United Kingdom / Runcorn

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Tracks Back in Time Found on the Runcorn Hill, these rails have been used to create a reconstruction of the original drum lines that used to carry wagons (or bogeys) transporting the quarried sandstone to the docs where the rock would be loaded onto ships for exportation. These wagons required no power and relied upon the drum pulley system to transport the rock. The loaded wagons travelling down to Western Docks would pull up the empty wagons for reloading.

Runcorn Hill Local Nature Reserve, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Runcorn old police station plaque
The Old Police Station. Built mainly from local sandstone in 1831 at a cost of £450, with additions in 1859, it is a Grade II listed building. There were further red brick additions to the building in 1897. Situated in the once bustling shopping area of Bridge Street, this beautiful building was Runcorn's first town hall. It also functioned as a bridewell, and contained a courtroom for petty sessions and cells in the basement. On the floor to your right can be seen the original stocks. When the council moved its offices to Waterloo House on Waterloo Road in 1883, it left the police force free to take over the whole building, and it became Runcorn Police Station. The building was restored and reopened in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth II. The lamppost behind you marks the former site of a fountain, which was given to the town by the Earl of Ellesmere. It was erected in 1857, but was demolished in 1948 for the widening of Bridge Street. It stood on the line of the 'Sprinch', a brook that once served as the town's water supply.

The Old Police Station, Bridge Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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John bishop plaque
John Joseph Bishop. Born in Liverpool in 1966, John moved with his family to Runcorn in 1977 after living in Winsford for a time. He attended Brookvale Comprehensive School (now called Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy), near to the family home at Heysham Close. In 2006 John left his job as a Sales Director in the pharmaceutical industry to pursue a full-time career as a comedian. In addition to his stand-up shows on the comedy circuit, John has worked in television (having had a number of his own shows), radio and film. He has carried out a huge amount of work for many charities including Comic Relief and Sport Relief. In 2012 he single-handedly raised £4.2 million for Sport Relief by completing a 290-mile triathlon from Paris to London. He has also been involved with many local charities and projects such as Halton Haven Hospice and The Runcorn Locks Restoration Society. In 2014 John received an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University in recognition of his services to the Arts and for his charity work. At the time of writing (2017), John Bishop is one of Britain's most successful and best-loved comedians.

Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, Barnfield Avenue, Murdishaw, WA7 6EP, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Dom valdez plaque
Dominic Fernandez ('Dom') Valdez BEM (1939-1999) Born in Liverpool to a Spanish father and an English mother, Dom moved to Runcorn in 1973, to the recently built New Town, where he found employment as a caretaker at Southgate Primary School (now Hallwood Park Primary School). He lived at 220 The Uplands, the house he would live in until his death. Halton Haven Hospice was entirely Dom's vision, and was originally known as The Dom Valdez Centre For Cancer Care, 'Halton Haven'. From humble beginnings at a community centre, and later at a bungalow in Windmill Hill, Dom and his team of volunteers were given the land in Murdishaw where Halton Haven now stands by Runcorn Development Corporation. The first building, which is today the Day Hospice Unit, was built in 1984. This was followed by the adjoining Inglenook in 1986, and the Inpatient Unit a few years later. The Amanda Edwards Unit was officially opened in 1991 by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Halton Haven Hospice provides palliative care through a range of services to individuals, and support for their families, in Runcorn, Widnes and the surrounding areas. It aims to relieve the sickness, suffering and distress of people resulting in particular from cancer and other terminal illnesses. As an independent charity it must generate much of its income by its own means, and it is only because of the generosity of mainly local people that the hospice can survive. In 1992 Dom received the British Empire Medal for his charitable work. He was presented with his medal by Sir William Arthur Bromley-Davenport K.C.V.O., Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire. Dom was much loved and respected by people who knew him and by those who were fortunate enough to work alongside him. He was buried here at Halton Haven.

Halton Haven Hospice, Barnfield Avenue, Murdishaw, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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The tanneries plaque
The Tanneries. There were many small farmyard tanneries in Runcorn in the 18th Century, but in the 19th Century and for the first half of the 20th Century, tanning was a major industry in the town. Indeed, we were once the largest producer of leather in the country. However, by 1968 tanning had ceased in Runcorn, mainly because of the availability of cheap non-leather substitutes. The most important tanneries were the Camden, Puritan, Astmoor, and Highfield tanneries. Runcorn Docks were important for important for importing the materials used in tanning and for exporting the finished goods. The larger tanneries were positioned along the Bridgewater Canal, and it was by way of canal that they received their coal, raw hides and tanning materials (imported from overseas via Liverpool Docks). A plentiful local supply of hides came from the Cheshire dairy industry. Our tanneries also used the North Wales to Liverpool water supply which was of a high purity and of great benefit in the tanning process. Runcorn's tanneries supplied the leather for the war effort in both World Wars. Runcorn Association Football Club and the Highfield Male Voice Choir have their origins in the tanneries. An early nickname of the football team's was 'The Tanners', and the choir's emblem has three figures carrying three 'bends' of leather, each 'bend' consisting of half an animal hide after tanning. According to tradition, a Runcorn tannery supplied the leather used to make the boots for the Duke of Wellington and his army at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. This plaque hangs on the former site of the Puritan Tannery, which closed in 1964. Its owner, Francis Boston, once lived in what is today Runcorn Town Hall on Heath Road, which for a time was known as Boston Grange. He lived there from 1904 until his death in 1929.

Bridgewater Garden/Craft Centre, Halton Road, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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James alistair taylor plaque
James Alistair Taylor (1935-2004) Taylor was born in Curzon Street. Although christened James, he always preferred the name Alistair. After his National Service in the R.A.F., he took a variety of jobs before meeting up with Brian Epstein in 1960. He became Epstein's Personal Assistant and also General Manager at Epstein's record store, NEMS (North End Music Stores), which later expanded into a management company called NEMS Enterprises. He was with Epstein at The Cavern when he saw The Beatles for the first time on 9th November 1961. Alistair's name appears on the first management contract that The Beatles signed with Epstein. Paul McCartney nicknamed Alistair 'Mr. Fixit' because of his ability in finding quick and effective solutions to The Beatles' problems. His many and varied duties included finding escape routes from screaming fans, purchasing property, or simply being a shoulder for the band to cry on. Following Epstein's death in 1967, at the request of John Lennon, Alistair became General Manager of Apple Corps, The Beatles' business empire. After leaving Apple Corps in 1969, he went to work for Dick James' DJM Records, where he helped to promote Elton John who was then an emerging artist. He also worked with other performers such as James Taylor, Cream, Cilla Black, The Bee Gees, The Four Tops, The Moody Blues, and many more. Always approachable, Alistair was a much loved figure at Beatles fan conventions. He died in Chesterfield Royal Hospital after a short bronchial illness.

The Brindley Theatre, High Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Castlerock shipyard plaque
Castlerock Shipyard. Named after the 'castle' built by Saxon Princess Ethelfleda, King Alfred the Great's daughter in 915 A.D., which was near the first support of the railway bridge, close to this spot. Shipbuilding here since 1810, with facilities owned by, amongst others, John Anderton & Co., Anderton & LeCouteur, Speakman & Sons, and perhaps most famously, Richard Abel & Sons. Two of Abel's boats still exist today - Oakdale (built 1951) and Mossdale (built in Northwich c.1860, and bought and rebuilt by Abel's). These boats are the last remaining 'Mersey Flats'. The last boat built at the yard was Ruth Bate in 1953. The site closed because of the building of the Jubilee Bridge and changes to Abel's business, which closed in 1964.

Runcorn Railway Bridge, Mersey Road, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Sir john chesshyre plaque
Sir John Chesshyre (1662-1738) Sir John Chesshyre was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1682, and was called to the Bar there in 1689. In 1785 he accepted the degree of Serjeant-at-Law. He became one of the Crown Counsel in 1711 as Queen's Serjeant to Queen Anne, and he was knighted in 1713. After the accession of the Hanoverians in 1714, he was reappointed as King's Serjeant to King George I in 1715. In 1727 he was appointed Premier Serjeant-at-Law to King George I, which was the peak of his career. A very wealthy man, he was responsible for building the vicarage which bears his coat-of-arms in Castle Road in Halton Village, as well as the adjacent library. This library has a claim to be one of the first free libraries in England. Although Sir John spent most of his working life in London, he expressed a wish to be buried in his home town of Runcorn. He was buried in Runcorn Parish Church, which was demolished in 1846 after falling into a state of disrepair. This church was replaced by the present All Saints' Church in 1849. There is a monument to his memory in this church, but it is currently out of sight behind the organ. The Tricorn pub was one wing of a mansion house called Hallwood Manor. It was built c.1710, and was originally a moated property. Sir John was born and lived here in the 17th Century. It is Grade II* listed building. The building to your right was the former stables. It was also built c.1710, and is a Grade II listed building.

The Tricorn pub, Stonebarn Lane, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Runcorn association football club plaque
Runcorn Association Football Club. R. H. Posnett, the owner of Highfield and Camden tanneries, purchased the Canal Street ground in 1918, which had been used previously by the town's rugby team. Runcorn A.F.C. was formed in the same year, as part of the Highfield and Camden Tanneries Recreation Club, hence the team's early nickname of 'The Tanners'. The team continued to be run under the umbrella of the tanneries until 1953, when it became Runcorn A.F.C. Ltd. Runcorn A.F.C., later nicknamed 'The Linnets' because of the green colour in their home kits, were a major force in non-League football. The peak of the team's success was winning the Alliance Premier League in 1982. However, they could not apply for election to the Football League because their ground did not meet League requirements. Just five seasons later, this system of voting teams into the Football League was replaced by automatic promotion, but it was too late to help Runcorn A.F.C., who were no longer the great side they once were. In the 1993-94 season, a perimeter wall collapsed during an F.A. Cup tie with Hull City, the main stand was destroyed by fire, and the roof of another stand blew off during heavy winds. These events, together with poor form on the pitch, sent the club into a downward spiral, and in 2000 the club sold its Canal Street ground that had been its home since 1918. This was a great disappointment to fans, and caused a general feeling of loss in the town. The Linnets Park housing estate now stands on the former site of the ground. In 2006 Runcorn AFC ceased activity, but fans of the team formed a new club called Runcorn Linnets, who play at The Millbank Linnets Stadium in Murdishaw. C'mon the 'Corn!

The Bridgewater Bar, Canal Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Sandstone quarries plaque
The Sandstone Quarries. Much of the bedrock in Runcorn is sandstone, formed from deserts which covered this area 200-250 million years ago. The remains of Halton Castle and Norton Priory show that sandstone has been used for building here since at least Norman times. During the 18th Century, quarrying became an important industry in Runcorn, with quarries at Weston, Mill Brow, Stenhills and several other sites. The industry reached its peak towards the end of the 19th Century, but by the beginning of WWII, quarrying in the town was all but finished. Runcorn sandstone had a beautiful, distinctive reddish-pink colour, and was respected by people in the industry because of the high quality of the stone. Runcorn sandstone has been used in many buildings in Runcorn and Widnes, other towns and cities in the United Kingdom, as well as countries across the world. Some famous buildings made completely or partially from our sandstone include Runcorn Railway Bridge, Norton Water Tower, Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, Chester Cathedral, Tatton Hall in Knutsford, and the docks at Belfast, New York, and San Francisco. The Roundhouse, once known as The Quarry Hotel, stands near to where several of the Weston quarries used to be.

The Roundhouse pub, Heath Road South, Weston, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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120th anniversary of the first rugby league game to be played in Halton. Runcorn v Widnes

St Edwards School , Canal Street, Halton, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Thomas henry hall caine plaque
Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine CH KBE (1853-1931) Caine was born in Bridgewater Street, at a time when his father was working at Runcorn Docks. Preferring to be known as just Hall Caine, he wrote novels (many of which were made into films, including one made by Alfred Hitchcock), plays, short stories, film-scripts, and many works of non-fiction. He was once one of the most successful authors in the world, with sales of his books numbering in the millions. For a time, he acted as secretary to the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and later wrote a book of recollections of his time spent with the famous painter and poet. Caine's friend Bram Stoker, dedicated his horror story 'Dracula' to him under Caine's nickname of 'Hommy-Beg'. He died at his home, Greeba Castle, on the Isle of Man.

The Clarendon pub, Bridgewater Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Royal hotel runcorn plaque
The Royal Hotel. Late 18th Century Grade II listed building. Until at least 1817, it was known as The White Hart Inn. According to tradition, Prince William of Orange once stayed here, after which it became known as The Royal Hotel.

The Royal pub, High Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Thomas jones vc plaque
Private Thomas Alfred ('Todger') Jones VC DCM (1880-1956) Thomas won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Morval in 1916, for single-handedly capturing 102 German soldiers. He was presented with the medal by King George V. He lived in Princess Street (house now demolished). A statue of Thomas was unveiled in Memorial Garden, Greenway Road in 2014.

Princess Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Old quay yard plaque
Old Quay Yard. This area was originally important because of the 'Sprinch', a brook that was the town's water supply. It flowed into the River Mersey near this spot. The original ferry service, which began in 1178, operated from this area to Woodend in Widnes. Ship building here since at least 1802, with facilities owned by, amongst others, Johnson Bros., Speakman & Sons, Stubbs, and perhaps most famously, Dennis Brundrit who once lived in South Bank House on Lord Street. Shipbuilding ended here in the 1890s with the building of the Manchester Ship Canal, but ship repair and boat building continued until 2003. Today the site of The Deck residential complex.

The Deck, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Sprinch dockyard plaque
Victoria ('Sprinch') Dockyard. Built c.1890, reputed to be one of the country's finest and most respected boatyards. At one time, responsible for the maintenance of over 200 canal craft. Fire destroyed storerooms in 1935, which were never rebuilt. The yard closed in 1948, because of the decline in commercial traffic on the Bridgewater Canal. The distinctive house at the entrance, once known as Victoria Cottage, was the yard foreman's house. Today the site of the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club.

Bridgewater Motor Boat Club, Victoria Road, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Thomas hazlehurst plaque
Thomas Hazlehurst (1816-1876) Businessman and philanthropist, Thomas was a major figure in Runcorn's history. He was a member of the family business Hazlehurst & Sons, which was founded in 1816 by his father, also named Thomas. Thomas and other members of the Hazlehurst family once lived in this building called Camden Cottage. Built in the early 18th Century, it is a Grade II listed building. He was a pious Wesleyan Methodist and paid for three schools and twelve chapels in Runcorn and the surrounding areas. The most famous and beautiful of these chapels was St. Paul's in High Street (demolished 1969). He was buried in Runcorn Cemetery on Greenway Road.

Camden Cottage, 55 High Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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John riley holt plaque
Professor John Riley Holt FRS (1918-2009) Holt was born in Runcorn, at a time when his family were living at 2 Old Albert Terrace. His father worked at a boat-building yard in the town, and his mother owned a bakery and confectionery shop, which his father ultimately took over. Whilst at Liverpool University, he studied under the famous physicist Sir James Chadwick, who had recently won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1935, for the discovery of the neutron in 1932. Holt later became Professor of Experimental Physics at the university, from 1966 until his retirement in 1983. Holt made important discoveries in the research fields of nuclear and particle physics. This led to his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1964, the most prestigious award that a scientist can receive in this country.

Old Albert Terrace, Thomas Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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The waterloo hotel plaque
The Waterloo Hotel. This iconic building was built in the 1830s and became The Waterloo Hotel c.1840. The building is situated opposite the Bridgewater Canal in an area of Runcorn known as Top Locks. Beginning at Waterloo Bridge behind you, two flights of canal locks used to operate, the 'old line' and the 'new line', the former terminating at Bottom Locks near Bridgewater House. The Waterloo Hotel, along with The Navigation Inn on Canal Street, were once favourite haunts of Captain Edward John (Ted) Smith. He captained RMS Titanic which sank on her maiden voyage in 1912 after hitting an iceberg. Over 1,500 people lost their lives, including Captain Smith. His mother lived in Runcorn and died in 1893. She was buried in Runcorn Cemetery on Greenway Road. The Waterloo Hotel closed in 2012. Today the building is home to the Wat Phra Singh UK Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre.

Wat Phra Singh Buddhist Temple, High Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Runcorn shopping city plaque
Runcorn Shopping City. The designation of Runcorn as a New Town in 1964 brought many changes for the people and landscape of Old Runcorn. Designed by Fred Roche C.B.E., the Chief Architect and Planning Officer of the New Town, Runcorn Shopping City was built on a greenfield site near Halton Village in 1971, and was intended to be the centrepiece of the New Town. Roche is best known for his later, seminal role in the creation of Milton Keynes. Influenced by the fully enclosed shopping malls that had begun to emerge in North America in the 1950s, the Shopping City was to house other amenities such as a cinema, a post office, a library and a pub. It was also close the the law courts, the police station and the hospital. The shopping complex itself was linked by pedestrian bridges and footpaths to some of the new, modern estates of the New Town such as the radical, but ill-fated Southgate estate. This was designed by Sir James Stirling, together with his partner at the time, Michael Wilford C.B.E. Stirling is considered by many to have been the premier architect of his generation. Other examples of his work include the Leicester University Engineering building (with James Gowan) and the Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. Runcorn Shopping City was officially opened in 1972 by Queen Elizabeth II. At the time of its opening it was the largest fully enclosed shopping centre in Europe. Served by excellent transport links, not just within Runcorn itself (including the town's innovative busway system), but also with surrounding towns and cities, it quickly established itself as Runcorn's premier shopping location. In 1995 it was renamed Halton Lea, and in 2013 it was rebranded to become Runcorn Shopping Centre. At the time of writing (2016), it remains the most important shopping area in Runcorn.

Runcorn Shopping Centre, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Hubert starkey plaque
Hubert Farrell ('Bert') Starkey MA, MEd (1926-2011) A Fellow of The Royal Historical Society, he was one of Runcorn's leading historians. His best known books were 'Old Runcorn', which remains the definitive history of the town, 'Schooner Port', a fascinating account of Runcorn's maritime past, and 'Iron Clipper', the story of the ill-fated Warrington built ship RMS Tayleur. Bert Starkey championed the cause of listing Runcorn's historic buildings and was one of the first volunteers to work at the archaeological dig at Norton Priory in 1971. Together with W. E. ('Bill') Leathwood and C. A. ('Alex') Cowan, he was a founder member and vice-president of The Runcorn and District Historical Society (est.2000).

52 High Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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William edward dudley plaque
Sir William Edward Dudley OBE (1868-1938). Dudley was born at 1 Loch Street (house now demolished) into a family already involved in co-operative trading. He joined the Runcorn Co-operative Society in 1893, and by 1896 he was the society's chairman. He campaigned for better representation for the Cheshire and North Wales district within the north-west section of the Co-operative Union, and he became chairman of the union's central board in 1911. He was elected to the board of the Co-operative Wholesale Society in the same year, and was appointed its president in 1933. He received an O.B.E. in 1920 for his work with the Ministry of Food during and after World War I. Further official service led to a knighthood in 1926. From 1914 he served on the Runcorn Urban District Council, and was chairman from 1921 to 1923. He was also a Justice of the Peace, an overseer of the poor, and was involved with many local charities and societies. He was buried in Runcorn Cemetery on Greenway Road.

Co-operative Store, Granville Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Soap industry plaque
The Soap Industry. Before the 19th Century the production of soap in Runcorn was essentially a cottage industry, but by 1834 it was the biggest industry in the town, and we were the fifth largest producer of soap in the country. The Johnson brothers, John and Thomas, were the biggest operators in the industry, owning factories in Weston and Runcorn. Their business was founded in 1803 by their father, also named John. They built and industrial empire which as well as producing goods such as acids, alkalis, turpentine and rope, had other interests such as a coal mine, a salt works, a fleet of ships and a shipyard. The brothers suffered heavy financial losses in 1865 following a failed speculative venture associated with the American Civil War. As a result, their business was floated as a public company that year and became the Runcorn Soap & Alkali Co. Charles Wigg helped to establish and run this company, as well as opening his own chemical factory in 1865 on what is today Wigg Island Nature Reserve. The Johnson brothers were eventually declared bankrupt in 1871. The Johnsons' biggest rivals were Hazlehurst's, and for many years the two tall chimneys of their respective factories, facing each other across the Bridgewater Canal, would shape the Runcorn skyline. They were established in 1816 by Thomas Hazlehurst Snr., and after his death in 1846 the business was run by his four sons. They are best remembered for their beautifully packaged, award-winning soaps. The former site of their factory, Camden Works, is just to your left. They became part of the United Alkali Co. in 1890, along with forty-seven other British chemical works including the Runcorn Soap & Alkali Co., and the business was ultimately sold to Lever Bros. in 1911.

Hazlehurst Garden, 55 High Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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William shaw plaque
Missioner William Shaw (1842-1926). Shaw was born in Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire. After time spent in the Royal Navy and working for the River Police in Liverpool, he was sent to Runcorn in 1875 by the Mersey Mission to Seamen, to open a mission house here, both for the local boat people and visiting seamen. The mission house opened in 1891 and was on Station Road near Waterloo Bridge. Shaw's missionary work for the people of Runcorn was tireless. He also played a part in the founding of the Victoria Memorial ('Cottage') Hospital, which is on the corner of Holloway and Penn Lane. He erected the Seamen's Memorial in Runcorn Cemetery, for poor seamen who could not afford to be buried in consecrated ground. He was also involved in the formation of the Grappling Corps, a team that recovered the bodies of people who had drowned in the local waterways. His death was met with great sadness in the town, and large numbers of mourners lined his funeral route. He was buried in Runcorn Cemetery in Greenway Road. William and his family once lived in this house.

99 Shaw Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Bourdillon plaque
Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921) Bourdillon was born at Trinity Parsonage on Halton Road. He was the eldest son of Rev. Francis Bourdillon, who from 1851 to 1854 was Perpetual Curate at Holy Trinity Church. The family moved to Woolbeding in West Sussex in 1855, when his father was appointed Rector at All Hallows Church. Although he wrote hundreds of poems, he is best remembered for his celebrated short poem called 'The Night Has A Thousand Eyes'. 'The night has a thousand eyes, And the day but one; Yet the light of the bright world dies when day is done. The mind has a thousand eyes, And the heart but one; Yet the light of a whole life dies When love is done'. For a time he acted as tutor to the sons of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, who had come to England through his marriage to Princess Helena, Queen Victoria's daughter. He died at his home, Buddington House, near Midhurst in West Sussex. He is buried next to his wife in All Hallows Churchyard, the same churchyard where his father was buried. This plaque hangs on the building which was once Runcorn Market Hall. Built partly from local sandstone in 1856, it became the swimming baths in 1907.

Runcorn Swimming Baths, Bridge Street, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Transporter bridge plaque
The Transporter Bridge. The Runcorn & Widnes Transporter Bridge was opened on 29th May 1905 by Sir John Brunner. Prior to this, the only means of crossing the River Mersey at Runcorn Gap had been by rail on Runcorn Railway Bridge (which also had a footpath) and by the ancient ferry service. It was Britain's first transporter bridge and the longest of its type in the world. Designed by John J. Webster and John T. Wood, it was built by the Arrol Bridge & Roof Co., who were based in Glasgow. The steel supporting towers were 180 feet high (55 m), and the span of the bridge was 1,000 feet (305 m). The 'car' was designed to carry four two-horse farm wagons as well as about three hundred passengers, and it took roughly three minutes to cross the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey. By the 1950s the bridge had become totally inadequate to deal with the huge increase in road traffic since its construction. The opening of Runcorn Bridge in 1961 (renamed the Silver Jubilee Bridge in 1977) rendered the Transporter Bridge redundant, and the final crossing was made on 22nd July 1961. One gained access to the Transporter Bridge at the bottom of Waterloo Road to your right.

49a Waterloo Road, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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Runcorn ferry plaque
The Runcorn Ferry. There has probably been a regular ferry service in Runcorn since the Norman Conquest, but a permanent service was introduced formally around 1178 by John FitzRichard, the 6th Baron of Halton. The earliest charter for a ferry dates from this year, and belonged to Richard de Mora (of Moore). This charter is extant and is held in Halton Borough Council's archive. The original ferry service operated from an area at the bottom of Mersey Street known as the Old Gut or Boat House Pool, to Woodend in Widnes. The construction of shipbuilding yards in this area at the beginning of the 19th Century necessitated a change in location for the ferry, and so about 1803 a new site was established downriver in front of Runcorn Parish Church (replaced in 1849 by All Saints' Church). The building of the Runcorn Railway Bridge in 1868 with its pedestrian walkway, led to a decline in passenger traffic for the ferry, and the service finally ceased in 1905 with the construction of the Transporter Bridge. This building was once a public house called The Ferry Boat. It became the Boat House Inn in 1825, and it stands close to the site of the original ferry crossing. The building was used concurrently as a packet house, possibly from as early as the late 18th Century, following the completion of the Bridgewater Canal around that time. The Runcorn Ferry was immortalised by Stanley Holloway, with his tongue-in-cheek song of the same name, which included the famous line 'Per tuppence, per person, per trip'.

The Boat House, Mersey Road, Runcorn, United Kingdom

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