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 email@example.com if you can give it more information.
Category Archives: North Staffordshire
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.
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.
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)
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This next couple of blog posts are some very early musings on the current relationship between towns and cities and highlights some learning and thinking I’ve been doing about this. As an adult I’ve always lived in big cities (Sheffield, Leeds and now Manchester – sometimes considered the Core Cities ). But increasingly I’ve become interested […]
In retrospect, my time at university has given me incredible opportunities for discovery. Living off campus in my second year, I have been able to truly experience the delights of moving somewhere and discovering the beauty surrounding my new everyday life and commute – with the help of sunshine of course. The quiet town of […]
Our MP of the Month has a special significance for the History of Parliament Trust, being the great-grandfather (and namesake) of our founder, Josiah Wedgwood MP. This year the History of Parliament is marking the 75th anniversary of the death of its founder, Josiah Clement Wedgwood (1872-1943), with events including a touring exhibition in Staffordshire. […]
This years theme for Halloween in Tunstall Market will be based on MGM’s popular, evergreen film the “Wizard Of Oz”.
Lots of characters from this classic 1930s movie are coming to visit the market, and today’s children will meet Dorothy and her friends whose activities delighted their parents, their grandparents and their great-grandparents.
In 2007 I did a series of murals in The Leopard Hotel, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.
One image was based on a story of a woman in the 18th or 19th century who had been murdered in the back rooms of the hotel. Stabbed to death, in one of the small “snug” rooms which the back room was divided into.
In the painting the woman is slumped in an old high backed arm chair, her glass of red wine lying on its side on the floor. At first she just looks like she is asleep, but the pool of wine is slowly mingling with another red liquid. The woman sits in front of a raging fire. But her skin is pale. Almost white. She wears a mob cap and a low cut blue dress. Is she a maid in the hotel, a pottery worker, or a lady of the night plying her…
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