September 5th – In contrast to the Mango Tree half a mile away, nothing remains of the former Shire Oak transport cafe, informally known locally as ‘Greasy Lil’s’. Derelict and decaying for 25 years, the shell was finally demolished a couple of years ago. The patch of land it sat on stands now as a sandstone outcrop into a disused quarry, reborn as a nature reserve. Controversy has surrounded the planning history of this site for years, situated on a bad, inclined bend on the Chester Road once known as ‘Death Mile’, it’s a bad spot to pull out onto a fast road. Permission was granted some time ago for a development of flats, but nothing materialised. It seems someone has a new plan, as although there are no new planning applications, from the evidence of fresh, clean red sand, someone has clearly been drilling to test the bedrock. Whatever happens,the new residents need a head for heights. There’s a 30 foot drop the other side of that fence…

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