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Widnes heritage brought to life
INTRIGUING images which reflect the rich history of Widnes have been brought back to life in a fascinating book.
Local historian Jean Bradburn has unearthed 180 old photographs of streets, the market, buses, bridges, pageants, and people from past times.
Her husband, who is a photographer, has returned to the exact spot where each picture was taken and captured the scene as it looks today.
Jean, aged 63, managed the local history service at Widnes Library until she retired last year.
She was thrilled to be invited to write the book and has uncovered some fascinating details about the town’s legends.
She found a picture of the Ditton murder stone, which tells the story if the infamous murder of Edward Culshaw at Ditton Bank Farm in 1784.
The photographs shows just how much Widnes has changed from being the home of the chemical industry, when industrial fumes filled the air.
Jean, from Nantwich, said: “My greatest love is local history.
“The hardest thing is getting permission to use images. I had contacts with local historian Bob Martindale from Widnes and Paul Meara fro Catalyst, who kindly leant me their pictures.”
It was a labour of love to find the exact location where all the old pictures had been taken.
Photographer John, aged 65, who worked in production for the BBC, Granada, theatre and film, spent the entire summer walking in the footsteps of his predecessors.
John, who filmed Z Cars, Grange Hill, World In Action, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, said: “I’ve worked in all sorts of photography but I’ve never done anything like this.
“It was great fun and extremely interesting.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
‘Widnes Through Time’, priced £14.99, is available from The Curiosity Bookshop in High Street, Runcorn.