On Wednesday 25 September 2019, at 6:30 p.m. on BBC Two, there’s a second chance to see the visit to Nantwich of the Great British Railways TV series:
In the programme, Michael Portillo speaks to Nantwich Museum Volunteer Bill Pearson about the Brine Baths Hotel and Nantwich salt. He also visits the Everybody Nantwich Swimming Pool. Michael swims in the brine in the outdoor pool as well as interviewing bathers and staff at the pool.
The show, which was first screened in January 2018, compares Nantwich with other spa towns like Droitwich. The promoters of the brine baths at Nantwich were fiercely competitive and made extraordinary claims about the how Nantwich brine could ease or cure numerous diseases. An example is shown below:
TO THE BRINE BATHS COMPANY, NANTWICH.
— I think it my duty to inform you, as one who has been a recipient from the benefit of your saline baths, that previous to coming to Nantwich I had tried a course of baths at the mineral waters at Bath, which did me no good. I was then advised to try the salt baths at Nantwich. I have been a sufferer from acute rheumatism for nine or ten months, and when I came to Nantwich it took me about an hour to walk from the station to the town, with the assistance of a crutch and stick, a distance of only 300 or 400 yards, and now, after a fortnight has elapsed, I can walk without my crutch and stick, and I am thankful to say how much I am restored. You may make use of this letter as you may think fit.
Wigginton, Salop, August 26th, 1883.
Taken from The Nantwich brine and medicinal baths – particulars of their curative properties and of brine treatment.
You can learn more about the Old Biot spring, the various brine baths that the town has had, and some of the claims made about the healing powers of Nantwich Brine here.
The shop in the Museum has booklets on The Brine Baths Hotel, Nantwich Railways, The Story of Nantwich Brine and also A. N. Hornby – Cricketer (who was the famous cricket player, who learnt how to play cricket in the grounds of what later became the Brine Baths Hotel).