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Topic: Project for the Star Academy.
david
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Project for the Star Academy.
on: May 3, 2013, 18:18

This is a project for the Star Academy to help with their local history studies.


Have you ever wondered what it was like in Goldenhill 179 years ago?

Sandyford had just a few houses and the farms we talked about last time I was here.

Goldenhill was starting to get quite busy, more houses were being built and people were moving into the area.

That was because of the canals being built, coal mines being started and pottery firms being built.


The ruler of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was King William the fourth.


William IV


You can see from this picture that he dressed a little bit differently from how we dress today.

I bet it took him ages to get ready in a morning.


This is the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel.

Sir Robert was the man who invented the police force.


Sir Robert Peel

Bt


A Robert Peel Policeman was called a Peeler and later on a Bobby.


All this business about Prime Ministers and Kings didn’t really bother the people of Sandyford and Goldenhill very much because they were too busy trying to earn a living and feed themselves.

Very few people had gas for lighting and cooking, most people burned coal in their fireplaces to keep warm and to cook their food.


This is an old sort of cooker called a range, actually that is quite a posh one, most of them weren’t that big or fancy.

Their homes were lit with either candles or oil lamps.

No fancy bathrooms or toilets and if you were very lucky you might have a tap in the outhouse instead of having to use a hand pump like this one.


Isaac Gater was the village plumber, I would imagine his main line of business was lead piping, hand operated water pumps and septic tanks.


In 1834 the trade directory shows that there were 2 Coal Masters, John Henry Clive and Robert Williamson.

They were actually coal mine owners and employed a lot of men in the area.


Mr. J. Collinson and William Edge were earthenware or pottery manufacturers, again, major employers.


George Freakley was a Shoemaker who had a very good line in clogs too.

Wooden clogs

Clogs were very hard wearing, you could stand on almost any rough surface without hurting your feet.

My Uncle Tom, who was a cobbler, was still selling clogs in the 1950s.


John Lucock had an iron foundry, there are several mentions of a foundry at Latebrook and there is still a chimney at Woodstock just 50 metres away from where my Dad was born.


John Nixon was the only tailor, he made suits and trousers for the gentlemen, the ordinary men had their clothes made by their wives and mothers.


Anyone by the name of Nixon is possibly one of my grandmothers relatives, they were everywhere in Goldenhill.

There was also the Stanfield family, that was on my granddad’s side.

One of my great-great grandfathers came from Ireland, his name was Joseph Dooley.

My dad’s grandmother, Eliza was born in France around 1840.

Can you believe that she was French and nobody told me.


After 1845 a lot of the villagers came from Ireland to Britain because the potato crop was destroyed by the bad weather and people were starving to death over there.

In 1881 about one third of the people were Irish born.

After the war in 1946 there were Polish and Lithuanian names added to Goldenhill’s proud history.


Robert Shufflebotham was a joiner and builder.

A joiner makes and fits windows and doors and a carpenter makes furniture and similar things.


It appears that the Nelson Arms and the Red Lion were both owned by Obadiah Booth.

The Wheatsheaf was owned by Jasper Johnson.

As well as the three inns or taverns there were 5 beer houses all without names.


Thomas Habberley, John Mainwaring and William Wheeler were all blacksmiths.

Around this time my great grandfather was a blacksmith in Bollington, Cheshire.

The blacksmiths made tools, gates, horse shoes and many more kinds of metal objects.


Cars and buses did not exist at that time and the railways didn't reach Stoke on Trent until around 1845, so any travel or farm work was done by using horses.

The horses were big and strong with very large hooves, they are usually called Shire horses.


The shopkeepers, Arthur Glover and William Walton lived in Goldenhill in 1834, there will be lots more over the next 40 years.

Because there were only a couple of shops, most people either grew their own food or bought it directly from the farmers or local markets.

Thomas Brindley was a Grocer so I suppose he had a small shop somewhere in the village.

The 9 farmers were, Henry Clive, Thomas Edwards, George Mountford, John Nixon, Daniel Stubbs, James & William Tunstall, Hugh Turnock and James Wood.


Most people lived on bread and potatoes and sometimes a little bit of bacon.

There were no pizzas or kebabs.

No fast food places like KFC and McDonalds.

No chip shops, no cafes, no takeaways and no microwaves to cook it in.


St John’s church wasn’t built until 1842 but there was a small Methodist church in the village.


The population of the village and surrounding area was just about 1200 and the total area was 714 acres.

By 1912 the number of people living here will be almost 5000.


The first school was opened about 1841 and the parents had to pay for their children to attend.


The village didn’t have a doctor, nurse or even a policeman.

The Post Office or Royal Mail wasn’t around yet, anyway not many people could read and write so what was the point of having letters.

If you became poorly you just had to use old fashioned remedies to hopefully make you better.

Old age pensions hadn’t been thought of then, sick pay wasn’t available, so if you were old or poorly you either carried on working or your family looked after you.


If the people didn’t have the money to buy coal they went to the spoil tips and dug for bits of useful coal the coal sorters had missed at the mine.


There was a small iron works at Goldendale but the business didn’t begin to grow until 1844.


This is a picture of the old bottle ovens or kilns at Etruria which was the factory belonging to Josiah Wedgwood.

Most of these old potbanks were smoky, damp, dirty, dusty places to work.

Children worked in these factories from the age of 11, six days a week 12 hours a day.

The skies were always full of smoke and when you looked over towards Hanley all you could see was layers of smoke over the city.

People suffered with very poorly chests and also had other problems which were linked to the bad conditions in the potbanks.


At the top of Goldenhill as Kidsgrove Bank starts, there is a park.

A long time ago that was a massive spoil heap called the Starvation Banks.

We used to play there when we were lads, at the highest point you could see all over the Cheshire Plain all the way to Runcorn and the Welsh Mountains the other way.

They made it into a park in 1961 by scraping away all the waste coal and planting lots of trees there.


Names you can look for in the Goldenhill church yard list on this link.

Collinson, Colclough, Clive, Edge, Gater, Williamson, Smith-Child, Booth, Glover, Walton, Freakley, Lucock, Nixon, Shufflebotham, Mainwaring, Wheeler, Edwards, Mountford, Stubbs, Tunstall and Turnock.

http://places.wishful-thinking.org.uk/STS/Goldenhill/MIs.html


This link is to the University of Leicester who hold the rights to the trade directories I have used.

http://www.historicaldirectories.org/hd/index.asp

© David Wood 2013


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