Peter Spilsbury has taken countless numbers of photographs in and around Warrington over his lifetime. I first met Peter in mid-2006 at Risley Moss Local Nature Reserve whilst conducting research for Warrington Green. During that chance meeting Peter said he would select some of his photographs for me to show on the website. mywarrington is proud to present Peter’s Gallery.
All photos on this page Copyright © Peter Spilsbury
In this section we look at buildings and buses. The descriptions are from Peter’s own notes, with additional notes from me where indicated. See more of Peter’s photographs throughout the Making Tracks sections.
TOWN CENTRE – FROM THE TOP
A series of images taken from the top of the town centre car parks in the 1970s and 1980s.
Hilden House & Priestley House on the left. Garven Place in the foreground. Baths roof on the right. Centre back is Crosfields & Sacred Heart church. (8 Jan 1976). Priestley House was renamed Bank Quay House in 2008.
The rear of the Warrington Observer newspaper in the foreground. The little café is just to the right. The Cheshire Lines Committee warehouse stands out with Central Station just below it. Rylands offices above that. The chimneys of Cockhedge Mill to the right (8 Jan 1976).
Golborne Street. WHSmith’s on the left and Eustance’s jewellers in the centre at the corner of Bold Street and Sankey Street. The White Hart hotel just to the right and then the multi-storey car park. (8 Jan 1976).
The Infirmary on the left (Kendrick Street). Cheshire Lines curve past the General Hospital. Bold Power Station in the right background (8 Jan 1976).
Legh Street. The pathology laboratory on the left. St Paul’s in the background with the roof of Lancashire Steel to the right. Rolleston Street under the bridge
(8 Jan 1976).
Golborne Street & Scotland Road. Behind the yellow car is the Theatre Tavern (now the Prince of Wales). To its left is Parr’s bank (now NatWest bank). On the sky-line from left to right is Cockhedge Mill, Parish church & New Town House. Below that is the Hop Pole pub. See a similar view from a year earlier on the Memory Lane page (15 Apr 1977).
Golborne Street and Marks & Spencer (19 Sep 1980). This was the second Marks and Spencer store in this area. The original was on Sankey Street featuring the ‘false front’ glass entrance in readiness for the street widening scheme which never happened.
St Paul’s church with new housing in the Rolleston Street area. Bold Power Station is in the left background and Lancashire Steel on the right (19 Sep 1980).
The back of the shirt works on the left, then Wycliffe church & Bewsey Street. Tetley Walker’s brewery behind the church tower and further right is the Alliance Box works (8 Jan 1976).
Spot the difference. A similar view of Wycliffe church, but this time the buildings between the church and railway viaduct have gone. That area is now occupied by Making Space (19 Sep 1980).
Friars Gate with Academy Way under construction. The road was originally called Rose & Crown Street and led to Mersey Street. Friars Green chapel is in the centre background with Crosfields behind. Even further behind is Fiddlers Ferry (3 Oct 1978).
Bridge Foot with the bus garage on the other side of the railway bridge. St James’ church and Hill Cliffe in the background (3 July 1978).
BANK QUAY 1971-1982
The photo, left, was taken from Parker Street, looking up Crosfield Street with Bank Park on the right.
On the left is a warehouse let for commercial use with the railway goods yard behind. At the far end of the street is a signal box on the Cheshire Lines. There was a little known branch line from there to the steel works in Dallam Lane.
Addition form Gordon: It was possible to transfer to and from the West Coast Main Line and the Cheshire Lines Committee line using gradients in the land close to the signal box area.
The entrance to National Carriers is in the background of the photo above left. They were the road services to B.R. They used 3 wheel Scammels, often referred to as mechanical horses, for delivering and collecting goods from the railway. Liverpool Road over the railway (photo, above, right) with the tower of Sacred Heart church in the background. Taken from the same area looking up the bridge.
Milner Street is on the left. Whitecross Wire Works occupied both sides of this street [Royal Mail sorting office and B&Q are here now]. It later became part of Rylands-Whitecross. How many can remember The Railway pub at the corner of Milner Street and Priestley Street or The Green Man on Sankey Green near the Bowling Green pub? On the other side of the road you can see where the pavement is interrupted. This is where Crosfields had their two fire engines and an ambulance. Two of the doorways can still be seen. One of the engines is now a heritage vehicle (see a photo of it in the Fire Station Open Day section on the Events page).
Crossing the road for this view, the road to the right was called Factory Lane and round the corner the road divides into two. The left hand fork going under Bank Quay Station coming out at the corner of Parker Street and Wilson Patten Street by the station entrance.
The right hand fork went over the low level railway and to another part of the factory and the river. There was a public footpath from Monks Hall sidings to the 12 Arches and Walton. Part of it can still be accessed.
STOCKTON HEATH VIEWS
All the photos here were taken from the top of St Thomas’ Church, Stockton Heath.
Greenall’s Brewery closed down in 1991 and Morrison’s supermarket took its place. Northwich Road swing bridge control box and the site of Twenty Steps Lock are in the bottom right hand corner.
Looking along Ellesmere Road towards Walton with Naylor’s timber yard and Walton Lock in view.
The bridge and control box on the left. G & J Greenall (burnt down in 2005) behind Stafford Road. The bed of the Black Bear Canal can be picked out.
Black Bear country park and Loushers Lane fields.
The cantilever bridge stands out over Fairfield Road. Alexandra Park can be picked out among the houses.
London Road and the old Co-op, now with new tenants, and the east graveyard of the church stands out.
Metro Scania (VWD 451H – built 1969) at Sankey Green island in March 1971. This battery-operated bus was on trial and evidently not a success, as it did not enter regular service. The row of shops to the right of the bus included Worrall’s Fishing and Shooting shop on Green Street. The houses to the left of the bus were on Mill Lane. The street sign can still be seen on the side of the Co-op Late Shop.
WCT (Warrington Corporation Transport) 29 (HED 856E) Daimler Fleetline (built 1967) in Buttermarket Street on 28-3-75. In this scene, New Town House is under construction. In 2006, Ready Money Greenwoods is now Britannia Building Society and the Odeon cinema is demolished and replaced by Yates’ Wine Lodge, which converted to a Wetherspoons pub, The Looking Glass in 2010.
WCT 105 (NED 356M) Daimler Fleetline (built 1973) on 20-6-78, working along Reynolds Street on the 16 service from Westy to Great Sankey via Town Centre. This was the first bus with all-over advertising livery, giving it the local title of “the Baldwin Bus”.
WBT 33 (SED 450H) 1969 Daimler Fleetline & Halton 38 Leyland (HTF 644B) in the Orford area on 22-6-78. WCT were awaiting the arrival of an order of new buses and had to borrow some from other fleets, hence the Halton bus here.
Dennis Dominator demonstrator at Pinners Brow island on 4-7-78. [SHE 722S]. The Old Ball pub (now demolished) can be seen to the right, with the old Co-op (now Ram Properties Tannery Court) to the left.
WCT 85 Leyland (3713 ED) is a tuition bus in Orford Lane on 4-7-78. British Telecom’s advertisement starring “Busby” is in the background.
Lancashire United 173 Daimler Fleetline (ETD 943B) rests in Bewsey Street prior to moving to the starting point of the service to Ashton (in-Makerfield) at the Bay Horse inn in Winwick Street on 5-9-78. Nowadays, this spot is occupied by Warrington Interchange. The building behind was once a handyman’s store.
A lone Lancashire United among Crosvilles at Arpley Bus Station on 17-9-78. Crosville ran services to Liverpool and Chester, as well as some local school runs. The Lancashire United was on the Manchester 10 service. My friend tells me how she waited here as a child for a bus to take her on holiday to North Wales.
Crosville SRL255 (SJA 380S) at Arpley Bus Station on 17-9-78.
WCT 66 (JEK 66N) in Buttermarket Street on 7-11-78. It is a Bristol RESL6L built by East Lancs.
Lancaster City Council 205 (KTJ 205C) Leyland, left, & WCT 101 (NED 352M) Leyland Atlantean in Town Hill on the Westy service on 27-11-78. The Lancaster bus was on loan to WCT to help out with fleet shortage, and Town Hill was the temporary bus stop while demolition was taking place in the town centre for the Golden Square development.
WCT 75 (REK 75R) Leyland Atlantean & 101 NED 351M) Daimler Fleetline in Buttermarket Street on 27-11-78
Warrington Corporation 112 is a Foden PVD/6 OED 217) with an East Lancs body and built in 1956. It was the last Foden double-decker bus to be built and was later sold to an enthusiast for preservation in 1972 and kept at Steamport museum in Southport. This photograph was taken at Bickershaw colliery near Wigan in 1972
Crosville (FTU 390T) in the bus station on 19-9-80
Crosville G554 (VFM 554C) at the bus station on 7-10-80
Crosville (FTU 386T) on the H5 service to Liverpool in Golborne Street on 17-6-81.
GMT 534 (PDT 671S) Leyland National leaving the bus station on the Manchester 10 service in Golborne Street on 17-6-81. Notice the Golden Square construction in the background.
WCT 77 (REK 77R) Leyland Atlantean is preparing to turn into Poplars Avenue with a good number of passengers on 16-8-81.
First Manchester 5053 (MRJ 33W) MCW on the Manchester 10 service in Golborne Street on 11-11-98.
The Transport Act of 1985 brought about deregulation of British bus services in October 1986. It meant that the competition was now open for any bus operator to run services wherever they wished. It also turned council-owned services into limited companies. For more information on the ‘Bus Wars’, see On The Buses.
Warrington Goldline 129 (M129 YCM) Mercedes at the Golborne Street bus stop on 4-6-96.
WBT 206 (D106 TTJ) Dodge S56 sporting a bright Mini Lines livery in Golborne Street on 4-6-96.
North Western 1173 (M173 YKA) Dennis in Bridge Street with the Premier livery on the Altrincham service on 15-7-96.
Warrington Goldline 1212 (M212 YKD) Plaxton Pointer negotiating Mersey Street island on 15-7-96. In trying to keep its identity secret, North Western used this vehicle in a white livery.
WBT 1 (F101 XEM) Dennis Dominator at Chester bus station on 16-7-96.
Warrington Goldline 1197 (M197 YKA) at the rear of the market in Academy Way on 20-4-97.
WBT 2 (T202 AFM) Dennis Dart passing under the Bridgwater Canal at Lumbrook Bridge on 23-5-90.
WBT 70 (LED 70P) Bristol RESL6G in Golborne Street bus station on 23-5-99.
WBT 71 (LED 71P) Bristol RESL6G emerging from under the Bridgewater Canal at Lumbrook Bridge on 23-5-99
WBT 83 (TTB 83S) Leyland Atlantean in Bridge Street on 15-7-96
Fairbrothers (VNH 159W) on a school service in Knutsford Road on 15-4-97.
Arriva 64 (M64 WKA) Mercedes on the dedicated 106 service at the Golborne Street bus stop on 11-11-98.
WBT 149 (AED 31B) in the bus depot slip road off Wilderspool Causeway in Coachline livery on 3-2-98. This was one of a dozen Leyland ‘Titan PD2/40 Specials’. It was built in 1964 to a narrow width to negotiate Sankey Street near Woolworth’s. The street was eventually made one-way and later became pedestrianised.
Warrington Goldline 1175 (M175 YKA) crossing over Black Bear Bridge in Knutsford Road on its way to Altrincham on 26-6-98. Although North Western was using its own brand it carried on using the Goldline until the buses went in for an overhaul. I have used whatever brand the bus was carrying at the time it was photographed.
WBT 116 (S116 GUB) Optare Metrorider at the Golborne Street bus stop on 11-1-98.
WBT 241 (M241 YCM) Dennis Dart at the Golborne Street bus stop on 1-5-98.
WBT 38 (A208 DTO) Leyland ONLXB/1R moving into Hunts Lane from Knutsford Road on 13-5-98
North Western 1160 (M160 WKA) wearing Runcorn City Plus lettering at Daresbury en route to Chester on 20-5-98.
WBT 100 (C100 UBC) Dennis Dominator rests between duties outside the bus station on 23.2.99.
WBT 20 (MEK 20W) Leyland Atlantean between duties near the bus station on 23-2-99. The One-2-One phone company advertised on the bus eventually became T-Mobile and now part of EE with Orange.
WBT 102 (C102 UBC) Dennis Dominator at the Golborne Street bus stop on 6-4-99.
Anthony’s Travel (G991 ORR) at Warrington bus station on 9-4-99. Anthony’s is a Runcorn-based company that has limited services in Warrington, especially on a Sunday.
WBT 248 (M248 YWM) Dennis Dart in Tarporley Road where it crosses over the M56 on 9-4-99. The destination board says Service 43. From 31 July 2006 this route is withdrawn, along with Services 43, 43A, 44, 44A and 45B, but Service 46 to Northwich will still serve Barnton.
WBT 2 (T202 AFM) Dennis Dart at the Golborne Street bus stop on 6-4-99. This type has low-floor access.
Turn of the Century
WBT Foden recovery vehicle (Q866 RCA) at the bus depot on 23-5-99.
WBT 96 (F96 STB) Dennis Dominator in Ackers Road, Stockton Heath, on 7-4-00.
WBT 16 (V216 JLG) Dennis Dart in the City for Peace livery at the Golborne Street bus stop on 17-7-00.
WBT 229 (L229 SWM) Dennis Dart with the Drug Dealer livery at the Golborne Street bus stop on 17-7-00.
WBT 27 (Y627 GFM) Dennis Dart with the Disability Awareness livery in the bus station on 25-4-01.
WBT 119 (S119 GUB) Optare Metrorider at the Golborne Street bus stop on the Centrelink service in July 03.
WARRINGTON BOROUGH TRANSPORT CENTENARY OPEN DAY – 3 JUNE 2002
WBT 148 (BED 729C) at the bus depot on 3-6-02. It is one of the Leyland Titan PD/40 Specials, and dates from 1965. It is now preserved as the company’s heritage vehicle. On the day of the Centenary celebrations it was used to ferry people to and from the bus station.
WBT 1 (T201 AFM) Dennis Dart in the Transport Centenary livery.
WBT 16 (V216 JLG) Dennis Dart in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee livery.
WBT 26 (Y626 GFM) Dennis Dart in the Warrington Wolves livery. The Wolves Super League rugby club used to play at Wilderspool just around the corner, but moved to the Halliwell Jones stadium on the site of the old Tetley Walker Brewery on Winwick Road/Dallam Lane.
WBT 47 (A747 GFY) & 48 (A748 GFY), both Dennis Dominators, at the bus depot. The depot itself was built between 1960 and 1964.
WBT 238, 233 (Dennis Darts), 117, 118 (Optare Metroriders), 247, 222, 216 & 210 (Dennis Darts). The last two are also Dennis Darts. The Wilderspool rugby stand can be seen in the background.
WBT 38 (A206 DTO) Leyland, 101 ( C100 UBC) Dennis Dominator, 87 (A487 HKB) Leyland Olympian, 102 (C102 UBC) Dennis Dominator & 96 (F96 STB) Dennis Dominator.
Westy Sure Start (B54 AOC) Dennis waits outside St Margaret’s Hall in Lindley Avenue on 10-4-02. It was also on display at the Centenary Event. This community bus is serviced by Warrington Borough Transport at their depot but does not belong to them.
Transport & General Workers Union (NIL 9313) at the Centenary celebrations.