Another view of the floods

Other pictures

Making the most of a flood

PAUL Simpson has sent me the pictures above and below. He told me: "The attached photo of a flooded Wellington Road was taken from just over the railway crossing looking out of town. Station View would be on the left.

   "I have the original and it is a bit tatty. It is in a collection of photographs that belonged to my grandfather, Jack Wainwright, who was the Foreman on the old Nantwich Urban District Council (N.U,D.C,) which met its demise in 1974," said Paul.

   The N.U.D.C. was succeeded by the current Nantwich Town Council. Note that one boy on the cart is holding a bicycle wheel. Is it a spare (or front) wheel for the bike being held by another boy, or did they use it as a forerunner to the hoop which became popular in later years? 

   I asked Andrew Lamberton (on behalf of Paul) if he could date the picture. Andrew said: "I'm sticking my neck out a bit but I think the answer might be 1946. I thought the picture reminded me of something similar in Welsh Row."

   He added: "Floods by the station are not new" and referred to a meeting of the Board of

Guardians in the Crewe Guardian of December 31st, 1870, which mentioned the flood. He said: "At one time, there was a brook running along the Brookfield side of Wellington Road that was later culverted over."

Taking the train to build estate

PAUL also has some pictures of council workmen, such as the one above which shows them building the Manor Road housing estate, using a train to move material around on a track. Paul thinks it was taken in what is now Manor Road North. His grandfather is the one driving the engine.


William Sprout, in a painting hanging in the Sir John Crewe almshouses. In close-up is a 10 Nantwich bank note

Credit crunch of 1826

ANDREW Lamberton sent me the portrait above and told me: "I recently had the opportunity to go into the Sir John Crewe almshouses in Beam Street and was surprised to see a large oil portrait of a gentleman in the corridor. In his hand was a 10 pound bank note clearly headed Nantwich Bank. So, who was he and what was his portrait doing in the almshouses?

   "Some research via James Hall pointed me to William Sprout who, it appears, was a Wright's Trustee, elected in 1817. Apparently, he was a generous benefactor to Sir Edmund Wright's charities, namely the almshouses, hence the presence of his portrait in the Beam Street almshouses, although technically it is incorrect as it is hanging in the Sir John Crewe part of the combined centre.

   "What interested me was that in 1803 he was listed as Captain, and his brother, Peter, as Lieutenant in the Company of Nantwich Volunteers, formed in 1797 during the Napoleonic Wars. The 400 men used to meet for drill after church service on Volunteer Fields (which of course is just opposite the almshouses, so in a way it's like William Sprout has come to a familiar area!). I would have thought you would need a hard surface for drill, but I could be wrong.

   "It was William Sprout's name that was signed at the bottom of the note. Hall says that William Sprout was a co-owner of the Nantwich Bank in High Street, founded in 1808. He was a co-founder with Charles Delves Broughton and John Garnett.

   "In 1826, Messrs Broughton and Garnett, bankers, became bankrupt in the general economic depression of that year. It may be that William Sprout had withdrawn from the partnership some time before, because in 1829 he could afford to give a sizeable sum - 6,000 - to several charities (including St Mary's Church,) which then came under the umbrella of the Wright's Trustees. He may well at this time still have been a Wright's Trustee.

   "According to Hall, the Wright's pensioners were very poor, and some even left the almshouses for the workhouse, but with the generous donation of this man their annual pay was increased by 10 per year, helping to improve their lot.

   "I have also some information on the tokens issued by the same bank. There are some in Nantwich Museum and you can even purchase them on line."

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