In the early days of the Middlewich Diary we asked for, and were given, permission to use these classic Middlewich photos, many of which are familiar to those of us who were brought up in the town and are fascinated by its history.
Naturally we asked about the provenance of the images, many of which have been used over the years as postcards of the town. Some, however, were new to us.
Here's what Paul had to say.
They were scanned from a mate's photo album; he was the previous owner of Middlewich Auto Spares in Wheelock Street. A photographer was taking photos of his premises, apparently stables of yesteryear, and sold him the prints. That's as much as I know about them. So I thought it was the correct thing to share them!!
Which, of course, it was. Bear in mind that Paul is not - as others have in the past sought to do - claiming to hold the copyright on any of these images. The actual copyright in most of these images would be difficult to establish but, if you happen to know who owns any of those copyrights, please let us know.
The modern images are, of course, all copyright © Paul Hough.
We have added the Paul Hough Collection watermark simply to indicate the origins of the photos (something we try to do on all the images we use).
What we weren't aware of at that time, though, was that in 2011 Paul had created a website as a home not only for these black and white photos but also for some of his own more recent colour images.
We're now pleased to present, with Paul's permission, a link to that website. When you get to the site, click on either the left-hand b/w image for the classic Middlewich collection, or on the right hand colour image to view some of Paul's own more recent images. Then click on individual photos to view.
There is also, to the right, a further section containing canal photos which can be accessed by clicking on the colour photo of a traditional canal-boat watering-can. These pictures were taken at the 2011 Folk & Boat Festival.
All that we ask is that if you use any of these images you do what we always do and tag them Paul Hough Collection. That is, after all, just common courtesy.
Please note that Paul's site is now archived, and no longer updated.
Many thanks to Paul for allowing us to bring you this treasure-trove of old and new Middlewich images.
Here's the link:
THE PAUL HOUGH COLLECTION
P.S. Using this collection as a basis, you could start your own Middlewich Diary!
Sheila Hardy Spent many hours scratching in the cinders on the canal-side for coke to burn during the coal strike. My lovely Dad even made us a truck to drag it back up to Webb's Lane. One day my Mum was scratching in a canal boat, well-engrossed. When she looked up, finally, a man had pulled the boat up to Brooks Lane. She had to walk back, and she brought the cinders with her! Those were the days!
(Inspired by the photo [above] of Seddon's Salt Works in Pepper Street, and the Middlewich Gas Works on the other side of the canal and River Croco. This works was originally run by the Middlewich Gas Light & Coke Company -Ed)