(above right) is to the rear of
Nantwich Baths (which is at the edge of the large car park off the Waterlode extension). The new Thomas Fairfax Bridge and the ring road is
to the left and the baths are to the right in the picture.
The other site is on Mill
Island (below) where the old Nantwich Mill once stood. For the record,
this would be the one that I would favour. Both schemes have the support
of prominent Nantwich people.
The picture (immediately below) is looking towards the Waterlode and High Street The area in the centre of the picture, beyond
the tree, is the part of the island where
one suggestion would place the
new building. There would still be plenty of space on Mill Island for
the Sealed Knot to re-enact the Battle of Nantwich every January.
In passing, pictured on the right is the old mill race which used to be
an overflow channel through the mill when the water inlet for the motive
power was closed - that is, not being used. It is taken looking towards
the town bridge, with the Waterlode on the right. You can hardly see the
town bridge in the distance for the willow trees, so I don't think any
suggestion that a new building would spoil the view from the bridge -
should it ever be put forward as an objection - would hold water. The
old mill site is barely visible from the bridge these days. As I once
wrote in another letter on my website!
The picture on the right is looking from the Waterlode over the river to
the old mill site.
The reason the Mill Island site would get my vote is that it is near to
the town centre, at the bottom of Mill Street (although admittedly
across the Waterlode "inner ring road" via pedestrian-controlled
traffic lights) while the baths area is much further from the centre on
foot and so might be less appealing for visitors to go to. And at a
guess, the Mill Island site is nearer to Nantwich Square than
the present Museum building in Pillory
Street. But, would a building on the town bridge end of Mill Island look
out of place? I don't think so. (See the suggestions on the
While the baths site is off a
large car park, there is a car park off
the Waterlode and one across the river on the old gas works site -
although a scheme was proposed in December 2015 for a hotel and
apartments on the site. See here.
It is suggested there should be
a footbridge across the river
at this point.
has quite a number of car parks, although the fact that they always seem
full indicates we could do with more!
I think that most visitors to the centre would walk there when they had
already parked somewhere in town - rather than making a point of going
directly to the centre, from a nearby car park, when they arrive in
Unless they knew the town
well and were making a beeline for the centre they would park where
they could and see what the town had to offer.
One thought that did occur to me was
that maybe there could be a museum annexe
in the new visitors' centre which could take the whole of the
salt ship and some other museum exhibits while the main collection
stayed put in the Pillory Street building. After all, the latest
extension there was built as recently as 2000. At the moment the salt
ship has been cut into three pieces for conservation (the tanks will not
take it in one piece) and there seems little chance of getting more than
one section in the present museum building.
The annexe is
purely my own idea - although others may have had similar thoughts.
It has been suggested that the project could be up and running in 10
years' time. I would have thought a lot quicker than that if the
enthusiasm being shown currently was converted into action and the money
was available. But where would we be in the queue for cash, I wonder.
I am too long in the tooth to expect that there will not be prolonged
discussions before anything actually happens.
However, let's hope Alderman Butterill is right when he said (in the
Chronicle): "I firmly believe the scheme will get off the ground and
will be a huge boost to Nantwich and its tourism industry." Hear, hear.
Museum redesign idea
THE Museum looked at the idea of having a
new building elsewhere in the town centre in 2014 following a suggestion
by the then Chairman of Cheshire East Council, Cllr Michael Jones.
But, in a letter in April 2017 to members
and volunteers of the Museum, it was said that the site that had been
under consideration had been deemed to be unsuitable and no other site
was likely to become available.
So the Museum Trustees decided to improve
the present building in Pillory Street. To do so they are looking for
expert advice or action on a pro bono basis. Anyone who feels they can
help with redesigning the Museum is asked to contact the Museum:
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01270 627104.