Heritage - ICI River Trade » River Weaver Navigation Society

Winnington Works in the 1940s

Wallescote Wharf with the 1930s fleet

Steamer Frances Poole at Barnton Stock Yards

The Crescent at Barnton Hill

Hibernia at Barnton Sheds

Polythene - invented at Winnington Works - on the Weaver Naviagation

The Devastating Flood of Northwich in February 1946

The Weaver is only navigable from Winsford Bridge to its confluence with the Ship Canal

ICI River Trade

When Ludwig Mond and John Brunner established their chemical works at Winnington in 1873, a new chapter in both the history of Northwich and the River Navigation was about to be written. 

The company grew steadily over the next 50 years and in 1924 acquired the Magadi Soda Company of Kenya. 

In 1926, Brunner Mond merged with three other British chemical companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), a venture that grew to become one of the world's largest and most successful companies.

In 1991 Brunner Mond was re-created as an independent company by the acquisition of the UK and Kenyan soda ash businesses from ICI.

This Chapter of history continues to this day and the chemical empire is now owned by Tata Chemicals Europe.

ICI’s works at Winnington, on the River Weaver, receives its limestone by rail from Derbyshire but for many years used coasters to export its finished product.

Sadly, commercial traffic - thanks to the articulated lorry - has now left the Weaver Navigation but courtesy of the Late Rick Ferris/ Keith Langston Collection, we can still enjoy its pictorial history.

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Local News


    Our Chairman's 2017 Report including his Report on the Barons Quay Development ....

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  • Volunteer Lock Keepers
    12th Jan 2018

    Canal and River Trust have launched an appeal for volunteer lock keepers on the River Weaver ....

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    24th Mar 2017

    The Society held its AGM which was well attended ....

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  • British Empire Medal
    11th Jun 2016

    The RWNS Treasurer has been recognised in the Queen's Birthdday Honours List ....

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  • Swing Bridge wins National Commendation
    8th Oct 2015

    The Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge has won a national commendation ....

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  • Society recognised with Award
    1st May 2015

    The River Weaver Navigation Society has won an Oscar .....

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What's On

  • Northwich River Festival
    14th Jul 2018 - 15th Jul 2018

    Following the success of the inaugural event in 2017, the Northwich River Festival is returning in 2018 ....

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  • 2018 Salt Towns’ Rally
    17th Aug 2018 - 27th Aug 2018

    A boat rally from Middlewich culminating in the Off Cut Festival in Winsford ....

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  • Winsford History Society
    Hazelmere, Winsford

    RWNS is pleased to partner the Winsford History Society .....

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  • Weaverham History Society
    University Primary Academy Weaverham

    You can learn more about the area with our society partner ....

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  • Discover the History of Mid Cheshire
    Weaver Hall Museum

    Explore the history of the local area at a Museum that is close to the River Weaver ....

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  • The Lion Salt Works
    A short walk from the River Weaver Navigation

    The Lion Salt Works, following a £10m restoration is now open to the public ....

    Read More

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