Old photos of industrial Warrington shows how we used to work

PUBLISHED: 12:53 01 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:09 20 February 2013

Warrington Infirmary nurses pose for the camera after receiving their qualifications in the 1950s Image courtesy of Warrington Museum, Library and Archive Services

Warrington Infirmary nurses pose for the camera after receiving their qualifications in the 1950s Image courtesy of Warrington Museum, Library and Archive Services

A new book packed with old photos of industrial Warrington shows how we used to work<br/>WORDS BY LAURA NORMANSELL



The print version of this article appeared in the March 2012 issue of Cheshire Life

We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here

Warrington has changed dramatically over the last few decades with high street shops, out of town retail sites and business parks replacing the old factories of its industrial past.

Just how dramatic those changes are is apparent in a new book. The buildings and businesses significant to local history can be rediscovered in Working Lives of Warrington From Old Photographs by Janice Hayes.
This is the latest book in a series which tells the history of Cheshire towns from an industrial angle.

Looking back over the last 100 years, this book documents the lives of working people in Warrington, through numerous photographs.
The archive images collected from sources, including Warrington Library, are set alongside information in the form of an extended caption - providing a detailed background to each image.

The book features a variety of professions from nurses at Warrington Infirmary to filemakers. It also gives a fascinating glimpse of independent, family-run businesses, such as Millings grocers shop to brands and businesses that can be recognised today, such as Persil and the Co-operative.

Split into different chapters, each looking at different aspects of workers in Warrington, the book takes a personal approach towards the history of the town.

The first chapter details the various industries that could be found in Warrington, including cotton, wire, soap, metal, brewing and leather, while naming the different companies within that particular industry and the impact they had in the town and surrounding areas.

Chapter two identifies particular businesses and names the faces behind them, while providing details about the business and the impact they had upon Warrington and other parts of the country.

Alongside photographs of shop workers outside their stores are descriptions of the customer service they provided and the lengths they went to for their customers.


The final chapter looks at the personal lives of workers and the issues affecting them, such as strikes and laws. It describes how workers spent their leisure time some were members of their works bands or sports teams, for example, rugby and how they were treated by their employers.

One photograph reveals how one particular man was responsible for illuminating the street lights to guide workers on their journey to work.
This book provides a fascinating insight into the working lives of people in Warrington over the last century and it shows how they helped to shape the town into a major industrial centre of north-west England which is still today, a major part of this lively towns heritage.

Janice Hayes Working Lives of Warrington From Old Photographs is published by Amberley.
All images courtesy of Warrington Museum, Library and Archive Services

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