COMMENTING on the correspondence of Billy Nomates and Stuart Hogg on the commemoration of the salt industry by the erection of a statue in Northwich, I wish to put forward a case for the erection of a statue in Winsford.
100 years ago there were 22 salt works connected to the railway system in Winsford. A few years earlier W E Gladstone, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, had said that the salt transportation revenues had made the River Weaver a milch cow, enabling the maintaining of roads and bridges, the building of County Hall and Courts at Chester and the building of Knutsford Gaol and Courts. The bulk of the salt produced was in Winsford. Northwich has always had to import brine for its chemical industry.
Winsford had five shipyards supporting the salt industry and the largest ship built on the Weaver was at Winsford. It was named The Monarch, so that is why there is a Monarch Way on Kingsmead.
All Winsford’s industrial heritage has now gone, including the marine steam engine crankshaft mounted in The Drumber. Erected 30 years ago, the council quietly removed it about two years ago. Our last link gone, notwithstanding the efforts over the years to save something of our town’s past by various groups and individuals.
I have a vested interest in the erection of a statue, both my grandfathers were saltmakers. One lost his eldest son in the Great War, the other served and lost two brothers in the same conflict. Both had early deaths, not surprising with the conditions and hours put in to earn a decent wage.
During the school holidays in the Second World War I used to take my grandfather’s meal to him at work and can vividly remember the terrible conditions endured.
If Northwich is granted a statue, why not one to the person who invented polythene or depict an alkali worker in boiler suit and hard hat. Leave the salt maker to Winsford.
Mr A W RAVENSCROFT, Station Road, Winsford.