The Journal of the Audley & District

Family History Society






Number 4, 1998


Published by the Audley & District Family History Society,

20 Hillside Ave, Endon, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.  ST9 9HH


© Copyright Audley & District Family History Society, 1998

            ISBN 0 9529494 4 X















Cover photo:  Bignall End by Audley Station between 1921 and 1925.  The buses probably belong to Evans of Audley, and, whilst posing for a fleet photo, are on service, as five drivers and conductors can  be seen.  Two destination boards are visible: ‘Newcastle’ and ‘Halmer End, Audley, Newcastle’.  Any further information from readers would be gratefully received.  (Photo by courtesy of Basil Jeuda.)




Audley Historian

Number 4, 1998





A View of Eardley ‘Olde’ Hall


Robert Mayer




Insights from the Staffordshire Advertiser




An Audley Life: The Autobiography of George Dobson, 1865-1946


George Dobson




The Audley Railway


David Dyble




Half-glimpsed Figures: Women in the 1891 Talke Census


Philip R Leese




Two gravestones in St James, Audley, and Two Questions




Halmer End... And Away


Gertrude Evans




Princess Tiny: A Celebrity




Joseph Prophett: A Soldier of the Great War


Tony & Beryl Winterton




Letter From Australia: an Emigrant Writes Home on Hearing of the Outbreak of War in 1914




The War Memorial Project




A Grammar School Education Between the Wars


Jack Meads




The Genealogical Services Directory



Journal of the Audley & District Family History Society,

Number 4, 1998

The journal is intended for people interested in the history of the area to the west of Newcastle and the pottery towns.  This area includes a variety of villages and stretches from Butt Lane and Talke through Audley and Barthomley (just over the Cheshire border) to Chesterton and Silverdale, Scot Hay, Leycett and Betley.

The society has several aims.  We are a family history society and half of our meetings are research evenings, where members and visitors spend their time finding out about their ancestors, using our extensive collection of local records.  If you want to make a start on your family tree, you are welcome to come and do so.  Basic advice on what to do is freely available.  We are also a local history society, and usually the other half of our meetings consist of talks on a variety of subjects.  Again, visitors are welcome.  To develop family and local history in the area, we transcribe the records, and also  publish them. At the moment we have copies of:






Monumental Inscriptions: St James, Audley




Monumental Inscriptions: St Martin, Talke




Monumental Inscriptions: St John, Alsagers Bank/Central Methodist Cemetery, Bignall End/Independent Chapel, Halmer End




Audley Historian Vol 1 1995 (reprint)




Audley Historian Vol 2 1996




Audley Historian Vol 3 1997




Barthomley Parish Registers, Vol 1, 1562-1788, paper




Barthomley Parish Registers, Vol 1, 1562-1788, fiche




Barthomley Parish Registers, Vol 2 1789-1908/10, paper only




Meetings are held at the Parish Rooms, Audley (almost opposite the parish church), on the first Friday of the month, starting at 7.30 prompt.  Visitors are asked to pay £1 at the door, or a year’s membership costs £5.


1999 Programme:

Jan 8th

B.Klemperer: Staffs Cistercian Abbeys

Feb 5th

Working Evening

Mar 5th

Maj.E.Green: The Staffordshire Regiment

Apr 2nd

Working Evening

May 7

I.Bailey: Three Audley Murders

Jun 4th

Working Evening

Jul 2nd

To be announced

Aug 5th

Working Evening

Sep 3rd

T.Randall: Medical Remedies of the 16th & 17th Centuries

Oct 2nd

Working Evening

Nov 5th

D.Dyble: Audley in Historical Maps

Dec 4th

Working Evening

For further information about the society, contact Ian Bailey (Chair), 20 Hillside Ave, Endon, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. ST9 9HH. Tel: 01782-504519

To purchase any of the publications and/or become a member, write to Joan Dobson, “C’est la vie”, Scot Hay Rd, Alsagers Bank, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs

For information about family history in Audley & District, write to Miss P Spode, 147 High St, Alsagers Bank, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. ST17 8BA

Contributors to the journal:

David Dyble  Originally from Norfolk, has been (for 35 years) absorbed by researching the history of Apedale, Audley & Chesterton with increasing enthusiasm.

Gertrude Evans was born in Miles Green in 1906 and worked in domestic service as a young woman, then as a nurse in Birmingham and London.  She was married in 1935, bombed out and widowed, with one son, in 1940.  She remained in Twickenham and moved to her present house in Feltham, Middlesex, in 1961.

Philip R Leese was a children’s librarian who fell into local history by mistake.  He is now a peripatetic storyteller around schools (and still a local historian).

Robert Mayer  was born in Audley, raised in Bignall End and now lives in Wood Lane. He began his family tree in 1990, and was then completely focused on genealogy. He now has a wider interest in family/local history. He works for a major international manufacturing company.

Jack Meads was born in Miles Green, the son of a miner.   In 1937 he started a career in accountancy, but this was interrupted by the war in 1940.  After demobilisation in 1946 he trained as a teacher and retired as a head in 1984.  He lives in Surbiton, Surrey.

Beryl Winterton (nee Cowen) was the granddaughter of Charles Prophett and on his death, her parents, Edith & Fred Cowen and aunt, May Prophett, bought the business C & A Prophett at Chapel St, Bignall End.  There she grew up with her twin sister, Brenda.  Her adult life was spent teaching in London, but she now lives in Lynton, N.Devon, with her husband Tony.

Editorial Committee: Ian Bailey, Joan Dobson, David Dyble, Bernard Tate.

Word Processing: Ian Bailey


Thanks to the following post offices for their help in selling the third volume of the journal last year:  Audley, Bignall End, Halmer End, Silverdale, Knutton and Chesterton,   and  also to William  Riley & Sons (Halmer End), Gordon’s Hairdressers (Church St, Audley), and Bignall End Cricket Club.

The society is also grateful to the following:

Staffordshire County Council Education Committee for permission to reproduce the 1933 arithmetic test in the article ‘A Grammar School Education’

Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service for the detail of the Eardley Hall Estate Map, 1720 (D(W)1788/BoxA6/3) in the article ‘A View of Eardley ‘Olde’ Hall’.