The Journal of the Audley & District

Family History Society






Number 3, 1997


Published by the Audley & District Family History Society,

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


© Copyright Audley & District Family History Society, 1997

            ISBN 0 9529494 2 3








Audley’s Castle, County Down


Ann Sterritt




An Audley Armory


Randle Knight




Nineteenth Century Methodism in the Audley Area


David Dyble




‘The late revolting murder and mutilation at Alsagers Bank’


Ruth Brassington




Mirror of Village Life: Extracts from the Log Book of Alsagers Bank School, 1870-1929


Pat Spode




Aaron Locket: ‘The Colliers’ Champion’


John Taylor




A Night to Remember in 1942


Tom Smith




Between Halmer End and Silverdale: Recollections, 1922-1939


Sarah Ward




More Audley Street Names


Stan Brassington




An Investigation into Staffordshire Dialect


Lorraine Turner






Journal of the Audley & District Family History Society,

Number 3, 1997

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.

Naturally, family and local history are closely intertwined and we are always trying to increase our store of records.  We have recently started an important project to discover something about the people on the local war memorials.  If you know anything about any of those listed below, or about other memorials in the area, please contact either the chair or secretary (see below for addresses).  The following names are listed on the Audley and Alsagers Bank war memorials, with a few from Butt Lane (Primitive) Methodist Church and Talke churchyard.


ALLEN George Henry, ANTROBUS Samuel, AUSTIN John, BADDELEY Jack,

BARLOW Albert Edward, BARNETT James, BATEMAN Harry, BEDDA Ernest, BEDDA Frederick, BEDDA Harry, BELL Amos, BENTLEY Thomas Harold, BILLINGTON Ernest, BIRKIN Enoch, BOWERS  Charles, BROCKLEY George Thomas, BROMLEY  Frank, BROOKES Arthur L, BROOKES George H, BROOM George Hubert, BROUGH George Herbert, BROWN Tommy, BURGESS George William, BURLEY Arthur, BUTLER Joseph Ernest, CARTER Fred, CHATFIELD William, CLARKE Leonard, COLCLOUGH Warriel, COOPS  Arthur, COPESTAKE Wilfred, CORK  Arthur Wm Stanley, DALE Charles, DANIELS Amos, DANIELS Harry, DAVIES Amos, DAVIES Ernest, DAVIES John, DEAN Alfred, DEAN Charles Edward, DEAN Leonard, DEAN Thomas, DRYHURST Charles, DUNNE Allan, EDGELEY Harry, EDWARDS John, ELSBY James, FERN GH, FERN W, GLOVER  Arthur, GROCOTT Robert Clement, GUEST Joseph, HANCOCK Arthur, HANCOCK Joseph, HANCOCK Levi, HARRISON George, HAYWOOD Richard, HEATH Arthur, HEATH Herbert James, HERBERT George, HEYWOOD John William, HIGHFIELD Thomas, HILDITCH Arthur, HILL Thomas Williams, HODGKINS Harry, HODGKINS Joseph Booth, HOPLEY William, HOWELL Gwilliam, HULSE Samuel, JAMES Ernest, JENKINSON Harry, JEPSON Albert, JEPSON James, JOHNSON George, JOHNSON John Hollis, JOHNSON Percy, KELSALL Daniel, KELSALL Percy, KINNERSLEY Thomas, KIRKHAM William, KNAPPER Joseph, KNAPPER William, LOVALL Thomas, LOVATT Elisha, LOWE William Edwin, LUNT James, MADDOCK John, MASON George James, MAYDEW Fred, MAYER Thomas, MEAKIN Richard, MENEELY James, MOORCROFT George, MOSS William, MOSTON Harry, MOUNTFORD Edward, OLIVER William, PHILLIPS John W, PHILLIPS Louis V, PLATT Arthur, POINTON Herbert, POOLE Elijah, POOLE Harry, POOLE Sydney, PROCTER Fred, PROCTER William, PROPHETT Joseph, PUGH John, RATCLIFFE Arnold, RATCLIFFE John, RAWLINSON Bert, RILEY Arnold, RILEY Isaac, ROBERTS Fred Butler, ROBERTS George, ROBERTS Leonard, ROBERTS William Henry, ROWLEY Eli, ROWLEY Frank, ROWLEY George, ROWLEY John, SALMON Fred, SAMWAYS Reginald George, SAUNDERS George Alfred, SMITH Charles, SMITH John, SMITH Richard, SPODE Frederick Henry, STEELE Charles Trevelyn, STONIER C(or G) Saml Arthr, STUBBS Edward, SUMNALL Benjamin, THACKER Arthur Colin, TILSLEY Oswald, TOMKINSON Edward, TOPHAM Ernest, TURNER Joseph, TURNER William, WAINWRIGHT Thomas, WARHAM George, WEBB Albert Edward, WILCOX Job Henry, WILLIAMS H, WOOLRIDGE Luther, WRIGHT Harold, WRIGHT Wilfred, YOUNG James




RENSHAW KD, CRIMES Leonard Gordon, HEWITT Thomas



ALEXANDER Albert, BAILEY Frederick W, BEECH Cyril, BOULTON Frank, BROAD Eric, BROOM Sydney, CARTER Spencer, CORNES William, DARLINGTON D,FINNEYMORE Albert, FRANKLIN Edward A, GARWOOD John, GATER Daniel (Harry), GILBERT Joseph, GILBERT William, HODGKINSON George A, HUBBERT Albert, LEAGAS Thomas, MALPASS John, MEAKIN Harold, MOORES Cedric, MORETON Robert, MURRAY Thomas, PHILLIPS CE, POTTS Elsie, PROCTOR George, REDDELL Cyril, RICHARDSON Joseph, SAYERS George, SYMMS Selwin T, TAYLOR Clifford, TIMMIS Cyril, TOOTH Eric (Robert), TOOTH  Roger, TOPHAM Jack, WEMYSS Donald, WRIGHT Eric, YEARSLEY James

Having produced the records, we also try to 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




Barthomley Parish Registers, Vol 2 1789-1908/10




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, and a year’s membership costs £5.

For further information about the society, contact:

Ian Bailey (Chair), 20 Hillside Ave, Endon, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. ST9 9HH. Tel: 01782-504519 or...

Stan Brassington (Secretary), 4 Boyles Hall Rd, Bignall End, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.  Tel: 01782-720036

Contributors to the journal:

Ruth Brassington was brought up in Bignall End, educated at Orme Girls’ School and Edinburgh University.  She now lives in London.

The late Stan Brassington, a retired teacher, lived in Audley for most of his life, following in the footsteps of many of his farming ancestors in that respect. 

The late David Dyble  Originally from Norfolk, he became fascinated by the area around Apedale over 30 years and continued to delve deeper into the history of the area.

Randle Knight has been researching the history of his home village, Milwich, for many years.  He is a Trustee of the William Salt Library, Librarian and Chairman of the Local History Section of the North Staffordshire Field Club and Curator of the Museum of Primitive Methodism at Englesea Brook.

Tom Smith Born and bred in the Audley area, he worked for nearly fifty years at British Ceramic Research.  He served in the Home Guard from 1941 until November 1942, when he joined HM Forces.  He has been puzzled for many years about why school history was so boring, yet local history so interesting!

Pat Spode, who died in 2008, was a long-time resident of Alsagers Bank

Ann V Sterritt (nee Grocott) was born in 1944 at the Rising Sun Inn, Shraley Brook and educated at Audley Infants, Ravens Lane CP, Orme Girls’ School, Newcastle and the University of Manchester (B.A. Hons. Geography).  She was caretaker at Audley’s Castle 1971-87.  Her parents, Mrs Alice and the late Mr Leslie Grocott, kept the Rising Sun 1932-64 and the Swan, Bignall End, 1974-72.

John Taylor died in 2005. After retiring from teaching in 1989, he was Secretary of the Audley Courts of the Ancient Order of Foresters.  He played cricket for Audley and Bignall End and was still a member of Bignall End Cricket Club Committee.  He knew Aaron Locket well.

Lorraine Turner worked in secretarial jobs until retirement.  Always interested in a variety of subjects, she has recently acquired A levels and is going on to a degree in English Literature and History.  She hopes to do further research into dialect.

The late Sarah Ward was born in Halmer End but lived most of her life in Silverdale, seeing many changes there in that time.  She was  interested in knitting all her life, and also had a long-standing hobby of rug-making. 

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

Word Processing: Ian Bailey


Thanks to the following post offices for their help in selling the first volume of the journal last year:  Audley, Bignall End, Halmer End & Silverdale,  and also to William Riley & Sons, Halmer End.