REMEMBER WHEN: More Regal nostalgia

READERS have been sharing more memories of Northwich’s former Regal cinema.

Hartford man Victor Boyle told the Guardian that his dad had a pivotal role to play in its history.

Sgt William Boyle was the policeman who rescued staff from the Regal during the Great Flood of 1946.

Victor said: “He was the sergeant on duty at the time the manager was trapped inside the cinema.

“He saw this boat floating past, grabbed it and rowed in to get him out.

“I was 16 or 17 at the time and lived in Queensgate, in Castle.

“I was going to go to work and was coming down Castle Hill on my bike to go to the train station when I got to the bottom and thought ‘what’s this?’.

“So I had to turn round and go to Hartford Station and I didn’t know anything about it until I got home and everyone was talking about what he’d done.

“I thought he was having me on.”

Victor said his dad never boasted about his daring rescue.

“He hardly spoke of it,” he said, “He just told us after it happened and never really mentioned it again.”

Former Lostock Gralam man Steve Thompson also wrote to the Guardian from South Africa after hearing about the Regal’s demolition.

He remembers falling in love with film when he went to see Jaws at the London Road cinema aged 12.

“I moved away from Cheshire in the mid-1980s but returned to the town and the cinema when I could, my last visit to The Regal was to see Casino Royale not long before the final showing of Grease, which I would dearly love to have attended.

“Reading many of the words written about The Regal I smiled as I was reminded of the girls selling ice cream, the small bar in the foyer, the sweets counter just up the steps from the box office and of course the mural, which became a wall of movie posters (which I loved).

“For the last two years I have worked and lived in South Africa, and as I approach 50 I still remember, with a seemingly endless affection, my many years of visiting The Regal. ”

• An author and historian is writing a book about Northwich’s much-loved Regal cinema and is keen to hear from people with memories and memorabilia to share.

Michael Leigh, from Winsford, said: “I have a lot of information from people who worked there but I still need a bit more.

“I grew up living in Navigation Road, which is only a stones throw away from the Regal, and it holds such an amazing place in my heart, especially now the place that I grew up in has changed dramatically over the last few years, with more buildings being pulled down than ever before.

“I hope you can help me so that I am able to keep the Regal alive for my children and future generations who will forget if its not marked in history.

“There is so many fasinating stories based around the regal and the surrounding areas and it would be great to hear more.”

To contact Michael email m.leigh@hotmail.co.uk.

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