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What do the locals love the most about living in Frodsham?

Frodsham from on high. (c) Tim Adams / Getty
Frodsham from on high. (c) Tim Adams / Getty

Frodsham was an Anglo-Saxon development that is mentioned in the Domesday book and an important borough and port belonging to the Earls of Chester, with Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, bestowing its Borough Charter in 1209. What was a village became a town in July 1992 and elected its first mayor.

It is also the starting point of the Sandstone Trail, one of the most popular long-distance walks in the northwest of England.

But if you ask the locals there are even more things to discover about this fascinating West Cheshire town...

The people who love Frodsham

Great British Life: Commodore Paul Brassington at Weaver Sailing Club. (c) Paul MorgansCommodore Paul Brassington at Weaver Sailing Club. (c) Paul Morgans

Paul Brassington, Commodore, Weaver Sailing and Ski Club

'One of our founding fathers Mike Pilkington, who is 87 now, told me how the club started. There was a group of people who used to go sailing together and they decided to make it a bit more formal so met every week and set up the basis for a club. They also needed some money behind them and as part of their fundraising efforts, Mike invited people to buy an egg to throw at him while he was on his dinghy. They went on to buy a big boat, which they towed onto the land and used as a clubhouse. And we actually have the nameplate from the boat to this day although the boat is no more. Essentially, the club was set up in the late 1950s because people had nothing to do.

It's quite a little idyll here, but very much a community club and we’ve always been part of Frodsham. At the side of the clubhouse is a public footpath. We are not fenced off and everything is open. We are a not-for-profit organisation and so we have all kinds of groups here: 3rd Frodsham Sea Scouts, local schools and underprivileged kids from Liverpool. The Olympic disabled sailing team train here and so do the GB Dragon team. At the moment, our North West firefighters do all their on-water training here too, which I had to think about a bit until I realised that of course they turn up when there are floods. Also, locally we have an affinity with the NW police search and rescue underwater diving team but unfortunately, if you see them, they are looking for bodies, so we don’t want them to turn up.

We are classed as a sailing club but we also have a ski section. We have also got canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, which are our growth areas as they allow people to get on the water and do something on their own.

There’s a wealth of nature here including herons nesting and birds of prey and because we are close to the railway line we get people turning up with their tripods to photograph those Harry Potter-type steam trains which sometimes make an appearance. But we really don’t mind that because it’s a community club.

 

Great British Life: Sylvia and Bruno Williams who first met at Frodsham's Castle View nightclub in the 1960s (c) Paul MorgansSylvia and Bruno Williams who first met at Frodsham's Castle View nightclub in the 1960s (c) Paul Morgans

Sylvia Williams, Resident

We’ve been very happy here. When I was young we would go to the Mersey View, a nightclub where the Beatles played. I’d first seen them at the Scala, in Runcorn, which is where I am from originally. They had these mop haircuts and wore leather jackets, and I wasn’t very impressed, but then of course they got their first record out and everybody went berserk over them. So, when I saw them at the Mersey View, I thought they were great. It’s also where I met my husband Bruno, when Gerry and the Pacemakers were playing. The venue is still there but it’s a big hotel called Forest Hills now. It’s a lovely spot with a magnificent view.

These days, Frodsham market, which is held on a Thursday, is a really good place to visit. People come on coaches, it is so good.

 

Great British Life: Jayne Davies of Dory's Cafe and Tail Mates pet supplies. (c) Paul MorgansJayne Davies of Dory's Cafe and Tail Mates pet supplies. (c) Paul Morgans

Jayne Davies, Owner Dory’s Café and Tail Mates pet supplies

We opened during the Frodsham Christmas Festival in 2022, which attracts thousands of people, but there are events all year round. One highlight is Castle Park Live, which is an all-day and evening concert featuring tribute acts, held in July. It’s always a sell-out.

When we bought this place, which has been here for 150 years, it was absolutely a wreck. It used to be an old bakery and is steeped in history.

Frodsham is a great place for food. We are lucky to have the award-winning restaurant Next Door, which is in the Michelin Guide. In fact, we have lots of good restaurants and bars including Ristorante Lorenzo's and Amore, and then there is the food hall and wine merchants Whitmore & White. The food in the pubs is really good as well. Kash 22 has live music and the food in there is fantastic. The Woodland Trust has just bought the site of the former Frodsham Golf Course and it will join up with Snidley Moor. It’s a area that will be going to go back to nature and it’s fantastic. Frodsham is getting better all the time.

 

Great British Life: Jodie Salt. (c) Paul MorgansJodie Salt. (c) Paul Morgans

Jodie Salt, Assertiveness coach for women and chief festival officer at Womanifest

Frodsham is a gorgeous place to live because even though it’s a town it has the feel of a village. It has a lovely community atmosphere and there are plenty of things to do and places to go. It’s the perfect blend of village life but without the remoteness.

My business is about personal development and wellbeing for woman and Womanifest epitomises the work I do as an assertiveness coach. It is an empowerment and wellbeing festival for women and teen girls in Cheshire. This year it will be held on July 6 and 7 at Cherry Orchard Farm, Oakmere

It’s a lovely site, there’s a big lake so we can promote wild swimming and paddleboarding and give people new experiences. We make it an inclusive event so if someone is non-binary or a trans woman they are more than welcome.

The business is a Community Interest Company, so we try to get local schools and girls' groups such as the Guides involved. Any businesses who want to get involved should get in touch.

We also organise retreats all over the world for women, to places such as Dubai, Finland, Bali and Marbella. This year we’ll be going to Mexico and on an escape to the chateau style trip in France. It’s a good way to see the world in good company.

 

Great British Life: Vinyl-lover Rupert Blacklock at Convoy Records. (c) Paul MorgansVinyl-lover Rupert Blacklock at Convoy Records. (c) Paul Morgans

Rupert Blacklock, Owner, Convoy Records (new and used records shop), Lady Heyes Craft & Antique Centre

I’ve been here 21 years. I grew up in Suffolk, moved to London, then lived in Leeds, where I was doing a job that made me unhappy. My wife and I used to come to Lady Heyes to buy bits and pieces to sell in the early days of eBay and one day this room was empty, and I turned to my wife and said, 'I’m going to put a record shop in here.' And I did it. I quit the job and that was the best thing I ever did.

Now I’ve got people coming here from Japan, the USA and all over the UK. I guess vinyl buyers tend to have a list in their heads of what they want to find. Realistically, they never do, but they always find something else.

Lady Heyes is a destination. People don’t walk past on the way to pick up a pint of milk but we are lucky in that we’ve got a caravan park so that’s the audience on tap. We are also surrounded by some great businesses; there are lots of reasons for people to visit. Loads of teenagers are coming to buy records too now. It’s amazing how the business has changed over the past 20 years – back then it was blokes who only bought rock, or only bought punk rock, and now the kids come in and they buy everything. They don’t have the narrow minds we had as teenagers. At that age, for me, it was punk rock or nothing.

 

THINGS TO DO IN FRODSHAM

Great British Life: Castle Park Arts Centre. (c) Paul MorgansCastle Park Arts Centre. (c) Paul Morgans

Visit…

Castle Park Arts Centre, Castle Park

Come to this converted Victorian stables for its inspiring visual arts and displays of unique handmade craftworks. As well as exhibitions there are events, music evenings workshops and beautiful parkland location.

Great British Life: Next Door, Frodsham's award-winning restaurant. (c) Paul MorgansNext Door, Frodsham's award-winning restaurant. (c) Paul Morgans

Eat at…

Next Door, 68 Main Street

Owners Richard and Vicky Nuttall have unquestionably placed Frodsham on the culinary map with fine dining destination Next Door.

Once a 17th-century butcher shop, restaurant Next Door serves up 'modern well-crafted and tasty' dishes according to the Michelin Guide.

'The food there is amazing' .– Jayne Davies

Drink at…

Kash 22, 22 Church Street

One of Frodsham’s popular night spots, renowned for its live music nights, cool vibe, great food and drinks of course!

One of the best places for a night out' – Paul Brassington

Great British Life: A taste of Sue Coward's perfect pies. (c) Paul MorgansA taste of Sue Coward's perfect pies. (c) Paul Morgans

The one thing you must do is…

Buy a meat pie from H E Coward of Frodsham & Sue Coward's Pies, 68 Main Street

'The butcher’s wife, Sue, makes pies, and you need to get one because they’re the best' – Jodie Salt



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