I’m a great fan of market towns, for me they always have an extra buzz about them. I’ve been looking through my photofiles, a form of travel where I don’t have to worry about masks or social distancing and I came across this shot of a millennium clock.
I took it on a rail trip down to the Cheshire town of Nantwich which lies to the south of Crewe and on the route out to Shrewsbury and the Welsh borders. Its a busy town with a history of salt extraction going back to Roman times. It’s also still well graced with Tudor, half timbered buildings. They mostly date post 1588 due to the town being almost completely wiped out in a massive fire which tore through the town centre.
The clock, erected in 2001 is sited in the quaintly named Cocoa Yard, site of a Chocolate House. That was an establishment where you went to drink chocolate, not one made from chocolate by the way. We are talking Cheshire not Willy Wonka. The place was opened in the 1870’s as a fight back against what was thought of as unacceptable levels of drunkenness in the towns streets. Being a market town Nantwich was well provided with places where the thirsty farmer, trader or customer could satisfy their thirst. Before, during and after business.
The clock stands in front of a restored chimney that was once part of a wheelwright’s forge. Ticking away quietly amid all these layers of history and events. I wonder if it will still be there at the next millennium?
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