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A man stood outside the Knutsford War Memorial Cottage Hospital in 1922

War Memorial Cottage Hospital

The Town Council has received confirmation that the sale of the Knutsford and District War Memorial Cottage Hospital from the British Red Cross to McCarthy and Stone has now completed. It is therefore likely that demolition of the building will take place in 2022 ahead of the redevelopment of the site.

The below information is an updated version of an article we published in 2018 and provides a background to the work of the Town Council before planning permission was granted for the demolition and development of a retirement living apartment building. The planning permission was formally granted by Cheshire East Council in December 2019.

From the Town Council’s investigations it is confident that British Red Cross was the lawful owner of the property and had the right to sell it to McCarthy and Stone. We have not seen any legal opinion or argument that there was an inability for the Secretary of State for Health to acquire the building in 1948 and the hospital’s designation as a war memorial does not afford it any additional legal protection.

Whilst we believe there was remains a strong moral case that the hospital belongs to the community which paid for it there does not appear to be a legal basis for this which could have prevented the sale of the building.

History of the hospital 1922-1995

The Knutsford and District War Memorial Cottage Hospital was built by the community as a war memorial following World War I, opening in 1922. The funds to build the hospital were raised by community subscriptions, it was built on land donated by Cuthbert Leicester Warren and was operated as a community hospital. The land was conveyed to the hospital trustees in 1937 with a covenant that it remains a hospital. Following the passage of the National Health Service Act 1946, ownership of the hospital was transferred to the Government. The community continued to support the hospital through the League of Hospital Friends.

In 1994 the health authority declared the hospital was surplus to requirements. Consultation was undertaken and it is understood the community supported the British Red Cross using the hospital for its services. The Town Council supported this on the basis that if the British Red Cross ever vacated the site it would return to the government; such a clause was not included.

The health authority was keen to get rid of the building and loaned the British Red Cross the £275,000 purchase price; creating a charge on the building that if it was sold this would be repaid, like an outstanding mortgage. The land which benefited from the covenant created in 1937 was now owned by Manchester University which agreed to vary the covenant to allow the British Red Cross to use the hospital. The university land was later acquired by the Crown Estate which then held the benefit of the covenant.

Our work in 2016-17

In April 2016, when the proposed disposal of the War Memorial Cottage Hospital by the Red Cross became clear, the Town Council established a working group led by Cllr Stewart Gardiner to investigate matters further. The working group comprised councillors and residents.

The working group researched all documents related to the history, management and disposal of the memorial to compile a background information paper. This included looking at the land registry documents, minutes of the League of Hospital Friends, Town Council minutes, regional/local health authority documents, newspaper archives and records held in the Cheshire Records Office.

The Town Council applied to have the memorial registered as an Asset of Community Value in June 2016. This was under the Community Right to Bid legislation which required a strict definition of community use. This application was rejected by Cheshire East Council as they felt the evidence was not strong enough to demonstrate the current use of the building furthered the social wellbeing of the local community as defined by the Localism Act.

In August 2016 the Town Council submitted an application to Historic England for the building to be ‘listed’ as a building of special architectural or historic interest. This was rejected by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the grounds that the building is not of sufficient special interest in a national context.

Whilst there was a national campaign to list war memorials (such as the Cross Town War Memorial which was listed at Grade II in 2016) when the memorial is a building it assessed on the historical/architectural interest of the building first and foremost.

From our investigations the Town Council is confident that:

  1. The British Red Cross are the lawful owners of the freehold of the War Memorial Cottage Hospital, having bought it from the NHS in 1994
  2. The covenant which restricts the use of the land can be varied by mutual agreement between the British Red Cross and the Crown Estate
  3. The hospital’s designation as a War Memorial does not afford it any protection and no legal definition of a war memorial exists.

It was concluded that whilst there remains a strong moral case that the hospital belongs to the community which paid for it there does not appear to be a legal basis for this which could prevent the sale of the building. It is understood that the sale price is around £2,500,000.

As it became apparent that efforts to protect the building were limited the Town Council sought an Article IV Direction by Cheshire East Council which prevented the building from being demolished without planning consent.

The Town Council held meetings with the British Red Cross and sought to secure a share of the proceeds from the sale for the community; either to be placed into a Community Trust to benefit the health and wellbeing of the Knutsford community or to fund new community facilities. This was rejected by the British Red Cross which stated they were duty bound to return the profits to the Charity.

The Town Council, and then MP George Osborne, wrote to the Crown Estate who stand to share in the profits from the sale again to seek a share of the proceeds to be invested into the community. This was rejected by the Crown Estate which stated it was duty bound to return its profits to the Treasury.

The Town Council has written to NHS England, which it understands will also share in the profits from the sale, to seek its proceeds being invested in new health facilities in Knutsford. No response was received.

The Town Council is aware of rumours that it has sought to profit from the sale of the building; it has only ever sought to get the best possible outcome for the Knutsford community considering that the prevention of its sale is unlikely.

Sale to McCarthy and Stone

The Town Council was informed in August 2017 that the Red Cross proposed to sell the memorial to McCarthy and Stone and the working group met with them in September and October 2017 to understand their plans which, it transpired, involved the demolition of the hospital. McCarthy and Stone attended the Town Council meeting in November 2017 where it formally outlined its plans, stated it was not viable to retain the hospital building.

The working group considered that with the protection of the building highly unlikely it was in the community’s best interests to work with McCarthy and Stone to influence proposals. The working group met with McCarthy and Stone in December 2017 and January 2018 where it was confirmed that the building would not be demolished in 2018, that a memorial garden would be incorporated with the working group providing input into its design and including recognition of the hospital through interpretation boards or similar and that the new building would be named to reflect the former use of the site. It was agreed that the two oak panels which list the fallen would be relocated into public view at the Council Offices. The Town Council was disappointed that its request that one of the apartments be placed into a community trust was rejected.

In April 2018 the Town Council submitted formal objections to the planning application requesting that other uses for the building be explored.

Cheshire East Council’s Northern Planning Committee considered the application in October 2018 and granted permission for the demolition and redevelopment.

Speaking in 2018, Cllr Stewart Gardiner, lead member for the working group said: “We set out to prevent a sale and to protect Knutsford’s war memorial, attempting numerous avenues to do so. We investigated the ownership, sought statutory protection and its registration as a community asset.”

“We are as frustrated as the wider community that it appears that protecting the War Memorial is not possible. We have now, reluctantly, taken an approach that if we cannot stop this from happening, we must do something to ensure the community does not lose out completely and that the history of this site is remembered.”

Sabrina holding baby outfits

Sabrina’s Baby Boutique

An exciting, stylish, and affordable baby boutique can now be found at the heart of Knutsford Market Hall, thanks to Sabrina Cowley and her array of baby, toddler and childrenswear.

Sabrina’s Baby Boutique became the newest addition to Knutsford Market Hall at the beginning of April 2022. Sabrina prides herself on her exclusive selection of Spanish Baby Outfits, New-born Baby Wear, and other unique children’s clothes – including some bespoke pieces altered by Sabrina herself.

On the opening of her stall, Sabrina said: “Twenty-two years ago when I had my first child, there was nowhere in Knutsford that sold baby clothes. I didn’t drive and, in those days, it was either a train journey to Northwich or Altrincham. Being a single mother, I really struggled for money and my only way back then to buy clothes without having to travel was using a catalogue.

“Fast forward to the birth of my 3rd child in 2018, I had a brain wave of opening an affordable baby store, but motherhood was very busy. This year, there was the opportunity of a taking on a market stall at Knutsford Market Hall.

“I want to offer parents of Knutsford what I struggled to find – high quality baby and childrenswear at very affordable prices… especially with what’s happened in the last couple of years with covid; it has hit us all hard.

“Moving to the market has been a joyful experience. I know a lot of people in Knutsford and my family were born here. Every time I’m open there is always someone I know popping by. My grandad was a very good customer to Knutsford market they loved him. And I love meeting new people – everyone at the market is absolutely amazing and like family already!”

Alanah Mudie, the new Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council said: “It’s great to welcome new an exciting trader into the Market Hall and we recognise the importance of promoting high quality yet affordable options in a market full of independent, hard-working traders. Sabrina is the perfect addition to the growing family within the market.”

Be sure to head to Knutsford Market Hall, located on Silk Mill Street, to pay a visit to Sabrina’s Baby Boutique and all of the fantastic stalls, including:

  • The Market Café
  • Morgan Edwards Fine Wine & Spirits
  • Slipped Discs
  • Plastic Free Weigh
  • Deliveroot
  • The Market Butcher
  • Jonty’s Fruit & Veg
  • Style Loft Boutique

To find out more about what’s on offer at Knutsford Market Hall, head to www.knutsfordmarket.co.uk

Photo                                    Sabrina Cowley of Sabrina’s Baby Boutique

Press contact:                    Alanah Mudie, 01565653929

                                                alanah.mudie@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

A stone wall showing the stubs where iron railings were once affixed

From the Archives: Knutsford’s Iron Railings

The Town Council holds an archive of documents containing a wealth of local history and, thanks to the work of two dedicated volunteers, the archives are being sorted and catalogued for the first time.

Jenny and Mary attend the council offices each week to sift and sort the various files and we are keen to share the information they unearth. Mary prepared this article for the Friends of Knutsford Heritage Centre newsletter when they found a survey of the iron railings taken for the war effort during the second world war.

During the second world war when resources were scarce there were several campaigns asking people to donate sundry items for ‘the war effort.’ These included rags, rubber, paper and metal.

Aluminium was needed for aircraft manufacture and housewives were ask to donate their aluminium saucepans and kettles.  Iron was used in the production of bombs, tanks, guns and battleships. This gave Churchill and his cabinet the idea to requisition iron gates and railings so they could be recycled and repurposed.  

To this end, local authorities were required to complete a survey of the iron gates and railings in their areas within 6 weeks and to mark those which in their view were unnecessary. That would exclude railings which served a useful purpose, such as to prevent cattle straying, or railings of historic interest or artistic merit.

Knutsford was as keen as any town to support the war effort and a recently discovered record shows how they comprehensively surveyed the streets, recording the length and height of all the iron railings and gates and their purpose. It also recorded the owner of each property at the time. Owners were technically allowed to claim compensation at 25 shillings per ton (the equivalent to £1.25 in decimal money) but not all contractors recorded accurate weight, if at all.

The street with by far the most properties with iron railings and gates was Manchester Road, where they were recorded as either ‘dividing gardens’ or ‘enclosing gardens’. Evidence still remains along this road showing the stumps where railings had been removed, as in this photo of the wall outside the Manchester Road Medical Centre. At the time these three adjoining properties, Nos 27, 29 and 31, all belonged to a Mrs J. Jackson. They were listed as ‘Medium weight railings on 3’ brick wall’, measuring 1½ feet in height and 15 yards in length.

The large detached houses on Toft Road and Leycester Road also yielded large quantities of ‘light weight hurdles’ and ‘light iron railings’, with lengths varying from 25 to 78 yards, and there were 87 yards of ‘light iron hurdles’ fencing the ‘pavilion and plantation’ at Toft Cricket Club. Nothing was spared in this survey, although it is uncertain how much of it was actually removed. It includes 280 yards of fencing around the Moor Recreation Ground and 100 yards of ‘pillars and chains’ outside the Old Town Hall (now the Lost & Found). There are pillars and chains at the front of this building to this day. Did they survive this war initiative, or have they since been replaced? Comparing old photos with what is there now I would suspect the latter, as the old pillars look more ornate and substantial than the present ones.

Looking at other old photos I’ve been able to establish that the original wall which gave Wallwood its name, had been replaced before WW2 with light iron railings – 200 yards of them, according to this wartime survey. These must have been removed and it is now surrounded by a wooden rail.

Just across the road we come to the longest measurement on the list – 670 yards enclosing the Tatton Park entrance. I imagine Lord Egerton would have been more than happy to give this up to help the war.

But what happened to all the iron collected? Being wartime everything was hush hush and what happened next is still the subject of debate. There is no doubt that patriotic fever, combined with over enthusiastic interventions by the contractors on behalf of the Ministry of Supply, led to hundreds of thousands of tons of ironwork being removed. Much of it was of poor quality and wasn’t as easy to use as politicians had assumed. In certain areas there was far more than could be used. However, they quickly realised the psychological benefit, as people felt they were doing their bit for the war effort. So surplus iron was dumped out of sight in old quarries or railway sidings.

Rumour abounded that the excess ironwork in London was dumped in the Thames with dockers in east London claiming that ships in the estuary needed pilots to guide them because their compasses were made unreliable by the amount of iron down below.

In other parts of the country there are anecdotes that piles of railings were lying around until after the war and then gradually removed. Though to date no dump or deposit has ever been found.

But on your next walk around Knutsford look closely at some of the older walls along Manchester Rd, Cranford Avenue or even round the Library Gardens and you can find evidence of railings having been removed, even if they have been subsequently replaced.

Stewart Gardiner with shoes

Mayor gets in a spin for his charities

Calling all disco divas and jiving jacks! On Monday 2nd May, The Mayor of Knutsford will be shimmying and  whirling non-stop for 12 hours in his final fundraising event of his mayoral year – a Dance-a-thon!

Inspired by the lockdown kitchen discos of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner will livestream his efforts on The Mayor of Knutsford Facebook page from 10 am until 10pm and has decided to ask for song requests from the Knutsford community in return for a donation, which can be sent via his GoFundMe page.

Residents and businesses are also invited to reserve a space on the dance floor with him for a 20 minute slot for a £20 donation.

When Cllr Gardiner was approached for a quote, he said “I can’t. I’m out of breath. I’m so busy learning my dance moves…. maybe I could quote Bob Geldof without the swearing!”

Visit The Mayor’s Go Fund Me page to donate, and leave a comment there if you’d like to request a song. https://gofund.me/e4c491a4

The Civic Events Officer can be contacted with any queries on michelle.bate@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

All the proceeds will be going to the Knutsford branches of The Royal British Legion and The St Vincent De Paul Society.

A group of people around tables in a large room

Council hosts tours of 60 King Street

Almost eighty residents were given a guided tour of 60 King Street on Saturday (23rd April) as part of the Town Council’s consultation on future uses for the grade II* listed building.

60 King Street (also known as Kings Coffee House and formerly home to La Belle Epoque) has been vacant since 2019 and the Town Council is working on a major heritage lottery fund bid to restore and regenerate the incredible building.

The council is currently running an open consultation to gather the views of residents on how the building could be used in the future. The guided tours saw residents taken around the entire building and grounds with many unaware just how big the space is.

The tours were peppered with a touch of the building’s history; the Kings Coffee House was the final creation of Richard Harding Watt and built in two halves opening in 1907 and 1908 respectively. The whole building was gifted to the town council (then the Urban District Council) in 1914 after the death of Harding Watt.

Each tour ended with some table discussions on how the building could best serve the Knutsford community with the output of discussions feeding into the council’s work developing a new plan for the space.

Town Clerk-cum-Tour Guide, Adam Keppel-Green said “The aim of the tours was to open the doors to a building we know not everyone has been able to fully explore before, showing the scale of the building and its multi-terraced outdoor space. We encourage all residents to complete the online survey to share their thoughts on how this magnificent space should be used in the future”.

So far almost 200 people have also responded to the open survey on the future of the building; the survey will be open for two more weeks and can be found at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/60ks.

The council is particularly keen to ensure the residents of the Longridge and Shaw Heath area feed into the consultation and are holding a further consultation event on Tuesday 10th May at 6pm in The Welcome which will feature a virtual guided tour of the building.

Town Mayor Cllr Gardiner with Ian Cass outside the Council Offices

Town Awards 2022 Shortlist Announced

Residents are invited to celebrate their community heroes at the 2022 Town Awards which take place on Wednesday 4th May from 7:30pm in St John’s Church.

The Town Awards scheme is delivered by Knutsford Town Council to recognise the contributions of the individuals and organisations working in the Knutsford community. Launched in 2013, the annual awards programme sees awards made across five categories: the Civic Award (individuals) the Community Award (community groups), Youth Award (individuals under 21), Business Award (businesses supporting the community) and Extra Mile Award (individuals in paid employment going above and beyond for the community).

The awards have once again been sponsored by the Forum of Private Business, a non-profit organisation which campaigns for the interests of small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The Forum of Private Business has sponsored the Town Awards since their inception.

Three Civic Awards will be presented on the night and seven individuals have made the 2022 Shortlist. These are:

  • Paul Buttrick, President of Knutsford Lions for his leadership of the Knutsford Lions.
  • Terry Griffiths for her work leading the Nether Ward Community Group and involvement in an array of community organisations
  • Laura Jennings for her work at 5th Knutsford Scouts
  • Vicky McKinnon for her work leading the Run Knutsford community group
  • Eileen Podmore for her service to Knutsford Royal May Day, Cranford WI and the Knutsford League of Hospital Friends
  • Claire Sawyer for her leadership of We Are Knutsford
  • Cathryn Walley for leading the establishment of Friends of St John’s Wood and her involvement on the governing body and PTA of Manor Park School

Three organisations have been shortlisted for the 2022 Community Award:

  • Knutsford and District Good Neighbours
  • Knutsford Friendship Cafe
  • Knutsford Heritage Centre

 The Youth Award has a shortlist of two, one of the shortlisting being a joint nomination:

  • Poppy Newall for her litter picking around Longridge and designing an anti-littering poster
  • Brooke McAteer and Ben Ormerod for their passionate speech about speeding at the Cheshire East Highways Committee meeting

It is the local branches of three national businesses which have made it to the shortlist for the 2022 Business Award, they are:

  • Coop Knutsford
  • Little Waitrose
  • Natwest

The final award of the evening is the Extra Mile Award. This year four people have been shortlisted:

  • Sandra Curties, former Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council
  • Adam Linett, Wild Communities Officer at the Cheshire Wildlife Trust
  • Ximena Massam, chef at the Welcome Café
  • Nick Sherburn, manage of the Welcome Café

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Greens said “We say it every year but it really is true that just being shortlisted for the awards is a great honour in itself. It means someone recognised the work that they do and took the time to put them forward for an award. We hope that those in the community will congratulate those shortlisted and come along to the awards presentation to find out who the lucky winners are”.

Two men sign paperwork whilst smiling at the camera and sat at a table.

Council takes ownership of its offices

Knutsford Town Council has taken ownership of its Toft Road offices and the surrounding grounds.

The freehold of the Council Offices, along with its grounds and the library garden, have been gifted to Knutsford Town Council by Cheshire East Council as a community asset transfer. Negotiation between the councils has been ongoing for several years since Cheshire East Council formally approved the transfer in 2018. This is the fourth transfer from the borough council through its community asset transfer programme following public toilets (2013), the Market Hall (2014) and allotments (2015). The Tabley Hill chapel and cemetery and were also taken back under local management in 2016 and 2020 respectively although these had always been owned by the town council. 

The Grade II listed Council Offices was built in 1844 as the Prison Governor’s House and was acquired by the Knutsford Urban District Council for £1,000 in 1930 after the prison closed. Following local government reorganisation in 1974 the offices were transferred to Macclesfield Borough Council although the Town Council retained an office and use of the chamber. Since the 1970s the building has also housed a tourist information centre, the offices of the Knutsford Guardian and private businesses.

The Town Council sought the transfer to ensure it retained a long-term low-cost office within the centre of Knutsford. The transfer was subject to a covenant that the building forever be used for the benefit of the local community. Cheshire East Council required the town council to take ownership of the Library Gardens as part of the transfer for the whole site to be managed as one space.

The council’s intention is to undertake a renovation and modernisation of the building to provide improved office and community use accommodation. The council aims to install a lift to make the historic council chamber accessible for council meetings and to subsidise the building through letting office space to tenants. The improvements would expand the number of community organisations and public services which can use the building. A sub-committee of councillors will be exploring options and developing proposals for the council.

Cllr Peter Coan, Chairman of the council’s Assets and Operations Committee said “I am thrilled to see the Council Offices return to local ownership and look forward to developing an improvement scheme for both the grounds and building so they better serve the needs of our community” 

Pictured: Cllr Peter Coan and Cllr Stewart Gardiner sign the transfer documents.

Picture of the Mayor's Caberet

Mayor’s Cabaret Raises £2k for Local Charities

On Saturday 2nd April, The Mayor of Knutsford welcomed over 50 guests to his Spring Cabaret at The Courthouse. Knutsford. Mayors from across the North West attended to support the Mayor of Knutsford with the penultimate fundraising activity for his chosen charities.

Guests were welcomed with a red carpet entrance where they were greeted by The Mayor and his consort, Mr Simon Hutchence before taking seats in front of the Courthouse’s grand stage from which they were dazzled with performances starting with the incredibly talented students of Fuchsia School of Dance following by a medley popular songs from Knutsford Beats. International Comedian Sully O’Sullivan served as Master of Ceremonies whilst singing duo Igloo Hearts and the acrobatic delights of the show-stopping Circus House completed the bill of entertainment.

The evening was a fantastic success and a combination of sponsorship, ticket sales, prize balloons, an auction, and raffle ticket sales has raised over £2,000 for the Knutsford and District Branch of the Royal British Legion and the Knutsford Branch of The St Vincent De Paul Society; the two charities which have been the focus of Cllr Gardiner’s fundraising efforts.

Prize were found hidden in balloons, each one containing a voucher for a fabulous prize donated by local businesses including gifts from The Botanist, Real Fruit Creamery, Rose and Crown, Shamoli, Pastiche, Eastern Revive, Pizza Express, Crewe Hall, The Lambing Shed and The Courthouse. The sound of balloons popping filled the reception space and started the party atmosphere.

The Raffle proved popular and prizes included donations from Elite Health, Pete The Pilot, Knutsford Directory, Knutsford Music Festival, White Orchid, Cheshire Quality, Rohan, Midas, Roberta Beauty, Sarah Jane King Photography, Tree Tops Holistics and Beauty and the Town Mayor too.

The Live Auction raised over £500 with bidding war between guests to win beautiful prizes donated by Pulse of Perfumery and Andrew Collier Photography.

Tables were decorated with decadent candelabras and were sponsored by Packaging Automation Ltd, Golden Stitches and Elite Health. All are local Knutsford businesses and who each gave incredible support to ensure The Mayor’s Charities have the funds they need in order to support local people.

Cllr Stewart Gardiner said: “What began as inspired thought, after some very hard work became an incredibly enjoyable event with some very impressive performances and delicious food. Everyone who attended told me how much they had enjoyed the evening. I would like to thank everyone who attended or supported me in some way to make the inaugural Cabaret event such a success. “

Cllr Gardiner’s final fundraising event will be a sponsored danceathon taking place in early May.

Paul Buttrick and the Town Mayor sit on a bench with a plaque

Town dedicates ‘Happy to Chat’ benches

A small scheme to help tackle loneliness has been introduced on benches across the town centre thanks to Knutsford Town Council and the Knutsford Lions.

A number of benches have been designated as ‘Happy to Chat’ benches where the presumption is that if someone is sat there, they would welcome strangers stopping by to say hello and engage in conversation.

Loneliness is one of the most significant health concerns facing the population and has been demonstrated to be as detrimental to health as smoking and worse than obesity. Loneliness is becoming an increasing problem for older people in particular with over half a million older people across the country going over five days without seeing or speaking to anyone and 40% of older people saying the television is their main company.

The benches provide an avenue for those would value additional social contact to subtly ask for help.

The idea for the scheme had been raised with the Town Council by a number of community groups and residents and was delivered in partnership with Knutsford Lions.  

Paul Buttrick, President of Knutsford Lions said “The chatty bench project was set by Mike Goldman of the Lions with Knutsford Town Council before COVID-19 struck. It is lovely for people to be able to sit in the sunshine and chat freely again after almost two years of the isolation”

Happy to Chat benches have been designated at the following locations:

  • Outside Ash Court, King Edward Road
  • Wallwood
  • Paradise Green, Bexton Road
  • St John’s Church Grounds
  • Toft Road outside St John’s Church
  • Courthouse Garden
  • Library Garden 
  • The Heath

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “If you spot someone sat on our of the town’s new Happy to Chat benches, consider stopping a while to say hello – you don’t know the difference it may make to their day and their health”

Benches have been selected for the scheme where there is an alternative bench nearby for those who

prefer quiet bench reflection.

Picture of Enid Leigh

Three Residents Share their Memories of World War II

Three Knutsford residents have shared their memories of Knutsford during the Second World War as part of the Town Council’s lottery oral history project and the council is seeking further people to come forward and share their memories as part of the project.

Tony Leadbeater, Enid Leigh and William Cowburn shared their memories on camera for the project which aims to create a documentary film detailing the history of Knutsford during the war. Each was interviewed by a volunteer from the community who has undertaken oral history training.

The need to take the battery for the wireless to be charged at a garage near the Conservative Club to enable the family to listen to the news was just one of the many recollections shared with the project as well as the sight of Lancaster bombers taking off and seeing paratroopers practising over Tatton Park.

“Watching the recordings and hearing the first hand memories of residents from this time is amazing” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green. “We are really keen to reach more of our residents who have memories of Knutsford during this period – if that’s you please do get in touch and if you know anyone around the age of 85+ please share this with them or let us know their details.”

The interviews are being filmed to create an engaging video to reach all generations and share the story of the town during the war with the final video set to include archive footage and photographs from the era.

If you or someone you know could be part of the project please contact Tor Rogers on 01565 653 929 or tor.rogers@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

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