Fiddler’s Ferry Locks

The image shown below was recently donated to the museum. It shows two boys sitting on the bridge at Fiddler’s Ferry Locks, with the local keeper’s house in the background.

The photograph has been produced on a postcard back, allowing it to be sent through the post. As you can see from the image, the reproduction here has not been of the highest quality, it is off-centre, leaves a lot of white space, and is slightly listing to one side.

By saying this I don’t mean to criticise the image itself, which is well laid out artistically and records an important part of our history for future generations. I only point out the faults because they show a fascinating moment in history. The “real photo postcard” was a relatively new thing in the early 20th Century and the fact that people could produce a postcard showing their village, their church, or even their own family, made these cards immensely popular. A huge variety of cards were produced, often locally for local consumption. This card would probably have been sold in a corner shop in Sankey or Penketh and would have given people a chance to own a photograph of something important to them without having the unconscionable cost of a camera.

Whilst this version of the image may not be of the highest quality, there are others out there. A much sharper version of the picture can be seen on the Sankey Canal Restoration Society’s website, along with some other great images of the area.

One interesting thing about this copy of the photograph is that on the back it has the names of the two boys sitting on the bridge. They are listed as Les Harrison and J. Burthem, a note in pencil also states that Mrs Burthem ran a sweet shop in Penketh. Without this amazing donation, would we ever have been able to find out who those two children were?

If you know anything about West Warrington’s past, why not make sure that it is safely recorded for future generations? What is the one thing that you remember that nobody else does?

To pass on any memories contact Philip at: pjeffs@culturewarrington.org

This article was originally posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017