The George D Twigg Archive

George Twigg (1927-2016) was a chemical engineer who worked for BP Chemicals (formerly Murgatroyd's).


About George Twigg

George was a chemical engineer who worked for BP Chemicals aka Murgatroyd’s Middlewich and took a keen interest in the history of the company and the salt industry in general.  George was one of the volunteers working with Lady Rochester and Brian Curzon to re-open the Salt Museum, Northwich. His personal archive includes photographs, objects, technical papers, drawings, film footage, maps etc.  George Twigg had produced a few printed leaflets and gave historical advice to anyone who wanted it and he was instrumental in ensuring that Murgatroyd’s Brine Pump was preserved and scheduled for future generations. This archives page is dedicated to George’s work and his passion that his research should be accessible to all.

These images are a selection from George’s collection. We are continually adding images. If you are searching for something in particular please get in contact. All these images are in low resolution. If you need a copy at a higher resolution please email:

The images were transferred to Middlewich Heritage Trust by George Twigg with permission for their use in the public domain.

George Twigg collected images, drawings and maps but also took photographs of salt sites and works during production. The following images have been scanned from George’s photographic slides.

The next set of images relates to various areas of Murgatroyd’s works, including the transport used for goods delivery.

The following images  centre on Murgatroyd’s work but do include some ICI, Runcorn and Weston point docks pictures. They are, in the main, general images of works and transport.

As the Brine Pumps ceased operation in 1977, the drawings were no longer required. However, B P Chemicals made the decision to save the building and so the drawings were given to George. The drawings also had another use. The saltworks were recorded in detail by film, photograph and drawings. These were used to record the works before demolition and to make a detailed scale model of the works and of the pumps. The latter was given to Alan Jewsbury, a retired general manager, the former was presented to the then ‘Salt Museum’ in Northwich. It is this model the Trust now has in store, with a view to putting it on display in Middlewich.

Photographs in this album vary. Many are Middlewich focused, but there are some images of Runcorn, Winsford and Stoke Prior, including some images used for research taken from the Salt Union Album of 1924.

Images of British Salt and the Electro Bleach and By Products works

The following images are focused on Murgatroyd’s and, in particular, on the different cell processes used in Middlewich and in Runcorn. The images include illustrations and diagrams to help to explain the process.

Views of Middlewich works, Lymm and Ireland salt sites

Views of the Palmer Mann salt works at Ettiley Heath, Sandbach, which closed in 1971, and one view of the RHM works.

More views of the Palmer Mann salt works.

A photograph of a patent prototype and one of a Watts engine, similar to the one used at the Lawton salt works.

A photograph of Albert Calvert (author of ‘Salt in Cheshire’, 1915), the Bradwall tithe map, and photographs of the Wheelock, Malkins Bank and Rookery Ridge sites.

There now follows a selection of images which look mainly at George’s salt Journey – following the salt routes to the docks and looking at abandoned sites and associated places of interest in Cheshire.

Waterways Journey on the River Weaver from Hartford to Weston Point in 1987 and 1991 – including Hilbre Island.

Waterways Journey from Acton to Runcorn, including images of  Acton, Northwich, Middlewich, Widnes and Runcorn.

Images of the former Roughwood (Sandbach / Wheelock area) salt works site and brine pit.

Roughwood (Sandbach / Wheelock area) – Engine field

Alderley Edge copper minesGeorge’s interest was in locations of Cheshire minerals and resources. The mine has evidence of being worked in the Bronze age and in Roman times. This was another reason for the Roman Army to set up trade routes here in Cheshire in addition to the salt production.

A visit to Meadowbank Salt mine, Winsford; originally operating from 1844 to 1892. Reopened in 1928 after the Northwich Mines were flooded. It is now owned and run by Compass Minerals and is the largest and oldest  mine still operating in the UK.

Geological sections and salt mapping across the Cheshire Basin, methods of extraction,and images of Marston Salt Mine

The following images are of  maps that George used to locate salt sites and their relationship with each other. A couple are from books but the titles are not known.

A selection of images of older salt techniques, Higher Dirtwich and Durham Massey maps