ON September 17, 1483 King Richard III granted the Manor and village of Northwich to Lord Stanley and his brother Sir George Stanley.

The Manor remained in the Stanley family until 1784 when The Earl of Derby sold it to John Mort. Later it became the property of John Pemberton Heywood of Liverpool who sold the Manor and everything to do with it such as fairs and markets to the Northwich Local Board.

By 1956 the Northwich parliamentary constituency consisted of the urban district of Northwich and the rural district of Northwich including part of the district of Tarvin. The MP was Sir John Foster QC.

In 1956, the public market had two sections, the indoor market hall situated between Applemarket Street and Market Street.

On market days stalls were erected on the ground nearby as an open market. If you wanted to rent a stall in the market hall, it would cost you between 7s 6d and 12s 6d a day.

In Victoria Road, there was a ‘commodious and modern’ covered swimming pool, this also consisted of several slipper baths for people who still did not have one at home. The water in the pool was of the same consistency as seawater.

The main employer in the town was the alkali division of ICI or Imperial Chemical Industries Limited with their three works at Wallerscote, Winnington and Lostock employing some 7,000 workers.

The general chemical division also operated Wade Works.

Other industries included two shipbuilding yards, a steelworks, a foundry, two leather works, a carpet factory and clothing factories.

There was a large and well-used bus station with North Western Road Car buses. The police station was housed in a beautiful black and white building that was to be demolished and replaced by the courthouse a few years later. Other black and white buildings of note were the post office in Witton Street and the library.

Over the road was another iconic Northwich business, ‘Pop’ Hornby’s herbalist shop, a great favourite of children purchasing his fresh drinks contained in stone barrels.

And finally one of the most well-known shops over the years was the ancient junk shop on Winnington Hill where Joe Allman would sit surrounded by an eclectic selection of second-hand items both within the store and on the footpath outside.