Tuesday, 31 January 2012

ABC Wednesday - Centenary

 The city of Preston at one time had 64 cotton mills and Centenary Mill was one of them.  The power house chimney
 today is a city landmark.  Centenary Mill was built by the Horrockses Company in 1891 to mark 100 years of its cotton manufacture in Preston (where they had originally started in the Yellow Factory).  In the second half of the 19th Century takeovers and mergers instigated the construction of enormous spinning mills and this was one of four monumental giants erected in the final years.  Horrockses had merged with companies of Crewdson and Hollins to become the Horrockses and Crewdson Company  Could my pocket camera get the building into one photograph?
 Well I managed to get the side entrance and a portion of the building so I tried again
 and just squeezed it in while cutting off the top of the tower. Outwardly the brick fa├žade is in the style of the day, inwardly there was a revolutionary steel frame, allowing greater weight to be supported inside and permitting large and numerous window.

 In 1981 Courtaulds Textiles closed their mill and Horrockses moved work from Centenary Mill to the Courtaulds site. In 1986 Centenary Mill was taken over for blue jean manufacture and 50% of UK jean manufacturing was done here employing 3000.  That finished and  it was used as warehousing eventually it lay empty until in recent years the building was converted into apartments.

Horrockses was a vast enterprise but its founder John Horrocks was a small spinner who by building a mill was one of the pioneers of the Lancashire 'factory system' by which the cotton industry was revolutionised.  The company used the slogan "The Greatest Name in Cotton" and at the time the Centenary Mill was built they were expanding their business both at home and abroad. Labels were tailor made for each different market, they were rarely understated....
An entry to the ABC Wednesday meme, a journey  from A to Z

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

ABC Wednesday - Bridge Inn

 The Bridge Inn, Boughton on the Chester stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal.  I was fascinated by the chimneys of this pub which as you get closer
 enclose the sign that proclaims the the date 1899.  It was not the only ornate sign because going round to the front
 two putti celebrate the name and
the pub sign celebrates the chimneys.

I could find no other information of the history of the pub but it is near a canal mooring point and canal bridge number 123. You can always depend on lots of pubs on a canal.  I find it interesting that it was built at this late date when most canals were in decline (the railways were taking the trade) but perhaps the reason this canal was different because of rivalry.  The canal was leased to the LNWR (London and North Western Railways) and operated energetically because a large portion of the canal ran through the area of their great rival the Great Western Railway.  In 1895 there were about 400 boats operating on this stretch. By the 1920s the days of bulk water transport were ended.    But to bring up to date more of interest to me is that it was in last years Good Beer Guide and has a wide selection of real ale.  How did I miss that?  Next time we are down in this area I will have to shepherd my companions through the door and find out what is inside, apart from a Pub Quiz which I notice is on Sundays.

UPDATE:Thanks to the Landlord commenting here is the story of the Bridge Inn:
 "There are 6 fire places throughout the building, I think two more have been covered up in two of the bedrooms.The original Bridge Inn was one hundred meters up the road where a hump back bridge once crossed the canal, but was lost when the bridge was replaced with a bridge that trams could cross,that is the reason the pub was built when it was. I think the original pub was built a 50 or 60 years earlier".

Well that has certainly satisfied by historical curiosity and next time I am down in Chester I will have to satisfy my liquid curiosity and call in. The outside is to be painted in the spring so I suspect there is also another photo opportunity with canal to be taken.  

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey from A to Z now at the beginning of Round 10 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

ABC Wednesday - Anderton

The Anderton Boat Lift, sometimes called the "Cathedral of Canals".  This was the elegant solution to connecting the Trent and Mersey Canal to the River Weaver which  run roughly parallel at this point with a horizontal gap of about 400 ft (121m).   In the photo (top right) can be seen the route on to the lift from the Trent and Mersey Canal.  The canal barge floats into a huge water tank, or caisson, with watertight sealable doors
which is counterbalance by another on the other side. It makes its way slowly down to the other waterway.  Here you can just see at the bottom the sightseeing boat which takes the trip down the lift
and emerges out onto the River Weaver, it is named after Edwin Clark who was the designer of this boat lift opened  in 1875.  He went on to construct more lifts in Belgium and other parts of the continent. Anderton was originally built as a hydraulic lift but in 1904 it was converted to electric, after operating for a hundred years it was eventually closed due to corrosion and the fact that its original purpose of transporting large quantities of salt from the Cheshire mines and also clay for the midland potteries was no longer required.  This was as can be seen not the end for  restored, returned to hydraulic operation it reopened again in 2002.  (The full history and technology can be found on Wikipedia here).  Today the Anderton Boat lift has a visitor and exhibition centre, of course the structure is the real attraction, still used by leisure craft.   A link to the salt that used to be transported through the boat lift still exists nearby in the
chemical plant producing sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate located on the opposite bank just where boats turn from the lift into the River Weaver. On the side of the river I'm taking the photo, nature trails. A contrasting part of Cheshire.

Here we are at the start of another round of ABC Wednesday, we are into double figures, or even binary, have a happy Round 10 everyone.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Trafalgar Square

Just back from a short break in London so here is perhaps one photograph that would sum up the trip (apart from the fact I can never resist a fountain in sunshine).  Part of Trafalgar Square, in the centre of the city surrounded by galleries, theatres, restaurants and pubs and in the photo, lots of people, the art of display, interesting buildings and just in the picture a bit of construction.  Its a long time since I have visited the city and it never disappoints, the only problem is fitting all one wants to do (impossible) into a short time.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

ABC Wednesday - Zorb

Ambling through my local park this past summer I spotted something new in the distance by the boat hire shed.  Zounds I thought what is happing over there with the strange orbs in the water.
So off for a nosey and discovered a new attraction for the school holidays, a collection of Zorbs.  You can see the zip entrance where one can enter the Zorb world. The fruitless efforts of children of all ages to make the ball move across the water entertained me on all those occasions I walked through the park this summer, that and watching the various techniques to try to get motion across the water.  I would give all the participants an A for effort.  The local model yacht fraternity
 seemed oblivious to all the activity of flailing arms and legs zorbing to their right and their models
peacefully zoomed across the lake.

An entry to ABC Wednesday where we have reached the end of the alphabet. Are you on board for Round 10?


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

ABC Wednesday - Youthful

Even a snow making machine is fun when you are young so the only place to be is in front of it.   They would probably think themselves far too old to
 ride the nearby golden, or even for my abc purpose,  yellow dragon but when you are very young
 riding a galloper is the thing to do, after of course having a picture for the family album. I am never sure whether
these are Gallopers or Carousels but they never fail to attract the young and youthful. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey from A to Z