stories at the top|
Mary and All Saints Lottery funds are
being made available to restore the
13th century Church of St Mary and All Saints in Bradley, Staffordshire,
one of eight churches across the West Midlands to get cash. The church needs its
lead nave roof replacing.
Castle history events The Castle's managers have announced a number of living
history events for the Spring.
On Sunday 26th March, to commemorate Mothering
Sunday, there willbe a joint initiative with St Editha's Church to provide a fun
look at women in history.
On the 16th
& 17th April, the Roman and Briton Group offer up a hands-on re-renactment, including
a performance of a competitive combat between the Romans and the Britons.
on April 30th & 1st May, a military living-history event with the Diehards looks
at the period of 1837-1914.
Vote for the Spitfire!
BBC2's The Culture Show and the Design Museum are calling on style-fans to
vote in their their poll to find the nation's favourite example of British design
since 1900, in 'The Great British Design Quest'.
Local interest is in the
fact that RJ Mitchell's design for the Supermarine Spitfire aircraft is in the
final list. Mitchell was born in North Staffordshire, was voted greatest Midlander
in a similar poll in 2003.
To learn more about all the long-listed design
projects see the Design Museum website - www.designmuseum.org.
icons inextricably linked with Britishness feature in the list, such as the Routemaster
bus, the Mini-skirt and the Concorde - and our road and
motorway signage system and the London A-Z Street Atlas!
Music lovers will
be happy that two album covers make the list: The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band and New Order's Power, Corruption and Lies. Over the forthcoming
weeks, the Culture Show will include short films on the fascinating origins of
the long listed projects.
Votes can be cast on the Quest website during February
tops for England? The Spitfire plane features in a second poll this month
as one of the prominent nominations in a search for England's most popular icons.
The government has started off "Icons: A Portrait of England" as a two-year,
£1m cultural project, which invites the public to name the things they cherish
most about England.
The Spitfire is in the vote for what the project calls
"the first dozen marks on the canvas that will be our portrait of England", having
been chosen by leading figures in academia and the arts.
other nominations - and vote!
on The Leopard One of the Potteries most famous pubs (and referred to by Arnold
Bennett in his novels) has been recognised for its remarkable history.
National Pubs Week 2006, the real ale campaign group CAMRA has researched pubs
across the country which have played a pivotal role in historical events.
assisted by London School of Economics academic Simon Davies, CAMRA has short-listed
fourteen pubs which it feels are worthy of being awarded a specially designed
Pubs in Time plaque - and among the first is The Leopard Inn, Burslem.
was at The Leopard that, on March 8th 1765, Josiah Wedgwood and James Brindley
met to discuss the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal. The project began
the following year and spearheaded Britain’s Golden Age of canals, revolutionising
freight transport and helping fuel the industrial revolution.
book out A book commemorating the pictures of local photographer William Blake
has been produced by the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. Blake's photos, taken
in Stoke-on-Trent during the early 20th century, captured the people and landscapes
of the city and surrounding countryside.
Many of the photographs were taken
in the Longton area, a short walk from Blake’s house and his stationers’ business
in Stafford Street. Blake often provided cynical captions to some of his photographs,
commenting on the poor living and working conditions.
All the photographs
in the book are taken from glass plate negatives in the Local History Collection
at the museum – which holds 1,374 of Blake's glass plate negatives. The purchase
and publication are part of a larger project, "The People and Places of the Potteries",
which will also see the creation of new gallery displays devoted to Arnold Bennett,
Havergal Brian and Sir Stanley Matthews, as well as a second publication in the
summer of 2006.
History attracts thousands The BBC Radio Stoke Family History Day at Trentham
Gardens took place
on February 11th - with an attendance that went into the thousands!
from the day.
Alex 1000th Crewe Alexandra Football Club has
passed another millennium, as the one-thousandth player to have worn the Alex's
colours appeared on the pitch this month.
As the Crewe Alexandra Supporters'
Initiative group revealed, the lucky man was new signing Gareth Taylor.
hopes Angling enthusiasts are hopeful that a new TV series about Izaak Walton
will encourage more people to visit his cottage in Staffordshire. His cottage
at Shallowford, near Eccleshall, will re-open to visitors in April after the winter
break, but will only be open one day a week, because of a lack of funding. Tony
Bridgett, who's a director with the Walton cottage trust, says he hopes the new
"Compleat Angler" TV series will attract more tourists there.
hold up Work on a reservoir in North Staffordshire is one month behind schedule
because industrial artefacts need to be preserved. British Waterways is repairing
the dam at Kynpersley reservoir, which was built in 1827 by Thomas Telford, in
order to bring safety standards up to date. But anglers fear low water levels
while work is carried out could mean fish may suffer. However David Thresh from
British Waterways, says they've recovered original teapot valves designed by Telford,
and they need to be careful. 19/01/06Titanic
idea goes down a storm A museum dedicated to the ocean liner the Titanic could
be built in Stoke-on-Trent. The Titanic Heritage Trust is raising money to create
a permanent exhibition to commemorate the ship and the disaster in which she sank.
It says the city would be
ideal, because the captain of the Titanic, Edward John Smith, was born in Hanley.
to help save historic papers A campaign to save The Sutherland Papers, a unique
archive of Staffordshire historical documents, is boosted with a £1.3m grant.
Vine lives on Villagers and ale enthusiasts
will be raising a glass or two - as time has been called on plans to demolish
a historic Kinver pub, the Vine. Residents successfully campaigned against plans
to build houses on the Vine Inn site, in Dunsley Road; and South Staffordshire
District Council has now confirmed that demolition plans submitted by the owners
have been refused as well. More than 900 objections were submitted to the housing
plan, with support from the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), British Waterways,
Staffordshire and Worcester Canal Society and the Inland Waterways Association.
The Vine Inn first opened its doors to beer drinkers back in 1850, when it had
a coal wharf and a weighbridge. 01/12/05
museum gets £6m windfall A museum showcasing the work of Staffs pottery firm
Wedgwood is to finally be built after receiving a £6m lottery windfall.
recorded The story of how Alton Towers first opened to the public in the 1830s
is being told in a new DVD. Gary Kelsall, who's a lecturer at Staffordshire University,
has made the film using hours of archive footage. It reveals how the 16th Earl
of Shrewsbury opened the gates to local people 170 years ago and follows the tale
to the present day. A copy will be put into the Alton Towers archives.
but not forgotten A small village in the Staffordshire Moorlands has unveiled
a special stone plaque - all in memory of a former methodist church. For 111 years
- from 1859 to 1970 - the village of Foxt, near Iptones, had its own Primitive
Methodist Chapel. Like so many churches, in its day it was the centre of village
Crooked but special A Pub in south Staffordshire with a couple
of unique selling points has been put on the market. The Crooked House in Himley
is Britain's "wonkiest" pub as it has a fifteen degree slant after a mine shaft
collapsed beneath one side a hundred and fifty years ago. It's also believed the
pub has a ghost - a former bar maid called Polly.
help Campaigners trying to stop the Methodist Etruria Chapel in Stoke-on-Trent
being converted into offices are turning to the lottery for help. The Methodist
Church, which closed the chapel last year, has submitted plans to change the use
of the site for commercial business - so it can be sold as offices. But Beti Hand
from Staffordshire Arts
organisation SHARE wants to lease the building, to create a community and heritage
centre. She says if they have to buy it from the church they'll need lottery funding.
remembered A plaque commemorating the life of the North Staffordshire inventor
of the Spitfire, Reginald Mitchell, is to be unveiled at a special dance next
month. The 3-foot by 2-foot plaque was given to the Rotary club in Mitchell's
home town of Kidsgrove, by RAF Stafford, who are now passing it on to the town
on show Two major exhibitions with historical significance have opened this
month and run until early next year.
At the Potteries Museum, "Potteries
at War" celebrates what life was like in Stoke-on-Trent between 1939
and 1945. See details.
internet buffs will enjoy an exhibtion which is only available online. As
part of the SeaBritain 2005 project - a series of events on the theme of Britain
and the sea - the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service
has put togther webpages to illustrate the work of men connected with the county,
who were active in roles relating to the sea.
They are: Sir John Leveson,
responsible for coastal defences during the Spanish Armada threat of 1588; George
Legge, who was responsible for the evacuation of Tangier, 1683-84; George Anson,
the naval officer and politician who circumnavigated the world, (1740-1744); Richard
Drakeford (c1709-1757), a ship's purser from Stafford who later became involved
in the administration of naval prize money; and John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent,
who led the English fleet to victory at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, in February
Past Track - At Sea
one to come.. is the "Bethesda"
video-artwork (profiling the once
great and now derelict Bethesda
Chapel in Hanley) which can be seen at the Potteries Museum
from late November.
delay Work to restore a chapel in Stoke-on-Trent is a month behind schedule
already, and it hasn't even started. It was hoped repairs would be underway to
the Bethesda Chapel in Hanley by the end of this month, but it's been delayed.
The Historic Chapels Trust who are in charge of the restoration say they've been
held up waiting for architects' plans to come in. It's hoped work will begin next
about the Bethesda)
comes down One of Stoke-on-Trent's most famous pottery factories has been
demolished. The Alexandra factory in Tunstall has seen thousands of Wedgwood and
Johnson pottery pieces produced there.
Steaming again Part of Staffordshire's
transport history has taken to the road again - after being lovingly restored
over nearly ten years. The 1920s Thomas Green and Son steam roller is one of only
five of its kind left in the world - but eighty years ago it was a familiar sight
on the county's roads, doing work for the county council. It's been restored by
a preservation society, who'll put it on show this weekend at Klondike Mill near
for sale Portraits of three literary heroes of Staffordshire are being featured
in a sale in October at Bonhams Auction House in London.
Encounters: Portraits of Writers, Artists & Musicians - The Roy Davids Collection,
has been compiled by the noted manuscript expert and collector Roy Davids over
the last 30 years, contains almost 300 portraits of writers, artists, musicians
and philosophers - including ones of George Eliot (whose book "Adam Bede"
is set in East Staffordshire), Doctor Samuel Johnson, and Henry Newbolt - who
was born in Bilston (in those far-off days, it was part of Staffordshire!). 3/10/05
history An application to knock down the former Twyford pottery works buildings
on Shelton New Road in Stoke-on-Trent build apartments is being discussed this
week. Planners are recommending the city council approve the development, even
though the buildings are grade 2 listed. English Heritage is satisfied with plans
to keep the frontage of the original building along with two bottle ovens. 25/09/05
remembered A special ceremony was held at Leek today. The Nicholson war memorial
was re-dedicated on its eightieth anniversary. 25/09/05
A picture of Hanley published in the Times newspaper has horrified people
who have to promote North Staffordshire - it was used to illustrate a story about
the area, but was actually taken 70 years ago! The picture of industrial Stoke-on-Trent
from the 1930s appears in the paper today. The story's about the apparent reluctance
of staff of the clothing firm, New Look, to move from Dorset to Newcastle-under-Lyme.
But John De Kanter from Instaffs, who promotes this area to outsiders, says it's
not fair. 23/09/05
remembered A plaque remembering a pit disaster in Stoke-on-Trent is being
re-dedicated. Fifty-seven miners were killed in an explosion down the Sneyd Pit
in 1942. The plaque has been moved to Hamil Road Methodist chapel in Burslem and
is being rededicated in a special service. 18/09/05
a lot of heritage Thousands of people visited a record number of buildings
across the West Midlands as part of Heritage Open Days, running from 8-11 September.
However, In Staffordshire only 12 properties took part, though in neighbouring
Shropshire, nearly four times as many venues were involved.
Open Days celebrates England's architecture and culture by offering free access
between the 10th and 13th to properties that are usually closed to the public
or normally charge.
To see the full list of properties open in the county,
Others that you've told us about are:
*The Museum of Brewing
at Burton upon Trent - the 1866 grade II listed building offers unique insight
into history of local brewing
*Erasmus Darwin House, Lichfield, offering guided
tours of cellars not normally open to visitors
*St Mary the Virgin & St Chad's
Church, Brewood - a Grade I listed church founded around 1220, showing extras
such as children's art, a quiz, treasure hunt, and activities, period musical
instruments, church artefacts and other local items.
* Open Day at St Mary
the Virgin Church, Ingestre near Stafford - a Wren church.
Open Day Tours at Combermere Abbey nr Whitchurch, Shropshire. See details
Heritage Day at Clayton Hall Business & Language College, Clayton Lane, Newcastle
on 10th September - 10.00am - 1.00pm. Guided tours of this grade II Listed building.
Call 01782 297570
* Heritage Open Days Walk on September 10th - 1pm-3.45pm
- a "chapel hunt" around Macclesfield led by two museum researchers
into the stories of 14 of the many local chapels founded since the 1660s - £2.50.
Please pre book 01625 612045
are also organising some events:
Day at St
Dominic’s Priory Convent, Station Rd, Stone on Saturday 10th, 1pm – 4pm. Founded
in the 1850s by the English Dominican Congregation of St Catherine of Siena, St
Dominic’s Priory Convent & School is a Neo Gothic building; and the Pugin
Chapel contains the most exquisite sculptures, altars and stained glass. Artist
Mark Uttley will be providing free workshops creating bookmarks inspired by the
delicately beautiful stain glass windows. Bob Thacker from Oaklands Studios will
be demonstrating the art of creating lead and stained glass and dichroic glass
Book early for the tours
Day at Stafford
Gatehouse Theatre on Saturday 10th. Designed in French Gothic Style by Henry Ward,
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre was originally built in 1876 as a Borough Hall for
the council. The building was refurbished in the 1970’s and opened 1st October
1981 as “Britain’s Newest Entertainment Centre” offering a varied studio drama,
contemporary dance, recital and film season. An opportunity to see behind the
scenes of this busy theatre, and to view the luxuriant costumes worn in various
productions. Actor/ education and outreach officer Rob Salmon, director of four
summer school productions and numerous outreach programmes, will deliver a workshop
on acting (8 years to 15). Costume Supervisor Rachel Selby from TV productions
such as Bodies, No Angels, Peak Practice, All Creatures Great and Small, Soldier
Soldier to name but a few, will speak about her experiences of working in TV.
Rachel will also deliver workshops where you can design outfits. There will also
be an opportunity to design a handbag, which will be adapted by designer John
Brooking, for one of the Ugly Sisters in this year’s Panto Cinderella!
Day at Trentham
Gardens on Sunday 11th September, 12 – 4pm. A great opportunity to peruse these
wonderful Italianate gardens built in 1630 for the Duke of Sutherland and designed
as a serpentine park by Capabilty Brown in 1754 and attributed to Charles Bridgeman.
Today Trentham is undergoing a massive regeneration programme including a monkey
park (there is fee to enter the monkey house). Evolve in association with Trentham
is happy to offer guided tours, workshops with local sculptor Adam Wilkinson,
who will deliver workshops inspired by the Barbary Macaque Monkey. Community artist
Paul Braziel will demonstrate the art of working with metal as a medium.
more information on all the three events above please contact Jane Wells on 01785
619708, or email Jane@culturegen.org.uk or visit the website on www.culturegen.org.uk
History Guaranteed to keep you awake, twenty four local history lecturers
and researchers are undertaking a 24 hour non-stop "Talkathon" to raise
funds towards the purchase of the Sutherland Archive for Staffordshire.
subjects as varied as 'Staffordshire's Vanished Country Houses', 'God Damn
King George - Riotous Conduct in eighteenth century Staffordshire' and 'Crime
and Punishment in Staffordshire's Archives', each speaker will take a one hour
time slot, starting at 1.00 pm on Monday 5 September and ending at 1.00 pm on
Tuesday 6 September. The talks will take place at the Wedgwood Memorial College,
For more details, contact Mithra Tonking (01283
840262) or Gay Lawrence (01889 578580) and see the Archive Service's Saving
Sutherland website at www.savingsutherland.org.uk
Tickets on the door
cost £5.00; sponsorship (contact Paul Anderton on 01782 613024) also available.
and VJ Day celebrations to mark the end of the Second World War anniversary
are listed elsewhere. Click here
pits to beauty spot A former colliery in North Staffordshire is to be transformed
into beautiful parkland at a cost of £14million. Chatterley Whitfield in Stoke-on-Trent
is regarded as one of the most important industrial heritage sites in the country.
The money from the government will mean the slag heaps will be no more; and a
kilometre-long tunnel will be redirected to stop it from collapsing.
revealed More details about the private life of the Potteries designer Clarice
Cliff are being revealed in a new book. It focuses on her 'guilty secret' - that
she had an affair with her married boss. Lynn Knight is the author of a new biography
called "Clarice Cliff".
pot A Roman pot, described as one of the most important archaeological finds
in years, has been bought by the nation. The bowl which dates back to the second
century AD was found and dug up on the Staffordshire Moorlands two years ago.
It's been bought with National Lottery money and will be shared between the British
Museum and the Potteries museum in Hanley in Stoke on Trent. Find
the Mich Man Michelin Tyres, whose factory in Stoke on Trent is one of their
oldest English bases, have launched a search to find vintage models and replicas
of its famous icon, the Michelin Man. The company is celebrating one hundred years
in Britain by staging a major exhibition and want to populate it with as many
Michelin Men as possible! The company are prepared to buy up unusual, old copies
of the Michelin Man - also known as Bibendum - before the travelling exhibition,
which goes its factories in Stoke-on-Trent, Ballymena and Dundee, starts later
this year. See www.michelin.co.uk
from Uttoxeter came across it when out using his metal detector. The pan will
be on display at The Potteries Museum in Hanley next year.
Memorial to Far East PoWs opens
A memorial building which highlights the suffering of World War II prisoners opens
in south Staffordshire. See full
Parades and festivals for VJ Day Veterans across the Midlands
gathered to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the war in Japan. See
it Hardy A Burton micro-brewery is producing a special ale to celebrate the
Battle of Trafalgar 200 years ago. The Museum Brewing Company, based at Coors
Visitor Centre, is producing a bottle-conditioned beer called Victory at Sea.
From the sale of each case, £2 will go towards the Royal National Lifeboats' crew
training appeal. Head brewer Steve Wellington says he thinks Nelson's men would
have approved of it. 13/7/05
Local History Course announced
Letters and Diaries of People in Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1680-1880 - by tutor
Andrew Dobraszczyc - is the course at Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery, Brampton
Park for 10 weeks from 28th September. The closing date for enrolment is August
31st. Talk to the Borough Museum on 01782 619705 for details.
A special day of remembrance took place in East Staffordshire to mark
the end of the Second World War. The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas took
part in the national two minutes silence at 3:47pm, when fifty-nine white doves
and one black dove were released.
See our People's
Upgrade for Grades More than 180 historic buildings
in the Midlands are at risk of wearing away unless they are urgently repaired.
That's according to a new report by English Heritage.
The Sutherland Mausoleum
in Trentham Park in Stoke-on-Trent is one of them. It was built in 1808 by the
Marquis of Stafford, and it's been in need of urgent repair for the last seven
years. Work is now underway to renovate the roof.
A multi million pound makeover
is also planned for another of Stoke on Trent's historic buildings. The grade
two listed Wedgwood Institute in Burslem currently houses the town's library but
much of it has fallen into disrepair. The council is now seeking tenders for surveys
and design work, to help secure the funding needed for the restoration.
Memories of Bevin Lads and men conscripted into the coal mines in the Second
World War met again at Apedale Mining Museum, near Newcastle in North Staffordshire
to relive wartime memories.
miners took their name from Ernest Bevin, the wartime minister of Labour, and
came from all walks of life.
Neptune remembered in Staffs A permanent
memorial has been erected to those who were killed in one of the worst naval disasters
of the Second World War. HMS Neptune and HMS Kandahar hit mines and sank off the
Libyan coast on December 19th 1941, with a loss of 836 men - it was also the single
largest loss of life of New Zealand and South African nationals, who were part
of the ship's crew. The memorial is located at the National Memorial Arboretum
near Lichfield, Staffordshire and will be officially unveiled at a ceremony on
Captain remembered 04/07/05
On the US Independence
Day, the stars and stripes flag also has particular significance in Stafford.The
town is honouring an American airman, Captain John Perrin who lost his life in
heroic circumstances sixty years ago. There are now calls for a memorial to be
put up in his honour. See full
Archaeologists believe a ditch they have
uncovered could mark the Staffordshire - Shropshire county boundary. See full
Clocking on 02/07/05
A clock which was a feature of
one of Uttoxeter's Victorian breweries has gone back on display after more than
40 years of neglect. Local clock repairer Doug Bowyer has spent four months restoring
the 135-year-old clock, a familiar landmark on the Charles Bunting brewery, which
was pulled down in the 1960s. Now it's on show, in full working order, in the
foyer of Uttoxeter town hall.
Women celebrated Princess
Anne's has been in East Staffordshire today, unveiling a memorial garden at the
National Arboretum in Alrewas. War veterans were also there to mark the 61st anniversary
of D-day. The section's been designed specifically to remember the role WOMEN
played during the Second World War. Cecilia Harper, a member of the Royal British
Legion section in Derbyshire, says the garden's a fitting tribute. 6/6/05
See our Arboretum
Past on the web Two new local history websites have launched.
The Penkhull Local History group and Mining History students from College in the
Community have conducted research as part of their course work to produce the
One website gives an in-depth exploration of the History
of Penkhull ranging from prehistoric times and the Domesday records to the
present day. It gives an insight into topics such as education, religion, the
war years and urban development including a history of Penkhull Square, which
was built by Josiah Spode II. It also researches pubs in the area and refers to
the Beer House Act, which enabled anyone with a front parlour to sell beer or
ale from their house. It includes the history of Penkhull Workhouse, never previously
Richard Talbot, Lecturer and Local Historian said: “For three
years, students in Penkhull have worked hard in researching the history of probably
the oldest inhabited settlement in the potteries. Looking at what is already available
on the web, shows that with the right focus of dedicated students probably the
best factual page on Penkhull is now available.”
The other website, created
by the Mining History Research Group, was developed to provide information about
the History of the North Staffs Coalfield.
The site focuses on the pits, which survived nationalisation in 1947, as well
as looking at events such as royal visits and mining disasters. This group meets
in Hanley library collating information from the extensive archives there.
Lusitania Anniversary May sees the 90th anniversary of the sinking
of the Lusitania ship, which happened on May 7th, 1915. Mike Poirier co-wrote
an article about the incident in which there are several local connections, including
a survivor named Martha Barker. See the
Rest in pieces Three fragments from a witch's grave
in North Staffordshire have sold on E-bay for almost £100 and money is being
used for a new stone. Molly Leigh, an eighteenth century witch, was buried at
St John's Church in Burslem in Stoke on Trent but her grave was vandalised a month
ago and the slate tombstone split into pieces. The fragments of the stone were
being sold on the internet to pay for the repairs.
The Pagan Association,
which found out about the sale, has now offered to pay for a railing around the
Katyn remembrance Members of the Polish community
from across the Midlands congregated in Cannock today to remember the victims
of a massacre that happened sixty five years ago. Four thousand people were killed
by Soviet Secret Police in what became known as the Katyn Massacre. Ten thousand
members of the Polish armed forces and intelligentsia also disappeared around
the same time. A remembrance service was held today on Cannock Chase, which houses
the Midlands' only memorial to the victims of the massacre. Mirosllawa Kisiel
who helped to organise the event says people mustn't forget what happened. 15/05/05
See our Polish
back dressing People in an East Staffordshire village are reviving the old
tradition of well dressing. Rolleston-on-Dove doesn't even have a well - but it
does have an old pump, and villagers thought that was good enough. The design
- to reflect the 60th anniversary of VE Day - will go on show this weekend. Organiser
Angie Gillespie says the project's brought many people from the village together.
Williams Ellis honoured The founder of the famous Staffordshire
Portmeirion Potteries was awarded an honorary fellowship from the University of
Arts London today. Celebrated ceramic designer Susan Williams-Ellis, 86, studied
at the institution, formerly known as the Chelsea School of Arts. The designer
is the daughter of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who created the Portmeirion
Village - famed as the location of The Prisoner television series. Sir Michael
Bichard, Rector of University of the Arts, bestowed the honour on the designer
at a ceremony taking place at the village. 02/05/05
faithful A replica of the famous "Mary Queen of Scots Tapestry"
has been unveiled at Tutbury Castle in East Staffordshire, where the unhappy queen,
imprisoned there, made the original. It took Staffordshire seamstress Sylvia Everitt
four years to make the copy from the original, which is now kept at Oxburgh Hall
in Norfolk. Dr Roger Joy, who paid for the work in memory of his late wife, says
its a faithful replica. 3/5/05
See our Tutbury
Bethesda to go public soon? People could soon be
allowed back into an historic derelict chapel in Stoke-on-Trent. Work is due to
begin in the summer to restore the Bethesda Chapel in Hanley. The Historic Chapels
Trust has raised over £4,000, and needs another £70,000 to complete the first
phase of repairs. The chapel was featured in the BBC Restoration programme but
failed to win funding at the time. 01/05/05
See our profile
of the Bethesda
WW2 remembered To coincide
with the anniversary of the end of World War Two, Newcastle Museum are holding
a commemorative exhibition until May 22nd. Hear BBC Radio Stoke's report below
more events surrounding the anniversary events over Spring and Summer 2005, see
Another Mitchell Memorial for Staffordshire? Residents
in Kidsgrove, where Reginald Mitchell, the inventor of the Spitfire plane was
born, are hoping for a new memorial to commemorate his 110th birthday anniversary.
A number of locations have been suggested to remember him. Possible locations
for a new statue are Butt Lane, near to where he was born, the memorial garden
at Kidsgrove Park, or at the Reginald Mitchell Memorial School. The town council
are hoping to raise money for the statue and will work out a suitable design.
of line for Nile Street It was the end of an era at Royal Doulton's Nile Street
factory in Stoke on Trent today. Over 100 pottery workers clocked off for the
last time and tableware production came to an end after more than a century. Waterford
Wedgwood has taken over the business - but the factory itself will shut. 15/04/05
It was 300 years ago today ...that a Lichfield pub saw the very first
beginnings of what is now the Staffordshire regiment. This year, The King's Head
in Bird Street will play host to 300 soldiers marking the 300th anniversary of
the raising of the Regiment.
Licensee Jenny Matthews explained: "Lord
Luke Lillington started the Staffordshire Regiment here at the pub - and there
aren't many regiments that can be so precise about their origins. There is a portrait
of him on the wall, as well as a regimental tree, medals, plaques, bullet cases
The King's Head, has enjoyed a long association with the Staffordshire
Regiment. A shilling dropped into a tankard of beer meant that the drinker was
automatically recruited - a practice that lead to the introduction of glass-bottomed
tankards. Every September, the pub hosts an old sergeants' reunion. 26/03/05
Se our Staffordshire
Sam Johnson honoured A coin marking the work
of the famous Staffordshire-born man of letters, Dr Samuel Johnson, will be part
of the The Queen's Maundy Money ceremony on the 24th. As usual, reflecting
the Queen's age on her next birthday, 79 men and 79 women will each receive 79p
in silver Maundy coins, contained in a white leather purse. But this year they
will also get a second, red leather purse containing among other items a 50p coin
marking the 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson's "Dictionary of the English
Language". See article
on the Dictionary
home goes The Stoke-on-Trent pottery company which brought the world the Toby
Jug, is closing down. Cashflow problems are being blamed for the demise of Wood
and Sons in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. 11/03/05 Empty
grave A Stoke-on-Trent website has revealed the full story behind an empty
grave in Burslem, SoT. The grave and memorial in St John's Churchyard is a tribute
to local man Fred Horry, who shot his wife. The
website "stoke uncovered" tells how Horry was hung for the murder, but
people in Burslem liked him so much, they carried an empty coffin through the
streets and then had a full funeral.
To read the full story click
Time to start again A disused brewery clock which has
been rotting in a town hall basement for almost forty years, could be about to
tick again. The timepiece that once hung on the now demolished main building at
Charles Bunting's brewery in Uttoxeter is being restored. When the site was knocked
down in 1967 the clock was lost, but it's been found and is being repaired by
local man Doug Bowyer. He hopes it can be incorporated into the designs for the
cattle market development in the town. 07/03/05
St Thomas to
re-open? A quarter of a million pounds worth of improvements are to be made
to a church in a North Staffordshire village. The Grade II St Thomas' Church in
Butterton near Newcastle has been closed for the last 2 years because of structural
problems. It was built in 1844 and features the repeated use of the Norman round
arch on doors, windows, pew ends, pulpit panel and reredos. Other churches to
benefit from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund are St Peter's at
Kinver, St Mary & All Saints at Checkley and St Peter's at Alstonefield. 01/03/05
also The Heritage Lottery Fund or English
Clarice Cliffe goes for
thousands A colourful plate designed by the Staffordshire ceramics artist
Clarice Cliffe - and bought for just £1 at a car boot sale - has reached
nearly £2,000 at auction. Its anonymous vendor snapped up the dish - a Latona
Dahlia charger - at a sale in Manchester. Christie's specialist head of British
decorative art Joy McCall said the item was made in Stoke On Trent between 1929
The vendor told Christie's: "I spotted the dish sitting underneath
an old teapot - I was attracted to its bright colours. "I had a hunch it could
be worth something, but kept quiet. I think a fellow car-booter also did, because
they offered me £100 for it there and then. "However, I felt I should go
home and read up on it first. Obviously now I'm really pleased I did." The decorative
plate was one of around 300 items to go under the hammer at the London auction
house's Clarice Cliff sale this weekend. 20/02/2005
See our Pottery
World War Two in South Staffs A nationwide series
of events to mark 60 years since the end of the Second World War was launched
today at eight locations across the country - including Brownhills in Staffordshire.
The £10million, year-long, "Their Past Your Future" programme aims to teach
people more about the conflict, and its enduring impact on the world.
project has been co-ordinated by the Imperial War Museum, and is thought to be
the largest of its kind. The centrepiece is a touring exhibition of historical
materials which can be seen at the Forest of Mercia Innovation Centre in Brownhills.
See our Exhibitions
Mitchell Remembered An American billionaire wants to spend
millions of pounds on the memory of the Stoke-on-Trent Spitfire inventor Reginald
Mitchell. 85 year old vodka tycoon Sidney Frank wants every school pupil in Britain
to take part in a project about Mitchell and his place in World War Two.He
has sent a letter to Reginald Mitchell's family saying he believed the inventor
was just as important as Winston Churchill and he wanted to help preserve his
memory. He's already commissioned a statue of Reginald Mitchell for the London
Science Museum. He's also planning a memorial fund in the inventor's name. 09/02/2005
about Mitchell and the Spitfire here
More about Sydney Frank’s billions at Forbes
Historical garage Hanley's famous old Peppers garage
(opposite the Bethesda Chapel) is now being renovated into city living apartments.
The 1930s art deco building, will be restored to reflect its history. Andrew Smith,
the owner, hopes the building will be finished by late Summer this year. For more
about Peppers, see the
A Staffordshire historian says he's solved a 240-year-old murder mystery.
The grave of Sarah Smith in Wolstanton churchyard, near Newcastle, bears an inscription
giving the first and last letters of the names of the man her family believed
killed her. Now historical research by Jeremy Crick who lives near the churchyard
has pointed to a local farmer, Charles Barlow, as the killer - he may have fathered
her illegitimate child.
Crick says he's amazed he's the first to look into it, though it's a mystery which
has baffled people for years.
The gravestone of Sarah Smith is dated 1763,
and bears an inscription pointing to her killer - but only gives the first and
last letters of his names.
The message reads: "'it was C--(blank)--s
B--(blank)--w that brought me to my end ....... With half a pint of poison. Write
this on my grave so that all that read it may see".
former colliery site in South Staffordshire opened on Heritage Day events to the
public, and BBC Radio Stoke's Tim Beech caught up with some of the old workers.
Colliery was the last deep mine pit in south Staffordshire, and its life spanned
almost the entire 20th century.
When Littleton opened in 1904, the British
Empire still covered much of the globe, the very first Rolls Royce motor car was
rolling off the production line in Manchester and British deep mine coal production
exceeded 25 million tonnes a year.
By the time it closed on December 10th,
1993, UK deep mine coal production had dropped by around 90% from its peak.
Matthews worked in the mining industry for 36 years, starting in the late
1940s and ending up as the Assistant Manager at Littleton Colliery, near Cannock.
It could of course be a highly dangerous job working hundreds of feet below
the surface in a deep mine such as Littleton.
Hear Trevor talk about one occasion
when he thought the roof was about to cave in…
Dean was one of the last men to work at Littleton Colliery, the last deep
mine pit in south Staffordshire. When it closed in 1993, Alan's 29 year career
as a mechanical engineer came to a sudden end - and so did his family's long association
with the industry. You can hear how the closure affected Alan and the Cannock
community, and also how mining changed dramatically between the 1960s and 1990s.|
many of the miners spoke about their personal stories and talked of the cameraderie
- some tales were a little more spine-chilling! |
There are lots of ghost stories
connected with collieries, and you can hear how Littleton miner Mick Drury
came face to face with a "phantom" one day in south Staffordshire…
to see more stories from this site?
Check BBC Staffordshire