Monthly Archives: February 2019

Traders are returning to Tower Square



Spotlight on North Staffordshire and The Potteries is delighted to learn that traders are coming back to Tunstall’s outdoor market in Tower Square.

A town without a market is a town without a heart.

Markets give a town character and atmosphere. They sell a wide variety of high-quality reasonably priced fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, gifts and luxury items, groceries and provisions. In fact, they are places where you can buy almost anything from a pin to an elephant. (Well perhaps not an elephant but we should be happy to be proved wrong.)

Tunstall Market is one of the best markets in the United Kingdom. The Spotlight Team is pleased that it is attracting new traders who will increase the range of products sold. We welcome the new traders. They will bring new life to the High Street and the town centre. We hope their businesses prosper and that they will stay in Tunstall for a long time. The town needs them.

Share Your Memories of Tunstall Market

Do you have memories of Tunstall town hall and market?

Spotlight on North Staffordshire and The Potteries is writing a booklet about the history of the town hall and the market.

Did you work in the market or did you go shopping there with your mother when you were growing up? Can you remember the stalls that were in the market hall and the things they sold before it was regenerated at the end of the 20th century?

If you have memories or old photographs of the market or the town hall which you would be willing to share with us, please email David Martin at

Can you help Simon to trace the Cartlidge family?

SIMON LAST WRITES that the back of an old photograph (shown above) of a group of people provides many clues as to who they were.

Simon goes on to say: “When I turned the photograph over, the back was covered with handwritten names and signatures!

“The photograph was taken by A & L Slingsby at Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria.

“Scanning the names I could see that the surname CARTLIDGE appeared several times.

“I found a 1911 census record, for a CARTLIDGE family living at 80 High Lane, Burslem, Stoke on Trent, whose names fitted with those on the back of the photograph.

“They were James CARTLIDGE aged 38, a Lithographic Artist, who was married to Edith aged 33.  The couple had been married for ten years and their children were Reginald James aged 8, Wilfred George aged 4 and Edith May aged 2. If this is the Cartlidge family shown on the photograph, it is possible that the photograph was taken in the 1930s.

“James CARTLIDGE married Edith Emily SIMPSON in the April quarter of 1901 in the Stoke on Trent Registration District.

“James CARTLIDGE died in the December quarter of 1947 aged 74 and Edith Emily CARTLIDGE died on the 11th June 1949 aged 71.

“The 1939 World War 2 Register shows that their son Reginald James CARTLIDGE was born on 28th August 1902. He was a Colliery Manager. Their daughter Edith May CARTLIDGE was born on 19th October 1908. She was an Infants’ School Teacher.

“I wonder what the occasion was when this fascinating photograph was taken and why the CARTLIDGE family were there? If anyone has a link with the CARTLIDGE family and can identify anyone in the photograph I should like to hear from you.”

If you can help Simon to trace the Cartlidge family please contact him at

Spotlight on Hanley – The Boy’s Reading Room

On the evening of Monday, October 16, 1893, a large number of boys joined civic leaders assembled at Hanley Free Library to watch the mayor, Alderman Edwin John Hammersley, open the new Boys’ Reading Room.

The Boys’ Reading Room had been created by the council because adult readers did not want to share the library’s general reading room with boys.

Alderman Hammersley told those attending the ceremony that the Boys’ Reading Room contained between 700 and 800 books.

Speaking directly to the boys, he advised them to read books about British History and novels by leading authors including Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens and James Fenimore Cooper.

At the conclusion of his speech, Alderman Hammersley quoted from a poem about books, which says that they give us:

” New views of life and teach us how to live;

They soothe the grieved, the stubborn they chastise

Fools they admonish and confirm the wise.

Their aid they yield to all; they never shun

The man of sorrow or the wretch undone;

Unlike the hard, the selfish and the proud

They fly not sullen from the supplicant crowd.

Nor tell to various people various things,

But show to subjects what they show to kings.”

“Chatty Cafe” Comes to Longton Market

“Chatty Cafe” comes to Longton’s Victorian Market on Wednesday 27th February.

When you’ve done your shopping, visit the “cafe” at the community stall opposite the wool stall.

The “cafe” is a place where you can stop for a natter, meet new people, make new friends, put the world to rights and have a laugh before you go home.

MPs call for business rate reform

MPs who are members of the housing, communities and local government select committee have called on the government to reform business rates.

Business rate reform could give local shops in Newcastle-under-Lyme and The Potteries a lifeline enabling them to survive.

The MPs say that unfair business rates make it impossible for high street stores to compete with online retailers.

They have produced a report that calls for reforms which will revive dying town centres and bring them back to life. The report states that unless the government steps in to help, high street stores face a bleak future and shopping centres will start to look like ghost towns.

The committee wants the government to give small traders a chance to survive by taxing online sales and giving local authorities more money to spend on town-centre regeneration.

NewsDesk: Exciting Times Ahead In Tunstall Market

There are exciting times ahead for traders in Tunstall Market and their customers.

A new market manager will be arriving in a few weeks.

The market traders’ forum is making plans to increase the number of traders and attract new customers. An advertising campaign is being launched to publicise the market and the wide variety of high-quality goods and services offered to customers.

NewsDesk: Stafford’s Old Library Could Be Turned into Flats

The old library building in Stafford’s town centre could be turned into flats and a restaurant if plans for its development are approved by the borough council.

If the development plans are approved, the interior of the Grade II listed building, which housed the town’s main library, will be regenerated and transformed into ten single bedroom flats and a bar-restaurant with two sports television lounges.

A design and access statement submitted with the application says: “This new proposed use for the building will offer a vibrant addition to the food and leisure facilities of the town centre. The accommodation will offer young and retired alike a maintenance-free lifestyle within a quality building.”

Bygone Tunstall – The Victoria Institute

In 1905, Tunstall Urban District Council produced a Year Book which gave details of the major buildings and places of interest in Tunstall including the Victoria Institute.

The edited account of the history of the Victoria Institute posted below is taken is taken from the Year Book.


“This building, the foundation stones of which were laid on the 16th May 1889, was erected by public subscription in commemoration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee and comprises a School of Science, Art and Technology and a Public Library…

“On the 24th October 1895, the foundation stone of an extension to the Institute was laid.

“The extension, which included a Museum, a Cookery School and Pottery Decorating Studios, was being erected by the Urban District Council with the help of a grant of £700 from Staffordshire County Council.”

NewsDesk: £300,000 Facelift For Dimensions

Stoke-on-Trent City Council plans to give Dimensions, which is one of the city’s largest leisure centres, a £300,000 facelift.

The major upgrade will give the centre in Scotia Road, Burslem a new gymnasium.

Work on the project will start in April. When the new gymnasium opens, the existing gymnasium will be turned into an exercise studio.

Councillor Anthony Munday, the cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, is reported as saying:

“This project is a positive investment in our leisure services which will improve what we can offer to our residents. The changes reflect our commitment to improving health and wellbeing for a wide range of age groups. We want to encourage more people to become active, and I’m sure these improvements will play an important part in doing that.”


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