THIS week we are looking back at life growing up in Bank Quay.

Earlier this week we reported on how futuristic plans for a new hub could transform the area.

Of course, the Bank Quay of then was far different to today, being alive with factories.

Reader Peter Cotterill was in touch with his memories.

"From my bedroom window I could see 13 factory chimneys, 15 if I leaned out my head out.

Warrington, not just Bank Quay was a factory town (more suited to be in Lancashire than Cheshire) hence the smogs that came in damp winters and the grime that was everywhere.

As a child my mother insisted that I wash my hands and face – and neck after coming in from playing outside. There was always, as she expressed it, a tide mark between my clothed body and the exposed neck.

Factory Lane as it used to be led from the grand entrance to Crosfield’s offices, went through their works and emerged at Bank Quay Low Level station. Hundreds of Bank Quay residents used it as a short cut on their way to watch the Wire play at Wilderspool.

In the early 1950s there were still houses on Factory Lane but they were by then over shadowed by factory buildings – a group of three or four terraced houses, a detached one in the lee of the Liverpool Road bridge. All the houses disappeared in the 1950s. By that time they were dark, smelled of soap and were hardly fit to live in.

The factories that used the river went in a large arc from Monks Hall, to Fairclough’s flour mill, to Crosfield’s, to the British Aluminium factory ( “the Ala”) where my father worked.

By the time my parents were taking me for walks along the river front towards Sankey Bridges, Monks Hall was in decline.

There was still heat from the furnaces and smells and noise from the sections that were still working. There were lots of discarded iron machinery visible through the barred windows of a roofless containing wall. The railway sidings were still there as were, occasionally, a rail wagon or two parked on the sidings for some future jobs that probably never came.

A strange building existed at Monks Hall in a lonely position on the river bank about 100 yards beyond the main buildings. My father told me it was a laboratory to test the quality of the iron being produced in the works (though I didn’t believe that).

Curiously when I was lifted up to look through the downstairs windows there, on a bench, was a pair of scales of the type you found in school chemistry labs and nothing else at all . The building was demolished many years ago.

The 1950s was the last time that factories were so much part of the scenery and employed so many people that entry into the works was possible without too much scrutiny. From then on more government safety legislation and dangerous machinery meant that factories had to be more rigorous.

My father had a relative who worked at Whitecross on Priestley Street where they made nails.

One day he went onto the shop floor and took me with him. I must have been about seven or eight.

Whether he had permission from the foreman I don’t know but there I found myself surrounded by all the nailing machines thumping and banging and dropping nails into bins near each machine while my father shouted a conversation with his acquaintance, still minding his machine.

The Whitecross works was on both sides of Priestley Street.

My cousin lived a few doors down. One day they were burgled. The suspicion fell on employees of Whitecross. No culprit was found but the free and easy entry into the factory meant there were lots of men able to come and go without much supervision. Many factory jobs involved working in heat and noise that’s why many pubs were close to factory gates.

The Coach and Horses on Liverpool Road served the needs of men working at Monks Hall. Years later I was in the Coach and Horses listening to some locals reminiscing about men from the furnaces leaving the premises during a break to walk the short distance over the level crossing to the pub, drink two pints straight off and go back to their furnaces.