Westbrook, the Silver Jubilee District?

“The Westbrook area plan” was published by the Warrington New Town Corporation in 1978, setting out just what they wanted the new district of Westbrook to be like. The front cover bears a quite stylish map of what is being referred to as the “Westbrook District”.

It’s a fascinating document for anyone who lives in Westbrook now and can be consulted in the Archive search room at the Museum by anyone who wants to read it.

The reason I have chosen it for my blog today is not a particularly academic one, it was the picture that caught my eye in this case rather than the text.

Something about the shape of this Westbrook District was naggingly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place why.

 

Then, it suddenly clicked! Westbrook looks like the Queen’s head on a stamp.

Could it be that when the planners were drawing up the boundaries of their Westbrook development area in 1977, with the Silver jubilee going on all around them, they subconsciously channelled the image of the Queen into their layout? Well, probably not. Still, it’s a nice theory as long as you don’t challenge it too much.

Below is a second map of Westbrook from the same year showing the parts of Penketh, Sankey and Burtonwood that had been taken up by this new district. It is curious to note that the whole of the area is given the name Westbrook here, whereas the district shown clearly includes Penketh and Sankey, a big chunk of Cuerdley and Burtonwood, and even a piece of Winwick. From the New Town’s point of view Westbrook was obviously a wider district containing the ancient parishes of Penketh and Sankey and a few other bits of old Warrington for good measure. Nowadays of course most of us think of Westbrook as only being an area within the top right hand corner of this map.

Map of Westbrook Wider District 1978

Were any of you amongst the first residents in the new Westbrook? If so we would love to hear your memories about moving in, or see any photographs you have of the area in those early days. We have volunteers standing by ready to record any memories you want to share, or you can write them down and send them to the us here at the Museum.

Contact Philip Jeffs with any photographs or memories on pjeffs@culturewarrington.org

This article was originally posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017.