Category Archives: The Potteries
Did you know that our website has a Diary Date section which organisers of cultural activities and community groups can use to publicise their activities?
All you have to do to gain widespread publicity for your event throughout North Staffordshire and The Potteries is email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about the event three weeks before it takes place.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about Diary Date and how it can help you to let more people about your activities and events.
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.
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.
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.
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.
THE VICTORIA INSTITUTE
“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.”
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.”
Tunstall’s Technical Schools, which were housed in the Victoria Institute in Station Road (The Boulevard), opened in November 1890.
Subjects taught by the schools included Art, Science and General Subjects.
Most students attending classes at the schools worked during the day in industry or commerce and gave up their evenings to study for vocational qualifications.
The schools’ academic year started in September, and there were four ten-week terms, Students were given a week’s holiday at Christmas, another week at either Easter or Whitsun and a “long vacation” lasting two months during July and August. To ensure that students attended classes regularly during term time a register of attendance was kept which could be viewed by their parents or guardians and by their employers.
Tunstall’s Technical Schools entered their students for examinations set by the Board of Education. Students who passed were awarded certificates and the ones who gained the highest marks were given gold, silver or bronze medals.
Students who wanted to continue with their studies and become industrial designers or art teachers could apply for scholarships tenable at the Royal College of Art in London.
Speaking at Tunstall Technical Schools’ annual prizegiving ceremony in 1899, Staffordshire County Council’s director of technical education, Thomas Turner, said that North Staffordshire, like other leading industrial areas, should have its own University College.
The local newspaper, The Sentinel, supported Turner’s call for a University College to be established in North Staffordshire and asked one of the area’s leading educationalists to write about the scheme.
Published on May 27, 1899, the article that was written by an unnamed contributor said technical schools in The Potteries were too small to run scientific or academic courses for boys and girls who had been educated to matriculation standard.
To overcome this problem, the writer suggested creating a North Staffordshire College where students could read for degrees in academic subjects and receive degree level vocational training in engineering, ceramic technology, mining or metallurgy.
This extract from the Tunstall Year Book, which was published in 1905, gives an account of the Sir Smith Child Clock Tower in Tower Square which was built by public subscription and presented to the town in 1893.
THE SIR SMITH CHILD CLOCK TOWER
“On Thursday, the 23rd November 1893, the ceremony of unveiling and handing over to the town this Tower, which was erected during the lifetime of Sir Smith Child, as a permanent memorial to commemorate his unparalleled acts of benevolence to Tunstall, was performed by Mr Alfred Meakin, in the presence of Mr J G Child, and a numerous company.
“The Tower, which is erected at the west end of the Market Square (Tower Square), and is constructed of buff terra-cotta, stands some 50 feet high, is fitted with a striking clock with Cambridge chimes, having four dials, and at the base of the structure is a bronze bust of Sir Smith Child in a niche designed for that purpose.
“The cost of the Tower has been over £1,500, which amount was contributed by over 3,500 subscribers.”
North Staffordshire and The Potteries are not the only places where bank branches are being closed, and cashpoints are being removed.
Slowly and systematically, Britain’s banks are closing their cashpoints in towns and cities throughout the country.
The consumer group “Which?” is calling for a regulator to protect our access to cash. According to “Which?” cashpoints were closed at the rate of 488 a month between June and December 2018.
Since 2015 almost 3,500 bank branches have been closed, and “Which?” says that many people will be unable to pay “for goods and services if Britain becomes a cashless society.
It seems as if the banks’ objectives are to force us to bank online and to use credit or debit cards to pay for everything we buy.