A Letter from Nantwich

August 2007                                                                                                                                                

A tale of two Blankneys

Left: The new sign in Blankney Avenue


Right: The extra houses in The Blankney (on the right)

THIS Letter is, in fact, updates from a previous Letter from Nantwich. First, the campaigners who wanted a name sign erecting in Blankney Avenue - a linking road with no houses - have had their way (left). Secondly, the builders who wanted to add a couple of houses to the end of a cul-de-sac development off the Waterlode - our inner ring road - have had theirs (right).

   Blankney Drive as it was originally called 55 years ago - runs between Whitlow Avenue and Cronkinson Avenue but is a road in name only. No houses were ever built there. And no sign was ever put up - until now.

   It has taken local Borough Councillor Edith Williams and her fellow campaigners four years to get the signs (one at each end) put up. Rather optimistically, I think, Cllr Williams says (The Nantwich Chronicle, August 1)



that the two pieces of land (verges really) are not big enough for a housing development. She wants the land to stay empty as a tribute to the men who served on HMS Blankney (adopted by Nantwich in the Second World War). She even suggests trees are planted as a living memorial. That would be nice; the area is a little bare. But an area in the centre of Nantwich measuring about 15 yards by 45 yards (very roughly) is the subject of a planning application a four-storey block of 10 flats (See this Letter from Nantwich). The Blankney Avenue pieces of land are about 100 yards by 10 yards or so each.

  The residents of The Blankney (are you keeping up?) objected when Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council were asked to erect the name signs. They cited confusion for the postmen and women.  Which is a bit

much really when you think that Blankney Drive / Avenue was first on the scene by about half a century!


WHICH brings me to my second picture. This was taken (January 2008) of the extra homes in The Blankney (to which the original residents also objected). Although I object in principal to the influx of extra homes in Nantwich, I must admit I find these perfectly acceptable. They fill in a small blank space very neatly without overpowering the original homes.

   I am not sure about living in them though. As I said, they are on the inner ring road and opposite a town centre car park. I don't know how much, if any, disturbance there is at night, but it won't be perfectly quiet there. 


Trees halt houses plan


LOCAL residents who planted six trees (rowan and cherry) in the avenue see that event as a sign that plans for houses on two small areas each side of the short road will now not happen.

   One of the trees is in memory of Horace and Alice Davies ("Proud Dabbers"), grandparents of Sue Garnett, one of the people behind the trees idea. Another is a tribute to the first Mayor of Nantwich, Cllr Edith Williams, who ends her term of office this May. A third commemorates HMS Blankney.

   The work was carried out by Nantwich Town Council and Wulvern, the firm which took over the running of the council's stock of rented


houses as well as building some new homes. 

 The tree to Sue's grandparents is of particular importance to her as one she planted herself lasted two hours before vandals ripped it up, she told me.

   The plaques have also been hammered into the ground in the past.

   The trees are seen (left) in March 2010. The trees blossomed in May.


HMS Blankney on blog

READ more about H.M.S. Blankney on the Blankney Blog.  Blankney is a village in Lincolnshire. Among a wide variety of articles on this blog is an article about the wartime ship. 


Mentioned in war book

NANTWICH historian Paul Simpson writes: "HMS Blankney is mentioned in one of Mark Potts' books “Crewe and Nantwich at War” Volume 1. It says “During Warship Week in January/February 1942, the townsfolk of Crewe raised £277,142 which was enough to purchase the destroyer's (HMS Ambuscade) hull. Nantwich had a fund-raising event and provided a fund of £224,944 for HMS Blankney”.

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