I've lived in Warrington for over 12 years. It lies on the River Mersey, halfway between Manchester and Liverpool, and has been inhabited since the Bronze age. The Romans also spent some time here (and called it Veratinum).
In (relatively) more recent times, it was an important place during the civil war (and Oliver Cromwell was here for a while). The first canal in the UK was build here in Warrington in the 18th Century.
In the 20th Century, Warrington became well known for the large airbase, RAF Burtonwood. The Americans were based there for most of 2nd world war (their largest base in Europe), and it was the base for the Berlin Airlift. At one time, the runway was the largest in the area (longer than either Liverpool or Manchester Airport) and the only place that Concord could land on a visit to the area shortly after its maiden voyage.
Subsequently the M62 Motorway was built, bisecting the runway, and thus scuppering any chances Burtonwood had of becoming the site of the main airport in the region.
Since the late 1970's the town has grown with new developments on several edges. Its position, at the junction of the M6 and the M62 (the north-south and east-west motorways in the area), and being within 20 minutes or so drive of Manchester Airport has meant that it has attracted a lot of businesses into the area. If you arrive at Warrington Bank Quay stations, stop and sniff the air; you can usually tell what product the adjacent soap factory is making that day! The staff at the railway station says it is better than fertilizer for their plant displays!
It is also home to the Warrington Wolves one of the premiere Rugby League teams in the North West.
" Rural life "
Originally, only the southern part of Warrington was in the English county of Cheshire, a county with lots of farmland, wealthy homeowners (e.g. the Beckhams!) and country roads. The north of the town was in Lancashire, a county synonymous with the industrial revolution. When county boundaries were realigned in 1974, all of Warrington became part of Cheshire.
" Frustrating bridges! "
The south of warrington is divided by the River Mersey, and the Manchester Ship canal. These are large masses of water, and the crossing points are limited. Over the canal are several 'swing' bridges, that move to one side when a tall ship is sailing along the canal. As the road is effectively closed when the bridge is swinging, not only is North Warrington cut off from South Warrington, traffic grinds to a halt.