The Years Turn.

01/01/2022

“In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

The above quote by a Turkish writer reminds us how much the past has played a part in any community’s life. As a new year begins, it may be that the past year will be seen as one of further lows and highs in life’s journey. Weaverham itself has had its share of these:

But also Daffodils in summer, as featured on North West Tonight, a renovated Scout Hall and the 100th anniversary of the War Memorial Dedication.

Returning to the quote above, the anniversary of the War Memorial Dedication and the Scout Hall certainly bear out how the past, in this latter case the year 1932, (when the original building was built) provided the first step on the stairs to what is seen today. If further evidence is needed, 2021 has another connection to 1921 when the construction of the Owley Wood Estate began with the stated aim in the contract to “… build 365 houses in 365 days.” Thus, it has also just celebrated its 100-year anniversary as will Owley Wood Club in 2022.

1921

So taking 1921 as starting place for this village’s particular staircase, perhaps some more steps of one sort or another can be found up to the present day to thank those “past years” referred to above.

1931

Glimpses of the times from those who were there.

“I went to Weaverham school in 1931 at the age of 5.  I walked to school.  Some children walked two and three miles.  I went to the technical college in Northwich afterwards and then came back to work there.  Children stayed at the school from 5 to 14.  They had milk; it was a halfpenny for a third of a pint.  Mr. Jackson who lived in Forest Street supplied the milk and brought it in crates.  When he retired Mr. Jones from Hodge Lane used to bring it.”

“Where Forster Avenue is now was Moreton’s field, Forster Avenue that was done in 1934, but the field behind it along Northwich Road, that was the highest point.  They were the first council houses in Weaverham.  Morris Drive came afterwards. The Owley Wood houses were the ICI houses.”

(From the Oral History Project)

The village was changing with the arrival of its first council housing. The Owley Wood Estate was a contract by Brunner Mond to house its workforce initially.

1941

In Wartime the life still had to continue.

“I remember the snow used to be so bad that no buses could get into Weaverham.  The first bus that came up got stuck in a snowdrift where Lewis’ used to be.  Their house was the last house and Northwich Road wasn’t as wide as it is now and the farm hedge came quite a distance from the front of their house and the snow all drifted there and the bus skidded and into the snowdrift.  That could be 1941.  The wires going along the road would be covered in ice and snow.  I remember walking to the Tech in the snow and when we got there nobody was there.  So, we had to walk all the way back.  I didn’t know about the locks until I started work at Frimley and the winter of 1941, we used to walk the long way round.  I remember crossing those locks numerous times pushing my bike to get up to Mr. Frimley’s house.  If he didn’t come into work I used to have to go and get the post.”

(From the Oral History Project)

1951/2        

At last some time for the village to return to its roots. The first Rose Fete had taken place in 1927 and was now flourishing again.                 

1961                           

Excitements of a different kind as the “Swinging Sixties” tiptoe in.

1971    

An interesting newspaper clip dated 22/7/71.

A very well attended flower festival at Weaverham Parish Church is featured.

The arrival of 625 lines TV is noted in the first of the lower articles and hopefully Mrs Darlington recovered from her injuries.

1980/81                              

The Rose Fete in colour, very well attended.

1991               

The A49 is rerouted and an invite to the official opening in 1992.

2001                   

The Weaverham History Society on Tour, Wessex, in this case.

2011 

Weaverham History Society originally was a society researching the long history of the parish church and it seems appropriate to finish with a parish magazine cover from 2011 for the season just passed and the dawn of a new year.

These steps from the past have brought us to 2021.

Now comes 2022.

Happy New Year.

Acknowledgements: WeaverhamTrust

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