An unspoiled delight - Paintings of Sandbach (with audio)
PUBLISHED: 15:46 15 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 20 February 2013
Watercolour artist Gordon Wilkinson takes his easel to the historic market town of Sandbach
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This recording is courtesy of Sandbach and District Talking Newspaper service
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For many people Sandbach just means the services near junction 17 of the M6. But for those in the know it means a delightful and historic market town surrounded by farmland.
The towns proximity to the motorway has made it a place much sought-after by commuters to our larger towns and cities but even their arrival has not spoiled the beauty of Sandbach.
The Trent and Mersey canal passes through the town and as well as many beautiful buildings Sandbachs cobbled market square has two Saxon crosses which are thought to have been completed in the ninth century.
Sir George Gilbert Scott - a leading Victorian architect responsible for the Albert memorial in Hyde Park - designed many of the buildings in Sandbach, including the Literary Institution and Sandbach School and he also restored St Marys Church.
The present Grade Two listed church, re-built by Scott in the mid-1800s stands on the site of much earlier buildings which had served the town for centuries.
The church is now also used a venue for concerts by Sandbach Voices, a community choir formed just after World War Two, but Sandbachs most famous musical group is Foden's Brass Band.
Formed more than 100 years ago from the remnants of an earlier band, Fodens was initially for the workforce at the towns motor companies. Foden and ERF have since been taken over and production has moved elsewhere but the band remains, now called Fodens Richardson Brass Band.
They have won just about every prize on offer, some of them many times over, and have performed on radio, television and across Europe.
And although the towns famous motor companies have left, the transport festival has survived. It was launched in 1992 is now held each April alongside the National Town Criers Competition, providing yet another reason for people to discover that theres more to Sandbach than a motorway service station.
During Warship Week in December 1941 Sandbach adopted HMS Vimiera but a month later it was sunk by a mine in the Thames
Sandbach has been a market town since 1579 when it was granted a charter by Elizabeth I. The charter allowed for a weekly market and two annual fairs. These days the market is held on Scotch Common and in and around the Town Hall. Sandbach became a Fairtrade Town in July 2008
The town appeared in the Domesday Book as Sanbec and in its early history it was frequently raided by the Welsh
Television presenter Yvette Fielding, comedian George Roper and former footballers Bert Sproston and Barrie Wheatley all lived in the town
The historic Old Hall Hotel's claim be one of the UK's most haunted hotels has led to a number of television appearances