Memories of Knutsford
Knutsford contains quite extraordinary buildings designed in an Italianate style which surprisingly enough blend in with the mixed architecture of this historic Cheshire town. The entrepreneur Richard Watt had been responsible for bringing this delicious style to Knutsford, the prominent town centre elements being; the Gaskell Memorial Tower, La Belle Epoque and the Ruskin Rooms. Some past residents of the town were also fascinating; Henry Royce of Rolls Royce fame, Trumpet Major William Smith whose call led the Charge of the Light Brigade, and not least Elizabeth Gaskell, the author, who based 'Cranford' on the town. These characters along with Richard Watts' buildings all ended up in the composition. Selling this picture around the town had the same problems as other winter publications, as I had to walk the streets and knock on doors during the long dark evenings. It was good to finish for the night and retire for a coffee to a local restaurant where the owners were not only hospitable but helpfully gave me leads to follow.