We have looked at Christmases in the past, particularly regarding the Leftwich Workhouse.

So, let's start with that again on January 1, 1881. It was a busy morning as Mr G Arrowsmith distributed the weekly outdoor release for the poor non-residents.

An extra cup of tea was to be given to the residents; the friends of the town had provided it.

After the tea, the inmates got to work decorating the tree that Mr. W Verdin of The Brockhurst had provided together with the toys, sweets, and ornaments to hang upon it.

The Brockhurst also provided books and toys etc. In the evening there was music and singing.

Staff and residents of this busy establishment welcomed in 1881 in the workhouse. In the end, all were wished a Happy New Year.

Northwich Guardian: Danebridge churchDanebridge church (Image: Paul Hurley)

Forward now to New Year’s Eve 1898 when in Northwich, there were celebrations in connection with the dying of the old year and the birth of the new one.

The weather was cold and fine, but the roads were unpleasant to pedestrians due to their muddy condition.

Many of the festivities were carried out in The Bullring, gangs of men and women congregated in the lead-up to midnight.

They passed the time singing and shouting. The bells of Witton church tolled for 15 minutes before the hour of midnight.

Then for an hour after midnight, those men with dark hair ran from house to house to bring in the new year.

It was the tradition that the first-foot should be a dark-haired male who is not in the house when midnight strikes.

Northwich Guardian: The Mid Cheshire Motor Bus pre 1924The Mid Cheshire Motor Bus pre 1924 (Image: Paul Hurley)

In Cheshire, the first foot would bring with him symbolic gifts such as Black buns, coal, coins, or whisky.

In 1915, most menfolk had gone or were going to fight in the First World War. A New Year party was provided for the children of the servicemen by the Northwich Traders Association.

More than 500 little guests attended from Northwich Winnington, Barnton, Hartford, Cuddington, Weaverham, Moulton, Davenham, Marston, Wincham, and Lostock Gralam.

About 530 invitations were issued, and each invite was in the form of a pretty souvenir card surmounted by the allies' flags and bearing the recipient's name.

The Danebridge schools were used for the festivities, and Mrs Rutter of Hartford provided the food that consisted of white and brown bread and butter, Christmas cake, mince pies, trifles, jellies, and blancmange.

Motor buses from the Mid Cheshire Motor Bus Company, wagonettes, and other conveyances brought in children from the outlying districts.

The children made quick work of the treats on offer, and all enjoyed the party. The list of adults serving and entertaining the children consisted of the great and good of Northwich businesses.

Some that existed until recently were M Elam, WJ Yarwood, George Lightfoot, FR Hobson, and G Hormbury (only recently the company was closed).

GP Austin and many more. Naturally, Father Christmas attended with presents for the children.

After the party, the children returned to their conveyances for their return home.

It was an excellent party for a good cause and a memorable day in the annals of the Northwich Traders Association.