With a population of 53,000, Widnes is a small industrial town in the Halton district in Cheshire. The town lies on the River Mersey, where the estuary narrows and forms the Runcorn Gap. Widnes is 8 miles from major town Warrington and west of Speke in the city of Liverpool. Widnes is home to two train stations both of which provide commuters with transport links to Liverpool and Manchester. Northern Rail provides more long distance services to places such as Stockport, Norwich and Nottingham.
Throughout history the town was described as homing small settlements on moor and marshland. During the 19th century, Widnes used its remote location to build chemical factories. The town became a major industrial hub for the Northern UK. The town homed people seeking asylum from Ireland, Wales and Poland, giving them jobs in the industry. To this day, Widnes is still a major manufacturer of chemicals.