Monday 21 April 2014

part of Northwich LitFest 2014 - Poetry Events

Two separate streams of events.

They take place both in the town centre and  across the town.

Parrots n People n Poetry - Northwich
This consists of a variety of Shop window Installations.
Watch for the parrots

Park to Park to Park - Northwich

Church Walk Playground - Verdin Park - Vickersway Park
Visit all three parks in one day.
See the pictures. Read the words.  
Play on the swings a bit. Bring a picnic. 
And a drink. Buy an ice cream
Follow the parrots

This page - when complete - will contain:

1. Maps and other information about both events above, which will run from 14 June 2014 to 13 July 2004

2. Information about the main Northwich Litfest - which is a series of author and other literary talks and dramas - which run for the whole of June 2014.

3. Links to the main Development of theArts in Northwich site 

Please come back closer to the time for the final information page,

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Songs and Poem-stories around Northwich

© 2013 CPR

At Peace on Easy Street

Well let me introduce this place
It has its river ways
Where boats meander down the flow
On lazy summer days

Its shops will offer to compete
Its markets – one – two – three
And every café feeds you well
Yes – come to town and see

With benches you can sit upon
To take the morning air
For charity there’s always hope
There’s music everywhere

Where peaceful times surround your life
Your children always eat
Remember – we’re so lucky here
At peace – on Easy Street


Pauper respect

The burial was a poor affair, for paupers from the Union
Yet always one or two would come along
From London Road – across the Dane - and up the hill to Witton
To show – in spite of all – they did belong

There wasn’t much to show for years of living in the Union
Except if they were lucky in the end
For following across the Dane - and up the hill to Witton
One woman wore ‘best black’ to be a friend

When someone died she’d cross the road – her best black from the Union
Was laundry-washed to follow up the aisle
She stepped out – grand – across the Dane - and up the hill to Witton
The burial of her friends – achieved in style

 And if you look – you still can see – the paupers from the Union
In firm procession – chief one dressed in black
From London Road – across the Dane – and up the hill to Witton
To ‘bury well’ our Annie Doll or Jack 

Information for this was taken from the reminiscences of Mr Frank Major, the last Master of Northwich Union Workhouse


Salt –and the Tax Man

The Salt Arch Trail
Snakes out above the bell pits
In panniers and in coffins – and by night
With salt to clear the tax man
And to make good Cheshire Cheese
The people found their way to make it right

 It sifts along
Through kitchens near the chapel
Is safely stored in boxes – under floors
No salt to cheer the tax man
But his meal of Cheshire Cheese
By night its moved – by day it clears the law

It scatters on
Through villages and valleys
And salt is what it takes to keep us free
And salt to veer the tax man
As he eats his Cheshire Cheese
'A pox on tax' – I’m sure you will agree 


Salty Northern Town

Inside the salty northern town
Beside the Weaver and the Dane
There is a vibrant market

Beside the Apple Market Street
Inside the shelter for the stalls
Three days a week – a market

Inside the stalls of socks and books
Beside the vegetables and fruit
In every week – a market

Beside the wares they buy and sell
Inside - the warmth of human will
The people make the market

Inside the covered market stand
Beside where customers appear
The traders line the market

Beside the need for many goods
Inside the will to ‘buy it cheap’
The people flood the market

Inside the town of Northwich – still
Beside its rivers and its hill
There is a vibrant market


Going under the brine
Going under the brine
Going under the brine
Going under the brine
And here we sit on the rocks

See the pillars of salt
See the pillars of salt
See the pillars of salt
And here we sit on the rocks

Meadow Bank had two shafts
Meadow Bank had two shafts
Meadow Bank had two shafts
And here we sit on the rocks

Twenty two yards in width
Twenty two yards in width
Twenty two yards in width
And nine yards up to the roof

Eighteen ninety two shut
Eighteen ninety two shut
Eighteen ninety two shut
And here we sit on the rocks

Nineteen twenty eight came
Nineteen twenty eight came
Nineteen twenty eight came
With salt all over the roads

Working salt mine again
Working salt mine again
Working salt mine again
And here we sit on the rocks

Going under the brine
Going under the brine
Going under the brine
And here we sit on the rocks

See the pillars of salt
See the pillars of salt
See the pillars of salt
And here we sit on the rocks


Thursday 5 September 2013

Installations along the Salt Arch Route

01 - 30 June 2013 The Salt Arch Walk & Spot the 'Little Bird' Competition
Northwich, Cheshire, England

You can still follow
The Salt Arch Walk 
map and instructions here
Brunner Library on Witton Street – a slow moving library
Grade 2 listed
Witton Street
Weaver Square
Market Street
High Street
Town Bridge
Grade 2 listed
Verdin Park
Grade 2 listed gates and gate piers
A view across the town roofscape of of St Helen’s Church, Witton
Grade 1 listed
Views of former ICI and local industry
Hayhurst Bridge
Grade 2 listed
Queen Street
Edwardian Pumping Station on Dock Road
Grade 2 listed
Wonderful pink Standstone Railway Arches
Grade 2 listed
River Weaver
Bowling Green Inn (C 1650)
London Road
Weaver Hall – once the Northwich Union Workhouse
Grade 2 listed
Watling Street
River Dane
Applemarket Street
(Used to have 10 licensed houses – now a car park road)
Market Halls
Market Way
Weaver Square
Witton Street
Brunner Library
Grade 2 listed
It’s just a short stroll through 2000 years of history
But it is OUR history

Some of the history of Northwich
was installed in shop windows at
 Town Square

The Covered Market
showing only a small part of wall space which was used

In Verdin Park there were free copies of
Northwich history bookmarks
and to the three benches

which overlook the view of Northwich roofscapes

at the height of the park.

Enjoy Northwich! Find out about Northwich history!

The Salt Arch Walk - Northwich


THE SALT ARCH WALK - June 2013 - Northwich

The Salt Arch Walk
down Witton Street to High Street.

At the bottom of High Street, you will cross
Turn right, over the River Weaver

Walk over the bridge then turn left and walk through
Castle Street Gardens
at the side of the river.
Cross the road – carefully.
 Go through the
Inside the park, climb the hill to the three benches.
Stand where Celts and Romans stood, to view the valley and its rivers.
Stand in the place of Civil War encampments.

Look across the rooves of town, to the black and white
Grade II Old Postal Sorting  Office
now a public house.
It is the tallest rafted building in Northwich.
Pick out - on the skyline
Grade I St Helen’s Church
and the works which are the source of this area’s wealth and recent history.
Enjoy the view!
The high ground up the hill - off to your right
is called Castle
It formerly held a Roman fortification.
Climb down the hill, re-crossing the river via

Turn right, onto Queen Street, then left onto Dock Road
emerging, to turn right on London Road.

Take the immediate right turn, down Weir Street
for a fine view of the
It is open on Sundays, from Easter Sunday to end of September - 2 – 5 pm.
The impressive, 100 year old pumping engines will be running.
Call in to see them.

In this area, the overwhelming feature in the landscape is the
Grade II listed 48-arch pink sandstone Weaver Railway Viaduct.
There is a walkway - at ground level - along part of its length.

The River Weaver - and its weir – runs close by, side by side with The Navigation.

Walk through the arches and along the river, turning left, up the hill, to the Bowling Green Inn.
Part of this building survives from 1650, making it one of the oldest buildings in the Northwich area.
Can you pick out the old part?
It was built as Cheshire Cheese first went south, for His Majesty's naval fleet
to replace the cheese which formerly had come from Suffolk
Walking – take care - on to London Road, turn left.
Next door is
Grade II Weaver Hall Museum (formerly called The Salt Museum).

This building was once a part of the Northwich Union Workhouse.
The museum now re-presents
the history of salt production
local building styles
the Workhouse
and the infamous Northwich Floods
Many local people have played their part in gathering information,
and the museum is a very friendly welcoming place
with a café.
Returning to the town centre along London Road, passing, near the Viaduct arches,
a small cluster of houses - shown on maps dating from 1840
from which residents must have watched – in some trepidation -  as the arches were first built in 1860;
quaking as the first trains thundered above the rooves of their houses.

Turn right, onto Chester Way, crossing over the River Dane
which meets the River Weaver in the town centre

Where Chester Way meets Watling Street, find a safe space to cross the road to Applemarket Street

Two thriving markets run on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday
The Covered Market and The Indoor Market

Proceed back through Market Way, Town Square and Weaver Square,
There is a helpful Information Centre next to the road, just off Town Square
Turn left to High Street, then up Witton Street to Northwich Library

This Salt Arch Walk was first set up by Charlotte Peters Rock
for - The Festival of the Arts in Northwich - June 2013
The intention was to complement her short pieces of poetry and song,
written around the history of Northwich.
With the aid of Northwich Town Council
Cheshire West and Chester Council
and others, this work was displayed as installations
in several shop windows
in Town Square and Market Way
The Indoor Market
The Covered Market
Further examples of work were laminated as giveaways
in the town centre and at Verdin Park
Poem-stories on Northwich history were hung on park benches for the month of June 2013
with replacements every two days, over the month
and given away at
the Verdin Park Music Festival
on 22 June 2013