Tag Archives: Fenton

Tunstall Market’s Early History

tunstall-market

Tunstall’s heritage market, which is now one of the best indoor markets in the UK, celebrated its bicentenary on September 20, 2017.

In 1816, Tunstall’s chief constable, pottery manufacturer John Henry Clive, founded a company to build a Magistrates’ Courthouse and create a Market Place.

The company leased three-quarters of an acre of sloping ground called Stoney Croft from Walter Sneyd, the Lord of the Manor. It built a courthouse and laid out a market place, which later became Tower Square, on the site.

A two-storey stone building, the courthouse had a fire station with two fire engines and a market hall on the ground floor where eggs, butter, milk and cheese were sold when the market opened. The building faced eastwards. It was erected about halfway up the slope. Steps led from the lower part of the Market Place, where stalls were set up on market day, to the market hall’s main entrance.

Beneath the market hall was the town lock up – a dark, foul-smelling dungeon where prisoners were held while awaiting trial. The stocks stood at the foot of the steps leading to the market hall. Six hours in the stocks or a fine of five shillings was the usual penalty for being drunk and disorderly.

The company placed an advertisement in the Staffordshire Advertiser on September 13, 1817, which read: “Notice is hereby given that henceforward a market will be held at Tunstall, in the Potteries, weekly on Saturdays in front of the Court-House. The first to be on Saturday, 20 September. Stalls and standings free.”

Tunstall Market was both a retail market and a wholesale market. Retailers sold fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and salt. Horse-drawn waggons brought dairy produce, fruit and vegetables to the wholesale market which attracted retailers from Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Longton and Fenton.

An Act of Parliament passed in 1840 created the Tunstall Market Company to manage the market. In 1847, the company sold the market for £6,500 to the town’s Improvement Commissioners. Shortly afterwards, the commissioners allowed dealers to sell hay and straw there. In 1855, the Improvement Commissioners were replaced by a Board of Health. The Board of Health managed the market until 1894 when Boards of Health were abolished, and Urban District Councils were created to replace them. Tunstall Urban District Council ran the market until 1910 when the “six towns amalgamated” to form the County Borough of Stoke-on-Trent.

Focus on Burslem: John Ward (1781-1871)

St. Paul's Church, Burslem (640x409)John Ward, the author of “The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent” published in 1843, was born at Slawston in Leicestershire on June 22nd, 1781.

John who became one of North Staffordshire’s leading lawyers served his articles with an attorney in Cheadle.

Qualifying in 1808, he moved to Burslem and set up his own practice.

At the time, Britain and her allies were at war with France. Napoleon’s army had defeated the Prussians. English troops, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, were fighting a rearguard action in Portugal and John joined the Longport Volunteers, a unit formed to help defend The Potteries if the French invaded.

In 1811, John married Anne Rice from Ashby-de-la-Zouch. They had one son, William, who died of pleurisy in 1847.

An able lawyer, he quickly established an extensive practice and acted for leading industrialists and large landowners including Admiral Smith Child and his grandson Sir Smith Child. Like all successful lawyers, John made enemies. Burslem pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood accused him of professional misconduct. John sued for defamation and Wood was ordered to pay him £100 damages.

A devout Christian, John was churchwarden at St. Paul’s in Dalehall, a church he helped to build. Erected on land given by William Adams, the church was consecrated by Henry Ryder, the Bishop of Lichfield, on January 19th, 1831. Costing £2,000 the medieval Perpendicular style Hollington stone building was designed by London architect Lewis Vulliamy who also built Christ Church, Cobridge.

The Reform Act 1832 made Stoke-upon-Trent a Parliamentary Borough giving it two Members of Parliament. Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Longton and Fenton were included in the constituency.

In 1837, local historian Simeon Shaw, using John’s archives, began writing “The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent” which he hoped to publish in monthly instalments.

Rewritten and edited by John, the first eight parts were printed under Shaw’s name. A financial dispute arose between Shaw and his publishers. They refused to publish any more instalments until John agreed to take over the series and complete the work. He wrote the last 12 parts, and all the instalments were made into a book called “The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent”. John was acknowledged as the author, but all profits from its sales were given to Shaw.

Politically a Conservative, John was one of Burslem’s improvement commissioners who were responsible for providing street lighting and policing. The town’s market trustees made him their clerk. He arranged for them to buy land in the town centre where they erected a meat market. Opened on October 1st, 1836 the market hall was a Romanesque-style stone building designed by architect Samuel Ledward.

Large-scale riots took place in Staffordshire during August 1842. Armed troops were used to maintain law and order. Men and women who had been arrested were taken to Stafford Gaol. The Crown employed John to help prosecute them. They were tried by Special Commissioners, who were High Court judges, sitting at Stafford.

John remained in practice until he died at his home, Furlong House in Burslem, on June 3rd, 1870. He was 89 years old. His funeral took place at St. Paul’s, Dalehall and he was buried in the churchyard.

Copyright Betty Cooper – The Phoenix Trust, September 2010

Stoke-on-Trent’s First Art Schools

Great Exhibition Crystal_Palace_interior (640x436)

Stoke-on-Trent’s first art school, The Potteries School of Design, was opened on January 25th, 1847. It held evening classes in Hanley, Stoke and Longton. Students were taught elementary drawing, basic design, freehand painting and modelling.

The school’s first headmaster, John Murdock, and his successor, John Charles Robinson, made it a centre of excellence. Students won national prizes and were awarded scholarships enabling them to continue their studies at the Government School of Design in London.

During 1851, pottery designed by students from North Staffordshire was exhibited at the Great Exhibition, held at the Crystal Palace* in Hyde Park. Their designs impressed Prince Albert who had helped to organise the exhibition. He persuaded the government to devise a scheme to build a regional College of Art and Technology in Hanley which would have university status and branch schools in Tunstall, Burslem, Longton and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The government’s proposal to build a regional college in Hanley was made public at a meeting held at the Wesleyan School in Burslem on January 19th, 1853.

During the meeting, Smith Child, who was North Staffordshire’s most generous philanthropist, and leading pottery manufacturer Herbert Minton offered to help finance the college. The scheme was rejected by civic leaders and pottery manufacturers who wanted each town to have its own art school. Prince Albert’s attempt to bring higher education to The Potteries had failed.

Shortly afterwards, small design schools were established in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Burslem.

Monthly fees for students attending classes at the Burslem school were 1/9d (9p) for men and 1/6d (7.5p) for women. The school’s headmaster was William Jabez Mückley, an artist whose work had been exhibited at the Royal Academy. It held classes in the assembly room at the Legs of Man, an old coaching inn frequented by thieves and prostitutes. Despite the venue, William was a popular teacher who attracted and retained students. Although the school gave Burslem well-trained pottery designers and skilled crafts persons, local firms refused to help it find more suitable premises.

The school closed when William left Burslem in 1858.

*The illustration shows The Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace

Copyright Betty Cooper – The Phoenix Trust, September 2010

DM/BC 2017

The first passenger train from Stoke

Stone Station

Isolated from the main railway network that was constructed in the 1830s, North Staffordshire’s pottery industry had to rely on canals for raw materials and to distribute its products.

During 1835, leading industrialists made plans to build a railway linking The Potteries to the national network.

These plans were forgotten when North Staffordshire was hit by a recession. Factories and mines closed. There were strikes and lockouts culminating in the Chartist Riots and the Battle of Burslem in 1842.

Two years later, pottery manufacturer William Copeland, who was a Member of Parliament, called a series of meetings to discuss building railway links to Manchester, Liverpool and Birkenhead.

The North Staffordshire Railway Company was formed to construct the Churnet Valley Line and lines running from Macclesfield and Crewe through The Potteries to Norton Bridge, Colwich and Burton-on-Trent.

The company’s first line ran from Stoke to Norton Bridge. Opened for goods traffic on April 3rd, 1848, the line started carrying passengers shortly afterwards.

Between 7.30am and 8.00am on Monday, April 17th about 80 people made their way, by carriage and horse-drawn omnibus, to the 18th-century mansion in Fenton built by Thomas Whieldon which had been turned into a temporary railway station.

They entered the building and bought tickets to travel on the first passenger train from Stoke-on-Trent to Norton Bridge which stopped at Trentham and Stone.

Just before 8.00am, a bell rang. The passengers got on the train. The engine driver blew the locomotive’s whistle. He opened the throttle. Clouds of steam engulfed the platform. Smoke poured out of the locomotive’s funnel and the train began to move slowly. It quickly gathered speed and was soon travelling at 25 miles an hour, terrifying cattle and sheep grazing in trackside pastures.

A temporary station had been built at Stone, where the train stopped for several minutes enabling passengers to get out and view the construction work taking place there. They saw men constructing a line from Stone to the Trent Valley Railway’s mainline at Colwich that would provide a direct route for express trains running between Stoke and London. At the junction, where the Colwich line joined the Norton Bridge line, an Elizabethan style station, with corn and cheese warehouses, coal yards and cattle pens, was being built.

A bell rang and the passengers rejoined the train. The train left Stone and arrived at Norton Bridge just half an hour after it had left Fenton. Passengers got off and caught a mail train that took them to Stafford which they reached before 9.00am.

Copyright Betty Cooper – The Phoenix Trust 2012

Photograph © Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

PH/BC

The Potteries in 1795 (Part Four)

In parts one two and three of our edited extracts from Aikin’s “A Description of the Country From Thirty to Forty Miles Round Manchester” we saw what Goldenhill, Newfield, Greenfield, Tunstall, Longport, Burslem, Cobridge, Etruria, Hanley and Shelton were like during the last decade of the 18th century. Part Four, the last article in the series describes Stoke, Fenton and Longton in 1795.

STOKE

Stoke is a parish-town with a large, ancient, well-endowed church which has several chapels and churches under it. The town, like most other parts of The Pottery, has improved much since the Trent & Mersey Canal was cut. It contains some handsome buildings and from its closeness to a wharf on the canal is well situated for trade. There are many earthenware manufacturers some of whom own large factories. At this place, a gentleman by the name of Spode used the first steam engine to grind flint. The river Trent passes here, at times with rapidity although the brick arches which carry the canal over the river do not seem to have sustained much damage. J. Whieldon, Esq. has a pleasant rural residence here. A new road has lately been made from Stoke to join the main London Road between Newcastle and Trentham.

FENTON AND LONGTON

Fenton and Longton conclude the pottery beyond Stoke. Longton is much larger than Fenton. Part of Stoke parish it has a church, a Methodist Chapel and meeting houses for dissenters. These towns, particularly Longton, manufacture large quantities of earthenware; but it is said to be with less attention than in the other parts of the pottery, consequently, it is of inferior quality although there are a few factories whose ware is second to none. At Fenton, there is the residence of Charles Smith, Esq. and Sir John Edensor Heathcote lives at Longton Hall.

Some earthenware is also manufactured at Newchapel, Wolstanton, Red Street, Newcastle, Norton and a few other places.

The Potteries in 1795 (Part Four) – Edited by Betty Cooper

The Potteries in 1795 (Part Three)

In the third of our series of edited extracts from Aikin’s “A Description of the Country from Thirty to Forty Miles Round Manchester”, we look at Hanley and Shelton.

HANLEY

No part of the pottery can boast of more respectable manufacturers than Hanley. In point of size it is next to Burslem but built so irregularly that to a person standing in the centre of it the town has the appearance of a moderately sized village. But if the houses had been joined together it would have been a well built major town. Hanley has a good market every Monday. All the produce of the surrounding country is brought here except corn, the public sale of which is not allowed because it is so near to the corn market at Newcastle. All the other markets in the pottery labour under the same restriction for the same reason. However, it is expected that attempts will be made before long to get over this inconvenience as many of the inhabitants here and in other places seem determined to trade as little as possible with Newcastle, on account of some instances of an unaccommodating disposition which has been shown by the later. On the other hand, Newcastle, which was formerly the general market of the Potteries, having, of course, suffered some decline, in consequence of the rapid rise of their markets, has exhibited symptoms of dissatisfaction which has helped to increase the mutual jealousy and discontent between them. Hanley has a recently built and well-furnished church. There are also chapels and meeting houses for dissenters. It is a growing town and an inspiring place.

SHELTON

Shelton is an extensive place and has many large pottery factories including the porcelain or china works of Hollins, Warburton & Co. The china made here is very little, if at all, inferior, especially in colours, to that made in the East Indies. The United Kingdom produces all the various types of stone and clay used in this factory and from the number of years it has been established and the regular increase in demand for its products there is no doubt that the owners will continue to reap the fruits of their enterprise and initiative… The Trent & Mersey Canal passes through Shelton and there is a public wharf. The canal brings raw materials to the potteries and takes the ware made there to towns and villages throughout the country and to the ports for export.

The Potteries in 1795 (Part 3) – Edited by Betty Cooper

To be continued

The Potteries in 1795 (Part Two)

In the second in our series of edited extracts from Dr Aikin’s description of the Potteries in 1795, we look at Burslem, Cobridge and Etruria.

BURSLEM

This is the ancient centre of The Pottery, where doubtless earthenware of one kind or another has been made for many centuries. Doctor Plot, in his History of Staffordshire, written in 1686, makes special mention of the potteries of this place and points them out as being the greatest of their kind… This place has two markets in the week, Monday and Saturday; but the market on Monday is the largest. In the last four or five years, regular fairs where cattle are sold have been established which are well attended. Burslem is a parish, which has a good church, lately enlarged and thoroughly repaired, with a good organ. The late Mr Wesley gained considerable ground here. The Methodists have a chapel, and are very numerous; they have also built chapels in several towns and villages in The Pottery: it is, however, believed that the members of this society are not so numerous now as they were in the lifetime of Mr Wesley. There is also a great variety of other sects in The Pottery: few places have so great a diversity of opinion in respect of religion as this; but the effusions of loyalty hereupon most occasions may be fairly stated to be general, warm, and sincere.

COBRIDGE

Cobridge is a large village where there are factories making earthenware. It lies partly in Burslem parish and partly in Stoke parish.

ETRURIA

Etruria belongs solely to Josiah Wedgwood, Esq. who has a very extensive earthenware manufactory here, a large village and a handsome residence in extensive grounds. In his pottery enterprises, he has most definitely acquired a great fortune with an equal share of reputation. The name of this place was given to it by Mr Wedgwood, after an ancient state in Italy, celebrated for the exquisite design of its pottery, the remaining specimens of which have served greatly to improve the beauty of modern ware. The Trent & Mersey Canal runs through Etruria, which makes it a good manufacturing situation; but the whole belonging to one individual will most likely operate against an increase in the number of factories there.

The Potteries in 1795 (Part Two) – Edited by Betty Cooper 2010

To be continued

The Potteries in 1795 (Part One)

In 1795, Dr J. Aikin published “A Description of the Country from Thirty to Forty Miles Round Manchester”. This book describes Newcastle and The Potteries as they were at the end of the 18th century. During the next few weeks, we shall be publishing a series of edited extracts from Dr Aikin’s book. The first extracts look at Goldenhill, Newfield, Greenfield, Tunstall and Longport. Later extracts will describe Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Longton and Fenton.

INTRODUCTION

About a mile from the borders of Cheshire, the Staffordshire Potteries commence at a village called Goldenhill, from whence to the other extremity of the pottery at Lane End (Longton), is something more than seven miles; a considerable part of which, by joining together, strikes the traveller as but one town, although under different names. The manufacturing of pottery wares is, the general and nearly sole business of this extensive and very populous area; and from the great increase in the number of inhabitants and houses in the last twenty years (it is assumed that for every inhabitant and house then, there are three now) in all probability, the various towns and villages of Goldenhill, Newfield, Smithfield (Greenfield), Tunstall, Longport, Burslem, Cobridge, Etruria, Hanley, Shelton, Stoke, Fenton and Longton will before long be so intermixed with buildings, as to form only one town with one name. People living a short distance away, already call them The Pottery.

THE VILLAGE OF GOLDENHILL

One should suppose this from its name to be a large and even splendid place, but on comparison, it is found to be the least so of any in The Pottery; however, its valuable mines of coal make ample amends for its other deficiencies, and from those mines, the name was given it. At the upper end of this village is Green Lane, which commands a most unbounded and beautiful prospect. On one side the greatest part of Cheshire shows itself with the Welsh Hills in the distance; and on the other, a complete and the best general view of The Pottery and the country beyond it.

NEWFIELD

Is well fitted for manufacturing purposes, having plenty of coal in its neighbourhood; but as the place belongs wholly to one individual, Admiral Smith Child, Esq. who has a handsome residence there, it is probable that he will not suffer himself to be inconvenienced by a consequence inevitable where there are a number of factories making earthenware together, the nuisance of the smoke and sulphur arising from them. It is therefore supposed that the number of factories will not be speedily increased here.

SMITHFIELD (GREENFIELD)

The situation of this place, in point of convenience for manufacturing earthenware, is not exceeded in The Pottery. It has several strata of coal and coarse clay, which the potters use much of close to its factories; but belonging solely to Theophilus Smith, Esq. this circumstance will doubtless prevent the erection of more works. The views it commands are very beautiful and extensive.

TUNSTALL

Tunstall including its environs is the pleasantest village in The Pottery. It stands on high ground and commands pleasing views. The manufacturers in it are respectable and do considerable business. There formerly was a church here, and various human bones have been dug up; but such is the effect of time, that not the least trace of either the one or the other remains now. A neat chapel has been lately built here. There are a considerable number of brick and tile works here, the clay being of a superior kind for such articles, so that with good management the tiles made from it are as blue, and look as well on the roof of a house as moderate slate. This place is four miles from Newcastle, and nine from Congleton, standing on the turnpike road from Lawton to Newcastle; another turnpike road also commences here and ends at Bosley in Cheshire.

LONGPORT

Longport situated in a valley between Burslem and Newcastle; has some good buildings in it and several large factories; but its situation thereby is rendered at times disagreeable, if not unwholesome, by the smoke hanging over it longer than if it was on higher ground. The Trent & Mersey Canal passes through Longport where there is a public wharf. This place was formerly called Longbridge, from a kind of bridge that ran about 100 yards (91.44 metres) parallel with a stream; on the completion of the canal, there was a rapid increase in buildings and businesses and about 20 years ago the inhabitants changed its name to Longport.

The Potteries in 1795 (Part One) – Edited by Betty Cooper 2010

To be continued