Part 6



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This fine building was erected in 1896 as a Primitive Methodist chapel but with the title of Audley Peoples’ Methodist Church. It replaced an older chapel in Chapel Lane which is directly opposite the front of this chapel. Sadly like many other local chapels, rising maintenance costs and falling attendances brought about its end and it was demolished in October 1973.



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Fact file: Primitive Methodist Chapel


The chapel was built on a plot of land measuring 1,547 square yards which was purchased for £116 0s 6d from the trustees of the estate of the late Sir Thomas Fletcher Fenton Boughey on 12 April 1890. The trustees of the earlier Primitive Methodist Chapel, standing at that time in Chapel Lane in Audley, who were involved in the purchase, were:


Henry Maddock, charter master

Frank Proctor, grocer

Joseph Statham, miner

Enoch Statham, miner

John Statham, miner

Edwin Latham, clerk

George Timmis, miner

Andrew Thomas Henshall, miner

Thomas Mainwaring, miner

Thomas Johnson, farmer

James Millington, grocer

Daniel Maddock, joiner and builder

John Hilditch, shoe manufacturer

Henry Dodd, mechanic

Alfred Gleaves, labourer

Abraham Locker, farmer and cattle dealer

John Lewis Edwards the younger, farmer,

all of the parish of Audley


The chapel was erected by Daniel Maddock’s building firm following a stone laying ceremony on Easter Monday 6 April 1896, which was reported in the Staffordshire Advertiser newspaper of 11 April 1896.



More land became available later. This lay between the chapel and the school, the bulk of which was Leddy’s Field (see beginning of part 4). The land was offered in 11 lots to be sold by auction at the Boughey Arms Hotel in Audley on 27 August 1903. The chapel trustees purchased five lots for a total of £860. This comprised of three lots fronting Church Street, from the chapel to (and including) the site of the future Butt Lane Co-op building at no. 35, and two lots in what would become Hill Terrace in 1910. A document dated 13 March 1904 gives full details and includes the names of all the above trustees with the exception of John Hilditch who had died in 1898 (see no. 1 Church Street). However, several of the trustees were no longer resident in Audley by that time.


A plot of land at the rear of the chapel was set aside for a Sunday school, but this never materialised and the old chapel in Chapel Lane became the Sunday school instead.




A view of the chapel interior in 1952, on what may have been the centenary of Primitive Methodism in Audley village.



Views of the demolition in October 1973




Upon closure of the chapel in 1971, a new, small chapel was built at the rear of the Sunday school in Chapel Lane. It lasted until 2003 when its closure resulted in an amalgamation of the Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists in Audley. They now meet in Audley Methodist Church in New Road (see website:



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A view in the opposite direction shows no. 59 at right.



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The same view in 1988 by which time the chapel site was occupied by a supermarket which became no. 57.



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Fact file: No. 57 Church Street

The supermarket opened as Cee-n-Cee in the 1970s, part of the local chain owned by Stoke City director Alex Humphreys, whose first store was in Kidsgrove. He sold Cee-n-Cee to Prestatyn based Kwik Save in 1978 but a few smaller stores, including this, were sold on to the Tates group. However, in 1986 the Tates group also became part of Kwik Save and this store became Kwik Save. The Kwik Save group collapsed in 2007. Several stores re-opened as FreshXpress but closed soon after. FreshXpress went into administration in March 2008 and this store was sold to Tesco. It re-opened in 2008 as Tesco Express.


(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)


Kwik Save in 2006



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Fact file: No. 59 Church Street

This was a private house until about 1928 when Harry Matthews started his hairdressing business, continuing until the 1960s (See article in Audley Historian no. 15). The property was occupied by a dentist later. By 1983 it was Fruitex of Audley, run by Stan & Joyce Harper. Stan Harper also repaired sewing machines. The fruit shop was continued by Mary Eardley. It was then the second-hand goods shop of Alan Knott in the late 1990s, followed briefly by the butcher’s shop of Kevin Thorley. It is now the New Ruby Chinese Take-away.



Fruitex in 1982







This is a Hospital Saturday parade in 1906 as it passes nos. 65 and 67, the photographer’s of Thomas Warham before he moved to no. 27. Next is a house at no. 69 followed by the original Butt Lane Co-op store at no. 71. The higher buildings are nos. 73 onwards.



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This is a similar view taken in 1988 showing no. 61 at left followed by the three Horsley shops. The front of the house at no. 69 has bay windows added but the former Co-op store is unaltered. Nos. 61-71 were built by 1876 and along with no. 85 were the first to be erected on this side beyond the school.



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Fact file: No. 61 Church Street

This was a private house until some time around 1970 when it was the dental surgery of Jon and Hilary Ball before their move to Chester Road. During the 1990s it was the veterinary practice of Richard G. Yorke. Now a private house again.


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Fact file: No. 63 Church Street

A private house for many years until it became one of Horsley’s hardware shops.


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Fact file: No. 65 Church Street

This was the photographer’s shop of Thomas Warham before his move to the purpose-built "The Studio" at no. 27 in 1910. By 1921 it was the boot and shoe repair shop of George Henry Proctor. Mrs Elizabeth Horsley is recorded here in 1936 as a hardware dealer. The shop is still Horsley’s today.


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Fact file: No. 67 Church Street

Thomas Warham was at this shop from 1896 until 1910. Thomas Aldridge, a confectioner and fruiterer, is the next recorded from 1917 to 1932. Mrs Elizabeth Horsley used it as a dairy in 1936. It was briefly used by Len Harrison for his radio business in the late 1940s but then became another of Horsley’s shops. In 1984 it became Audley Post Office following the closure of the office at no. 76 (see The Postal Service in Audley Parish in Audley Historian no. 19). This office closed on 9 July 2016 following a nationwide review and Audley Post Office moved to its former location inside Audley Newsagents.


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Another Hospital Saturday parade passes the Butt Lane Co-op store at no. 71. Nos 73-83 can be seen in the next terrace with no. 85 at the far right.



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Fact file: No. 71 Church Street

By 1896 this was the first Audley store of the Butt Lane Industrial Co-operative Society, who rented it. The store was managed by Frederick Smith. The property was sold by auction at the Boughey Arms Hotel in Audley on 12 June 1902 at which time the Co-op was paying an annual rental of £26. The property included a wood-built joiner’s shop at the rear. By 1910 it was owned by Elias Johnson, who had his builder’s yard at the rear of the premises. The Co-op moved in 1914 (see also no. 35). Until 1924 it was Johnson (Audley) Ltd, who in that year went out of business. By 1928 William Worthington had the builder’s yard and house, continuing until 1982. In the 1980s it was Audley Mower Services.





No. 71 in 1987



The 1924 sale of stock of Johnson (Audley) Ltd.



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Fact file: No. 73 Church Street

Although a house, this was the home of William Llewellyn until his death in 1956. He was recorded as a house decorator from 1910 until 1940.




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Fact file: No. 75 Church Street

Again a private house but the home or office of Thomas Sproston, a solicitor, from 1928 until 1940.


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Fact file: No. 77 Church Street

Another private house, but also the home of William Harry Beeton, a plumber and gas fitter, from 1901 until his death in 1940.


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Looking back again from no. 71 at right, down to no. 59 in this pre-1896 view. The work being carried out on no. 71 is almost certain to be the conversion of the house into the Butt Lane Co-op store.



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The same view in 1986.



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This view shows nos. 108-116 at left and the terrace at right along to no. 83. The pony and trap of Dr. Vernon stands outside no. 85 which is just visible on the right. The road to the right is Hougher Wall.



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A similar view, taken in 1987, shows the remainder of Church Street at left. Nos. 108-114 can be seen in the terrace, furthest from camera, no. 116 is the shop with the blind down, followed by a house at no. 118. Finally no. 120 at left completes Church Street on that side. On the opposite side no. 85 can just be seen at right and beyond is no. 83, the end terrace.



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The view in 2007



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Fact file: No. 116 Church Street

In 1891 Daniel Darlington, shoemaker, had his shop here. He died in 1905 and his widow Jane continued as a shopkeeper here until her death in 1925. She is recorded in the 1911 census as selling sweets and toys. (Their son, John William, had the shoe shop at no. 31 Church Street, following Daniel's death.) The property passed to their daughter Bertha and her husband Edmund Viggars. From at least 1936 their daughter Elsie Viggars had a milliner’s shop here, continuing until the 1960s. By the 1980s it was the butcher’s shop of S. & E. Taylor, continuing until a few years ago. It changed briefly to a craft shop along with the adjoining no. 118, but is now a private house incorporated into no. 118.





A 1987 view of no. 116




Stuart Taylor in 1982 and no. 116 in 1999



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Fact file: No. 118 Church Street

In 1896 this was the tailor’s shop of Abel Darlington, continuing until his death in 1913. It was later a private house until the 1990s when it became Michelle Martin’s Craft & Design shop. Now a private house again.


(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)


No. 118 in 1999 when it was Craft & Design



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Fact file: Ash Villa, no. 120 Church Street

From 1896 until 1908 it was the clog and shoemaker’s shop of John Edmund Shaw. It was then a confectioner’s, of Bertha Pepper in 1916, James (husband, also newsagent and tobacconist in 1917) and John Pitt in 1928. It became a greengrocer’s under John Ernest Taylor in 1932 then John Taylor from 1936. From 1954 until 1959 it was the hairdressing salon of Dorothy Hackney and in the 1960s it was Wilshaw’s fish and chip shop. However, the property was also a house which was the home of Ezra Baskeyfield, the butcher, until his death in 1940; Reginald Hawthorne, the shoe repairer, until his death in 1954, and George and Dorothy Hackney from 1954 until 1959. By the 1980s the house had changed to an off-licence, Audley Wine Cellar, which adjoined first Gerry’s Chip Shop, run by Gerald & Teresa Mottershead, then the Audley Fish & Chip Shop of Maureen and Barry Sheppard. Later a Chinese take-away and off-licence, it is now a house and the Oriental Chef Cantonese Take-away.




                                                A 1987 view





2008 view



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The final terraced row in Church Street shows nos. 73-81 in this 2007 view.



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Fact file: Nos. 81 and 83 Church Street

No. 81 was the home of Thomas Joynson Higginson, an insurance agent, from about 1921 until 1933. By 1936 it became the hosiers of T. & E. Higginson later selling a large range of adult and children’s clothing, haberdashery and other items. The business expanded into no. 83 after 1960 and continued in the family under Mrs Thorley Platt who traded as Thorley Higginson, selling clothes, rugs and wool. It closed soon after 2002 and both properties are being converted back into private houses.



Nos. 81 and 83 in May 1986 (photo taken during Charity Road Race)



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And finally, no. 85, the former home of Dr. John Vernon, stands on the corner of Church Street and Hougher Wall Road.



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Fact file: No. 85 “HighfieldChurch Street

This property was built by 1876 with stables and a coach house at the rear. It became the surgery and home of Dr. John James Dean Vernon who was the son of the previously mentioned Dr. Richard Vernon. It was Dr. John Vernon who used the pony and trap seen in the earlier photograph. Following his death in 1944 the practice continued under Dr. Albert Riley from his surgery in Wereton Road. He was joined by Dr. William H. Jervis who was married to Dr. John Vernon’s daughter Margaret. In 1948 the practice was split at the commencement of the National Health Service and Dr. Jervis used no. 85 as his surgery. Dr Jervis was joined by Dr. J. R. F. E. Jenkins who succeeded him. The surgery closed and moved to no. 58 Church Street (see earlier entry), when Dr. D. F. Ferrington took over the practice in 1957. The property was also used during the 1950s by Emlyn Owen, opticians (see also nos. 4, 13 and 17 Church Street). No. 85 is now a private house but named “Highfields”.












For details of Audley Historian and other available publications go to the Publications page on this website. For details of Audley Community News go to the News page on this website.


Additional information and recollections about any of the buildings and businesses would be greatly appreciated, as would any photographs of individual buildings or occupiers, which could be incorporated into the article. Please contact the society with any information.


Most of the old photographs are reproduced from the Thomas Warham Collection by kind permission. Most of the colour photographs are by Clive Millington. Other photographs have been kindly donated.


Many thanks to all concerned for the information and photographs received for insertion into this article.