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A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester

A collection of reader's letters

Page Three: the latest letters are on page six

18/1/00 'Always a Warm Welcome in Chester'
City council leaders have slammed a call by a disgruntled Internet enthusiast for tourists to avoid Chester as irresponsible and damaging to the local economy. Councillors are furious with local historian, Steve Howe of Hoole, who is using his computer web-site to urge visitors to boycott Chester because he's unhappy with the council's planning policy for the city's Roman amphitheatre.
In a joint statement city council leaders, Councillors John Price, Graham Proctor, Brian Bailey and Doug Haynes hit back at the misinformation being sent to potential visitors.
They say: "Mr Howe is right to point out that our city thrives on tourism and its heritage so it seems bizarre that he should dissuade visitors from coming to enjoy what we have to offer. He is betraying the city, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk and undermining the tremendous work being done to maintain Chester's reputation as the 'jewel of the north'.
"Planning decisions are made through the democratic process. He has every right to disagree, but besmirching the city on the World Wide Web is not the way to win an argument and does everyone a great disservice.
"We would urge people visit Chester and make their own minds up about the heritage, culture, top quality shopping and beautiful countryside that has helped establish our renowned international reputation."
Half of the amphitheatre was uncovered and developed by the council as a tourist attraction more than thirty years ago. The remaining section has an 18th century listed building, (known as Dee House) and a car park on top of it. Developers David McLean, own the car park.
English Heritage, which guides policy on archaeological digs, is keen for such sites to remain unearthed and intact.
Under planning permission granted several years ago the developers intend to build new county courts on the car park and will cover only 4% of the hidden site, while retaining the architecturally important Dee House.
The city council will continue to work with all parties on plans to enhance this significant site.
For further information contact Michael McGivern, Public Relations Officer 01244 402362
Note to Editors: There is a new "vision" for the site. I hope to make pictures and information available in the next few days for a follow up.
Michael McGivern for Chester City Council

Well well. What a lot of self-righteous piffle. Never once did this writer urge visitors to boycott Chester. Indeed, he would be delighted for them to come and see for themselves what our planners and politicians have achieved in this most special of English cities.
At the time of writing, there remains no sign of the promised visionary 'follow up'. If and when it does come about, will this 'information', we wonder, include copies of the hundreds of letters of condemnation from disgusted citizens which have appeared, and continue to appear, in the local, national- and international- press?
Or justification for replacing the recently-refurbished court building (in Northgate Street) or to look seriously at alternative sites, such as the large vacant buildings at Chester Castle?
Or how our council hope to deal with the greatly-increased traffic congestion the new building will generate in an already unacceptably congested corner of our city?
Or details of the highly suspicious fire at Dee House in early February 2000?
Or the eerie silence of (most of) the city's archaeologists, museum, cultural and tourism officials- and Member of Parliament?
Or even an attempt to explain the motives of people who build office blocks on Roman antiquities and of the elected representatives who allow them to do so- and then publicly condemn those who dare to criticise?
In fact, anything at all to convince a sickened population that the whole affair doesn't stink to high heaven? Somehow we don't think so. Go here to read the continuing story...

Sepember 2010: Reading back through these letters pages and noticing the above, I thought readers would be interested to know that, over a decade later, we're still waiting for that promised 'follow up', the amphitheatre remains a shabby embarrassment, despite thousands of pounds being squandered by the laughably-entitled Chester Renaissance on ersatz 'ancient ruins' and a failed trompe l'oeil mural. Dee House continues to rot away in full public view, those fine buildings at the Castle remain unoccupied (after a brief, unsuccessful flirtation with a hotel chain) the court house continues in business with the unexcavated half of the greatest amphitheatre in Britain marked out in cobbles in its car park... Bravo!

20/1/00 Hi Steve, I've just read the piece about you on the front page of the Standard free sheet. Good on you, squire!
It's almost incredible the way the council is treating the redevelopment at the amphitheatre and it's really good to see that you've been able to raise the issue into the public eye. It needed a good man to do that. And then to see that the council is trying to write you off as 'disgruntled' and an 'internet enthusiast' just goes to show how very far they have got their heads up their own arses.
I'm certain that the council have scored a World Cup Final own goal with their cretinous remarks and that you have done a fantastic job to get people (including me) aroused and involved.
I hope this is the beginning of some serious resistance to the current building plans.
Very best wishes
Ian (of Chester@Large)

20/1/00 I write in relation to the article in the Standard and I fully agree that the amphitheatre should not be built upon. It is about time that the CCC should start thinking about what the people of Chester want and not how much money they can cram into there back pockets. The Amphitheatre is one of the many marvels of Chester even more so than the walls, this site should be excavated. If a boycott of Chester is the way to go, then you have my full support. Hit them where it really hurts!!!!!
Good Luck
Chris Hazeldine

Read many more comments about events at the Chester amphitheatre here...

20/1/00 Congratulations! I really mean that; you seem to have found a means of actually stinging those turkeys where it hurts!
This ongoing spectacle of 'them' removing, layer by layer, what was left of Chester's amenity and indeed 'Heritage', to be replaced by the faceless, the bland, the sanitized, all at a tidy profit to someone.... it really goes beyond anger....and then they complain that their precious shoppers are deserting Chester for Cheshire Oaks... couldn't possibly have anything to do with them now, could it?
My question would be whether they are actually following orders of someone else higher up the food chain, or whether this is a phenomenon of its own environmental causes, like acid rain, global warming or pond bloom, something mindless but nasty, a sign that all is not well in the collective mindset...The one that amuses me is the front page of this week's Standard, with the 'outraged council' piece next to one about 'loads more spy cameras for Chester', how this is apparently a good thing, and the 1/2 mil budget was simply there, no bloody by-your-leave involved whatsoever; but no money available for archaeology, oh no.
Nothing more inimical to a civil society can be imagined, and there is definitely something a bit...grotesque?... to our social priorities.
And the bloody busway that nobody wants except (a certain interested) Cllr Price and whoever's paying him.
And the positively EVIL Kiln plan by Castle Cement at Padeswood, like Bhopal, but slower, and Chester neatly downwind of it...
The one that REALLY gets up my nose is the row of posts now across The Cross. With one stroke one of the last genuine pieces of Heritage has been...compromised? Violated?....with this glacial, inexorable, mindless...
Chester? Street Furniture? Loads of street furniture!!! But to have The Cross disfigured by No Parking placards or plastic bollards is really too much. Again, being 'improvements' the only notice anyone had of this was when they simply appeared...
But anyway, back to the beginning. Congratulations again. I wonder what it actually is that pricks them so. The Internet connection? Be nice if it was, and this might be a genuinely effective lever, a sort of Reclaim The Streets in the public perception. (You can see the connection; Internet=Americans=Tourists...)You certainly seem to have rippled the pond anyway. Dee House is as we know rather a sensitive spot, the council have several times thought they had got it neatly salted away, and then it comes back to haunt them; but again on a purely functional level, to dump a major, traffic-intensive public building into the most bottlenecked part of town really is a bit of desperation politics. Let alone it would not be a civic building at all, but rather a statement of The State of which we are seeing rather too much (viz. spy cameras, above). And of course it would be some pathetic attempt at heritage architecture (Gable roofs? Chester? Loads of gable roofs!!!) And what about the fact of a large and monumental Courts building just down the road? What?
Forgive the length, I might send some of this to the paper...
Greg M

3/2/00 I was only to Chester once in July of 1986 for two delightful days. From my Teacher House Swap site in Sheffield, I hope to return this summer: mid July to mid August at least once.
If you want to see bad planning compromised by political intrusion, you must visit Southeastern Pennsylvania in general and Montgomery County in particular. While it is harsh to read of your foibles, thanks for making sure that there will be something left for me to remember, and keep up the good work of genuine historic preservation so that I will recognize something that I will see again shortly.
If you wish to see good British preservation, come to Annapolis, Maryland, which is darn near like ol' King George left it 300 years ago, at least in the historic district. Obviously 300 years, which is about as good as can be done in the USA, is hardly 2000, and Roman ruins are a special matter for preservation. I feared for the same at St. Remy du Provence last summer that were inadequately secured, even euphemistically so.
Good luck to ol' Chester, and I shall hope to join her goodness again in July/August 2000!!!
Arden C. Hander Glassboro, NJ

3/2/00 Britannica.com is contacting you because our editors have selected your site as one of the best on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability. We know quality is always difficult to accomplish and maintain. Congratulations on being a selected member of the Britannica Internet Guide.

18/2/00 Having lived in and around Chester for the first twenty five years of my life, I was very pleased to see my home town on the net. Excellent presentation, and very informantive. Are you planning any updates to the site?

Having just finished an exhausting major update to the 'Chester Virtual Stroll' and most of the galleries, I could be a little miffed at your question! Be better if we managed to attract some more advertising though, dammit... New material, nontheless, is added on an (almost) daily basis, so keep visiting!

6/6/00 I'd like to thank you for your wonderful web site. I discovered it last year while preparing to visit Chester. I actually printed up your guide to the walk around the wall and brought it with me!
I am saddened to learn the extent to which the battle between developers and antiquities still rages. I naively believed such struggles were unique to the US and that the British did all they could to preserve the past. Perhaps it is only an illusion fostered by the fact that there is so much ancient stuff in the UK that if only a small percentage survives it looks like a lot to me.
I'd like to comment on the current effort to excavate the amphitheatre and on its potential as a tourist attraction. I live in San Antonio, Texas, an impoverished city depending largely upon the tourist trade. One of our most attractive features is known as the Riverwalk. This area meanders along the San Antonio river with walkways, bridges, shops, and restaurants. There is even an amphitheatre there, with the stage on one side of the river and the audience on the other (obviously, it's not a large river.) Passenger barges ply the river and it's even possible to charter catered barges for special dinners afloat. This magical place is one of our most valuable assets. Yet in the 1920s, the city proposed that this entire section of the river be enclosed in culverts and the result be paved over, giving us a new street! Fortunately, a group of citizens formed the San Antonio Conservation Society, which saved the river area and continues to fight to preserve historical structures.
I hope the effort to save Chester's amphitheatre is similarly successful. I am looking forward to revisiting Chester--and spending more time there-with my wife and son at the end of July. Thank you again for your efforts on behalf of your beautiful city and thank you for your wonderful, informative web site!
John Schulze, San Antonio Texas

12/06/200 Hi Steve, I have just been looking at your new internet site and I am very impressed. I hope that you are well and that business is looking good for this year and next year. Best regards
Mike Mitchell

12/6/00 Congratulations. An excellent description of the City of Chester. Thank you.
John Gumley, California

8/9/00 I have been looking at your wonderful atmospheric photographs of Liverpool.
I have been away for many years- in Glasgow, another wonderful city, but was born and brought up originally in Mount Street in the shadow of the Cathedral. Your pictures brought back many memories, not all of them kind but nevertheless very evocative.
I left Mount Street in the dark old days, ancient times actually- around 1948/9 born in 44. It was number 5, there were rats in the sideboard and I had whooping cough. The woman upstairs got so fed up listening to me coughing she slammed the door on me and I fell and knocked my head on the footscraper- my Dad said it caused my squint. We went for years along Moorfields to the Eye Hospital for eye exercises.
I remember my Dad taking me, on NUMEROUS occasions, to see the strifed bullet holes in the Cathedral wall. I particularly remember some very low curved iron railings around patches of green that you weren't allowed to walk on. The only bit of grass for miles and miles but a no go area. I have a particularly amazing b&w photo of he and I taken around then - I must find it.
Your pictures have certainly got me nostalgic and I'm trying to get things chronological. I have a first edition of 'Her Benny' and remember it being read to me as a bedtime story - it would be called abuse these days. I remember meeting fellas under the statue at Lewis' (very risque in those days). We used to dash down to the cavern at lunchtimes from college and go again at night. I remember 'Streets' in Mount Pleasant - all Dave Brubeck and duffle coats. I left to work at Gleneagles Hotel where I spent many years but did a few winter seasons at the Adelphi when it was still 'posh'.
My Dad was a merchant seaman and I can still hear the foghorn sounding as the ship sat at the bar waiting for the Pilot Boat- my Mum would be all excited- probably at the thought of some extra money- we always knew when Dad was in the money as he would saunter up the road with a box of cakes from Sayers.
This is all pretty ancient stuff- I have prattled on, think I'll write a book!!!! All your work is thoroughly amazing. Thanks for the memories!!!
Lynne Scobbie (originally Lynda Carter)

12/9/00 As an ex member of the nursing staff at Rainhill Hospital, I find your series of portraits fascinating, I even knew some of the people on them. Did you ever take any of the buildings at the hospital? I am only asking as I am setting up a website dedicated to memories and images of the hospital and am not having much luck finding any. I understand you are a professional photographer and would probably not allow use of you photographs, but I can but try. Thank you.
I found your site a year or so ago, I just searched for "Rainhill Hospital" and found it. It's funny but I've had a few emails about my site from people around the world and most of them say "All we ever found were these pictures of old patients", so I think in the "Rainhill Hospital WWW" world, we are pioneers. I hope you can help me because the interest I am getting is great.
Dave Williams

Here is Dave's new website devoted to the history of what was once the largest mental hospital in the world: Between the Towers. Contributions from those with remisciences of Rainhill should contact him direct: williams.d@cableinet.co.uk
What a shame that jobsworths at the local Health Authority have attempted to bully him- and us- into removing all mention of the hospital and its residents from their websites...

21/9/00 My name is Helen im 25 years old i moved to new Zealand with my partner 6 months ago. from time to time we feel really home sick this web page is fantastic to us, it reminds us of home!! which we really miss.....
they always say you don't know what you've got till its gone. Chester is such a beautiful historic city an amazing place. its really exciting to view these pages. when kiwis ask us "so where are you from"? and we can show them.
thankyou from the other side of the world. we miss you chester x x x
anthony & helen

24/9/00 Congratulations on your fascinating website. I make the website for the Liverpool Architecture and Design Trust...
Best of luck with the site
William Fallows

27/9/00 Hello. I am from Chester, living in California and plan to move back to Chester with my Chester born hubby and 2 American born children, I am counting the days!!
If you ever decide to do a spin off genealogy based links page (or something similar) let me know!! best wishes
Michelle S. CA

There are a few useful genealogy sites on my Chester Links page, Michelle. Welcome home!

28/12/00 My name is Valerie Sheckler (Maiden name Kerr).
I came upon your site when looking for news on Chester. I am a former resident of Chester, I left in 1982 to move to the US with hubby.
I was amazed to come across the old photos of Chester expecially Newtown. Since yesterday I have spent several hours exploring the rest of your site. It was truly a trip down memory lane plus a wonderful history lesson.
You cannot imagine my surprise and pleasure when I saw a picture of the Alma Hotel on St. Anne St! I lived there until its closure in the early 70's. I remember Newtown so well, such a shame that the whole area was torn apart for a lousy ring road. Many of my friends were forced to move to other areas. We moved to the Waterloo Inn in Boughton.
I was only a youngster during the ring road construction and was not aware of how residents were informed of the demolition. I do know that the mood was very somber during the last year as families and friends that had grown up together were being spread all around Chester. Many of the residents moved to Francis St. off Egerton St. My dad had a thriving livelihood in the Alma that was taken from him. He was quite bitter and he never really recovered financially from the loss. We ended up in council housing after living in the Waterloo Inn for a couple of years.
I remember Thompsons shop on St. Anne St. The owners were the oldest people I remember. You could ask for the penny tray or the tuppence tray and they would hand you a large tray with a variety of sweets in your price range! The shops on St. Anne St were always busy. They are still there but on my last visit didn't appear too busy. I was also alarmed to see that the playground in front of St.Georges flats had been replaced by a car park! What do the kids do for entertainment? That playground was my paradise, many adventures were found there. My dad told me that when I was a baby he carried me to the top of St. Annes flats as it was being built. The lift hadn't been installed yet so he walked up the stairs so that he could show me the view from the top! I often wonder why they tore down the bottom end of St. Anne St as nothing was ever built on the land. As far as I know it's just a strip of grass. I also noticed on a recent visit to Chester that the subway near Brooke St was a mess. Maybe the CCC should spend time cleaning up the mistakes they've already made instead of creating new ones.
I spent many hours playing at the cattle market on George St., hoping that a sheep or pig would escape as the farmers loaded and unloaded them. It was hilarious to watch grown men chasing a squealing pig down the road with kids in tow! What a thrill to be able to see these places!
I am shocked to hear about the CCC's plans to build on the unearthed portion of the amphitheatre!! They must be absolutely insane to even consider such a thing. If they don't understand why people are up in arms then they don't deserve to work for such a wonderful city. Good for you for informing readers of this travesty.
I miss Chester dearly but I don't know that I could ever move back. After you've been away for a while you start to romanticize all the little details about Chester that previously went unnoticed. My family think that I'm bonkers when I whine about wishing I could be there. They would gladly trade places I'm sure. America is a wonderful place to be. They have a deep respect for history and I get caught in many conversations where people want to share their knowledge of the UK and all of the fascinating places they've visited. I would bet that the average American tourist in Chester knows more about its history than most of its residents! (yourself excluded of course!)
Thank you for this web-site. I have added it to my favorites and will visit and share it with family and friends. Thanks again for the memories!!
If any of your readers remember Newtown in the 60's I would like to say hello. I am the eldest daughter of Stan and Betty Kerr (both passed away in recent years).
Valerie Sheckler, Florida USA

Thanks for the memories yourself! Anyone wishing to contact Valerie may email her at Valsheck@aol.com

6/2/01 Hello Steve, I'm from Chester and presently living in Canada. I visit your site frequently as it is always informative and tells it as it is; whenever I'm back in Chester I seem to know more about what's going on than my friends and relatives do! Keep up the good work; you really are an antidote to the other, formal, Chester websites I care not to name!
I have a home [from home] web site based in Vancouver: http://www.vcn.bc.ca/~rgsmith If you pay it a visit you will see something of a novelty; I've created the scenery for Hawarden Aerodrome for the Microsoft Flight Simulator! .. and I did it all while over here, 4,533 miles from the place! This may be of some interest in your links to Chester and North Wales places; if not, the other two Hawardens I know about in the world may be (including another Hawarden Airport [this in the USA] and the Hawarden in Saskatchewan, Canada with streets named after the local- to you- Gladstone family). The scenery by the way is free to anyone who has the Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 ... and is willing to send me a postcard! It's all explained at the site.
Best wishes,
Roger Smith, Coquitlam, BC. Canada

24/4/01 Hello Steve,
As an expat Cestrian, I enjoyed visiting your site. I will be mentioning it on our "Britain on the Internet" page in the next issue of Britannia
Magazine. I studied (?) at the Chester School of Art in 1963 and 1966 and a visit to England is never complete for me without a few days in Chester. Cheers,
Terry Fletcher, Toronto, Canada
(Editor & Publisher of Britannia Magazine Keeping in Touch with the British Way of Life since 1983)

30/4/01 I was born in Handbridge in 1948, and lived in "Meadows Place". I left England for Canada in 1970.
Growing up in Chester left me with some wonderful memories. Every Saturday, with my pocket money in hand I would go to the Saturday Matinee at the Odeon cinema, (located to the right of the Town Hall). I remember join the 'club' run by the cinema and, on the week of your birthday you received a card and free admission to the following Saturday's morning show! The morning show always started with the reading of the names of children who were having a birthday that week. Then a sing song would follow with such hits as " I never felt more like singing the Blues" and "Behind the Green Door". The cinema even had its own theme song that started "We come along on a Saturday morning, greeting everybody with a smile!" The whole show cost thrupence.
After the show it was over to the old Market that stood to the right of the Town Hall, what a great place for a kid to explore, how can anyone forget the smells from the various stores I always ended up spending at least a tanner there.
Mentioning smells, I remember spending many a Saturday down at the Cattle Market, wandering around looking at all the farm animals. What a pong though !
My Aunt and Uncle used to run the Engine House pub in Hoole and it was here I would end up for my dinner, or barring that I would head on home to 29 Egerton Street, where my mum used to run a boarding house.
Good memories, maybe some of your readers could "expand" on mine. Your Website is a joy, keep up the good work.
Alan and Karen, Canada

27/5/01 Hi there! My husband and I have just come home from our first visit to Chester- we did the walk around the walls on Saturday (and got sunburnt!)
Your site is fabulous- I only wish I had known where to look for it before we arrived home again!
I was trying to find out how long the walk is around the walls- can you help?...we felt very self-righteous anyway, hiking our way around in 80 degree heat!
Frances Campbell (Glasgow)

1/6/01 Steve, I very much enjoyed your Virtual Stroll around Chester. It is so full of information- it must have taken ages to create.
I am especially interested in Chester Castle and the changes to its layout at the end of the 1700s. On the first page of your stroll round the Castle you have a picture giving a sort of bird's eye view. I have asked at the Record Office but no one seems to have seen the picture before. Can you tell me where it comes from?
Best wishes.
Darlah Thomas (Just a couple of miles from you in Chester)

2/7/01 Hi, I think your site is very good & full of interesting information. How do you find the time?
I was interested to read Bob Clough Parker's letter to the Chronicle in which he complains about a mention of homeless people in Chester. Heaven forbid the outside world should realise that Chester has the same problems as everywhere else!
I seem to remember some years ago the council's attempt to stop the sale of the Big Issue on the streets of Chester. How embarrassing was that? And the man with Misty the cat who played the guitar - you're only allowed to busk if you have a string quartet in Chester - so he had to go.
The attitude that Chester is some kind of Medieval/Roman Disney Land makes me sick. I've seen tourist websites saying that coming to Chester is like 'stepping back in time' - agh! So really we should have lepers and rats knocking about to make it more realistic.
I understand Chester's economy is based on tourism & it's main selling points are it's archaeology & history. That'll be why they are building on top of one of the best amphitheatres in the UK then.
I love living in Chester, but I can do without the hypocrisy and the snobbery.
R Johnson

11/7/01 I am from the Wirral but am currently living and working as a designer in London.
Whilst doing a bit of personal research on the Toxteth riots I came across a link to your site. I had to write and say how stunning I think your pictures are. I have spent some time myself with a camera in and around Liverpool and I think you have captured some truly amazing images and atmospheres in your photgraphs!
I noticed on the site I was looking at http://www.channel4.com/untold/programs/riot/links.html that the link was to some images of the riots in toxteth. Are these images still available to view?
Do you have a book or catalogue?
Charlie Meachin, Designer: Tripledash www.tripledash.com

Thanks for that, Charlie. Sorry, no book, no catalogue, just the website (offers from kind hearted and affluent people willing to fund one would be much appreciated, though!) I actually took the riots pics off the site a while back as they depressed me somewhat- bad memories. But, as you're interested, I've now put a few of them back here

31/8/01 Dear Friends: I'm a brazilian student of intermediate grade of English at the Yazigi Internexus Language School, here in Brazil.
I choose English as my second language just because I love UK specially Liverpool were The Beatles were born and I am a Beatlemaniac since I was born.
In the next month, exactly at 21st September, I'll organize a workshop called "Learning with the Beatles" in order to improve the learning and teaching the English by the music. So, I'm need some press materials from Liverpool and The Beatles as touristc folders, post cards, or something you can help me.
Could you please me and send some material like that, I promise I'll talking about you're my "sponsor" at the workshop.
Get you know that I have never been to England, but Its my greatest dream to walk along this wordenful city. Someday I hope I'll be there.
Thank you so much if I get this "Little Help from My Friends".
Wish you health and sucess. I've got a lot of information at your site. Excuse-me about my English. Im still a student, even at 49 !!!
God Bless You and Liverpool too!  
Francisco Barbosa, Santos Rua das Perobas 173 apto.341 CEP 04321-120 - S.Paulo - SP Brazil. barbosaprado@osite.com.br

Good to hear from you , Francisco. I'll see what I can dig out to send you. If any readers with Beatles/Liverpool material would like to help, email or write to Francisco.

6/9/01 Dear Mr. Howe, I have been reading with great interest, the Virtual Tours of Chester. What a marvelous job you have done to make all of this history available on the internet.
I am very interested in Chester because that is where my father was born. My Great-great-grandfather, William Wrench, died at his daughter's home at 2 Lightfoot St, Hoole.
(Just around the corner from where I'm writing this!)
I have been researching the Wrench side of my family and while reading a book that I purchased at the City Hall in Chester in 1998, I found the name Wrench mentioned. The book is "Picturesque Chester" by Peter Boughton. On page 119 of the book there is a picture of Dee Mills. The description states that "The Wrench family purchased the mills from the crown in the late 18th century and operated them until acquired by the Corporation in 1895".
With all the knowledge you must have of Chester I am wondering if you could tell me anything about the Wrench family that operated the Dee Mills?
Yours sincerely,
Don Mason, Nanaimo, BC Canada don.mason@home.com

We've put Don in touch with some who know far more on the subject than we, but if you can help, email him direct.

12/10/01 Hi! I was pleasantly surprised to find a photo of the White House Cafe in Sandy Lane.
My Great Grandparents Alfred and Sarah Jane Brentnall (Ne Lloyd) ran the pub in the early 1900s and I have never seen a photo before. They had 7 daughters and one son (also Alfred) and apparently the girls regularly all trouped down to Hever Castle at the invitation of Lord and Lady Aster to dance at the balls. Why I have no idea. They also had something to do with the Dee Bank Hotel?
Alfred worked as a foreman for the leadworks and was found leaning on a bench outside the Whitehouse Pub. They thought he was asleep but he had died! 
Thanks for displaying the photo!  
Mike Lawton

10/1/02 Hello Steve, I enjoyed a walk round Chester on your site. I've just discovered ancestors who were mariners in Neston and Parkgate through the 17th and 18th centuries, so I was after a little local flavour.
Best wishes
John Phillips

21/1/02 Hello there, Just looked at your site-  very interesting!!
My name is Brian Wallace, I live in Rockingham (Perth, Western Australia). I was born in Chester and lived on Christleton road in Boughton attended Cherry Grove School then Upton By Chester County High School, Moved to Mickle Trafford when I was 7 then moved to Dunham Hill when I was  about 15 or so.  Emigrated to Australia when I was 22 lived here since.
Thanking you,
Brian Wallace

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