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In a county as old as Cheshire, there are many traditions and legends.  Some are pertinent to Winsford.

bulletThere is a legend linked to St Chads Church; the people of Over were good and would not worship the Devil.  He became angry with them and stole their church, his intention was to take it far away, but the monks remembered the Devil hated to hear church bells ringing and so rang the Abbey bells.  The people of Over were praying and their church landed safely, where it is now, a mile from town, hidden away, down a lane off Swanlow Lane.

 

bulletA tradition of the Over Fair seems to have profited the locals rather than the visitors; tolls were set up, unofficially of course, at the town's entrance for those arriving to sell at the fair.  This toll was either paid or the unfortunate seller was placed in a 'chair' and deposited in the pillory.  Here a last chance to pay was offered.  If declined, the pillory held them to face public ridicule, and were probably pelted with rotting fruit and vegetables.

 

bulletAt this same fair it was traditional for the mayor and his party of friends to "walk through", following a band and the town's bailiff who was carrying the silver mace.  They were supported by spearmen.  After a slow procession they headed off to a large dinner at the best inn in town.

 

bulletAnother day celebrated in a way peculiar to Winsford, was Good Friday; on this day every child was presented with a new ball.  No one seems to know why or how this started, and I have never heard of it happening anywhere else.

 

bulletYet another old Cheshire custom was known as "souling"; this meant walking from house to house singing a 'special' begging song.  By all accounts the soulers of Over went one step further to become even more spooky and blacked their faces with boot polish.  This happened on All Souls Day, but ceased during the 1950's.  Of course nowadays Trick or Treat has overtaken this fun, but on Halloween.

 

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