Of Heroes And Industry

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Soap factory chimneys
Hazlehurst and Sons and Johnson Brothers Chimney stacks. -Rival Soap Manufacturers & Huge Industrialists

The massive chimneys shaped Runcorn’s skyline and are included here as an essential, but sooty part of its past. The hydrochloric acid vapour polluted the once clean air and together with the soot eliminated the salt water bathing and day-trippers.

The soap manufacture led to salt, coal and chemicals and was in some way responsible for paving, lighting, sewage systems, drains and a market in the town, as well as employment and massive growth.

Thomas Johnson had what is now Runcorn Town Hall built as his mansion house, later bought by Hazlehurst
after the Johnson brothers lost their money in the American Civil War.

Thomas Hazlehurst Junior built 3 schools and 12 chapels in the area including St Pauls Chapel, pictured next to the chimney.