I would like to see the existing dates extended into the 1920 at least. My interest is the effect and aftermath of the First World War on the people of the Potteries.
We are sourcing what we can from the Library’s holdings and have added 1940-1941, 1943-1950 in the last 24 hours.
Thank you all for your continued interest in this title, and Happy Reading!
Simon Morris commented
Bean Family tree
I am at present doing the family tree on my fathers side of the family. My g/grandfather was Frederic Bean his wifes name was Charlotte Sammons they came to Australia about 1976.
Frederic's father was Emanuel Bean. He lived in leek and was a game keeper. I was wondering if there are any relatives still living in England so i can find more about the family .
My Father is still living and has just turned 90. I hope someone may be able to help Please
Alison Webster commented
Of all the village characters I knew, one remains in my memory more than most. His name was Eli Buxton and he lived for many years in 'Bluebell Farm Cottage' (now demolished) on the Downs Banks. He was quite harmless I'm sure, but we children were a bit afraid of him. He wasn't very well educated, but he was a wonderful organist in spite of not being able to read a note of music. He used to get us to pump the organ for him in the old Church. People used to come and listen to Eli playing, and sometimes we would tease him for a bit of fun by not pumping enough. There was a weight on it that went up and down according to the amount of wind in the organ. We especially liked to pump the organ for weddings, because we would usually be given half a crown!
Jessie Stevenson was the organist and choirmaster those days, he lived opposite the present Post Office.
The church was always open during the day. Billy Till, the verger, by trade a joiner and coffin maker, used to unlock it every morning and lock it up at night to prevent the tramps from sleeping in there.
Nora Morrey (later Mrs. George Hounslow) was a well-known person in the village. Apart from the choral and dramatic societies which she founded, she did lots of work during the war for members of the Armed Forces from the village. When the war ended she organised a party at The Trentham Gardens Ballroom for all the Army, Navy and Air Force personnel who had been fortunate enough to return to the village.
The last bus journey back to Hanley at 10 pm every night used to stop at 'The Duke' for a pint each for the driver and conductor which was left behind the bar by grateful villagers. Passengers on the bus would wait patiently without any complaint. That was how life was in those days!
Barlaston hit the headlines in 1952 when a murder was committed at 'Estoril' a villa in Station Road. We were invaded by reporters for weeks. The murderer, Leslie Green was a previous employee of the deceased; he eventually gave himself up at Stone Police Station, was tried and hanged - such was the penalty at that time. We had known him well as he came quite often to 'The Duke' where we had a drink with him and a game of darts.
Barlaston Village Green with the Old School
(now the Library) on the left behind the War Memorial
Memories of Barlaston which I cherish most of all, are of the characters who have lived in the village over the past 80 years or so. They have left their mark in a way that should never be forgotten, however small their contribution. In my previous book, I mentioned a few, mostly the gentry and businessmen who lived here. There is no doubt that they were the mainstay of village life, but farming and the big estates also found employment for many who never had any need of transport to earn their daily bread. Other local occupations such as boat builders, cobblers, tanners, blacksmiths, joiners, wheelwrights, butchers, bakers together with other village shops, all provided employment and a contented life for almost everyone. In fact my early life which could only be enjoyed to the full amidst the English scene of a small village before the age of the motorcar and television.
Larger families were taken for granted and most survived on a pittance of a wage, which you would hardly think possible. There was no financial help, such as income support or other benefits that we know of today. I remember the excitement when the first old age pension of 10 shillings, or 50p new money a week came into force (in the early 1920's I believe) "Lloyd George" they called it after its instigator - people had never been so rich! However if a family did fall on very hard times and were not able to carry on it was the workhouse for them, but I never remember any family from Barlaston having to go in. Everyone seemed to look after one another those days with very little fuss.
It was inevitable that the urban sprawl would eventually reach Barlaston due to its proximity to Stoke-on-Trent, the old village would no longer be tranquil, so we all had to learn to live with it, as other villages throughout the country have done. I don't think any of us thought it would be as extensive as it had been.
Before the war, except for the Old Road, Meaford Road and properties alongside the canal, Barlaston was the village at the top of the hill and confined to little more than a square mile, with amenities that were sufficient for the needs of almost everyone who lived there.
We made our own entertainment. There was something going on most days, especially in the evenings -whist drives and dances in the Village Hall or Parish Room as we called it, a reading room and billiards for the men, an amateur dramatic society and choral society. We even had fancy dress balls. I can remember them well; nearly all the villagers took part.
The Village Hall was built in 1912 by public subscription and I believe that many of the local village men helped in its construction.
Dancing was very popular in the village hall and the Wedgwood canteen. Several local bands were engaged, chief of which were Deakin's band from Rough Close and Reg Bassett's band. Most dances went on until 2 am.
Cricket was the most popular sport in the village pre-war and many local people played and they were encouraged by well known local cricketers like Frank and Eustace Edmunds, Harry Waterfield, Stan Bennett, Bob Cliff, Godwin Gregory, Reg Lowe, Harry Morrey, Charlie Harrop and others. After the war came Geoff and Bert Lowe, Garry Gatensbury, John Sargeant, Ken Johnson, Bill Goodwin, Fred Cholerton, Gordon Castles, followed by many others.
We also had our football team, Barlaston United which played in the Longton and District League.
Miss Leah Greatorex, headmistress at the school, was a leading figure in the social life of the village, well respected and liked by all. Not only was she a very good teacher, she also organised dances and concerts in the Village Hall almost every week. She also provided private education when required. Her pupils included Joy and Star Wedgwood in their younger days.
I am currently researching my family's history and was most impressed when I stumbled on your web-site.It is full of interesting and valuable information and it was staggering to see what I believe to be my grandparents' house in School Lane, Leek Quarry.I would be delighted to hear from anyone who might have any information whatsoever of Thomas and Hannah (nee Corkhill) Speakman or members of their family.
Does anyone have any information on the Burgesses of Newcastle under Lyme. I know they still exist and can find contact details if you want to apply to be one.
There is a family story that on my mothers side of the family they were Burgesses of Newcastle under Lyme and that the role passed through the male line. I cannot find anything online and nothing I have found about this side fo the family reveals anything - in fact of the professions I have unearthed only one would seem to have sufficient standing for such a role Thomas Mason born 1956 Newcastle under Lyme occupation stone mason married Anne (Annie) Barker died 1895. He had 5 children Albert E, Thomas, Florence and Ernest. it is believed the role passed to Thomas.
I have no evidence other than heresay so before i make an idiot of myself and email the Council I wondered if anybody had any ideas?
Please update 1975-85
Derek Phillips commented
Hi, I'm looking for friends who attended Trentham High between 1972 and 1977. My name is Derek and I now live in Cornwall. My year group included Julie Riley, Lynn Nixon, Gillian Grummett, Gillian taylor, Robert Phillips, Leah Slight, Sabine and loads more. Fab teachers included Mr Winray, Chemistry. If you think you were there please contact me so we can chat.
I was born and raised in Smallthorne, a village in Stoke-on-Trent. My mum and dad had settled in Duddell Road when I was born, the youngest of three, my sister the eldest and then my brother. Stoke in general was a place where men were hewn from coal, drawn from steel or cast in clay and the women were some of the hardest working I’ve ever met. The place itself has changed and I would like to take you on a journey through those changes, in the years that I remember and some prior.
We moved to Nellan Crescent in 1965. I think of it has being the first real home as a family as before we moved into the house we had lived in a flat in Bentilee and with my grandparents in Fenton, where I was born.
The family consisted of Dad, Mum, me (Lesley Knox) and my sister Amanda. I was 5 years old and Amanda 2 years 6 months. As the houses were brand new and building was still going on, everyone was new to the estate. We quickly knew most of the families and as mum wasn’t working at the time she made friends with neighbours. The Mountfords – Ron, Sheila and daughter Angela (now Angela Huish). The Johnsons and their daughter Tracy. The Woodheads who had 3 daughters. Tom Woodhead sang in the local clubs, as did another neighbour Roy Maxfield. We would play in “the backs” where mum, Aunty Sheila and Aunty Elsie would sit in the kitchen drinking endless cups of tea, and keeping an eye on us playing. We usually played hop scotch, skipping or had our “wendy house” weather permitting. As we got a bit older we would often be sent up to the local shop on Community Drive. The newsagents was Fourboys with Spar next door. Tom and Jenny Wilson – or Wilkinson ?? were the managers of Spar. Janet Bould had a part-time job there packing the shopping for customers at the till. Janet was the youngest member of the Bould family that lived on Brownley Road. She had 1 brother Robert and several sisters. Opposite our house lived The Turners. Ann Turner was a particular friend of mine. As the new school wasn’t ready at that time I have very vague memories of Smallthorne School. Mum would walk me and Amanda across the field at the back of our house. I remember the school being old, with high ceilings and seem to recall that we all had a box with a lid on it with our name, that we kept under the table ???
When Newford School opened around 1967 I remember the first day as being confusing. Lots of children of similar ages all put into one classroom. I think the teachers were working out age groups and classrooms and trying to muddle through. During the first week I was called out of class to go home with my sister as she had trapped her finger in the toilet door and the end of it was missing. The result of this was that the toilet doors were immediately replaced as they were obviously dangerous…. law suit nowadays of course. One of the teachers at the school, a Mr. Nicholson, was particularly friendly. All the children liked him. When he was on playground duty Amanda would run up to him at the end of play, and give him a kiss – certainly wouldn’t be allowed nowadays, but they were innocent times. We had a music teacher called My Yates. I remember there being great excitement when he told us that he was appearing on Opportunity Knocks, playing his own composition on the piano. He went under the “stage name” of Carl Manning. We all watched him on the TV, but he didn’t do very well.
MIke royden commented
The founder of this firm was my grandfather - Henry Mountford Williamson (Heathcote being the name of the street in Longton where the factory was situated).
My research shows that he started trading in the mid 1960s and that in 1969 he was living in Hanley working as a gilder but I don't know for which firm. I do know that he did his apprenticeship at Brownfields of Cobridge. The back stamp AD 1858 appears on wares after Henry's death but the firm was still being run by his children.
I cannot find any event that occured in 1858 which points to why they used this date and am inclined to think that it was picked at random. Any comments or questions
Bridge St Arts Centre
Think I went out too much.....
A request for the 1979-1985 records
Steve s commented
I am looking for a Laurence or Laury Flynn born Co Waterford 1940. His wife was Mary Flynn born 1820. He emigrated to Newcastle Under Lyme in England between 1956 and 1962 .They had a daughter Bridget/Bridge born in Waterford and a Son John born 1953 (abt) in Newcastle under Lyme
I have located a number of relatives, Whittakers and Cunninghams, working in the Bone Manure and Glue Works, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs.
Whilst the name of the company is not listed in the Census, I believe it to be the company owned by the Massey family based at the Waterloo Works in the St Georges area of the town.
This area is now flattened to make way for new roads and I have been unable to locate any old photos of the site. Might anyone out there be able to help me?
In addition, I believe that the factory was frequently in trouble with the authorities owing to the foul smells emanating from the site and would be interested to know if anyone could support this? I have scoured the limited editions of the Staffordshire Sentinel on Ancestry to no avail.
Huge thanks to anyone who can help
Dave Sainsbury commented
Many great memories of Tiffanies in the 60s and 70s Many fond memories of this downstairs on Sundays in the Bali Hi..... plastic palm trees and all !!
And all dayers upstairs in the main room circa mid 70s, scampi and chips OR chicken n chips...... in a basket!... Awsome
When I was in navy a ship was on was doing West Indies Guardship and playing many cricket matches against local West Indian Island teams. We were playing Turks and Caicos Islands and we had "lost our equipment" somewhere enrout to the game so had to borrow there's. To my amazement most of their stuff came from Bourne Sports in Stoke. Small world
Helen Worth commented
My nan had a grocery shop on Lichfield Street for over 40 years. Opposite Cornwall's Chemist. Its now Meighs TV shop. Next door was The Coachmakers and the Shalamar Indian restaurant. Then a bit further up on the end of the row there used to be a cafe with a proper jukebox
Can anyone remember The Gault Shop (wooden toys) and Swinertons cycles opposite Bethesda church? Think Swinertons in Fenton now.
Hanley Bus station was a Mecca for all us chavy urchins, with Shipley's amusements, the bakehouse selling cheap slices of pizza, and fag vending machines. There used to be newsagent kiosk at the top end as well (or did I dream that
Darren Mason commented
Hope Street used to be great late 70's...there was Chawners down the bottom where I got a Harrington Jacket and patchwork jumper from..to go with the platform boots and white bakers...and Zeros opened up there before moving to Newcastle. .I think they were prosecuted for selling Never Mind The Bollocks etc etc T-shirts.
I was at school then and there was no shopping centre or ring road and The Place was just round the corner in Bryant Street.
You could walk from the top of Hope Street down then up to the top of Waterloo Road and into no-go territory (as it was) Cobridge..The American. .what a dive that was
Ashleigh Cummins commented
Not a shop, but anyone remember the Spifire Display on Bethesda Street, huge arch shaped glass construction, looked like a hanger I suppose..opposite the nick, I think the court is there now.
The display itself is now in the museum