A letter from Nantwich

April 2011  ::  Updates January 2019

Townspeople put pen to paper to tell stories

I MAKE no apology for publicising two books that were on sale in the town - simply because I had something to do with them! [Copies are still available! See below].

   I was one of the contributors to the first of the books and one of the people involved in the production of them both. I checked the articles from the other writers in a sub-editing role (checking for grammatical or spelling mistakes, etc).

   Like myself, the contributors wrote about themselves but from the point of view of the organisation to which they belonged or their business. In my case it was the five websites (see the index below) for which I am or was responsible, although I did work in a mention of the trilogy of Cheshire videos I made with others. (See here !)

   All proceeds were for Nantwich Players' Theatre project. I might have mentioned my connections with the amateur dramatics group before. At the time, the Players were raising 1.5million to convert their current theatre building and the former funeral parlour (One Love Lane next door) into a theatre venue for the townspeople as well as their own activities.

    They appealed to a grant donor for some (unlikely to be all!) of the money, but the conditions they would have faced with any donation were not acceptable to the group and so they decided to make changes piecemeal, rather than as one project, with members and other supporters providing money for individual projects.    

   The book was the brainwave of active Players' member, Gareth Roberts. He is a retired Crewe fire fighter and is well-known for his charity work - for which he once received an "Oscar" from the then Mayor of the former Crewe and Nantwich Borough.   

   The 35 contributors to the first book included the Rev Peter Chantry  (then Rector of St Mary's Church, Nantwich), Herbert Rowsell (former headmaster of Nantwich and Acton Grammar School - now Malbank School), John Dodd (of Nantwich Camera Club), Harry Corry (retired shoe vendor in the town), Adrian Lawrence (a 

driving force behind the Nantwich and South Cheshire Show), Phyllis Simpson (of Simpson and Edge, one of the local garages), and youngster Joel Howells who tells of "The Kamikaze Kids".  

   A furfther 35 contributors to "Nantwich Life II" included David T. Greatorex, a "proud Dabber"; Kate Dobson of Nantwich Museum; Gemma Robertson of

 

Nantwich dance group Academy X; John Prince of Nantwich Cricket Club; Harry Clewlow, a Nantwich butcher; Michael Morgan-Wynne writing about the airman's grave; Richard Myott, about Churche's Mansion; Claire Faulkner, on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee; Graham Binningsley on a journey to Nantwich; Peter Harrington of Nantwich Walled Garden Society; Derek Poppleton on the Beam Heath Trust; Adam Vernon on Nantwich Young Farmers' Club, Jeff. Stubbs, of Nantwich Civic Society; Mark A.Potts on the First World War; Henry Passmore on education in Nantwich; and Jerry Park, an "Oxfam bibliomaniac".  

    These named people were chosen at random from the list and it should not be taken that I don't consider the rest worthy of mention! Anyone buying the books were in for a treat and would learn a lot about Nantwich organisations and businesses as well as the writers themselves.  

   Gareth Roberts promised "an insight into present   

 

day Nantwich and a taste of the past". There were more than 100 pictures in each of the books.

    He approached more than the final authors for a

contribution, but the others were still to produce their

promised articles. Gareth received a lot of help in the publication of his book from local author Mark Potts, perhaps best known for his work on First and Second World War heroes. 

 

l"Nantwich Life" and now "Nantwich Life 2" were published by MPire Books of Crewe, price 9.95.These are no longer available at the theatre or Nantwich Book Shop, the sole distributors, but Gareth still has some copies. Call him on (01270) 629958 to obtain one.

 

o Pictures   Above: The front cover of the first book. Inset: the self-portrait that illustrates my article. Left: the front  cover of the second book.

Book cover pictures by Gareth Roberts

The websites that I mentioned . . . ? This one, of course, plus Nantwich Museum | Nantwich Walled Garden | Leighton Hospital League of Friends

Jonboro Videos  |  Nantwich Players' website (not one of mine)  |  Nantwich Life in an Ask Andrew Special article on this website  |  The letters index on this website

 

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