The morning was spent doing various bits of maintenance on the boat that took a bit longer than anticipated.
As it was such a nice sunny day we treated ourselves to a drive out in the afternoon and first we went to the “50p shop” near Hoofield which sells all manner of things you didn’t know you needed until you tgot there. We spent the princely sum of £8 on two rolls of double sided tape, some freezer bag clips, a pack of four loo rolls, two scrubbing brushes, and two pairs of gloves. Whilst the name suggests that everything should cost 50p, we found that most things cost either £1 or £2 but it was still amazing value!
After that we visited the village of Tattenhall. Their Parish Council website describes it as:
During the 15th and 16th Centuries Tattenhall was a quiet self-sustained village, growing its own food and weaving its own cloth. Social life was centred on the church, which was the source of official information. The only holidays celebrated were church festivals. The building of the Chester Canal (now the Shropshire Union Canal) during the 1770s affected the lives of people in Tattenhall. The poverty of many prior to this development was alleviated firstly, by providing work in canal construction and then, secondly, by providing an improved form of transport for cheese and other dairy products from South Cheshire to all parts of the country. With the canal development, Tattenhall was no longer an isolated settlement and as a result small industries started to locate in the area. These developments were to result in the doubling of the population by the middle of the 19th century.
During this time, Tattenhall sustained its prosperity, developing its economy and infrastructure, thus achieving a degree of affluence and respectability. Agricultural holdings had become larger and the first commuters journeyed to Chester and beyond via the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) which had reached the parish by the middle of the century.
The railway, like the canal before it, opened up new and more distant markets for the farming community and attracted light industries to the village and other parts of the parish. The railway line between Chester and Crewe was opened in 1840, and when the line to Whitchurch was opened in 1872, Tattenhall became a station of local importance with transport from the village sent to meet each train.
Tattenhall became an attractive place in which to live and work, evidenced today by the number of substantial Victorian buildings both in the village and on the surrounding farmsteads.
By the mid 19th century the improved transport facilities saw the development of a thriving industrial centre adjacent to the canal and railway at Newton. A slaughterhouse was established in 1857 and became known as the Tattenhall Road Boneworks. Bones, hooves and horns were delivered by rail and were processed into glues, gelatine, fats and bone meal fertiliser by a workforce of some eighty employees.
In 1860 extensive works on the opposite side of the road from the boneworks saw the manufacture of bricks and field drainpipes, a practice that continued until 1975 when the site was sold. Such industries relied heavily on the canal and the railway for both the import of raw materials and for the export of finished products throughout North West England and North Wales.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by successful periods of housing development, as new estates (Greenlands, Covert Rise) were built between the 1960s and the 1980s to the north and west of the village centre. More recent, but smaller developments have occurred within the heart of the village mainly onpreviously developed sites since the 1990s, as and when land has become available.
Whilst agriculture remains a feature of the local economy, new office building has occurred in the centre of the village, together with refurbishment of farm buildings throughout the Parish to meet new uses.These developments, promoted by the Bolesworth Estate, have contributed to a dynamic economy in which over 300 businesses operate within a three mile radius of the village.
Recent years have seen the development of tourism related activity in Newton-by-Tattenhall with the growth of the Ice Cream Farm and the opening in 2009 of the 300 berth Tattenhall Marina adjacent to the Shropshire Union Canal.