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Arms of Northwich Town Council

Northwich is a town in Cheshire, England with a population of around 50,000. The area around it has been exploited for its salt pans since the Roman period, when the settlement was known as Condate. Brine is now pumped from under the town to the Wirral.

The town's historical links with the salt industry is celebrated in its Salt Museum which is today located in the town's old workhouse. It was in 1874 that John Brunner and Ludwig Mond and started manufacturing soda ash using the solvay ammonia-soda process in Winnington. This process used salt as a main raw material, Brunner Mond later amalgated with three other chemical companies in 1926 to form Imperial Chemical Industries, better known as ICI, which was for many years one of Europe's leading chemical companies in both chemical production and research.

By removing underground salt, the salt industry caused huge areas of subsidence, and this allegedly accounts for many old timber-framed houses in the town centre, which were better able to withstand the movement of the ground. Some houses were built on a base of steel girders which could be jacked up to level the house with each change in the underlying ground.

Two rivers meet in the town centre, the Weaver and the Dane. A floating hotel is moored near the confluence. Two swing bridges, Hayhurst Bridge and Town Bridge, cross the Weaver at Northwich and are believed to be the first electrically powered swing bridges in Britain, built on floating pontoons.

Northwich is the home of two non-league football teams, Northwich Victoria and Witton Albion, and Rugby Union side Winnington Park. It also has a rich musical history, with a number of locals being part of bands such as Placebo and the Fast Food Rockers. Most notable however are the Charlatans, who've had consistent chart success for 14 years and formed in Northwich. The Weaver View cafe in the town centre was used on the front of their 1999 singles compilation "Melting Pot" and Pickmere lake features on the cover of their newest album "Up At The Lake".

Arguably, the highlight of Northwich is a man, who sits outside Marks & Spencer with his penny whistle, he brings his dog some times too.

The Local Government Act 1972 replaced The Urban District Council of Northwich with a new district (now borough) council, Vale Royal. Vale Royal covers areas previously covered by Northwich UDC (Urban District Council), Northwich RDC (Rural District Council), Winsford UDC and parts of Runcorn RDC. Northwich Town Council now has the powers of a parish council.

The 'Vision for Northwich' plans to develop the town, however, this plan has been delayed due to the increasing risk of subsidence. To combat this, the old salt mines are being filled with pulverised fuel ash with daily deliveries by rail to Brunner Mond. The vision, if completed, will see the old concrete County Council buildings and Magistrates Court demolished and replaced with more modern buildings.

New housing developments continue to appear around Northwich, often with the demolition of recreational facilities, which Northwich has very few of. A few years ago, the Drill Field, the world's oldest football ground was demolished to make way for more houses.

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