Place:Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, England

Watchers
NameStoke on Trent
Alt namesCity of Stoke-on-Trentsource: Gazetteer of Great Britain (1999) xvii
The Potteriessource: Wikipedia
The Six Townssource: Wikipedia
TypeCity, Borough (county), Unitary authority
Coordinates53°N 2.18°W
Located inStaffordshire, England
See alsoNorth Pirehill Hundred, Staffordshire, Englandhundred of which the parish was a part
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Stoke-on-Trent (often abbreviated to "Stoke") and also called "The Potteries", is a city in Staffordshire, England, which forms a linear conurbation stretching for 12 miles (19 km), with an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). With the neighbouring boroughs of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands District, it forms the north Staffordshire region, which in 2011 had a population of 469,000 (approximation from the census).

The conurbation continues to be polycentric, having been formed by a federation of six separate towns and numerous villages in the early-20th century. The settlement from which the federated town (it was not a city until 1925) took its name was Stoke-upon-Trent or Stoke, where the administration and chief mainline railway station were located. The other towns were Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, Longton and Fenton. After the union, Hanley emerged as the primary commercial centre in the city, despite the efforts of its rival, Burslem.

An early proposal for a federation of the individual towns took place in 1888, when an amendment was raised to the Local Government Bill which would have made the six towns into districts within a county of “Staffordshire Potteries”. However, it was not until 1 April 1910 that the “Six Towns” were brought together. The county borough of Hanley, the municipal boroughs of Burslem, Longton, and Stoke, together with the urban districts of Tunstall and Fenton now formed a single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. The combined borough took the name “town of Stoke”.

The borough expanded in 1922, taking in Smallthorne Urban District and parts of other parishes from Stoke-upon-Trent Rural District. The borough was officially granted city status in 1925, with a Lord Mayor from 1928. The county borough was abolished in 1974, and Stoke became a non-metropolitan district of Staffordshire. Its status as a unitary authority was restored on 1 April 1997, although it remains part of the ceremonial county of Staffordshire.

Contents

Industry

Pottery

Since the 17th century, the area has been almost exclusively known for its industrial-scale pottery manufacturing. Companies such as Royal Doulton, Dudson Ltd, Spode (founded by Josiah Spode), Wedgwood (founded by Josiah Wedgwood), Minton (founded by Thomas Minton) and Baker & Co. (founded by William Baker) were established and based there. The local abundance of coal and clay suitable for earthenware production led to the early (initially limited) development of the local pottery industry. The construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal enabled the import of china clay from Cornwall. This facilitated the production of creamware and bone china.

Other production centres in Britain, Europe and worldwide had a considerable lead in the production of high quality wares. Methodical and highly-detailed research and experimentation, carried out over many years, nurtured the development of artistic talent throughout the local community and raised the profile of Staffordshire Potteries. This was spearheaded by one man, Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), and later by other local potters such as Thomas Whieldon (1719-1795), along with scientists and engineers. With the industry came a large number of notable ceramic artists including Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Charlotte Rhead, Frederick Hurten Rhead and Jabez Vodrey.

Coal mining

North Staffordshire was a centre for coal mining. The first reports of coal mining in the area come from the 13th century.[1] The Potteries Coalfield (part of the North Staffordshire Coalfield) covers 100 square miles (300 km2). Coal-mining was a very important industry in the area from the early 19th century until the 1980s. The collieries are now all closed. For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Stoke-on-Trent.

Other heavy industry

The iron and steel industries occupied important roles in the development of the city. Especially notable were those mills located in the valley at Goldendale and Shelton below the hill towns of Tunstall, Burslem and Hanley. Shelton Steelworks' production of steel ended in 1978—-instead of producing crude steel, they concentrated on rolling steel billet which was transported from Scunthorpe by rail. The rolling plant finally closed in 2002.

From 1864 to 1927 Stoke housed the repair shops of the North Staffordshire Railway and was the home of independent railway locomotive manufacturers Kerr Stuart & Co. Ltd. from 1881 to 1930.

The Michelin tyre company also has a presence in Stoke-on-Trent, and in the 1920s built their first UK plant in the city. In the 1980s nearly 9,000 workers were employed at the plant; in 2006 about 1,200 worked there.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Stoke-on-Trent.

Research Tips

  • There are a total of 22 articles on Stoke-on-Trent and the six towns included within the city in Volume 8 of The Victoria County History of Staffordshire (published 1963) as provided by the website British History Online. The first is an introduction, the remainder follow on. There is a list of contents on the page introducing Volume 8.

Staffordshire Research Tips

Reminder: Staffordshire today covers a much smaller area than formerly. The West Midlands now governs the southeastern corner of pre-1974 Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, although ceremonially still part of Staffordshire, is a unitary authority covering a large well-populated part of the north of the county.

  • The William Salt Library is the reference library in Stafford and is adjacent to the county archive offices. They have an online catalogue of their holdings.
  • GENUKI lists other large libraries in Staffordshire for Wolverhampton, Burton-upon-Trent, Dudley, Walsall, and Sandwell. The last three of these places are now in the West Midlands and may hold items of local interest which are no longer housed in Staffordshire libraries and archives. For example, The Walsall Archives Centre keeps local census records and local church records.
  • The Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry includes Staffordshire in its remit. It has branches in Stoke-on-Trent, Burton-on-Trent and Wolverhampton. Publications are available through the BMSGH shop. Payments accepted by debit and credit card and by Paypal. Other family history and local history societies situated around Staffordshire are listed by GENUKI.
  • The Midlands Historical Data project produces searchable facsimile copies of old local history books and directories of interest to genealogists. It specialises in the three counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire, working closely with libraries, archives and family history societies in the area. Digital images are made freely available to participating organisations to improve public access. Free search index on its web-site to all its books. In many cases payment will be required to see the extract.
  • GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Staffordshire as well as leading to a collection of 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki provides a similar information service to GENUKI which may be more up-to-date. An index of parishes leads to notes and references for each parish. The auxiliary website English Jurisdictions can also be helpful.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time has
  1. organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts (1837 onwards) and the rural and urban districts of the 20th century. They have just announced (August 2015) a future expansion to their data including 2011 census population data and links to post-1974 county organization.
  2. excerpts from a gazetteer of circa 1870 outlining individual towns and parishes
  3. reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
  • Brett Langston's list of Staffordshire Registration Districts and parishes within each registration district from 1837 to the present can indicate where to find details of civil registration entries since the process began in England.
  • More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Stoke-on-Trent. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.