Lawton Street 1898, Congleton
Memories of Lawton Street 1898, Congleton
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Congleton & local memories
Read and share memories of Congleton and Cheshire inspired by Frith photos.
Congleton Rugby Union Football Club
I was born at the Congleton War Memorial Hosipital and was christened at St Stephen's Church; just above the wall which borders Hankinson's field to the right of the River Dane in this picture. My Dad played rugby for the Congleton Rugby Union Footall Club which was then based very close to the old Berisfords Mill. Our family attended every Sunday morning rugby match and when the ball was kicked into the River Dane, our black labrador Judy would retrieve it, completely undamaged. Although I now live in Johannesburg, I spent most of my childhood years in Congleton and have the happiest memories of my time there. Memories which were strongly evoked by the pictures displayed here.
Congleton Open Air Baths during the 50/60s.
It had the entrance of a theatre, 2 steps up with an overhanging portico and glass doors that opened up to a foyer. It was well painted in the colours of the day, council green and white. You could see the pool from inside the entrance and it looked so nice with the calm water. At the point of payment there was a turnstile that was painted council silver. There was a lady who collected your 6d for swimmers and 2d (I think) for spectators, some people had a season ticket that cost 7/6d which entitled you to as many admissions as you wanted. There was a competition amongst the kids to have the lowest numbered season ticket, number 1 or 2 being the prize. I bet there were favourites when it came to dishing them out (no proof, just a hunch), the lowest I got was number 6. Each year the colour of the season tickets used to change, and... Read more
Childhood Memories of Congleton Park Boats.
My brother, George Machin, used to go on these boats. He was in the building trade and they used to wear heavy donkey jackets etc. Him and his mates broke up for the holidays from work with their holiday pay packets in their pockets and decided to go for a row on the river in these boats. Well of course they sank and their money got wet; my mum had to peel the notes carefuly and put them on the fire top to dry.
Just to the right of where this photo has been taken was the village smithy, it was built in 1947 by my grandfather Harold Cottrell and my father Reg Cottrell. They continued the business started by my Gt Gd Father Fred Cottrell who had a smithy at Dane in Shaw. Unfortunately the smithy closed on my father's death in 1981. This was a good time to live in the village, the Silver Springs factory you can see in the picture employed many of the villagers and there was a real community spirit. The smithy, the local shop and the pub being the focal points to get the latest gossip, a very happy time.
I Rowed Those Boats!
In memories on another photo I mention as a youngster spending much time in the Congleton Park. I would imagine I will have rowed all of the boats shown in the photograph. When I first went on the river I would have been under 10 years old, and for someone so young and small I was a pretty good rower! :)
I was born and bred in the (then village) of Biddulph, south of the hall. My closest memories of the Old Hall were the stories my mother related to me, especially about the incidence of the siege during the Civil War and the use of the cannon, Roaring Meg, which was sent for from Stafford to assist in the siege, and according to her was fired from Nick o' the Hill on Congleton edge. Further to that as a school boy I delivered newspapers in that area and one of my calls was to the people who lived in the Hall at that time, and I must add it was mighty spooky at seven o'clock on a dark winter's morning, and also I was given permission to wander the ruins of the main house and dream a little.
I remember being taken to Congleton Park and going on the big slide. I liked it most when it was so slippy, you fell off at the bottom. Now with Health & Safety the slide has disappeared, although there is a play area for children with more up-to-date equipment, there is nothing there like the big slide.
Hiking up The Cloud
In the 1950s as a young Scout, our Troop regularly did a day hike to The Cloud - getting the NorthWestern bus from Crewe to Congleton, then walking to Cloud End as we called it. there we played 'wide games', and brewed up on primus stoves - happy memories.
My great grandfather - Charles Dale was living at Moreton Old Hall when this photograph was taken.
His family, the Dales, had become tenant farmers for Moreton Old Hall in the 1860s and the Hall was the farmhouse that was provided. Thomas and Ann Dale had 15 children - Charles was the youngest, so the size of the Hall would have been greatly appreciated.
I remember being told about secret doors and invisible panels and how the children used to love playing hide and seek.
Ann Dale used to open the door of the Hall to tourists even in the early 1900s. I've been told about people having afternoon teas, provided by Ann and her daughters, on the front lawns of Moreton Hall. They said that her scones were something to die for and people still spoke about them 50 years later.
Ann and subsequently her children farmed the farm until it was passed into the care of the National Trust
William & Jane Kay Marriage 1865
My Great, Great, Grand parents William & Jane Kay came from Congleton Cheshire.
They were married 20-February 1865 in St Peters Church Congleton (marriage certificate)
Witnesses were John Frost and Ann Braithwaite, Married by John Hughes if I have read the spelling correct.
William was born in 1820 Leigh, Lancashire and Jane Kay nee Astle was born 1844 Aston Derby. They had 7 children. William B 1862, Herbert B 1864 Stillborn, Sarah E B 1868 , Alice B 1870, George B 1872, Charles B 1874 Stillborn, and Frank B 1874 all born Congleton, Cheshire except for Sarah & Alice who were born in Hulme Lanc.
In 1881 Hulme, William Kay was a Weaver, Cotton Tape. It looks like the Kay family moved around with the weavers looking for where the work was.
I think Williams Kays first marriage was to Elizabeth Fox married 1852 Congleton Cheshire but I an not sure. I have not proved this marriage.
In 1862 William son William was born, at this time... Read more
Congleton Baths, Late '50s, '60s.
I too have very fond memories of the open air swimming baths in Congleton in the late fifties and the sixties. I can even remember Alec Coles. Happy days. The water was freezing and it was always best to run and dive in to get it over with! For me it was a cup of warm orange squash and a bag of Smiths crisps (with salt in a twisted blue wrapper) at the snack hut. Alec has really said it all but I recall the top board, which was 5 yards high I think, ultimately being closed off because a depth of 8' 6" of water was deemed not to be deep enough for the height of the board yet people had been diving off it for 30 years! The shallow end was 3' deep and there were red danger signs on the side of the pool just before it really started to dip. The baths was also a meeting place; a real focal point for the youngsters of the... Read more
This is the seat of the Biddulph family; it was built in the early sixteenth century, probably to replace an earlier Saxon, possibly fortified, house that has been identified on Bailey's Hill, to the south west of the Old Hall. It was partially destroyed in the Civil War, by the immense cannon Roaring Meg - some of whose cannonballs have been discovered in the nearbly millpond of Biddulph Old Mill (by the Talbot).
My clearest memories of the Old Hall is driving from Biddulph to Congleton when I was about six; it was winter and the view of the hunting tower of the road was excellent. I remember that when we came back that way later on in the day and it had been snowing quite heavily; the snow had outlined the tower and the sunshine was glinting off it - it was simply stunning.
My mum has also told me that when she was a young girl in the sixties and seventies there was a Buddhist commune living in... Read more
Massie Harper - Licensee.
In my early teens I spent the war years living in this hotel, when my grandfather was the licensee. I believe he held the licence from 1874 to 1943 - a time record I suspect but I cannot confirm this.
He was well known in his time for being an alderman for, I gather, some 40 years. He died still Chairman of the Council's Finance Committee. But he was never mayor as he believed that a licensed victualler should not hold that office.
In his time he'd been a successful jockey and 'gentleman rider' - in fact, riding was in his genes since his grandfather was Lester Piggott's great-great-grandfather.
One of the hotel's days of fame in the Second World War was when Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands took the salute of the Dutch army (which was based around Congleton at that time) from the steps of the hotel.
I have lovely memories of playing in the park during summer and winter, the big high slide was like no other, I remember picking blue bells in the woods, there were
hundreds of them, and in winter we used to slide down the bank on 'Hankies' field in the deep snow, I think there was also a little pond in the park with goldfish in.
Queen's Head, Park Lane
My great-great-great-grandfather lived there and he owned The Railway which is next door, he changed the name from The Navigation to The Railway, his name was James Worth.
We used to come over from Conisbrough near Doncaster with my mam and dad, Raymond Dawson, who came from Buglawton, William Street if I remember, and every year we would watch the carnival and also walk up The Cloud.
Does anyone remember my late father, Raymond Dawson, he was a keen cyclist, he joined the RAF and ended up at Binbrook and Famagusta. He married a Margaret Turner from South Yorkshire, and went to live over there and became a coal miner. He passed away in 2005 aged 71. If anyone knew him, contact me his son, Shaun Dawson. email@example.com