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Spotlight on Tunstall’s Heritage Market

Heritage tourism is big business. More than 4.7 million tourists visit Stoke-on-Trent each year.

Tunstall’s heritage market will be 200 years old on September 20th, 2017.

Spotlight on Stoke believes that everyone who cares about Tunstall’s future should back the market’s bi-centennial celebrations and help to make them a success.

Tourists spend a lot of money when they visit a town.

The bi-centennial celebrations will put Tunstall on Stoke-on-Trent’s tourist trail and help to regenerate the town centre.

Say Goodbye to the red telephone kiosk

Over the next five years, British Telecom is going to get rid of nearly 50% of its 40,000 public phone booths, including the classic red telephone kiosks designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

According to British Telecom, only 7,000 of the 33,000 calls made each day from its public pay phones are made from the traditional red kiosks, which have been familiar landmarks in towns and villages throughout Britain for many years.

Royal Doulton Art Nouveau

Few designs have the followers of this particular Royal Doulton art nouveau design. Well over a century after its introduction in 1909, today collectors still compete for unusual items featuring this iconic design. Although it had a relatively long production period until sometime after the outbreak of WWII, examples of it, other than rack plates […]

First posted 13th August 2017. To read more visit Collecting Royal Doulton’s Poppies ‘B’ seriesware. — doultoncollectorsclub

DiaryDate: World War II fighter plane on display at RAF Cosford

The Wolverhampton Express and Star reports that a two-seat turret aircraft the Boulton Paul Defiant Mk1 will be the star of the show in its hangar at the RAF Cosford Museum. But ahead of the Open Cockpit event at the museum on September 15 and 16, the plane has been on a journey of its own.Arriving on a low loader from London in November 2016, it was stripped down before being transported to its original birthplace of the Midlands…

To read more visit World War II fighter plane on display at RAF Cosford – in pictures | Express & Star

Hitchman Street Conservation Area

Hitchman Street is located in Fenton, one of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent. Hitchman Street Conservation Area consists of thirteen red brick terraced dwellings and a shop which hinges around the corner from Victoria Road. The buildings date from 1889 and there is a date stone of 1890 to mark their completion. Another terracotta […]

(First posted 4th July 2017)

To read more go to Fenton: Hitchman Street and Victoria Road — Drawing the Detail

“Cock-a-doodle do” from Royal Doulton

Royal Doulton certainly knew how to capture the market and this seriesware design is another illustration of their timely delivery to a clamouring public. Today we associate this series with nurseryware but of course it does carry Royal Doulton’s famous D numbers from their ‘gift’ ware range (either D4686 or D4830). In total there are […]

(Posted June 18th, 2017)

To read the full post visit Royal Doulton’s rare seriesware design ‘Cock-a-doodle-do’. — doultoncollectorsclub

Share Your Memories of Tunstall Market

Tunstall Town HallDo you have memories of Tunstall Market and the town hall?

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 there and the things which they sold before the market was regenerated at the end of the 20th century?

To celebrate the bi-centenary of Tunstall Market which was founded by John Henry Clive on September 20th, 1817 we are writing a book about the town hall and the market.

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 daymar727@talktalk.net

Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Terracotta Trail

Last summer, I sketched a Victorian building in Newcastle-under-Lyme. This was a fine example with plenty of details , especially the terracotta tiles. Terracotta means ‘fired earth’ -and describes a form of moulded clay masonry of a finer quality than standard bricks. Sketching the building as a whole meant losing some of the finer details […]

(Posted December 7th, 2016) via

To read the full post visit Terracotta Trail — Drawing the Street

Burslem – Reflections on a town’s heritage

A Second World War Liberty Ship

Like all the towns in our area, Burslem has a proud heritage.

In the 18th century, its master potters brought the Industrial Revolution to North Staffordshire.

The old town hall is one of the finest examples of civic architecture erected by a local board of health.

Burslem born architect, Absalom Reade Wood designed the Woodhall Memorial Chapel, the Drill Hall, the Art School, the Wycliffe Institute, Moorland Road Schools, Longport Methodist Church and Middleport Pottery.

Created by local craftspersons, the Wedgwood Institute has a unique terracotta façade which is an inspiring tribute to the skills of the men and women who worked in the pottery industry.

During its long history, the Wedgwood Institute has housed several schools and colleges whose alumni have played a significant role on the world stage in the fields of literature, science and technology.

They include:

  • Oliver Lodge, the first principal of Birmingham University, who invented the spark plug and perfected radio telegraphy;
  • Arnold Bennett whose novels vividly described life in North Staffordshire and immortalised The Potteries;
  • Summers Hunter, one of the world’s leading maritime engineers, whose firm designed the engine that powered the Liberty Ships* which helped to keep the supply lines between Britain and North America open during the Second World War; and
  • Reginald Mitchell, the 20th century’s leading aircraft designer, who created the Spitfire which saved the world from Nazi domination.

*The photograph shows a Liberty Ship which was powered by a marine engine designed by Summers Hunter.

Fenton’s vicar had friends in high places

An establishment figure, the Reverend the Honourable Leonard Tyrwhitt, the Vicar of Fenton from 1895 to 1907, was a man with friends in high places.

Born on October 29th, 1863, Leonard was the son of Sir Henry Tyrwhitt and his wife Emma who inherited the title Baroness Berners when her uncle Lord Berners died.

Graduating from Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1886, he trained for the ministry at Wells Theological College and was admitted to the priesthood in 1888.

When he came to Fenton in 1895, Leonard found a parish deeply in debt and services were held in the new parish church (Christ Church) before the bell tower had been erected.

Designed by Stoke architect, Charles Lynam, the church could accommodate 1,900 worshippers. Built of red brick with stone dressings, the nave and chancel which cost over £6,000 had been consecrated by Dr Maclagan, the Archbishop of York, on October 3rd, 1891. Although nearly £5,400 had been donated towards the cost of building the nave and the chancel, over £800 was still owed to the builder, and about £2,000 had to be raised before the bell tower could be constructed.

Leonard moved into the vicarage in Glebedale Road and made plans to revitalise the parish. He established a church council, organised Bible classes and formed youth clubs.

Hoping it would bring in enough money to pay Christ Church’s debts and to erect a bell tower, Leonard decided to hold a three-day bazaar in the town hall to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. When he heard that the Prince and Princess of Wales were coming to The Potteries, he invited them to visit Fenton and open the bazaar.

The Royal couple accepted his invitation and arrived in Fenton on January 5th, 1897. During their visit to the town hall, the Princess, who later became Queen Alexandra, opened the bazaar which raised £3,250.Leonard used the money to pay the church’s debts and to build a bell tower containing a peal of eight bells.

A man with a forceful personality, Leonard had unlimited self-confidence and was not afraid to speak his mind.

Early in December 1903, he began a well-publicised crusade against immorality in The Potteries which was widely reported in the national press.

In a series of outspoken, controversial sermons, Leonard condemned factory owners who failed to protect young workers from sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation. Supported by public opinion and leading non-conformist ministers, he attacked drunkenness, gambling, wife beating, child neglect, fornication and prostitution.

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