Although all of Smallthorne falls comfortably within Stoke-on-Trent North parliamentary constituency, for local government purposes it was split between two different electoral wards: Burslem North and East Valley. The part of Smallthorne that falls within East Valley is sometimes referred to as New Ford and has an active Residents Association of the same name. The Burslem North part of Smallthorne also has an active residents association and has chosen to call itself Smallthorne Village Residents Association who Paul Reed is chair of.[1] In 2011 Smallthorne was united and became a single ward, with one Councillor elected (The labour party candidate Matt Wilcox who previously came from the East Valley ward). This was due to the Boundaries Commission mandate to reduce the amount of councilors governing Stoke-on-Trent.

For 115 years Smallthorne was administratively separate from Stoke-on-Trent. From 1807 to 1894, Smallthorne (and Ford Green), along with Bemersley, Norton, Norton Green, and Milton, was part of the Norton-on-the-Moors Parish. An Act of Parliament, entitled ‘An Act for separating the Chapelries and Chapels of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burslem, Whitmore, Bucknall-cum-Bagnall and Norton-in-the-Moors, from the Rectory and Parish Church of Stoke-upon-Trent, and for making them five district rectories’, was passed in 1807. For Poor Law purposes, the parish became part of Leek Union in 1834. A visitor in the 1850s observed that “the whole parish is a cold and hilly country, abounding in coal, which is got at various depths, in beds from four to seven feet thick”.[2]

Smallthorne was from 1894 to 1922 part of the Smallthorne Urban District. In 1922 the urban district was wound up, with the bulk of it becoming part of the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent.

The building that once served as the council HQ is still in existence and can be found near Smallthorne Cemetery. The HQ became a public library before that closed in the early 1990s. It now serves as an undertakers’ premises.

One interesting side effect of the fact that the Potteries’ six towns and Smallthorne were administratively separate was the duplication of many street names. This led to significant confusion after unification. Thus, in the early 1950s a large number of streets had to be renamed. In Smallthorne twenty streets were given new names, including Ford Green Road (formerly Leek Road), Coseley Street (formerly Edward Street) and Preston Street (formerly Wedgwood Street).

Taken from Wikipedia - 25th May 2013
[1] Smallthorne Village Residents Association website. Retrieval Date: 17 September, 2007.
[2] White, William (1851). History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire. Sheffield.

Pin It on Pinterest