Saturday, 21 July 2012

Where Fat Meets Thin

We are spending the weekend in Nantwich where the broad (14ft) canal from Ellesmere Port to Nantwich meets the narrow (7ft) stretch to Wolverhampton. These are now called the Shropshire Union Canal but this disguises the complicated history of the various independent canals which, more through accident than design, ended up connected to each other in this configuration.
Half a dozen architectural styles living together
This is a town we like a lot.  It is often called a hidden gem and a short visit here will show you why.  The most attractive towns in England are those which have grown up organically embracing the character of each era as they pass through it.

The old Police Station is now flats
Nantwich seems reluctant to demolish old buildings, preferring to find new uses for them.  The result is a wonderful eclectic architecture which the council has managed to keep enjoyable by pedestrianising some of the central streets and diverting through traffic away from this area.


 By contrast Middlewich has large lorries thundering through it all day long and Crewe is just a very sad,  depressed city. I had to go over to Crewe to collect some train tickets and spent two hours walking around the empty shops and dismal buildings: it felt like a week. This was once a great and prosperous city but the only spark of life I found were these trees with knitted socks.

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