It’s four years now since I first set up this blog; and a lot has changed.
When it began in 2014 I was looking into doing a PhD in Urban History, comparing the development of Warrington and York since the mid-nineteenth century, and the blog posts reflected that. The initial idea for Re-imagining Warrington was as a place to explore research ideas thrown up by my work-in-progress and discuss the issues surrounding the town’s regeneration project ‘The Bridge Street Quarter’.
I’ve spent a large part of the last four years in time-consuming fights against planning applications and development proposals that are trying to take piecemeal chunks out of Warrington’s Green Belt and there just hasn’t been enough space to follow this up in. (If I had my time again I’d have done Law, not English and then History, and then maybe I’d be getting paid for all this work!)
One of the things that annoys me most, in all this, is that Warrington, a town that was already a flourishing settlement in Anglo-Saxon times, is consistently referenced only in terms of the last 45 years. To have this constant misinterpretation of the facts about Warrington’s beginnings, this wholesale dismissal of its once great past; and most importantly the people who created that past, is galling. Warrington is not Milton Keynes.
I care deeply about our town: I am proud of its heritage and achievements, am greatly saddened by what it has become and believe passionately in what it could be. I have a vision of Warrington that involves the support of independent retailers and businesses, rather than multi-chain corporations; tree lined streets; the preservation, not demolition, of its oldest buildings; and the celebration of its culture and past with numerous museums, theatres and a thriving tourist trade. I strongly believe we have as much to offer as York in that regard.
So this blog is now focused on posting accounts of Warrington’s past achievements from those living as near to the period as possible; and suggestions as to how we could draw on these to re-invigorate Warrington in our own times. I also want to highlight the efforts of Warrington’s independent traders in maintaining the individuality of our town and continuing the reputation for high quality products for which Warrington has been praised since the 16th century.
Please observe the professional norms of civilised debate, however strongly you feel! In order to ensure this happens, all comments are moderated; any comments that don’t adhere to these norms, or that aren’t relevant to the topic under discussion, are automatically deleted without response.
Moulders Lane – stand-alone articles and opinion pieces on books, music, life and whatever I encounter on YouTube. Mostly, though, my writing and my admiration for the works of P. G. Wodehouse.
Where to Live in Warrington – looking at Warrington on an American ‘neighbourhood’ basis for those relocating to the area for work. Currently on hiatus.
I’m a writer and historian with research interests in buildings history and landscape history, particularly in and around provincial towns. I’ve been working for some time now on a book comparing the urban development of Warrington and York, following the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835, from an historical geography perspective; and am currently investigating the possibility of using this as the basis for a PhD.
As a Luddite and general techno-phobe, I’ve struggled considerably to come to terms with social media (for blogging tips I found useful, see Editorials) but after a (lengthy!) period of adjustment, I now find myself with not one but three, inter-related, blogs: Re-imagining Warrington: a place to explore research ideas thrown up by my work-in-progress and discuss the issues surrounding the town’s regeneration project ‘The Bridge Street Quarter’; Where to Live in Warrington: looking at Warrington on an American ‘neighbourhood’ basis and talking about the things that estate agents wouldn’t, for those re-locating to the area for work (currently on hold); and Moulders Lane, a (generally) monthly series of stand-alone articles and opinion pieces on books, life and P. G. Wodehouse.
Re-imagining Warrington is a blog of many diversions – something I am rather prone to – but, in order to assist the bewildered reader, these have been grouped under handy categories. Editorials contains general thoughts and passes on blogging tips I have found useful; Bridge Street Quarter examines the questions thrown up by Warrington’s current regeneration project and analyses the many logical inconsistences in the Bridge Street Development Plan. Conservation Areas/Listed Buildings looks in detail at failures to protect Warrington’s built heritage, its deterioration and loss; Historical Geography contains thoughts on my research; and Psychogeography is a more whimsical walk around Warrington’s streets, with information on their use both past and present, as well as suggestions as to what sort of shops could be in the buildings instead – a sort of Fantasy Property Developer, if you will.
Please observe the professional norms of civilised debate. In order to assist with this all comments are moderated; and any comment that does not adhere to these norms, or that is not relevant to the subject under discussion, is automatically deleted without response.