Category Archives: Memory Lane

Tunstall in the 1820s

In his book, the “History of the Staffordshire Potteries” published in 1829, Simeon Shaw describes Tunstall as it was in the 1820s.

In this edited* extract from the book Simeon writes:

“Tunstall is pleasantly situated on a declivity of considerable eminence, allowing most of it to be seen (at a distance of two miles) from the new turnpike road from Lawton to Newcastle-under-Lyme.

“The town is about four miles away from Newcastle-under-Lyme. It is on the high-road from Bosley to Newcastle and on the road from Burslem to Lawton.

“Tunstall is the chief liberty in the Parish of Wolstanton.

“There are many respectable tradespeople in the town, whose pottery manufacturers are both talented and opulent.

“Pottery manufacturers John Meir, Thomas Goodfellow and Ralph Hall have elegant mansions adjacent to large factories. It may be justly stated that Ralph Hall’s modesty and unaffected piety are exceeded only by his philanthropy.

“Other pottery manufacturers include S & J Rathbone, Breeze & Co and Burrows & Co.

“Smith Child has recently established a large chemical works at Clay Hills. The works overlook the Chatterley Valley where high-quality blue tiles, floor quarries and bricks are made.

“All three branches of Methodism have Chapels and Sunday Schools in Tunstall. These Chapels, which have libraries attached to them, promote the moral improvement of the people. The town possesses a very respectable Literary Society that is unassuming in character but assiduous in research.”

*Edited by David Martin (June 2018)

Take a trip down Memory Lane

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Visit “Memory Lane” in Tunstall Market to recall your childhood and share your memories of life in Tunstall with people who don’t know what the town was like in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Introduce them to the games you played with your friends. Reminisce about your school days and talk about your first job.

Over the years, the face of Tunstall has changed. The slums in “Old Town” have been swept away. Pot banks and tile works have been demolished and replaced by houses and shopping centres.

Although the Market Hall was regenerated at the beginning of the 21st century, many heritage buildings including the Town Hall, Tunstall Pool, the Jubilee Buildings and Bank Chambers face an uncertain future.

High Street Schools, Jubilee Methodist Church, St. Mary’s Church, King Street Methodist Church, St. Mary’s Secondary School and Wesley Place Methodist Church were demolished many years ago.

Come to “Memory Lane” and tell other visitors about these buildings and show them your photographs of Tunstall as it was in bygone years.

Memory Lane opens in Tunstall Market on Saturday, April 14th and it will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm on market days which are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more details telephone Diane on 07980459889.