Welcome to Smallthorne History & Memories

Thank you for visiting my website. This site is an extension of my family history site ashley-surname.org.uk and is my hope that it becomes a repository of history and memories from the village of Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. We also have an active Facebook group with over 2400 members, join the discussion.

Our Mission: To capture, document and record as much about Smallthorne’s history as possible.

SMALLTHORN on the north-east side of Burslem (SJ 8850). Smallthorne 1572 SHC  XIII 287, 1838 O.S., Smalthorne 1597 Norton-in-the-Moors ParReg. From OE smœl ‘narrow, thin’, and OE þorn ‘a thorn-tree’, ‘the narrow belt of thorns’.  Smalethornis recorded in the 13th century (SHC XI 324), appears to have been in Barlaston.

Courtesy of The Place-Names of Staffordshire by David Horowitz

Smallthorne Past

Smallthorne Past

Many of you will have grown up or lived in Smallthorne at some point in your life. By documenting the memories of residents and the history of Smallthorne we hope to preserve Smallthorne’s rich heritage.
Smallthorne Present

Smallthorne Present

The present is tomorrows history. The world is forever changing which is why it is important to create a record of the here and now so one day future generations can look back on it as history.
Smallthorne Future

Smallthorne Future

We can’t predict what the future holds for Smallthorne but we all have an important part to play in shaping the future of the village. So future generations can look forward to forging lasting memories of happy times in Smallthorne.

Latest History & Memories

Smallthorne Miners’ Hostel

I was very lucky to be contacted by Yvonne Findlay who wanted to know the whereabouts of a statue that her father sculpted in memory of his colleagues. The statue was at the Miners Hostel and I then got to see some fantastic pictures which Yvonne has given me permission to share.

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Sid Bailey Talk – 30th September 2015

It was the first day back for Kendall Prosser and the Living at Home History Group at Salem Methodist Church in Smallthorne. Kendall had organised a talk by Sid Bailey a well known local teacher and historian. I had booked the day off work to attend this and do some other research.

As the exercise group left and the History group gathered, Kendall went to fetch Sid who is now in his 90’s (born 1922) and when he arrived, Sid took his place at a table in front a dozen or so interested folk.

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Arthur Berry: A Three and Sevenpence Ha’penny Man


Available on DVD for the first time – this is a unique collection of Central TV and ATV appearances. Arthur talks passionately about his work, reads out some of his poems and gives his views on the The Potteries and its people as he walks around Burslem.

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A Very Local History

An initiative by Neil Dawson to set up a series of talks on local interest including one by myself on Smallthorne History. A very reasonable admission price and all to support the Hall. The intent is to culminate in a Literary Festival next Summer supported as a wider event in Stoke on Trent. Great talk by Fred who spoke with passion and knowledge about local history that was totally captivating.

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Jess Holdcroft M.i.D – North Staffs Reg

This photograph and the other two wonderful documents come courtesy of Carl Holdcroft

“My great grandad Jess Holdcroft M.i.D (Center) in 1915 enlisting into the North Staffs Reg. (Later transferred to Royal Engineers Railway Troop). At time of enlistment he was living in Heath St. Smallthorne.”

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Local Events & Site Notices

Website Upgrade

The website has undergone a few changes, some slightly cosmetic but most of the work has been done behind the scenes to keep it up to date and the main change to make the size responsive so it is more mobile friendly.

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Merry Christmas Smallthorne

Merry Christmas to all website visitors past, present and future and to members of the Facebook group. A big Festive thank you to all those who’ve contributed and shared words, memories and photos.

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Smallthorne History Talk – 18th October 2015

On the 18th October I have been asked to give a short talk and my chosen subject is Smallthorne History. Please apply for tickets to Ford Green Hall directly. There will be an admission charge with all proceeds going to support the running and upkeep of the Hall. This is number two in a series of talks.

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Local History Group Restarts

The local history group run by Kendall Prosser will be starting again on September 30th. The first meeting will include a talk on Workhouses by Sid Bailey. Start times are 11.30 and are held at Salem Methodist Church the group is called stoke north live at home scheme and anyone over 50 will be made more than welcome if they want to attend.

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Are you a Holdcroft?

We’ve had a request from Dr Alan Holdcroft…

Are you a Holdcroft who is interested in genealogy, and with ancestors in Norton-in-the-Moors/Norton Green, or known to be one of the ‘descendants of Walter Holdcroft b ~1600 Norton-le-moors’.

I am a member of an international genetic genealogy group ‘U-106 haplogroup’ whose purpose is to carry out genealogical DNA testing on the Y (male) chromosome, with the purpose of identifying common ancestry in the more distant genealogical past (pre-surnames) and inferring their origins and migrations.

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Smallthorne People

They are a stoical people who have one foot in the town and one foot in the country.The village of Smallthorne is the last knuckle of the Pennine chain, the last little lump of a hill before the land becomes flatter and the Midlands begin. It is most definitely a part of the North, a part of the Staffordshire moorlands, and whenever I go through this country I know it is my own clod, the place my tribe comes from. by Arthur Berry

Join The Discussion

Smallthorne History & Memories Facebook Group

If you use Facebook then why not join my Smallthorne History & Memories Group ‘Here‘.

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