IN 1946 Winsford was an Urban District Council as opposed to the surrounding villages that came under the Rural District Councils.

It had a population of 12,000 people who resided in 3,500 houses. As I have mentioned before, the old Borough of Over was one of Cheshires most important towns.

In the pre-war years, it was decided that many of the old rows of cottages dating from around 100 years ago needed replacing. A start had already been made on tidying the town, by demolishing the Bass Houses situated in New Road/Bradford Road.

These were houses built for mainly Polish workers brought over to work in the salt mines. They were built using the clinker from the furnaces.

Work had started on the estate in Kingsway that was halted at the start of the war and later prefabs were erected there. After the war, work was resumed to build the estate.

In preparation for the end of hostilities, in 1944, the council made a thorough review of the housing stock. They found that only 36 houses were in good condition with the remaining 417 being moderate to bad.

A thousand new houses were to be built and with the Kingsway Estate once again underway it was decided to build a new large estate on land between Swanlow Lane, Gladstone Street, Dingle Lane and High Street - a wide expanse of land in the centre of the town known locally as The Dene. It was to be called the Dene Housing Estate.

Many stipulations were set, and among them, was that they must conform to the housing programme.

Basically, it was going to be a new town within an existing town with all amenities including village greens.

Winsford Guardian:

Churchill Parkway and Dunkirk Avenue in 1949

Some things never left the plan, for instance a hotel and shopping centre similar to the ones found in Weaverham and elsewhere.

In the case of the Dene Estate, shops were to be provided on the Dene Drive/Queensway crossroads to be known as Dene Square.

In the end they became houses that can now be seen including on the Queensway side the small access road.

By July 1946, six houses were completed with 196 being built, 32 of which had rooves.

Winsford Guardian:

Churchill Parkway and Dunkirk Avenue 60 years later in 2009

On July 24 1946, the estate was formally opened using one of the completed houses.

Number three Alamein Drive was opened to the public with an example of plans and photographs within.

The plan of the proposed housing estate shows that some things were changed, like the community centre and shopping centre, but view the map and see for yourself.

Winsford Guardian:

The original plans for the Dene Estate