Category Archives: North Staffordshire

Focus on Apedale: The Apedale Railway

At the moment, the Spotlight Team is fascinated by model railways. It is re-creating a Mainline layout which Heritage Associates photographed for Palitoy in the 1970s and would like to know more about the models shown in Apedale Railway’s photograph. Please contact the team at spotlightstoke@talktalk.net if you can give it more information.

Focus on Middleport: Middleport Matters Highlights 2018

Diary Date: An invitation to meet Grant Palmer

Diary Date: Gaslight & Wasters at Centre Space Spode

Diary Date: New Exhibition at the Museum

Focus on Hanley: Winter Walks and Santa Dashes in Hanley Park

Winter birdlife in Hanley Park

The park is beautiful this time of year and is the ideal time to spot the array of birds we have in residence. If you are coming for a walk over the festive period you are likely to spot a huge variety of birds including kingfishers, robins, goldfinch, gold crests, tree creepers, nuthatches, jays, wrens, mistle thrush, great spotted woodpeckers, herons and the odd cormorant to name a few. It is also the ideal opportunity to see the development in the restoration works which are due to be complete by the summer next year…

To read more news from Hanley Park visit Winter Walks and Santa Dashes in Hanley Park

Many happy returns to Tunstall’s indoor market – it’s 160 years old today

tunstall-market

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TUNSTALL’S INDOOR MARKET FROM THE SPOTLIGHT TEAM

Opened on December 2nd, 1858, Tunstall’s indoor market celebrates its 160th birthday today.

One of the best markets in England and Wales, the indoor market, which is tucked away behind the town hall in High Street, is Stoke-on-Trent’s hidden gem.

Tunstall market is a warm-hearted place where friendly, welcoming traders sell high-quality fish and meat, fruit and vegetables, groceries, household goods and luxury items at reasonable prices to local people and customers who have come from as far afield as Alsager, Biddulph, Mow Cop and Congleton to do their weekend shopping.

Despite wars and recessions, the market has served the community for 160 years. The Spotlight team is certain that the market will continue to serve the people of Tunstall and the surrounding area for another 160 years.

Diary Date: Christmas Crafts and Festive Campfire @ Westport Lake 

Date: 1st December 2018

Location: Westport Lake, Westport Lake Road, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4RZ

Time: 13:00 – 15:00

Cost: £5 per child, £3 per additional child

Join us for a range of family Christmas crafts ending very festively with Christmas songs around the campfire.

Make some tree decorations to take home, clay reindeers, woolly robins, and sing some Christmas songs. Then, why not venture up into the cafe after where they will be selling mince pies and hot chocolate to help get the festive season off to the perfect start for you and your family? Booking essential. £5 per child, £3 per additional siblings. Children age nought to two can only attend with a paying sibling.

Source: Wildfamilies Explore Christmas Crafts and Festive Campfire @ Westport Lake | Stoke-on-Trent

A child murder in Kidsgrove

On Friday, July 31st, 1868, a 40-year-old furnaceman, William Hancock, stood in the dock at Stafford Assizes charged with the wilful murder of Mary Ann Whitehurst at Kidsgrove on June 10th, 1868.

The court heard that Mary, a little girl about ten years old, was the daughter of one of William’s neighbours.

On the evening of June 9th, she was playing with William’s children and obtained permission from her father to sleep at the accused’s house overnight.

Mary went to bed at about 9.30pm. In the early hours of the morning, the household was woken by William who being in a state of uncontrollable violence was shouting, cursing and attempting to attack his wife. Terror-stricken, William’s wife and children ran out of the house leaving Mary there.

William jumped out of his bedroom window into the street. Being unable to find his wife and children who had taken refuge with their next-door neighbour, William went back into the house where he saw Mary.

He caught hold of Mary and dragged her into the kitchen. He picked her up by the legs, held her upside down and battered her head on the kitchen floor until she was dead.

Medical evidence presented to the court showed that William was suffering from delirium tremens and did not know what he was doing when he killed Mary. The jury said he was insane and the judge ordered him to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure.

STOKE-ON-TRENT-ART SCHOOL, 1919: "AN ATMOSPHERE OF DEPRESSION, FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT"

HAND EYE FOOT BRAIN

Differences between teachers and school inspectors are not new.  The Stoke-on-Trent art schools got a pasting from government inspectors at the end of the First World War, but the principal, Stanley Thorogood, was proud of their achievements in difficult circumstances and was fizzing with ideas for the future.

Hanley, one of the six towns of the North Staffordshire Potteries, first opened its art school in 1847. Burslem opened in 1853. Smaller schools in the other towns amalgamated with Hanley and Burslem in 1910. They were part of the national system of art education, providing artisans with basic drawing and modelling skills. Only the most persistent student could follow its syllabus through its 22 levels; most went through only two or three. Originality and creativity were actively discouraged. At the pinnacle of this system was the National Art Training School in South Kensington, later the Royal College of Art (RCA)

Remarkably…

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