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REMEMBER WHEN: a chapter in the history of the Amber Lounge
AN ARTICLE about the sorry state of an intriguing Northwich landmark has unearthed more information about its history.
The empty Amber Lounge building, in High Street, was gutted by fire in January last year.
Councillors, traders and shoppers want to find a solution to the eyesore, at the Bull Ring gateway to the town, and Northwich Town Council is in talks with the owner.
While taking photographs to accompany the article, Guardian chief photographer Nick Jones spotted a panel on the side of the building that said it was a fantasy conversion by Douglas Pimlott between 1971 and 74.
Northwich resident Cynthia Milnes got in touch with the Guardian to fill in its history before the conversion, when her family ran a butchers’ shop there.
She said: “I don’t know much about the building when Raymond Pimlott had it and I have lost touch with the family a long time ago, but I remember him as a businessman who always aimed for perfection! Hence he would have put a lot of work into the reconstruction of the building and its decor.
“I also remember the building being a Chinese restaurant in the 1990’s.
“The left hand side of this property was Joseph Barlow’s butchers for many years, and it passed through at least three generations of Barlows.
“In the early days it was open fronted and the meat hung outside.
“His son George followed in his father’s footsteps, and then John was the final occupier of this ‘Bull Ring shop’ as it was known. “Peter, the other son, had a shop in Hartford.
“As a child I was always fascinated watching the money from a customer being placed in a brass cylinder, which was then whizzed across the ceiling by means of a pulley system to the lady cashier sitting in a booth.
“If there was any change for the customer that would be sent whizzing speedily back to the shop assistant.”
Cynthia also shared the tragic tale of her grandmother, Florence Whitehead, who was helping out in the shop on May 19, 1919, and whose father ran John Embrey butchers, in Apple Market Street.
“She had gone to the back of the shop to cut a joint of meat and it was thought she knocked her hand into a bench whilst holding a butchery knife,” Cynthia said.
“The blade pierced her thigh and severed the femoral artery.
“Despite the attendance of Dr Sinclair and Dr Scott she died four hours later from loss of blood and shock in the infirmary.
“She was only 32 years old and left a husband and two young children.”
The full inquest was published in the Northwich Guardian on June 6, 1919.