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Warrington, Cheshire (formerly Lancashire)
Warrington lies on the Liverpool - Manchester Railway line. It is linked to the North, South, East & West of the UK by the M6, M56 and M62 motorways, facilitating improved trading and transport opportunities for the town. It is within easy reach of both Manchester Airport and Liverpool Airport. It is within 30 miles of the sea, about 70 miles from the beautiful Lake District, approximately 30 miles from the Peak District, and about 15 miles from the historic city of Chester.
At first glance, Warrington looks like any other northern industrial town. There is the usual array of pubs, churches, shopping centres, schools, and other town facilities. Perhaps in some ways it is a sad, old town, wrestling with more than its fair share of unemployment and deprivation. There are the affluent, privileged areas, predominantly in the south of the town. Beautiful housing near lovely countryside. And there are the less privileged areas, mostly centred in the northern side of Warrington. Private housing standing cheek by jowl with corporate housing.
Over the last 35-40 years, the town has changed beyond all recognition. Old industries have died, resulting in high levels of unemployment. The atmospheric old market, which consisted of hundreds of tiny stalls, has been replaced by a relatively sterile modern market. The beautiful, though possibly unhygienic old Fish Market, with its characteristic marble slabs, has been removed. Only the roof and four supporting pillars remain in the square. Old shops have been replaced by the ubiquitous chain shops. Now there is a modern shopping centre that almost rivals Trafford Centre. A shoppers' paradise, maybe. An individualistic town centre, maybe not.
Many people consider that the town centre has become a 'no go' area at night-time because of many reported incidents of drink-related violence. I admit to feeling a certain amount of trepidation when venturing in for concerts at Parr hall or to attend special events at Porters Bar, an old pub in the town centre that hosts an acoustic night each week. However, if sensible precautions are taken, one should be safe enough.
Let us consider the history of this old town.
Warrington has been a town of great historical significance since ancient times. There was a Roman settlement at Wilderspool. In Medieval times, Warrington provided an important bridging point across the river Mersey. It also played an important part during the Civil War. The armies of Cromwell and the Earl of Denby stayed locally.
So, dig deep and you will find a wealth of fascinating features and historical gems. Here are some of my favourites:
1. The legend of the pig
The charming village of Winwick, which lies on the A49, the main route out of Warrington towards Wigan and the north, has a beautiful old church built up high from the road. In Spring it is surrounded by a stunning display of golden daffodils. Historical records show that a church existed here at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086. The oldest part of the present church dates from the early C14, though inside is a cross piece from the head of an Anglo-Saxon cross. According to local legend, the original plan had been to build the chuch on the other side of the road. However, each night a pig moved the building materials to the present location of the church. In the end, the builders gave up and erected the church where it still stands some 600 years later. Look carefully at the west side of the tower and you can see a carving of the pig!
2. The Penny Ferry
The Penny Ferry is a small rowing boat, propelled by a single large oar at the back of the boat. It has been operating since the Manchester Ship Canal was constructed between 1887 and 1894, to connect the city of Manchester via the Mersey Estuary to the Irish Sea. When the canal was dug, it cut through a local footpath and an Act of Parliament decreed that the locals had to be allowed continued access to the other side of the water. So the unique Penny Ferry was created. The fare was traditionally one penny, even as recently as the 1970s, but now the fare has risen to 11p each way! Go to the Thelwall side of the canal and summon the ferryman by ringing the large bell. In the 1970s, the canal was still a busy thoroughfare for ocean-going ships, so the ride across could be quite exciting! There is only a bit of wasteland on the other side, so it will not be long before you summon the ferryman back again, striking the large bell situated on that bank.
3. The Town Hall Gates
These majestic gates stand proudly in front to the Town Hall. They were originally made for display at the International Exhibition in London in 1862. Apparently they were offered as a gift to Queen Victoria, who declined the offer. Initially kept in Ironbridge, Shropshire, they were eventually presented to the town of Warrington by Mr Frederick Monks in 1893. Unfortunately, the rest of the railings were torn down to supply metal for weapons and munitions in World War II, and were never replaced. In 1977, £33,000 was raised to restore them to their original beautiful black and gild state.
4. Cromwell House
Near Bridgefoot, there is a statue of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell is believed to have stayed in the beautiful old, timbered building next to the Sainsbury's supermarket, the building now being used as an Indian Restaurant. Across the road stands the public house 'The Marquis of Granby', which bears a plaque claiming that the Earl of Denby had had his quarters nearby. Look closely at the walls of the Parish Church just dwon the road, and you may observe dents in the church walls, perhaps caused by the canons from the time of the Civil War.
5. 'Bauming of the thorne'
Each June the village of Appleton hosts a special event, the bauming of the thorne. This ceremony dates back to the 19th century, when it was part of the village's Walking Day. On the Saturday nearest to Midsummer's Day, local schoolchildren dance around the tree.
"Bawming" means "decorating" - during the ceremony the thorn tree is decorated with ribbons and garlands. According to legend, the hawthorn at Appleton Thorn grew from a cutting of the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury, which was itself said to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, the man who arranged for Jesus's burial after the Crucifixion." Wikipedia (http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki /Appleton_Thorn)
6. The Parr Hall
The Parr Hall is the last surviving professional concert hall / theatre venue in Warrington. Big names performing here in the past have included the Rolling Stones, the Moody Blues, The Who and the Arctic Monkeys. Comedians such as Kenn Dodd, Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr have also performed here. The hall is still used to house an exciting range of concerts and is the home of the Warrington Male Voice choir.
Of particular importance is the magnificent Cavaille-Coll organ, listed by English Heritage. It is "classed as a significant work by the French organ builder Aristide Cavaille-Coll. was first installed in the Parr Hall during 1923 to 1926."
7. Risley Moss
Risley Moss is my favourite part of Warrington. There are 200 acres of raised peat bogs, wild and beautiful. This fragile mossland became of vital importance during the Industrial Revolution when huge amounts of peat were stripped to meet the needs of horse and cattle bedding in the developing cities. Further changes occurred during the Second World War. "A vast munitions factory took shape on the edge of the bog, hidden from enemy bombers by mists off the Moss. Here, labouring day and night, 30,000 (mainly women) workers produced a staggering one million mines and 500,000 high explosive shells. Though the German air force targeted the supposedly secret site, only one enemy bomb fell anywhere close." http://www.warrington .gov.uk/Leisureandculture /Localhistoryand heritage/parks/Risley.aspx
Now Risley Moss is acknowledged as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a designated Local Nature Reserve. The Visitors' Centre provides a wealth of interesting information about the local fauna and flora. There are bird hides to allow twitchers to observe the variety of birds visiting this reserve.
I love to stroll round this nature reserve and marvel at the beauties of the passing seasons.
8. Movement of the Warrington Academy
On 21st May 1981, an astonishing feat of engineering was achieved, when the Warrington Academy, a 600 tonne building constructed circa 1745 at the lower end of Bridge Street, was moved 19m as part of a road widening scheme. Engineers used 'a novel combination of high-pressure grease and 'Floatpads', manufactured by Glover Engineering of Manchester.
So, Warrington - a town of beauty? No. A town of interest? Certainly. A town with a proud, creative past. A town with high hopes of a successful future.
Visit the town website at: http://www.welcometowarrington.com/ and learn more about this fascinating old town.
Learn about the soap works, the old wireworks, the old breweries, the half-timbered Barley Mow pub, the Territorial Army base, the Warrington Wolves, the town's brilliant rugby team, Walton Hall and gardens, the Golden Square shopping centre, opened by HM the Queen in 1980... Meet the people, tune in to the range of local accents.
Don't pass this town without a thought. It has a lot to commend it.
As soon as I tell anyone I'm from Warrington I can see the mental images flash up in their heads....Kerry Katona, chavs, Ikea, crime. Just the other week the town that I live in was the punch line of a comedian's joke on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Road show (I do confess to having to stifle a giggle, but that's by the by). We had to sit back and watch George Sampson tell the Britain's Got Talent viewers how he couldn't wait to escape his life of poverty and drudgery he had to endure growing up in socially deprived Warrington. Oh please, what a load of twaddle.
I therefore want to show everyone that we aren't all alcohol dependent, manic depressive losers with drug addictions and no morals, (yes Kerry, I do mean you) and that you can venture into Warrington and find well educated, socially responsible members of the community that do actually work for a living. Like me!
~ Location and transport links ~
So I can imagine you're sat there thinking how Warrington sounds the ideal place for your summer holiday this year, if only you knew where it was! Well, fear not dear reader, I shall tell you! Warrington is located pretty much equal distance between Manchester and Liverpool and is easily reached by the M6 and M62 motorways. We have two train stations in the town centre, one which is more for local travel and the other where you can travel a bit further afield including London and the like.
Being between Manchester and Liverpool means we have two airports to chose from, Liverpool's John Lennon Airport or Manchester International Airport.
Like many towns across the country Warrington has its nice places to live, and it's not so nice. It's the old rule of you get what you pay for, and there are certain places I would never consider living. I don't want to go into naming places that I consider "rough" as I don't want to offend anyone, but I personally wouldn't want to live in the town centre, just as I wouldn't want to live in ANY town centre. Town centres are hotspots for noise, vandalism and heavy traffic and crime, not idea living conditions in my opinion.
I was born and raised in Lowton, a little village on the outskirts of Warrington. We had a Warrington postcode and address, but our phone number was Wigan but as a St Helens RL fan I refuse to say I was born in Wigan! Since meeting my husband I have also lived in Croft and Gorse Covert (where we live now) and we have never had any trouble at either place. We have quiet respectful neighbours who have families of their own and we feel safe and secure in our home. Don't want to jinx anything (touching wood as I type...) but I just wanted to show that not all areas in Warrington are filled with criminals and drug addicts.
~ Shopping ~
I always preferred to go to the Trafford Centre just down the motorway for a spot of retail therapy, but the town centre's Golden Square shopping centre has recently been revamped meaning it really is a decent place to shop. New stores such as Debenhams, H&M, River Island, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins have been opened, as well as many jewellers, men's clothing stores and coffee shops.
We have quite a few retail parks in Warrington which have stores such as DFS, Mothercare and CSL located on them. Perhaps the most well known retail park in Warrington is Gemini, where there is a large Marks and Spencer, Boots, Next and of course Ikea. The retail parks tend to open until quite late (usually 10pm) so it's handy for those wanting to do a bit of shopping after work.
We also have almost any supermarket you can wish for including Sainsbury's, Morrison's and a 24 hour Tesco and Asda.
~ So what else can I do there? ~
Well Warrington isn't exactly a chic sophisticated place and neither is it a place for great sightseeing, unless puddles and railways tickle your pickle. We do however have a couple places that can offer some amusement without needing to head on down to Liverpool or Manchester. Although I did ask my husband could he think of any and he suggested the hospital (I seriously worry about that man)
1) Walton Hall and gardens
I am a big fan of Walton Hall, it's great for families. It consists of the hall itself which was built in the 1830s, as well as lawns, picnic areas, play area, children's zoo, heritage centre and crazy golf. Apart from parking it is free to walk around the grounds although certain activities do have a small fee.
2) Gulliver's World
Gulliver's world is a family theme parked aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 13. Whilst it is no Alton Towers, it does offer rides, attractions, shows, restaurants and shops and at £12.50 per person (free for those under 90cm) it's a relatively cheap alternative.
3) Rugby League
Rugby league is the most popular sport in Warrington, and is home of the Warrington Wolves, also known as The Wire, with Widnes Vikings just down the road in...well Widnes. However if you fancy watching a good team just pop down the motorway to see St Helens and see how rugby should be played!
We also have a cinema, bowling alley and a variety of restaurants to keep you amused.
~ Nightlife ~
If you're looking for trendy upmarket bars you're better heading into Manchester or to the Docks in Liverpool because you're not going to find them here. However, if you fancy a bit of a boogie at a weekend and some low cost drinks, it can at least provide that. Warrington has a bit of a reputation for being rough on a night out but I personally have never witnessed any violence and always feel safe while I'm out but perhaps that's because I know the area so well.
We have the usual suspects, a Flares playing 70s music, Reflex playing 80s music, Babylon playing, you guessed it, 90s music whilst Panama Jacks and the like play a bit of everything.
If you are after something a bit classier, Stockton Heath is worth a visit and they tend to have bars rather than the traditional "clubs", but it is a bit more pricey.
~ Hotels ~
So if I've sold it to you and you want to hurry on down (!) you need a place to stay. There a variety of hotels in Warrington, and quite a few a really very nice, including The Rhinewood, Park Royal, Paddington House and the Daresbury.
~ Did you know? ~
It's not only chavs that originate from Warrington, some other well known names and faces have also managed to appear on our screens or radios, including:
Pete Waterman, Chris Evans, Sue Johnston, Pete Postlethwaite, Ian Brown (of Stone Roses fame), Rick Astley (although technically Newton-le-willows), Steven Arnold (the lovely Ashley in Corrie) and Darren Jeffries (OB from Hollyoaks). What a high class bunch!
~ Summary ~
So there you have it. I'm not naïve, I know Warrington's not perfect, it has many faults, but to me, it's home.
I very recently moved to Warrington from Lancaster (a huge culture shock!!), but I used to live not far from here in Widnes, and I;m sorry Warrington lovers, but I'm not a fan. Yes the shopping is great, with the new Golden Square shopping centre, but other than that I don't think theres much else I can say which is good.
warrington is full of what we call "chavs", theres alot of crime, and you can't go out into town unless its a saturday unless you want to be sat in an empty club.
We moved into a little flat in the centre of town, its next to a railway line so we cant open windows, our bins are privately emptied and our road/carpark is also private...yet our council tax is £107 a month...and I can't see where our money goes.
I love clubbing and night life, and after living in a colourful city like Lancaster where every night is party nihgt I was VERY disappointed when I went out on what was supposedly student night to find a handful of people out. (Literally around 10), the drinks are expensive, the people who are out with you are...well....
The streets are dirty, the roads are a disgrace, and having a social life here is near enough impossible.
They have a rubbish rubgy team...though thats a personal thing as a Widnes Vikings fan I've been brought up to hate Wire!! :-P
but even not taking that into consideration, I'm not a warrington fan. I only moved here to live with my now husband, as he had a full time job here and couldnt get one where I lived. And I have hated it ever since. i am looking forward to moving back to my own town!!
I don't mean to offend anyone who lives here and loves it, but its just not for me!!!
Warrington is a great place to go it has a little bit of everything for everyone; it has easy access by car, train and bus from all major cities and towns. If you want to visit Warrington they have many hotels and restaurants to suit your needs. Warrington has its very own kid's theme park Gulliver's World, the theme park is for children aged between two and thirteen, adults are guaranteed to also have a great day out. Warrington have their very own museum and art gallery situated in Bold Street you may also want to visit Warrington's Town Hall, Walton Hall Gardens a great day out for all the family, Laser Quest another great day out for all the family plus there is also allot more to offer. Warrington has a great night life for those who want to let their hair down you may want to visit Synergy the newly opened nightclub they offer allot of different and exciting nights out no matter what your taste in music. Warrington has a newly designed shopping centre offering all big brands and shops such as Republic, JD, Bank, Jane Norman, River Island e.t.c. There is the main two supermarkets that are open 24 hours Asda and Tesco plus your everyday supermarkets Lidl, Aldi, Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer's, e.t.c. Warrington have their very own non league football club Warrington Town who are a superb team to watch. They also offer their very own rugby team Warrington Wolves, you will find that rugby is the main sporting event in Warrington, there home stadium is very easy to find and well worth a visit. Warrington is a very clean and safe town.
Warrington is a shithole.
Warrington, Cheshire is literally situated in the North West of England and is situated 15 miles from Manchester and Liverpool so access to both Cities on the train is easy and takes around 20-30 minutes. So let me tell you a bit about the town that I live in and if you are ever in the area, stop and take a look and do not pass it by. Warrington was mainly a working class sort of town and rows of terraced houses are situated around the place. The main manufacturing of the area was Wire for industry. Lots of generations of people worked in factories and in recent years whilst most of these have now disappeared and new houses are sprouting up everywhere making it a nice modern town which sits nicely amongst the older parts of the town. So say you are travelling up North, I will try and tell you about the good points and the bad points of the town and I hope you find both of these interesting. So get your bus passes ready and your train passes as I will take you into the past and present of my town. We will start with our Town Hall. It is a large Town Hall. It is situated on the outskirts of the town and has the finest gates which are black and gold and were presented to Queen Victoria as a present from the people of Warrington. Unfortunatley Oliver Cromwell has a statue here and Queen Victoria did not approve of the statue and refused acceptance of the gates as he had tried to defeat Charles 1st. The gates were meant for Sandringham. Instead we have them now outside the lawns to the Town Hall. Shame really for her as we all like them. Now in Warrington, we have something that is called Walking Day. Walking Day goes back to our industrial heritage when workers did not have many holidays and could not afford holidays. The Churches and youth associations all come together with the schools and children and adults with floats walk through the town. Many of the girls are dressed in white frilly dresses and boys in littl
e suits although in recent years dress is more relaxed, it is still rather a big parade. You give money to the children you know for them to put in their money pouches who then all end the parade with a day out at the fair. The next bit I will take you to is the town centre, you are lucky for this as it is within walking distance, about 5 minutes. We have a large shopping complex which has all the large stores like BHS, M and S and various other, together with small retail stores. This is an undercover complex called Golden Square. Access is easy and motorbility scooters can be borrowed to scoot around the town. There are plenty of cafeterias for you to sit down and have a cup of tea whilst browsing. When you come out of the Shopping Mall you will see a concrete type marble effect statue that depicts characters out of Alison in Wonderland. In summer we normally go and get a jacket potato and a can of something and sit around the table together with Alice and the Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. This was opened by Princess Diana and became a shrine to her when she passed away. Now people like the statue but they do not realise why we have this statue here. Simply as Lewis Caroll was born in Warrington in Daresbury as Charles Hodgson. Now later you can jump on a bus to Daresbury and take a look at the stained glass in the church. A quaint little village part of the town where the church windows are all to do with the Alice in Wonderland theme. Walking through the town centre we come to Time Square which is where the indoor market is situated. Small stalls and retailers who were in the old market which was just outside of Golden Square in the old days. Here you can buy clothes, shoes, meat, food, veg all at good northern prices. Retailers are still here from when their grandparents owned the business and all is very friendly. We have large out of town shopping centres like The Cockhedge Centre which is not far away and Ikea sits on the M6
motorway side on The Gemini Retail Park and trying to get to that park is a no no for the towns people on a Sunday as all the Tourists head for this area. Right, now that I have covered a bit of the centre of the town a bit of history, we need to jump on a bus, come on quick, lets go over to Padgate, Padgate is situated just about 3 miles outside the town centre and used to be the Army Barracks in the War. Houses were built on it and have since been demolished. This was one of the largest Army bases in Europe and people like Bob Monkhouse and Bob Hope were stationed here. All the roads are named after planes. We also have another USA base which was called Burtonwood which is at the other end of town and the Hangers are still there and Old Soldiers still come to see the place even though most of it is now derelict. The nostalgia is great for them. A lot of English ladies married Americans and moved over, leaving the poor Warrington men single and not happy. Ok, so your not interested in History or Shopping, Eating? where ever you go in Warrington, you can catch a bus to one of the rural parts like Daresbury or Stretton and sit in quite country pubs eating a nice meal at very reasonable prices. For those who are not worried about cost then there are other places in Daresbury that cater for special events. For the families we have a lot of National Trust Halls dotted around Warrington and one of them is called Walton Gardens which is a massive Hall for those interested in the History Side of things and they have a family zoo there for the children and swings and crazy golf and a golf course and bowls and you can sit anywhere in the gardens. Parking is easy and you pay a small fee. It is set in the most spectacular country side and has no cost to get into it. Also in July every year DAD is there, what? Disability Awareness Day. It is Europes biggest Day and people come from all over the world to attend. You can get information about disabiliti
es and there are a lot more other things going on like fairs and stalls and events. Whether you are disabeled or not, this is greatly supported and hosted by the people of Warrington. Hotels are many in Warrington and start as from little as 35.00 a night at town centre hotels up to posh hotels, so there are things for everyone. So I have told you a bit about where I live now and we have our own Warrington Wire Radio Station and also Warrington Wolves Rugby Stadium. We have plenty of famous pop groups that come from our area and people like Kerry McFaddan was born locally and Chris Evans was brought up on the same estate I live on and infact his mum still lives around here. We have people like Pete Postlethwaite who is a Warrington lad as are many other people. Right all jump back on the bus, lets go back to the hotel and get scrubbed up for a night on the tiles............ zoom here we are now back in the centre of town and whether you fancy an indian, chinese or a macdonalds, you will find it here. There are plenty of take aways and sit down places that are open until 3am in the morning. Nightlife is a big thing in Warrington and we have a massive nightclub and for all those that can remember Hit Man and Her at Mr Smiths with Pete Waterman, great for all ages and there are so many pubs that you can visit that will suit every age group. Unfortunatley we have had sad things that have happened in our town like the baby who was dumped in a park and passed away. The mother was never caught and the town named him and paid for his funeral. We also were victim to the IRA bombing. It was the day before Mothering Sunday and the IRA blew part of our town up. Unfortunatley this was very cruel as there were a lot of children in the town shopping that day for presents for the mums of Warrington. Two of them would never return home. The town was a mess and shockwaves of disbelief sent shudders through the town peopl
e saying why us? Out of bad did come good as we have some called The Peace Centre which tries to get youngsters from all over the place to come and meet and be friends whether it be from Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, Africa, Holland. No matter what colour, creed or race, you are welcome. Sporting facilities throughout the town are excellent and we have quite a number of local authority centres plus private gyms plus a couple of David LLoyd Clubs. The town in moving and house prices are rocketing around here at the moment. It is a nice clean place to live and most people are friendly. It took me a long time to settle here as I came from a town where everyone kept themselves to themselves and at first I thought they were nosey but I was wrong, they were just been friendly. I love this place now and quite often my husband says I know more about his home town than he does, but then again I use a good public transport and have to walk. He has got a car and misses things. The transport is great and we have two main train stations around the town centres. All main trains stop here. Buses are frequent and there is a good supply of taxis. So I hope that I have given you a little idea of what it is like to live in my town and if you ever pass it by, do not forget to visit. Right time for me to jump back in the taxi, as it is time for bed.... Karen :0)
If your looking for somewhere with choice, Warrington has plenty! For starters there are loads of High Street shops, including Index, Argos, BHS, Marks and Spencer etc. Theres also Topshop and New Look, so plenty for everyone! Theres also plenty of places to eat including McDonalds and Burger King for you fast food fanatics like me - and there are plenty pubs for you to use if you fancy a bar meal. All with really friendly people. All these shops and restaurants are spaced really close together too, some being in the mall, so if the weathers bad you dont need to worry about rushing round to miss the rain, you can just relax and enjoy a peaceful days shopping....theres even a kiddies roundabout and various rides in the mall they can ride when they get a bit bored. For when the weathers nice theres even an Alice in Wonderland stone table and chairs outside the mall where you can eat in the sunshine - when we get it! :) Theres even plenty parking spaces and although most charge a small fee some places offer upto 2 hours free parking if you use one of the local shops which is really helpful and then most places are free to park on at night. At night theres plenty to do too, all the pubs and bars are in easy walking distance of each other and theres plenty to choose from too, numerous pubs and at least 3 nightclubs. Plus all the people are really friendly and the prices are reasonable too - most of the time theres some great offers too - like buy one get one free before 9pm and all doubles half price, I do suppose you can get this anywhere but coupled with the atmosphere it really makes for a good night. Although this isnt my local town I make the effort whenever I can to travel there for shopping and the very occasional night out :) - I would recomend it to anyone.