Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005
12/24/05 I suppose one may wonder why a "Yank" feels impelled to remember a stay in Leek during a very trying era in our past, WWII. My response is pretty well summed up in what a fellow veteran said, "Those were the best years of our lives" A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the people of Leek.
Tony Oropollo, 345th Regiment, 87th Infantry Division
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005
Just a quick note to ask about the webcam - what's happended to it? As an ex Leek resident now living abroad, I really miss being able to watch the webcam, especially during Christmas when I'm feeling a little more sentimental than usual about Leek and the people I know living there... It would be lovely to watch the hustle and bustle of Derby Street again.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all my friends and family,
Sorry about the webcam folks, expensive repairs are required and I just can't afford them at the moment. Hopefully early next year it will be back on-line.
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005
Subject: The Folly, Ecton
My husband and I have just purchased The Folly also known as The Castle at Ecton in the Manifold Valley. We know a little of its history but would love to hear from anyone who has any photographs of the house or gardens before it fell into its present state. It would also be interesting to hear from anyone who has spent any time there and could tell us how it used to be.
Leek residents and some former residents scattered around the country are converging on the recently refurbished Hartington Youth Hostel for the 2nd reunion of the old youth hostelling pals of the 60's.
Already over two dozen folks are booked in - most for the Saturday night and others just for the evening meal. Walter will be there with his guitar. Refurbished at a cost of over £1m, the Hall now offers small private rooms and a range of meals (and beers) from local producers.
If you hostelled with Leek Town Group in the 1960's, why not join in the fun. A 'phone call to Yvonne (nee Porter) on 01538 371840 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Frank Clark on 01538 266755 will get you started. The event is on 12th/13th November 2005. Current YHA membership not essential.
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005
Does anyone know what centenary event was celebrated in Leek in 1939? I have two old postcards that I'm told could be the old convent (now Peak Weavers Hotel). The dates 1839 and 1939 are on the wall, but I have no idea what could have been celebrated although I'm assuming it may have something to do with the catholic church.
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005
Subject: Contact with Marion Corden
I would be interested to make contact with Karen Winkle who I went to school with At Leek High School from 1971-1976.
I can be contacted through my sister at this e-mail address
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005
I arrived at this website by chance as my grandson is doing history on the factories in the 1800`s, my nans brother James Henry Dodd married Mary(aka Jennie)Bestwick in 1910, these are the extracts from the census
Household Record 1881 British Census
Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
Thos. BESTWICK Head M Male 30 Leek, Stafford, England Silk Weaver
Sarah Ann BESTWICK Wife M Female 27 Leek, Stafford, England Silk Winder
Thos. BESTWICK Son U Male 11 m Leek, Stafford, England
Hannah LOVATT Mother In Law W Female 68 Leek, Stafford, England
Harriett PLANT Niece U Female 18 Leek, Stafford, England Silk Winder
Hannah CARTER Boarder U Female 27 Leek, Stafford, England Silk Winder
Dwelling 49 Shoobridge Street
Census Place Leek & Lowe, Stafford, England
Family History Library Film 1341656
Public Records Office Reference RG11
Piece / Folio 2738 / 137
Page Number 5
And this the same family in the 1891 :-
RG12/2186 folio 88 page 28
49 Shoebridge Street, Leek, Staffordshire
Thomas BESTWICK, 40, trimming weaver, STS Leek
Sarah Ann, wife, 37, STS Leek
Thomas, son, 10, STS Leek
George, son, 8, STS Leek
Mary Jane, daur, 4, STS Leek
Fred, son, 2, STS Leek
and this was 1901
RG13/2624 folio 87 page 30
47 Leonard Street, Leek, Staffordshire
Thomas BESTWICK, 50, silk binding weaver, STS Leek
Sarah A, wife, 47, STS Leek
Hannah E, daur, 24, U, silk winder, STS Leek
George, son, 18, U, carriage smith, STS Leek
Mary J, daur, 14, spun silk picker, STS Leek
Fred, son, 12, newsboy hawk, STS Leek
Lily, daur, 8, STS Leek
Sarah A, daur, 5, STS Leek
Emily LOVETT, cousin, 55, U, silk winder, STS Leek
Is anyone connected or researching this family?
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005
Re Westwood Road Primary school photo
How nice to see the old photo dating back to 1956. I did joined that particular class in february 1958 but found it quite amazing after all these years that I recalled each of the names and even two or three of the faces. Spencer Clayton was a talented musician I seem to remember. Whatever happened to him ?
Paula Birch and I won the school leavers cup running race in 1958 and I still have the trophy to this day.
Many thanks for publishing the photo. It certainly brought back some very happy memories.
Subject: Leek High School 1957-64
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005
Any "kids" out there who were at Leek High School during my stay, 1957-64. (you will be approaching 60 summers now).
Wonderful years with masters like "Pilt","Sol","Buck" etc., with Jack Parrack administering the stick.
Come on, write in & say hello.
Date: Sun, 15 May 2005
I'm trying to contact Fae Mansbridge (now Nelson). She lived on Westwood Road and is the daughter of Tommy and Florence Mansbridge. She went to Westwood Girls High School and later on to London to study physiotherapy. She married the Rev. Mike Nelson. If anyone can help me with an address or email address, I would be most grateful.
I'd love to hear from anyone who knew me when I lived in Leek. I moved to London to go to art school and eventually ended up in Arkansas, USA, where I have built a wonderful studio and house in the Ozark mountains, famous for the bluegrass music and bands. My father was Ken Pearce, the headmaster of Leek High School, who oversaw it's reorganization into a comprehensive school in 1965.
My very best wishes to you all.
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005
The Bennett Family
This is the Bennett family from Moorview Buxton Road, just signing in to say "Hello" and isn't it great that Leek has such a great form of contact with its "ex-pats".
Does anyone logging on have any info or pictures of our home? Built 1914 by Guy JukesWorthington, as a home and prep school. Originally called Moorhill, re-named in 1953, it has also been used as an old people's residence, a hostel for Maltese workers at Brough, Nicholson and Hall Ltd, a children's home and latterly as a family centre.
Hope to hear from someone soon,
The Bennett Family.
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2005
Subject: Mollatts or Molletts
Does anyone know of the Molletts that owned a wood and farm? Also a marriage between Elizabeth Ann Mollett to an Evans, I would be greatful for any info.
Subject: Help requested for Family Research -
Looking for descendants of Margaret Ann Steele
(Heaps) and John Alfred Steele
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005
Margaret Ann Steele, originally from
Macclesfield, resided in Leek from about 1894 until
her death in 1938. She was my great grandmother and
my family research has gone cold. I am looking for
descendants of hers in the hope they can help fill
in the blanks.
Children: Louisa Heaps Steele married Albert Raynor
in Leek in 1915
Maggie Heaps Steele married Horace Mayers in Leek
Alice Heaps Steele married Fred Trafford in Leek in
John Alfred Heaps Steele married Margaret James in
Leek in 1910
Eva Heaps Steele married Ernest Parton in Leek in
1913 (I am descended from Eva and Ernest and I know
they moved to Birmingham in the 1930s).
Eva and Ernests children were Jessie, Ernest,
Joseph, William, Eva and Dorothy and Stewart
Also a step brother Harold Steele.
If there is anyone who recognises any of the
above names please get in touch. Any information
will help me confirm or discard the information I
I can be reached at
Subject: Lomas Family in Leek
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005
I'm descended on my mother's mother's side from
the Lomas family who lived in Mill St for many
years. I'd very much like to hear from Doris Morey
who posted a message here in March 2002, but seems
to have changed her email address since. I'd also
be very grateful if someone could put me in touch
with my former neighbour in Nab Hill Avenue, Eileen
Lomas (married name unknown). She would be in her
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005
Subject: John Kirkham Wardle
Hi I am currently researching my family tree and
if anybody has any information on any of the
following people i should be obliged if you could
get in touch.
John Kirkham Wardle married Mary Ann Chadwick 1930
?? Had sons Charles Kirkham, Samuel Kirkham and
John Kirkham Wardle in 1836 -1846.
Also looking for Joseph S B G O'Hare a stone mason
who came over from San Fransisco in 1890's and
married Mary Ellen nee Bould, who lived at 20 John
Street in Leek. Alice O'Hare and Jack (john edward
Ohare) daughter and son.
Please get in touch if you can help
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005
Subject: Forty Years On
Hello to anyone who might be able to help
"40 Years On," was the title of our old school
song, and 40 years ago I met a young lady from Leek
and have often wondered what became of her. Her
name was Susan Rotton, and she lived at 5 Grove
Terrace. If anyone can help, or if Susan sees this
herself, I can be contacted at
Thanks to anyone who might be able to help.
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005
Subject: Enquiring about Horton Hall
I am thinking of visiting Leek later this year
and am particularly interested if you can give me
some information about Horton Hall. A gentleman by
the name of William Henry Gaunt left Horton Hall in
1830 and arrived in Victoria, Australia. He became
a very prominent Judge in this State. His daughter
Mary Gaunt was a well-known writer in the early
1900's and two of his sons returned to the UK from
Australia and became Admiral's of the British
Fleet. Are there any descendants of the Gaunt
family still associated with Horton Hall? I hope
you can help me, and look forward to visiting your
town next October.
Best wishes, Graeme Charles,
Chiltern, Victoria, Australia.
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 19:38:31 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Ball Family of Leek
Sarah Ball was my great-great-great grandmother,
married to John Edward Connor MacCarthy on 28th
November 1779. She was born in Leek, Staffordshire
and christened there on 3rd August 1766. She died
in Iver, Buckinghamshire on 10th April 1853. I have
found that her parents were Joel (born about 1723)
and Martha (born about 1727), both born in Leek.
Their children were: (1) Mary, christened 8th July
1749, (2) Hannah, christened 1st February 1754, (3)
Martha, christened 3rd January 1756,(4)Joel,
christened 16th January 1758, (5)Thomas, christened
17th August 1759,6) another Sarah, christened 5th
December 1761, (7) Jemima, christened 29th April
1764, (8) our Sarah, christened 3rd August 1766,
and (9) Samuel 13th July 1771. All were christened
in Leek, Staffordshire.
I am looking for the parents of both, especially
Joel and indeed the maiden name of Martha. There
are many entries on the IGI for persons named Joel
Ball of Leek (with varying dates) and many persons
with the surname Ball born in Leek. I am trying to
link Joel to one of the earlier persons listed.
Anyone who can help me to trace the ancestors of
Joel and Martha Ball and to give me any background
information on the Ball family is invited to write
to me at email@example.com
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005
I have really fond memories of Leek. My father
used to take me often to visit my grandmother in
Broad street, Mrs Emma Saunders. My father died
young his name was Stanley Saunders. Anyone with
any information for me, as I was only twelve when
he died so I didnt get to know him, I would love to
hear from them or anyone who knew him or knew who
is father was, as it was a closely guarded
Thank you so much,
Mrs Martine Kent
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005
Subject: Worthington families
I would like to hear from any Worthington
families still living in Leek, who's ancestors
worked in the Silk mills. In the early 1900's there
was the Worthington family who owned the Silk mill,
but naturally enough my ancestors were the poor
mill workers. My grandmother was Eva Keates (nee
Worthington) who was one of 19 children some of
whom I know still have family in Leek. Her
Grandparents had 10 children and I hope some of
them may still have descendants in the area.
I would also like more information on the mill
owning Worthingtons in Leek, although we are not
part of them at least it may help to sort out which
family is which.
Sue Rose (nee Johnson)
Subject: Looking for Scott Beal
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005
I am trying to contact my old mate from school,
he came here from Fiji where his dad was a mining
enginerr and we got on really well. His name is
Scott Beal and it would be great to catch up and
see how he is. He attended St Edwards middle school
in 89' and then Westwood High from 90 - 93. If
anyone has any information could you please contact
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005
Subject: Royal Punch and Judy Show
I am trying to trace a song, probably called
"The Royal Punch and Judy Show", which was being
sung in West Street Primary Dept around 1920s. Does
anyone have a granny who still remembers it?
Subject: CATER family - Leek
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005
I am trying to trace decendants of William H
CATER who married Edith M MARGERRISON in 1912, at
All Saints Leek. I believe they had a son William
Charles Edward born 1915. I would like to hear from
anyone related to them, or who knows the family.