Winsford, A History of a Cheshire Town and its People, by Tony Bostock

Winsford, A History of a Cheshire Town and its People, by Tony Bostock
Book published by Leonie Press, 141 pages. Paperback (N7912)

From the rear side cover: Tony Bostock has been researching, writing and lecturing about the history of Winsford for many years. He has consolidated his work in this book in the hope that it will give residents a fuller understanding of the story of their town.

Winsford has an unusual dual identity, being the amalgamation in 1894 of the ancient townships of Wharton on the east of the River Weaver and Over on the west, to create a Victorian 'new town'. Both are mentioned in the pages of the Domesday Book, and the Cistercian abbey and convent of Vale Royal dominated the history of Over.

Though originally in an area of predominantly pastoral farming, the district around Winsford owed its prosperity to the extraction of salt from the rock salt beds that lie beneath much of mid-Cheshire. From the late 17th century, brine was extracted and evaporated to produce salt, and from 1844 salt was also obtained by mining.

The salt industry was stimulated by the opening of the River Weaver Navigation in 1721 and later railway links. Subsequently other businesses were attracted to the area so that during the 19th century boat-building, sail-making, engineering, cotton-milling, tanning, button-making, and general commerce all played a part in Winsford's prosperity. Whilst some of these enterprises declined, including the salt industry, Winsford continued to develop with modern industries being encouraged into the town.

During the mid-1960s parts of Winsford became overspill estates for Manchester and then Liverpool, and significant parts of the old town centre were torn down to make way for new roads, shops and civic buildings.

Today it is very much a commuter town housing about 32,000 people, with light industrial complexes and excellent road and rail links to the world beyond. Landscape work has taken place along the river as part of the Mersey Forest project and for the future a new Neighbourhood Plan sets out ambitions for a better image of the town.

Condition of the book is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is an old price printed and a small price sticker, both on the rear side cover.