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13 November 2014

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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > History > Local History > History Questions & Answers

Tixall Gatehouse, Tixall, Staffordshire

Tixall Gatehouse, Staffordshire

History Questions & Answers

You post a lot of questions to us concerning particular queries about local history in Staffordshire. We don't know the answers a lot of the time, but people who read these pages do! So, here we compile all those Questions & Answers (so far!)

To post a new query, or to post answers to any of the questions below, you'll need to use the form, which is another page. Click below to access that page...

If you do reply to any of these questions it would help us greatly if you mention the name of the person whose query you are responding to, or the subject…


Eveline shore
when and why was the First World War tank presented to Newcastle under Lyme? Also … please…any info about a tank in Etruria Park and Hanley Park?
Gwyn Evans
A tank was presented to Newcastle under Lyme and many other towns by the National War Savings Committee. This was to recognise local sales of War Bonds. The award of the tanks to towns, including Newcastle under Lyme, was announced in April 1919 and one presumes the town received it later that year. I am not a local and do not know the whereabouts of the two locations mentioned, but would be interested in further information on any WW1 presentation tanks.

Val Williams
I would like to know about Burton upon Trent during the war especially POWs

Carol Brough
I am looking for details, address name etc of the unmarried mothers hostel in Burton on Trent in 1951. I was born in the Andressey Hospital, but can find nothing about the hostel that I stayed in until I was adopted in 1951. Can you help?

I am looking for the name of Brick makers’ name of Sealy & Sons whose bricks were used around 1772.
Spirral poppy
what brick makers made the bricks for the staffordshire pottery kilns?

Graham Davies
Can anyone tell me who and where were the Brickmakers.PB Co LTD?

Joan Aucock
About 12 yrs. ago my cousin sent me a video cassette about Burslem in the 1940's and 50's. Part of a silent movie about a Pottery girl's romance was part of the video. Is this the same film that is shown in this month's Staffs newsletter? I'm particularly interested in it because my grandfather, John Aucock, was a Burslem fireman. He lived in the cottages in Bycars Rd., and was part of the team that competed at the Crystal Palace. A display box of his medals was presented to the fire station in Hamil Rd. when it first opened. Does anyone know what happened to them?
Joan, the video is now in the hands of the Staffordshire Film Archive, who ma know its history

Donna Hughes
hi i'm trying to locate any old maps of smallthorne, in particular the top (sneyd hill, moorland road) I have looked at a few but could not make out much detail. This is just for personal interest as I live on Sneyd Hill and wonder what the area used to look like.
Peter Wilkinson
My Great Grandfather died of a heart-attack during the Endon Well dressing ceremony on the 29th May 1905( the date shown on his death certificate)Does any one know where, if one exists, I could obtain a copy of a newspaper report of the event

Does anyone have any historic photos of Lask Edge?

Janice Carter
I recently discovered that my great granddad died as a result of suffocation, following a fall of earth, which happened in Etruria Woods, Wolstanton, in June 1921. The family story is that he was looking around a First World War bomb crater. I haven't been able to find any evidence of bombing in Stoke-on-Trent during the First World War. Does anyone know anything about this area and what might have caused the "fall of earth" sufficient to kill someone?
Paul Wakefield
Would like some information on a bomb that dropped in Nile Street, Burslem in 1942 / 1943. My father recollects windows being blown out in Harris's garage as a child.
Joan Aucock
I believe that this same bomb did some minor damage to the stained glass window in the Congregational Church, a few doors away from Harris's hardware shop in Moorland Rd., but I don't know any details. The one piece of coloured glass was replaced by a clear piece which is still there.

I am trying to find information on pre 1950's 'mad houses', asylums, licensed houses and 'single houses' in Staffordshire. In particular, I am trying to find names of institutes that cared for patients who were physically disfigured. Any information or names/ locations of these types of institutions would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance for any help :) Sally

M Blakeman
I listened with interest to Radio Stoke's item this morning about Pugin and the churches at Cheadle and Alton but was disappointed that the magnificent church of St Wilfrid at Cotton, also a Pugin building was not given a mention. Perhaps it's because it is somewhat off the beaten track and is not a very pretty site to see as it stands aside the ruins of the once proud Cotton College or is it because the threat of closure draws nearer daily and perhaps people do not want to give it publicity either good or bad. Whatever the reason I feel very sad that St Wilf's, so plain and simple but steeped in Catholic history will perhaps end its days without the recognition it deserves

Patricia Kekich
I am writing on behalf of my mother Colleen Skellern. Her great great grandfather was mayor of the town in Stoke on Trent. He lived in Skellern House on Skellern Street which was named after him. Does anyone on this board live on or near Skellern St? Can you give me any information about this area if you do?

Andrew Johnson
after information about the old pit winding houses at ball green opposite the old john’s barbers.

Louise Wood
I am trying to find information on an old hospice/ house in a remote area on the Staffs/ Derbyshire border- near The Roaches perhaps. This was quite a large building, surrounded by a distinctive high brick wall, which surrounded the whole house/ hospice. My grandfather visited this house in the 1950's, but can not remember the exact location or official name of the place. If this building sounds familiar to anyone, I would love to hear from you- any information/ suggestions would be helpful. Thanks in advance

William Thom
I am looking for old photos of a pottery called Waterloo Potteries, bottom Nile Street (now a supermarket and car park). It used to be Joseph Machin, and then it became T & E Boote (pottery and tiles). It was demolished in about 1964 I believe.

Iain Dodson
Hi I bought a house in Rising Brook Stafford (Wolverhampton road) The house used to belong to a Mr Hunt, of Hunts nurseries, I found quite a bit of old memorabilia in the building when we bought in but I am looking to find out more about the property.

Hi, I have a question for Fred Hughes. My house was built in 1919(ish) in Wolstanton by Absalom Reade Wood. It still has a lot of the original features, which was one of the reasons I bought it. It has 2 cast iron fireplaces upstairs and a fantastic mottled earthenware fireplace in the living room. When I bought the house I was sure that the fireplace was original, because nothing much else in the house had changed, it even still had the original doors. I am now reasonably sure that the fireplace is Royal Venton, but I believe that they were produced in the 1950's. All I can find out is that Royal Venton was at one point owned by the Wood family and that Absalom Reade Wood had the same surname, I just wondered if Fred could shed any light on this as I would love the know if the fireplace is original to the house or a later edition.

Anthony Nixon
The brick tower which can be seen in Watermills Wood (at Apedale, Newcastle) was built as the base of a ventilation chimney for Watermills Colliery. It stood 186 foot high and was demolished 1912.The base of which was left standing and Richard Heathcote had four inscriptions carved in sandstone blocks and set into the walls they were LIVE AND LET LIVE BE JUST AND FEAR NOT REGARD THE END REH AD1840 (his initials and date).
To find the Tower, you travel down Apedale Road from Chesterton, you pass a fishing pool on your right, then you come to a sharp right turn/bend, continue along for about 200 meters. There are barriers left and right, the road continues onward and upward and there is a path on the left hand side, leading into the wood via a style. Follow the path through the wood and you will come across Watermills Tower.
Brian Powell
See and look for the 'Apedale area profile'. This gives some interesting details on the Apedale chimney.

a Johnson
Could anybody help me in finding any information about the Old Contemptibles of north staffs, as my grandad was one of the last ones.

Could someone be able to help me? Recorded on a census form for "where born" is MOSLEY HALL, Staffs. I'm having trouble locating it, would this be correct?
it's probably Moseley Old Hall, near to Wolverhampton.
Colin Bennett, Georgetown on Canada
Mosley hall is located a few miles north of Wolverhampton just off the A35

Dr Nicholas M Keegan
Does anyone have any information about the American consulate which opened in Tunstall in 1863, moved to Burslem, and finally to Stoke on Trent where it closed in 1929? Any information about the consulate and/or its personnel would be appreciated.

Tony Gater
Does any one have any photographs of Hall Street later renamed Malpass Street in Tunstall please

Lois Courtney
Does anyone have any photos of Pinnox Street Tunstall. Also I am trying to find out what the pottery at the Loop Line end of Williamson Street that backed on Pinnox Street was called Thanks
Matt Black
Lois Courtney - try looking at www.exploringthepotteries website. Go to local history/search/keywords and type in tunstall. Might be of help.

peter alcock
what dates in June was the potters’ holiday? I believe it was the last Saturday in June was the start of the first week of the 2 week holiday

Chris Gwinn
In response to Owen Gummer's message, I think 'Hawkbuthe' is probably Hawkbatch at NE corner of Wyre Forest. It is now in Worcestershire, but was within the Staffordshire boundary when Sir J Atkins had it.
Owen gummer
Sir Jonathan Atkins [1603-1702] had an estate at 'Hawkbuthe' Staffordshire which I have been unable to trace. [I believe 'buthe' is of Viking origin meaning hut] Can you help? Regards, Owen.
Peter Hoare
To Owen Gummer in particular: there is some evidence in a letter that Sir Jonathan Atkins wrote from Barbados to his 'masters' in London that the Atkins family memorial giving his dates as 1603-1702 is incorrect (details on request). Would you kindly let me know where your information on his estate at Hawkbuthe came from? Many thanks
Chris Gwinn
To: Peter Hoare and Owen Gummer, in particular, what is your interest In Sir Jonathan Atkins and do you want to exchange info on him? Have you found out any more about Hawkebuthe and do you know who his father is?

The Barlaston murder victim was Alice Wiltshaw. She was murdered by the chauffeur who had been sacked and came back to rob the house. His name was Leslie Green and he was hung in 1952

Mandy Allen
Debbie Lowe, Mansfield. Only seen your reply today regarding the Marchington Air Crash. Please contact me; I would love to have a chat.
Dennis Patton
was there a plane crash in dillhorne in 1953?

Paul Wilson
Can anyone recall the details of an air-crash involving a glider and the tow-plane (both operating from Meir aerodrome) some time in the late 1960s...?
Tiger moth tug plane returning to Meir collided with a glider. The tug plane crashed and the pilot was killed. The glider pilot landed safely because the damage to his aircraft did not affect the flying controls.
Aureol. The plane crashed on Porthill cricket ground in October 1953. Pilot was Richard Percy Boulton and he lived 5 minutes from your house in Milehouse lane. The plane was a Gloster Meteor and it disintegrated during acrobatic manoeuvres. P.O. was 24 years old and engaged to be married. It was his last day of national service and he is buried in Stoke on Tern churchyard near to Market Drayton. Hope you are keeping well.

Julian Wooley
Can anyone remember there being a small public-house next to the quarry-site in Hulme, Longton? It seems to have vanished some time between 1960 and 1970, apparently...

Bill Coffin
In 1978 in 'The Strand' 0r Edensor Road'? Longton, a "SWIFTS GARAGE" was converted into a "Kwik Save". Is this building still in existence?
Fred Jones
Swifts garage which was converted into kwik save, the actual building has now been demolished but a lidl supermarket now stands on the site

B Gately
Does anyone know the names of the pubs which were in Barker Street, Longton from the turn of 1900 until 1920? Thanks

annetta whiston
can anybody tell me any history on 530 king street longton st3-1ez...really need to find more about the building. Thank you

I am trying to find out what the building used to be on the corner of Chelson Street Longton (formally called Bagnall Street) it is a strange shaped building with the entrance on the corner, it is now totally derelict and it is close to what used to be an old factory, can anyone help with this, thanks.
Russell Fox
In reply to the query of S. Heath, a relative informed me that the derelict building on the corner of Chelson St and Normacot Rd is a defunct pub, which was once known as the America or American Hotel...many moons ago, of course!
Ian James
Response to S Heath and Russell Fox: The pub on the corner of Chelson Street in Longton was indeed the American Hotel and it was run by my Great Grandparents, Samuel and Sarah Bridgwood. I think they ran it in the 1930's and then (possibly) it was passed on to the Meakins. If anyone has any further info on this, please respond. Thanks

Kenneth Burchell
St. James, Longton: Hi there. Looking for burial location of Rev. Dr. Benjamin Vale, the rector of St. James, Longton back in the 1800's. Also, any information on Vale and his family. Many thanks.. Ken Burchell
Joanne Silsbury
Kenneth Burchell - I am also interested in Benjamin Vale and family - I am contactable through genesreunited  Please get in touch!!!
Ps can tell you that I have a copy of Benjamin Vales will and he died on March 2 1863.
David Mountford-Vale
Reply to Kenneth Burchell. re Benjamin Vale if you go to the Australian Dictionary of Biography you may be able to get a link to his burial, The entry their says he died a Longton on 02/03/1863 and was buried at his own request without "Pomp or show" I will revisit the site to see if you have picked this up!!. I am located at Tenterfield in Australia

Robert Wood
In response to the comment from Joan Welsh (Montreal) regarding "Stafford Gaol and its Associations" by W. Payne, printed and published by J.Hitchings of Hanley in 1887… James Hitchings owned the largest printing works in the Potteries in the late 19th & early 20th century. Established in 1860, Hitchings used the latest lithography techniques during their existence. Hitchings printers are no longer in existence; it was sold during the mid 20th century. There are numerous books about the local history of Stoke-on-Trent. Does Joan require more information about the history of the Hitchings printers in Stoke on Trent?

Jacqueline Blackwell (nee Swindley)
I am trying to trace my family history and would like to copies of 'My childhood on the moor' by Annie Cook and 'A brief history of my life’ by Jim Nixon as I think they may help me find out about Biddulph Moor in the past that is where I lived as a child and my mum and family came from there

Kevin Hancock
I am looking for information regarding a mining explosion at Bunker Hill Colliery in 1875
There were 43 miners killed by an explosion at Bunker's Hill Colliery on April 30th 1875.Mr. Wynne, HMI, stated in his report: "For more than 20 years I have been pointing out what a farce it is, to prohibit the use of naked lights in mines, and yet allow powder to be used for blasting. The only reason assigned for the change from wedging to blasting was, that Mr Rigby, the owner, could not compete with his neighbours, if he wedged his coal and they blasted theirs, so that to meet competition he was obliged to increase production and lessen cost." Mr. Wynne and others stated they were of the opinion, that the use of powder or other explosives, should be entirely discontinued in fiery mines

Melanie Meakin
I am interested in the history of an old school building near Kidsgrove, in church lawton, it is now a day nursery but used to be called the Park School and was built around 1790 in between times it has also been a hall that used to house the local sea cadets group. Any information anyone can give me on this building would be gratefully received. Many Thanks


Gerry Hinks
Several years ago I was chatting to the vicar of the parish church of Kings Bromley and was told that King Harold was married in the church which stood on the same sight as the present church in 1064, two years before the battle of Hastings - hence the gift of being allowed to use the title 'King's' Bromley. Can anyone throw any further light on this claim?
Gerry, King's Bromley got its present name because it was the property of the Crown for nearly two centuries after the Norman Conquest. Previously it had been residence of the Earls of Mercia; Harold was the son of an Earl of Mercia. . He did marry Edith in 1064, for political reasons, but I don't think it was in King's Bromley. He had a lot of explaining to do his long time mistress and mother of his 5 children. His mistress was known as swan neck and was very beautiful, but of low rank. Leofric, the husband of the famous Lady Godiva, died here in 1057.
S. Francis, Telford
I am researching into the Heath Hayes Liberal and Labour Club in 1912. In particular the 'Old Sport’ award which was sponsored by John Davenport & Sons Brewery. Does anyone have any more information on this?

Can anybody advise what the pagan/druid monument left to grow over is all about in madeley? What was it used for and when was it used?

S Otty
Does anybody have any information regarding Paragon China post 1919, any useful books or reference literature

Pete h
Can anyone help me. When I was a lad in England there was a monument near audley it stood on the highest point around, it was a tribute to Josiah Wedgwood I believe. I remember you could see it for miles you could see jodrell bank/mow cop and I'm sure other well known sights from this monument, I have heard it is no longer standing and is being further damaged by people with very little brains. I don't live there now but know that very few historic sites are still maintained, but I would like to find out who is responsible for this site to see if there is interest in restoring it to its original status as I would like to contribute to it, if someone can help please let me know.
Pete h. In his will, John Wedgwood requested that an obelisk no less than 20 yards high was to be built on top of Bignall Hill in his memory, and that he should be buried underneath it. This latter request was rejected, and he is interred in Audley churchyard. However, the obelisk was completed by 1845, with payments for the foundations being made to a Robert Henshaw of Burslem in December 1844. Still an impressive monument. Shades of Ozymandias! I doubt if it will be restored to its former glory.

Albert Hopkins Shirley
The Town called Lichfield comes from the History of the fields of the Dead. This comes from when the Roman Emperor Diocletian edict of 284-305 ad approx to kill all the Celtic Christians of the area. There were over 10,000 killed in the fields of the dead. The word Stafford comes from the words of The Staff of David. Our family comes from the family of Stafford.

I have only a distant connection with Staffordshire through my great grandmother who came from Hanley. I have a distant relative buried at Cheadle, one Thomas Blood born in 1775, served as a Lieutenant in the 16th Light Dragoons/Lancers. There is a memorial plaque for him on a row of three cottages known as Blood's Row. Does anyone know exactly where these cottages are in Tean (Upper I assume)? Anything about Thomas would be welcome. Al Jones (Perth, Western Australia) Al
Reply for Al Jones Perth. Blood Row Cottages are on Cheadle Road, Upper Tean and yes, there is a wall plaque. Sorry I can't tell you any more than that though.
Andrew Johnson
reply for Al Jones (Perth) Lieutenant Thomas Blood was born in Cheadle 18th April 1775. He enlisted in the 16th Lancers at the age of 18, rose through the ranks to become an officer on merit. He distinguished himself at Talavera, Busaco, Fuentesororo, Salamanca, the Pyrenees and Toulouse during the Napoleonic wars. He received testimonials from Lord Ponsonby, Lord Combermere, Colonel Arnold of the 16th Lancers and the Duke of York. He had Blood's Row built in Cheadle road, Upper Tean and lived in the end house. The row is the first you come to after the Cross Keys pub on the way out of the village towards Cheadle. This is a quote from a descendant of his, Harold Lovatt born 1922 and may still be alive in Tean. The quote is in a book published locally and written by Jim Foley in the mid 1990's. Copies may still be available from the co-op shop, high street Tean. It is entitled Tean- Down memory Lane.


(NB - this site is not the best to use for Family History enquiries. We suggest you use the main BBC Family history boards at

Geraldine Ashton
good day from bargara, Queensland Australia. I would like some history on my forebears from Tamworth. They are the King family, the Cartledge family and the Alsop family. The Alsops owned the butchers shop in the 19th century and the Cartledges ran the drapers. I wonder if you have any information that would help me with history of Tamworth in the 19th century, or any info at all on these 3 names. Regards Gerry Ashton, student at CQU Bundaberg

Colin Jarvis
Good morning from Australia, I am looking for information on Samuel Jervis and his sons Thomas and John who in 1785 were all living in properties at Stone which they inherited from Samuel's father Thomas Jervis. Any help much appreciated

last updated: 04/02/2009 at 11:24
created: 13/01/2009

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