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The image of the book cover of Winsford - A History of a Cheshire Town and its People by Tony Bostock, published by Léonie Press

A History of a Cheshire Town and its People

Written by Tony Bostock

ISBN: 978-1-901253-58-0

160 pages, paperback, 148mm x 210mm.
76 photos, 11 maps

Published by Léonie Press, April 2016.
Reprinted November 2016, March 2019

Price: £ 10.00 UK Postage and Packing:

e-Book versions
Kindle format ISBN: 978-1-909727-22-9
Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN): B01D7Y1X7O
Click here to buy from Amazon

About the Book

TONY BOSTOCK, highly-respected Cheshire historian and former chairman of Winsford Local History Society, has been researching, writing and lecturing about the history of Winsford for many years. He has consolidated his work in this book in the hope that it will give residents a fuller understanding of the story of their town.

Winsford has an unusual dual identity, being the amalgamation in 1894 of the ancient townships of Wharton on the east of the River Weaver and Over on the west, to create a Victorian 'new town'. Both are mentioned in the pages of the Domesday Book, and the Cistercian abbey and convent of Vale Royal dominated the history of Over.

Though originally in an area of predominantly pastoral farming, the district around Winsford owed its prosperity to the extraction of salt from the rock salt beds that lie beneath much of mid-Cheshire. From the late 17th century, brine was extracted and evaporated to produce salt, and from 1844 salt was also obtained by mining.

The salt industry was stimulated by the opening of the River Weaver Navigation in 1721 and later railway links. Subsequently other businesses were attracted to the area so that during the 19th century boat-building, sail-making, engineering, cotton-milling, tanning, button-making, and general commerce all played a part in Winsford's prosperity.

Whilst some of these enterprises declined, including the salt industry, Winsford continued to develop with modern industries being encouraged into the town.

During the mid-1960s parts of Winsford became overspill estates for Manchester and then Liverpool, and significant parts of the old town centre were torn down to make way for new roads, shops and civic buildings.

Today it is very much a commuter town housing about 32,000 people, with light industrial complexes and excellent road and rail links to the world beyond. Landscape work has taken place along the river as part of the Mersey Forest project and for the future a new Neighbourhood Plan sets out ambitions for a better image of the town.

About the Author

Tony Bostock

TONY BOSTOCK is an accomplished local historian. He holds a B.A. in History ( Manchester, 1991) and an M.A. in Local History (Keele, 1994). He is the author of Owners, Occupiers and Others: Seventeenth Century Northwich and writes many articles on various aspects of Cheshire history, contributing particularly to the annual journal, Cheshire History. He was also editor and writer of the Winsford Record. He is a regular speaker to local history and family history societies and has held posts as a part-time lecturer in these subjects.

As well as being a member of a number of academic societies in the region, he has been an active member of the Executive Committee of the Cheshire Local History Association since its formation in 1998, and of its predecessor the Palatine Local History Committee. He chaired the CLHA for three three-yearly terms and is now responsible for its website. He is currently treasurer of the Winsford Local History Society, of which he was also chairman for many years. He also chaired Northwich Heritage Society for several years.

Having retired from a professional life in public service, Tony now applies himself more to the study of local and family history.

'First book in nearly 20 years on town's heritage'
Winsford Guardian
6th April 2016.

Winsford Guardian, 6th April 2016, Page 3


On Wednesday, 6th April 2016 the Winsford Guardian carried an interview with the author by Kenny Lomas.

Click on the image to see the original of this article.

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