Category Archives: Tunstall Market

Spotlight on Tunstall – Market Returns to Tower Square

Spotlight on North Staffordshire and the Potteries is delighted to learn that market traders have returned to Tower Square and that once again Tunstall has an outdoor market.

We hope that local people will support the new market which will help to regenerate Tower Square and halt the decline of High Street.

Spotlight sends its best wishes to the traders in Tower Square and hope that the outdoor market is a great success.

Reduced Fares Encouraged Families To Shop In Tunstall

At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a retail and a wholesale market in Tunstall.

Held in the Market Place (Tower Square), the wholesale market was open every day except Sunday. From Lady Day (March 25th) to Michaelmas (September 29th) it opened at 6.00am. Between Michaelmas and Lady Day the market opened two hours later at 8.00am.

The retail market in the Market Hall was open on Mondays and Saturdays. On Mondays, the market opened from 8.00am to 8.00pm. Saturday was a working day for many people, and on Saturdays, the retail market was open from 8.00am to 10.00pm.

To encourage families living in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire to shop in Tunstall Market, the North Staffordshire Railway Company issued Cheap Market Returns to Tunstall and Chatterley Train Stations from Kidsgrove, Halmerend, Audley, Talke, Alsager Road, Congleton, Mow Cop, Crewe, Radway Green, Alsager, Sandbach, Lawton, Keele and Leycett.

Publication of book about Tunstall Town Hall and Market postponed

Spotlight on North Staffordshire and The Potteries has had to postpone publication of its book The History of Tunstall Town Hall and Market.

David Martin who is editing the book and writing its closing chapters was taken ill shortly before Christmas.

He lost the use of his legs and was unable to walk for several weeks.

Although his legs are still very painful, David has just started to walk again.

He anticipates being away from work until the end of May.

When David returns to work, his first job will be to complete the book and arrange for its publication.

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

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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.

Tunstall’s indoor market is 160 years old this year

Tunstall’s indoor market hall, which opened in December 1858, celebrates its 160th birthday this year.

In 1856, Tunstall’s Board of Health decided to build a new market hall.

The board of health commissioned George Thomas Robinson, the architect who designed Burslem’s Old Town Hall, to build the market hall.

Constructed on a half acre site opposite the Market Place in High Street, the market hall cost £7,651.

It was opened by Thomas Peake, the Chief Bailiff and Chairman of the Board of Health, on December 2, 1858. In the evening a concert was held in the market hall. At 9.00 pm there was a firework display in the Market Place (Tower Square) which was followed by a ball in the market hall.

Trading commenced there two days later on December 4, 1858, when the retail market which sold:

  • Dairy produce
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, poultry, game and rabbits
  • Manufactured goods and household utensils

left the Market Place and moved into the building.

Tucked away behind the town hall in High Street, the indoor market is Stoke-on-Trent’s hidden gem.

It’s 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 away as Alsager, Biddulph, Mow Cop and Congleton to do their weekend shopping.

Today, the market hall is home to one of the best indoor markets in England and Wales – a place where you and your family can do the weekend shopping under one roof.

Market News – Halloween in Tunstall Market

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HALLOWEEN IN TUNSTALL MARKET

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.

Tunstall Market – An Abandoned Stall

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TUNSTALL MARKET (1998)

Looking at several photographs taken inside Tunstall Covered Market when it was closed for regeneration in the 1990s, we came across this photograph of the Refreshment Stall at the rear of the Market Hall. Although the colours have faded with time, we are sure the photograph will bring back memories of both the refreshment stall and the oatcake stall seen in the background.

At the moment Spotlight is trying to digitally enhance the photograph which is one of several photographs of The Potteries given to David when he was in Tunstall recently.

A BOOK ABOUT TUNSTALL MARKET

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TUNSTALL INDOOR MARKET CELEBRATES ITS 160th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR

Tunstall’s indoor market was opened in 1858. To celebrate the 160th anniversary of its opening, historical geographer, Betty Cooper and international heritage lawyer, David Martin are writing a book about the market.

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION

Tunstall’s historic Market Hall is one of the few remaining Victorian covered markets in the country.

The covered market cost £7,651 13s 1d. It was designed by Wolverhampton based architect George Thomas Robinson, who created Burslem’s old town hall. The market hall was opened by the chief bailiff, Thomas Peake on the 2 December 1858. Trading commenced there on the 4 December 1858 and customers could buy meat and fish, poultry and game, fruit and vegetables, groceries and dairy produce, clothing and manufactured goods.

In the early 1880s, one-third of the covered market, including its main entrance in High Street, was demolished to make way for a new town hall.

Built in the free Renaissance style, the town hall was designed by North Staffordshire’s leading architect, Absalom Reade Wood.

While the town hall was being constructed, Wood regenerated the remaining part of the market hall giving it a new glazed roof. New stalls were erected. The floor was relaid and the building was redecorated. Tunstall’s chief bailiff, John Nash Peake, opened the new town hall on the 29 October 1885. To celebrate its opening, a luncheon was held in the town hall. Afterwards, the band of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and the members of Burslem Prize Choir gave a Promenade Concert in the covered market. In the evening a football match took place in Phoenix Park and the day ended with a grand ball in the market hall.

BETTY AND DAVID NEED YOUR HELP

Many people who shop in the market today must remember the covered market before it closed for regeneration in the 1990s and the temporary market hall that was erected in Woodland Street.

If you were a child in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, your mother could have taken you to the market on Saturdays when she did the weekend shopping. You may even have had a part-time job working on one of the stalls when you were at school or college.

If you have memories or photographs of the market which you would like to share with Betty and David please contact them at daymar727@talktalk.net

Visitors give Tunstall Market top marks

Spotlight on The Potteries is always pleased when it discovers nice comments about our area.

Recently, while glancing at TripAdvisor, we found three reviews written by visitors to Tunstall Market.

All reviewers rated the market as excellent.

The first reviewer, who posted her review on 14 September 1917, visited the market to buy bacon and to purchase a sausage roll and an egg custard for her mother. She found that people in the market were friendly and said it had a “good wool stall” and “a great café”.

Her words about the café were echoed by the second reviewer who went to the market to get a bite to eat. Although the café was busy, the reviewer, who had a full English breakfast and a mug of tea, said the “huge meal” which was reasonably priced “tasted great”.

The third reviewer, whose review was posted on 17 February 2018, described the market as “a lovely, old-fashioned indoor market. This reviewer, who seems to know Tunstall Market well, said the original Victorian Market Hall still retained the “lovely old atmosphere that it had decades ago” adding that the stalls were excellent and sold “a wide variety of goods”.

Historical geographer, Betty Cooper, and international heritage lawyer, David Martin, are writing a book about Tunstall Market. If the third reviewer or anyone else who has known the market for many years would like to share their memories of it with Betty and David please email them at daymar727@talktalk.net  

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TUNSTALL INDOOR MARKET CELEBRATES ITS 160th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR

J. B. Priestley visits Tunstall

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An Artist’s Impression of Adams Greengates Factory in the 18th Century

Writer and broadcaster, John Boynton Priestley made his first visit to The Potteries in 1933 when he was writing English Journey, a personalised semi-documentary account of life in England.

A well built, good-natured, plain speaking, pipe smoking Yorkshireman, he visited towns and cities throughout the country collecting materials for his book. Meandering northwards from Southampton, John made his way to The Potteries where he went to two 18th century potbanks – Adams in Tunstall and Wedgwood at Etruria.

John was surprised to hear the foreman at Adams call the workers “ladies and gentlemen” instead of “men and women”. He saw then making and decorating cups and saucers, teapots, butter dishes, dinnerware and tea services. The “ladies and gentlemen” took pride in their work. John admired their skill and craftsmanship but was critical of the firm’s traditional designs which were not selling well in overseas markets. Before leaving the factory, he unsuccessfully attempted to throw a large plate on a potters wheel. John could not control its speed, and the plate kept spinning off the wheel.

Unwilling to admit defeat, he decided to try again when he visited Wedgwood. John persuaded the company to let him throw a vase.

John’s skills as a potter were limited, and amused workers watched his futile attempts to shape the clay. Realising he did not have the ability to make a vase, John spent all afternoon trying to create a bowl. One disaster followed another. Eventually, he managed to produce something resembling a bowl that could be used as an ashtray.

Did you know that Adams had two potbanks in Tunstall? The one called Greengates was near Christ Church. The other called Greenfield was in Furlong Road. Both factories were demolished many years ago.

If you have memories of these factories or photographs of them and the ware they made which you would like to share please email David at daymar727@talktalk.net or visit Memory Lane in Tunstall Market on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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