Warrington. A Neglected Corner.

The River Mersey is rightly associated with Liverpool, the port city that stands at it’s mouth. This though is only the triumphant end for the river which starts it’s journey high in the Pennines as the Rivers Goyt and Tame.

As it loops through north Cheshire, heading for the sea, it passes through the town of Warrington, a place with a fine industrial heritage and on the southern bank, just by the bridge over the river, is a quiet, rather forlorn space. This is Marshall Gardens.

The Gardens were opened in 1958 and named after a former Mayor and town Alderman. In there pomp the gardens boasted elegant flower beds and well tended lawns, representing a time when people sat and watched the world go by. A time when birdsong and flowers were real and not viewed via a tablet screen. All now sadly gone. The birdsong drowned out by the increasing traffic noise from the nearby expanding road junctions, the flowerbeds and herbaceous borders grubbed out or overrun by weeds.

Plans occasionally surface to relocate the towns War Memorial to the gardens, it to is currently surrounded by traffic on the opposite side of the bridge from the Gardens. It would be good to hope that at some point fresh life would be breathed into this unhappy little corner.

WARRINGTON. Marshall Gardens. A Bench.

WARRINGTON. A bench in the sadly neglected Marshall Gardens on the banks of the River Mersey.











Chester. A City And It’s Walls.

Fancying a few hours out and about in the cool October air I took the train out to Chester. I have a choice of rail routes to the city and this time I took the longer one through Liverpool and down the Wirral Peninsular. I like to use rail journeys to make notes and work on ideas for blog posts, books and other photo projects.

I arrived in Chester just before lunchtime and decided to to the market for a bite to eat, I’d seen a bakery stall there on a previous visit and thought I would give it a try. Yes it was good, very good in fact, it’s now on my list of places to eat and drink. I like having these bolt holes, oases where I can sit back and watch the world go by.

As you will see from the photos, the weather was not the most inspiring or welcoming but it was good enough to have a walk around and see what was going on in Chester.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. Northgate Street.

CHESTER. Northgate Sttreet opens out to form a square in front of the Town Hall and across from that sits the Cathedral of St. Werburgh.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. The Groves.

CHESTER. The Groves is the pleasantly tree lined promenade down by Chester’s river, the Dee. Busy with visitors on a crisp cool day as the leaves take on their autumn colours.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. Morgan's Mount.

CHESTER. Morgans Mount on the city walls. The cannon sculpture commemorating the civil war. In 1645 King Charles Ist watched the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Rownton Moor from a tower on the Walls of Chester. The cannon sculpture was created by Colin Spofforth.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. The Market. Crustem Bakery.

CHESTER. Crustem Bakery and Cafe on the market.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. The Market. Crustem Bakery.

CHESTER. Crustem Bakery and Cafe on the market. My chicken, bacon & salad sandwich. I had seen this bakery on a previous visit to Chester but I had already eaten and anyway the place was quite busy but I made a note of it for future reference. I was not disappointed and I shall be returning.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. The Market. Crustem Bakery.

CHESTER. Crustem Bakery and Cafe on the market.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. The Water Tower.

CHESTER. Now garlanded with trees, the Water Tower once stood with the waters of the River Dee lapping against it’s base as it guarded the entrance to Chester’s harbour on the river.The silting of the Dee as it’s course changed led to the closing of the harbour and the city loosing it’s pre-eminence as a trading port to Liverpool on the River Mersey and left the Water Tower standing on dry land.

17/10/18.  CHESTER. Watergate Street Centurion.

CHESTER. On the corner of Bridge Street & Watergate Street a local Centurion goes about his duties. You encounter these costumed guides quite regularly around the city, often in charge of parties of schoolchildren enjoying the experience of being drilled and marching as the Roman Army.










Knutsford. Market In The Street.

The weather’s been frightful, as the song goes. I needed to get out of the house for a couple of hours and give my car a warm through as it had been standing for a couple of days in the snow and the rain.

I live near the northern part of Cheshire which puts a clutch of market towns within easy reach. For this trip I set my sights on the town of Knutsford, I knew from previous visits that the town was quite lively on Sundays with plenty of eating places open, along with quite a few of the towns shops. What I hadn’t planned for was the pleasant surprise of the monthly Makers Market being held. I have visited this event before but for some reason my Winter addled brain was convinced that it would not be restarting until after Easter. Note to self, check the internet more often before planning journeys. At the moment car parking is free on Sundays but if an event is on it can get a bit tricky. Luckily I found somewhere fairly quickly and it was only as I turned the corner onto Princess Street did I discover why this Sunday was such a busy one.

04/03/18  KNUTSFORD. Makers Market. Cakes and Biscuits.

KNUTSFORD. The Monthly Makers Market. Home made cakes and biscuits.

The Market fills the length of one street an a few of the side streets running off. I decided to make lunch my first call and looked into a favourite venue of mine, the Cheese Yard on Cotton Yard. The inspiration for the menu is in the title, and a very pleasant menu it is too. I opted for the potato cake, scrambled eggs and bacon, perfect food for a cold day.


The Cheese Yard. Potato Cake, Scrambled Eggs & Bacon.

The market offers a very wide range of produce, artisan breads and cakes through handmade craft good to real ales and cheeses. There’s also always a wide spread of street food vendors and live music on offer.

04/03/18  KNUTSFORD. Makers Market. Pickled Vegetables.

KNUTSFORD. The Monthly Makers Market. Pickled Vegetables.






Macclesfield. An Evening Stroll.

All the Christmas and New Year fun and frolics where over and while I had enjoyed the to and fro shuttling of visiting, catching up with friends and the pleasure of time well spent with good food and enjoyable company, once the dust had settled I felt the need to have a little time by myself and have a think about what I had done with the old year and what I would like to do in the new.

I like traveling by train, still a big kid at heart when it come to the romance of the railways, so I decided to take myself off for a few hours, as much for a breath of fresh air and a little exercise as anything else.

Where I live in Northern England I’m lucky in having railway stations nearby and a choice of tickets which cover a set area, a days travel for the price of one ticket. I chose a ticket which covers an area centred on Manchester and working to my system of catch the first train thats available I arrived in the Cheshire market town of Macclesfield.

In days past the town’s fortunes where built on silk spinning and there is a museum dedicated to the industry. The day of my journey was early January so the days were short and the weather was crisp and cold. The town’s railway station sits at the bottom of a hill, the town centre at the top where a square sits surrounded by a group of fine buildings. I hadn’t really set out with photography in mind but as I always carry a camera of some sort just in case I took a couple of shots of the square and the Christmas lights. Then I made my way to one of the coffee houses nearby to warm up a little before making my way back home with a few thoughts and ideas for what I want to do in 2018.







Chester Roamings.

19/04/14 CHESTER. The Eastgate Clock.

CHESHIRE, Chester. The clock on the Eastgate, Eastgate Street.

With its origins as Deva, a Roman settlement founded in the AD70’s Chester is one of my favourite destinations and as the city is only a short train ride away I visit frequently through the year. Above is the elegant clock which sits on top of the walls on Eastgate Street, accepted as possibly the most photographed clock in the UK after Big Ben. The clock was erected in 1899 to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria and sits  on the archway which replaced the original gateway in the 1700’s. Chester is proud of its walls which still completely circle the city and as the need for their defensive capabilities receded they became a place to walk and promenade, helping them to survive largely unscathed to the present.

04/10/14  CHESHIRE, Chester. Eastgate Street.

CHESHIRE, Chester. Eastgate Street looking down from the Eastgate and the clock. The street full of shoppers on a sunny autumn Saturday.

this is the view from under the Eastgate clock looking up toward Chester Cross.  The half timber buildings which are another of the recognisable features of Chester line the street on either side. These contain The Rows, the covered, first floor shopping areas, medieval in origin they were heavily renovated in Victorian times and these together with restricted vehicle access make Chester one of the easier cities to get around.

19/04/14 CHESTER. Bridge Street & Eastgate Street.

CHESHIRE, Chester. The Top of Bridge Street, looking along Eastgate Street towards the Eastgate clock.

This is Chester Cross at the head of Bridge Street, Eastgate Street leads away back to the clock and on the right can be seen the steps which lead up the The Rows. this area is a great meeting place, with sand artists, buskers and preachers all adding their efforts to the lively mix that ebbs and flows along. 

19/04/14 CHESTER. Bridge Street, The Rows.

CHESHIRE, Chester. Bridge Street, the Rows.

Inside The Rows on Bridge Street which leads down to the River Dee. The Rows make an excellent grandstand from which to watch Chester go by and practise you candid photography skills.



19/04/14 CHESTER. Bridge Street. Coffee For Two.

CHESHIRE, Chester. Bridge Street, a couple enjoying afternoon coffee in the sunshine

The Rows also extend along Bridge Street.


CHESHIRE. Chester. Looking down Bridge Street & The Rows towards the River.

Another of Chester’s glories is it’s cathedral, dedicated to St. Werburgh. It originally dates from the 1090’s and in that organic way of cathedrals in the Uk it has gone through an almost continuous, almost organic process of rebuilding and modification. The last being the addition of a freestanding bell tower in the 20th cent.

18/03/13 CHESTER. The Cathedral

Chester Cathedral was originally founded in 1092 as a Benedictine Abbey, some early Norman architecture survives inside. Rebuilding took place in the 13th century, the Cathedral also has 14th century wood carvings on the stalls. The nave roof was built by Sit Charles Gilbert Scott who carried out some restoration in the 19th century.

Should you now be feeling a little out of breath from your tour of Chester you can head down to the River Dee, only a short walk away and enjoy the tree lined Groves area.

21/09/13 CHESTER. The Bandstand on the Groves.

CHESHIRE, Chester. Autumn colours the trees by the bandstand on The Groves by the River Dee.

here you an sit and take some time out, practice your candid camera skills or take a boat trip along the river.

21/09/13 CHESTER. The Bandstand & the Troubadours.

CHESHIRE, Chester. The bandstand in The Groves by the River Dee. The trio is the Troubadours, entertaining the crowds on a sunny afternoon.

You may even be treated to a performance from the elegant bandstand as you relax.

19/04/14 CHESTER. The Groves. Accordionist

CHESHIRE, Chester. An accordionist playing in the Groves alongside the River Dee.

Or you may be serenaded by one of the many buskers who entertain the crowds. 

Chester Cathedral Information

Chester Tourism Information