middlewich on the map once again as part of the celebrations welcoming the town's 'new' Town Hall.
The former Middlewich Civic Hall is now run locally by the Town Council and already it is seeing far more use than it ever did under Cheshire East and Congleton Borough Councils.
It is only fitting that the name should be changed, not only to reflect the new ownership, and a new beginning for this local amenity, but also as part of the Council's policy of generating pride in the town and everything that goes on here.
You can be a part of history by taking part in this attempt to put Middlewich Town Hall and the town itself in the record books with a brilliant evening of dance and entertainment.
All the information you need is above, so get on down to the Town Hall and get your name down for a night to remember.
Meanwhile, to help you practise, here's a useful link...


See also...