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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Arthur Berry from Smallthorne

For those who know who Arthur Berry is and for some of those who don’t it is a well-known fact that he was born in, and spent the first part of his life in, Smallthorne. I am often asked more about this and have had several questions about where he actually lived.

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Arthur Berry – Dandelions

Ray Johnson has sponsored a reprint of Arthur’s book of poems “Dandelions – out of print for 8 years.

“Arthur Berry, Potteries poet and Renaissance man, had a unique voice and spoke of a unique place. This is the third edition of Arthur’s famous collection of poems; “Dandelions”, first published in 1993. Its long-awaited reissue celebrates Arthur’s legacy – continuing the work of pioneering director and champion, Peter Cheeseman. This year marks a significant reappraisal of Arthur’s work, first at Stoke’s Hot Air Literary Festival and then in a major exhibition at the Potteries Museum, allowing new audiences and aficionados to revel in Arthur Berry’s rich world.”

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