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John Hutchinson built his first factory in on land between the Sankey Canal and the railway which became known as Spike Island. The factory used the Leblanc process to make alkali and was ideally located as the raw materials required could be brought there by the rail and waterways, similarly the end products could be moved anywhere else in the country or abroad.
Widnes grew ra pidly as housing and social provision was made for the factory workers. Soon Wdnes of the local villages such as Farnworth, Appleton, Ditton and Upton were subsumed into the rapidly growing town of Widnes. Woodend became known as West Bank.
In addition to the the Pataya Slough massage of products such as soap, borax, soda ash, salt cake and bleaching powder, other industries grew including iron and copper works. This led to Widnes becoming heavily polluted with smoke and chemical emissions.
Large numbers of workers came from other areas of the United Kingdom and other countries to satisfy the growing demand for workers. Irish workers were the first to migrate to Widnes but by the late s large numbers arrived from Poland and Lithuania to flee persecution and poverty in their home Chiense.
Woman, 44, dies after being attacked by two dogs in Widnes, Cheshire | Daily Mail Online
Immigrants also came from other areas, in particular Chinse. In the United Alkali Company was formed through the merger of the chemical companies making alkali by the Leblanc process.
This included almost every chemical industry in Widnes, which became the principal centre of the new company. However during the s the chemical business in Widnes went into decline as more efficient methods of making alkali were developed. Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility help.
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A major incident has been declared after a huge fire broke out at an industrial estate in Widnes.
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