updated 10 Feb 2024





There will be a programme of talks in 2024



Talks take place on the first Friday (unless othwise stated) evening of every alternate month. (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec.)


They are held at the The Methodist Church Hall , starting at 7.30pm prompt and finishing about 9.00pm


These talks are free to members.Non-members are welcome on payment of £1. If you would like to join please visit the Joining Us page.


Please contact Mrs Christine Huxley for additional information.



Programme for 2024








2 August 2024 Les Mason


The Fall and Rise of Apedale Heritage Centre

4 October 2024 Carl Holdcroft The Battle of Blore Heath 1459
29 November 2024 Julie Bagnall Constable Cotterill: a life of fame and infamy
Other Events for 2024
Saturday 13 April 2024
Tour of Apedale Heritage Centre
Friday 7 June 2024
Rober Mayer

Bignal Hill Walk: from the Plough to the Monument

looking at historical features




Old Talks

List kindly compiled by Gwyneth Pearson

Date Speaker Title
11 January 1991
Mrs Hitchin
Answering questions about her work and how she can help family historians
Superintendent Registrar Newcastle
8 March 1991
Randle Knight
Heraldry & Family History

10 May 1991
Rose Wheat
Curious Clergy of North Staffs

12 July 1991
Eva Beech
Sources for Family History in North Staffs

13 September 1991
A visit to Crewe Hall

8 November 1991
Richard Hughes
Life of a Country Yeoman

10 January 1992
Miss L Warham
Audley Past and Present
Illustrations both from her father's collection and her own collection
13 March 1992
David Dyble
He ranged from Elizabethan times to the present day
8 May 1992
Broughton Hall

10 July 1992
Dr Philip Morgan

Information including the fact that before 950 A.D. Audley was part of the parish of Barthomley.
11 September 1992
Rose Wheat
The Range of European Immigrants
This talk included immigrants from the Elers, brothers at Bradwell to the Minton artists of the late 18th century
13 November 1992
Robert Speake

8 January 1993
David Dyble
History of Chesterton

12 March 1993
Edgar Tooth
Audley Surnames

14 May 1993
David Dyble
Talk: "A walk - through the Apedale Valley"

9 July 1993

internal talk

10 September 1993
Thelma Lancaster
Hulton Abbey and the Audley Connection
It's links to the Audley Family
12 November 1993
Brian Stokes
Audley in the Staffordshire Advertiser
Local and general facts including Blondini performing over Madeley Pool.
14 January 1994
David Dyble
Norman Conquest Audley
Audley before, during and after the Norman Conquest
11 March 1994
Ed Billington
Mining communities in North Staffs
the communities covered were Silverdale. Fenton and Goldenhill.
13 May 1994
David Dyble
Talk: "More walk through the Apedale Valley"

8 July 1994
Dudley Fowkes
Staffs Record Office
Family History and Audley
9 September 1994
Philip Leese
Woes and Pleasures of a Local Historian

11 November 1994
Sandra Burgess
The Sneyds of Keele Hall

13 January 1995
David Dyble
Mining accidents in the Audley Coalfield 1801 -1900
Diglake Disaster
3 March 1995
Michael Eardley
The Audley Family

5 May 1995
George Riley
Walk - around Betley

7 July 1995

1 September 1995

3 November 1995

5 January 1996
John Taylor
The Ancient Order of Forresters in Audley

1 March 1996
David Dyble
Gresley and Son: Developers of Apedale

3 May 1996
Guided Walk
No details
5 July 1996

6 September 1996

1 November 1996

3 January 1997

7 March 1997

2 May 1997

4 July 1997

5 September 1997

7 November 1997

2 January 1998

6 March 1998

1 May 1998
Bruce Braithwaite
The English Countryside

3 July 1998

4 September 1998
David Dyble
The Audley Branch Railway

6 November 1998
Stephen Booth
The Golden Age of Coaching
passenger travel and postal services by road in our area between 1730 and the dominance of the railways
8 January 1999
Bill Klemperer
Staffordshire Cistercian Abbeys
From the City Museum, including excavations in which he was involved.
5 March 1999
Major E Green
The Staffordshire Regiment

7 May 1999
Ian Bailey
Three Audley Murders

2 July 1999

3 September 1999
Thea Randall
Kill or Cure?
Medical remedies of the 16th & 17th century
5 November 1999
David Dyble
Audley in Historical Maps

7 January 2000

3 March 2000
David Barker
Historic Buildings of the Potteries
City Museum and Time Team
5 May 2000
Andrew Dobraszczyc
Silverdale in the 19th century
How Silverdale has grown from a small village to a largish industrial community
16 May 2000
Robert Mayer
Walk - Gresley Canal
is this correct date?
7 July 2000
Ian Bailey
an Out of the Way Place?
based on reported incidents in the Staffordshire Advertiser.
1 September 2000
Joan Baggaley
The Beginning of Medical Career in North Staffordshire

3 November 2000
Philip Morgan
Career of John Audley; Poet and Priest
His Life and escapades
5 January 2001
Philip Leese
Village of Talke

2 March 2001
James Sutton
The Association for the Prosecution Of Felons
The apprehension and control of felons mainly by the community
4 May 2001
Philip Leese
North Staffordshire Canals
dealing with the historical origins with illustrations.
6 July 2001
Malcolm Thurston
The Roman Road to Middlewich. Why Middlewich?
The road led to Chesterton area as well as to Nantwich and Wrenbury.
7 September 2001
Gordqn Sandland
Discover History by Metal Detector

2 November 2001
Andrew Dobraszczyc
Newcastle -Capital of the Potteries

4 January 2002
Malcolm Henson
Social History of Football in the Potteries 1870-1890

1 March 2002
Sandra Burgess
Servants of Keele Hall 1780-1800

3 May 2002
Gerald D'Arcy
Tribute to Mining in Silverdale
why the village was in existence.
5 July 2002
Ruth Grocott
In Search Of Uncle Harry
A tribute to a guardsman in the Second world war
6 September 2002
Gordqn Sandland
Further Historical Discovery with a metal detector
He recounted many of the discoveries he had made
1 November 2002

3 January 2003
Andrew Dobraszczyc
The Newcastle Hatting Industry - Boom or Bust
The industry dominated the town foe 150 years
7 March 2003
John Levitt
A Skeleton History of the English Language
He showed how language is forever changing, also talking about dialects.
2 May 2003
Katy Banks
The Archaeology of Enoch Wood, Father of the Pottteries

4 July 2003
Dan Gardener
The Archaeology of the Roman site at Holditch

5 September 2003
Gordqn Sandland
Further Historical Discovery with a metal detector

7 November 2003
Ian Bailey
First World War
Can we ever understand it?
2 January 2004

5 March 2004
Philip Morgan
Architecture in Audley
the fascinating history of some of our buildings
7 May 2004
John Potter
Arnold Bennett Life and Works
Chairman of the A B Society
2 July 2004
Philip Morgan
Adventures in tracing the Morgan family tree

3 September 2004
Denis Small
HMS Kelly in World War II
William Henry Small served on this destroyer under the command of Louis Mountbatten.
5 November 2004
Rosemary Dear
The 1910 Land Tax Survey ref Holmes Chapel

7 January 2005
Alan Treherne
Clockmakers of Newcastle
Gabriel Smith, born in Audley, worked in Barthomley before moving to Nantwich. Betley Church clock made by him.
4 March 2005
Brian Nixon
History of Silverdale

6 May 2005
Reg Goulding
Mining 1940-1986

1 July 2005

2 September 2005
Harold Forster
Between The Tracks
He reminisced about his 48 years on the railways
4 November 2005

6 January 2006
Sandra Burgess
Manor Court Rolls
The talk included the manors of Keele and Tunstall and became important after the Norman conquest
3 March 2006
Philip Leese
Linley Hall and Mow Cop
The speaker failed to turn up so an impromptu talk given
5 May 2006
Philip Leese
A History of Lawton Hall with illustrations

7 July 2006
Sandra Burgess
Bastardy-The Workhouse

1 September 2006
Miranda Goodby
19th century Flatback Figures, from Royalty to Murders and everyone in between

3 November 2006
Sandra Burgess
Civil Registration
Births, Marriages and Deaths
5 January 2007
Andrew Dobraszczyc
A 17th Century Mystery, Josiah Stringer of Talke and the Wedgwood family in Burslem
His daughter married Thomas Wedgwood and whose youngest son was Josiah Wedgwood
2 March 2007
Philip Leese
A History of Linley Hall

4 May 2007
Andrew Dobraszczyc
A Revolutionary Affair: the strugglefor the control of Newcastle constituency 1789-1815

6 July 2007
Andrew Dobraszczyc

7 September 2007
Miranda Goodby
What about the worker?
This lecture brings to life the people behind the pots in the 19th century, illustrated with contemporary engravings and ceramics.
2 November 2007
Miranda Goodby
Our home in the west.
Emigrant potters in America in the 1840's and what became of them following hard times in the Staffordshire potteries during the hungry 40's.
17 November 2007
Cedric Barber
Abolition of Slavery and tracing his slave ancestry

4 January 2008
JJ Heath Caldwell
James Caldwell Protégé of Josiah Wedgwood

7 March 2008
Roger Pask
From the Flying Dutchman to Petticoat Lane
A light hearted tale of Roger tracing his Dutch/Jewish History
2 May 2008
Philip Leese
Masters and Men
Coal industry in the 19th century
4 July 2008
Brian Nixon
Newcastle Under Lyme - The Road to Re-inventionA film from Medieval times to present

5 September 2008
Fred Hughes
The Private Life of Arnold Bennett

7 November 2008

9 January 2009
Dr. Christopher Harrison
The Pleasures and Pitfalls of a Local Historian.

6 March 2009
John Lumsden
Floods at Diglake 1895, Gas at Sherrif 1870 and Joseph Cook

1 May 2009
Mrs Mavis Smith
Diaries of a Betley Lady (1835-36)

3 July 2009
Dr Pamela Sambrook
A History of Staffordshire Oatcakes

4 September 2009
Dr Philip Morgan
John Emberton- Audley and the International Style of Architecture

6 November 2009
Ian Bailey
10 Questions about Audley Churchyard

1 January 2010
No Talk

5 March 2010
Janet Bradshaw
Nine Lives (or 750 years in a Dirty Shift)

7 May 2010
Doug Pickford
Mystery, History and Folklore

2 July 2010
David Bell
Memories of Coalfields of Staffordshire

3 September 2010
Ian Bailey
Audley's Poor 1838

5 November 2010
Duncan Hindmarsh
Chesterton in the Second World War

7 January 2011
Dr Nigel Tringham
The Victoria Society with Reference to Audley

4 March 2011
Patsie Jarman
The Story of the Circus

6 May 2011

1 July 2011

2 September 2011

4 November 2011
Stephen Dean
The Staffordshire Hoard
Stephen was the principal digger
6 January 2012
Kate Dobson
John Gerrard the Nantwich Herbalist

2 March 2012
Levision Wood
The Battle for Blore Heath

4 May 2012
Robert Mayer
Walk - along Apedale Road, Wood Lane
This talk included many Thomas Warham photos
6 July 2012

7 September 2012
Peter Thompson
A Wee Story
A piece of true family history
2 November 2012
Barbara Andrew
Grandma was a suffragette
The story of how British women achieved electoral equality
4 January 2013

1 March 2013

3 May 2013
Stephen Booth
Staffs Soldiers on the Western Front

5 July 2013
David Wilkinson
The Discovery of Stafford Castle

6 September 2013

1 November 2013

3 January 2014

7 March 2014
Neil Collingwood
Newcastle Through Time

3 May 2014
Robert Mayer
Walk - Apedale

6 June 2014
Mark Smith
North Staffordshire Railway

4 July 2014

5 September 2014

7 November 2014

5 December 2014
Dr Roger Joy
The Fourteenth Century Lord Audley family, their Ancestors and Descendents

6 February 2015
Les Mason
The North Staffs Rich Mining History. Mines.
The extent of the coalfields, and talked about the various kinds of
3 April 2015
Levision Wood
Dear Duchess' The life and loves of Millicent Fanny St. Clair-Erskine, the Duchess of Sutherland

5 June 2015
Steve Booth
Lidice 1942 its destruction and part played by Staffordshire in its rebirth
The small Czech mining town that was destroyed by the Nazi's
7 August 2015
Philip Morgan:
Heighley Castle.

2 October 2015
Jon Honeysett
Private Charles Honeysett - First World War Experiences

4 December 2015
JJ Heath Caldwell
Anne Marsh Caldwell of Linley Hall

5 February 2016
Dr Chris Harrison
The Medieval Mindset
The period was 1300-1500 looking at the lower classes in Society
1 April 2016

3 June 2016
Robert Mayer
History of Wood Lane

5 August 2016
Andrew Dobraszczyc
The gardens of Apedale Hall

7 October 2016
Julie Bagnall
Beyond the Prescription book

2 December 2016
Robert Mayer
Three chapels and no pub

3rd February 2017

Andrew Dobraszczyc
A Social History of Apedale Gardens
7th April 2017
Paul Anderton
Local responses to Napoleon’s plans 1803-14: opening a new source for family and local historians. 
2nd June 2017
Andy Fear
Blood and Sand:Gladiators in the Roman Empire
4th August 2017
Philip R. Leese
Miners Lives; Social Life of Mining Villages in the 19th & 20th Centuries
6th October 2017
Tim Coltman
The Story of Two Crosses
A presentation on the life of William Coltman VC as told by his great grandson.
1st December 2017
Philip Astley
2nd February 2018
Dr Robin Stud
Potters and the Abolition of the Slave Trade
6th April 2018
Julie Bagnall
What to Do with 323 Post Cards ?
1st June 2018
Mervyn Edwards
Potteries Parks
3rd August 2018
J Eardley
Letter from Poitou - The Remarkable Story of a Medieval Audley Woman
5th October 2018
Steve Booth
The Lost Treasure of Stone - the Mystery of the Unique Privy Seal
7th December 2018
Dr Chris Harrison
A Baronial Household in The Age of Elizabeth
1st February 2019
Philip Leese
"Local People are History or Local Places in History ? Which Side are You On ?"
5th April 2019
Mervyn Edwards
The North Staffordshire Miner


7th June 2019
Peter Lead
Early 18th CenturyAudley Entrepreneurs and The Spread of The Newcomen Steam Engine
2nd August 2019
Tony Bostock
Place Names and Field Names: A source for local history.

(Names of towns and villages, and those of fields, hold clues to interpreting the past. In this talk the meanings of local names will be discussed and how they can assist in the understanding the local history of an area)

4th October 2019
Andrew Hunt - (Silverdale Country Park Ranger)
Abandoned Colliery to Wildlife Haven

29th November 2019


note change of date

Graham Dodd

A Crewe Factory Girl – the life of Ada Nield Chew


The story of Ada Nield who came to prominence locally when she fought for improved conditions for those working in local clothing factories at the turn of the nineteenth century. She campaigned on behalf of the Labour movement, trades unions and for women’s suffrage before running her own business
7thFebruary 2020
Steve Booth

The Golden Age of Stagecoaching   

3rd April 2020


Barbara Andrew

Fanny Deakin: The Silverdale campaigner.


Feminist, Communist, councillor and Alderman  who was a the champion of the local working class for 50 years   

5th June 2020


Jim Worgan and Lloyd Boardman

Coal Mining in North Staffordshire at the time of the Diglake Disaster 1895   

7th August 2020


Mervyn Edwards

Cranks, Characters and Queer Fish of North Staffordshire 


2nd October 2020


Tony Bostock

My Genealogical Journey.


An account of Tony’s researches into the Bostock name conducted over many decades. The talk covers the methods used along with the problems encountered. This is an interesting and amusing talk from which family historians might gather some ideas for themselves.   

4th February 2022

Mervyn Edwards

Cranks, Characters and Queer Fish of North Staffordshire


1st April 2022

Stuart Haywood (of the Welsh Society of North Staffordshire) 


The Story of a Moustache Cup  


The speaker, Stuart Haywood, has been promoting his recent book (The Welsh in North Staffordshire) on various English & Welsh facebook pages. What he didn’t expect was for a lady in Australia to contact him regarding an ancestor that had migrated from Anglesey to Hanley, Elias Hughes. She is a direct descendent of a cousin of Elias who was also from Anglesey. She carried out an Object Biography as part of a genealogy course and the object chosen was a moustache cup which links the two cousins. This presentation compares the lives of the two cousins and is based on the joint research by Stuart and his Australian contact. 

27th May 2022

Haydn Thomas

Crewe and Nantwich Metal Detecting Society  

"Raising Money for Good Causes in the Community - An Introduction to Crewe & Nantwich Metal Detecting Society"


5th August 2022
Michael Eardley
"Eve and the Audleys"

Eve and the Audleys Eve de Clavering was married into the wealthy and influential Audley barony in 1307. Married and widowed three times she lived through most of the turbulent 14th century. Baronial rebellion, Bannockburn, the start of the Hundred Years War and the Black Death all came to her door.


7th October 2022

Philip Morgan



"A Saint and a Sinner from Medieval Audley".



Philip Morgan lives in Audley, and for over 35 years taught medieval history and local history at Keele University’ 


Two lives compared – one the subject of a Wordsworth sonnet the other haunted by his role in a murder.



25th November 2022
Philip Leese
"Miners Lives in the 19th and 20th centuries".


A look at the working lives of miners in the villages of Kidsgrove and Silverdale using two contemporary accounts.


3rd February 2023
Mervyn Edwards
‘Oatcakes – the food of the Gods’ 


14th April 2023
Tony Bostock
‘The Colour of Heraldry’ 
2nd June 2023
JJ Heath-Caldwell  
‘The Caldwell Family Library at Linley Wood (and a big book project!)’
4th August 2023
Marion Armstrong  

Chasing Paper Skeletons


A light hearted talk about the working life of a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths and building family trees from unexpected sources without spending lots of money!  


6th October 2023
Philip Leese
Writing Local History
24th November 2023
Graham Dodd
A Glimpse of Life on the Shropshire Union Canal  



Graham aims to capture the essence of life on the canal including its day-to-day operation, the challenges facing the boatmen and their families, the role of the horses and the variety of cargoes.  


2 February 2024

Dr Keith Lawrence

(Nantwich Museum)

The Battle of Nantwich 1644