Subject: Christmas Greeting
Date: December 2007
I was a GI during WWII who spent an autumn in your lovely little village before being shipped off to France. A few months, when set before the background of all the years that have gone by, would truly appear insignificant .And yet, the memory of the hospitality shown to us at that time, has not been lost. I wish all the residents of Leek a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Tony Oropollo,M.D firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Are these houses still standing
Date: Tues, 27 Nov 2007
My family research has revealed that Thomas SHALLCROSS born in Leek in 1819,was a long time resident at 26 St Edward St, Leek (previously Spout). He was listed as a shopkeeper, Grocer, and Provision Dealer on various census images, and on Kelly's 1896 Directory, he is listed as a shopkeeper, of 26 St Edward St, Leek
His son John SHALLCROSS lived most of his life at 2 Dampier Street. In Kellys Directory he is listed as a private resident living at 2 Dampier Street. His place of business being Stockwell Street where he was a F.S.A. Auctioneer, Incorporated Accountant and House Agent.
I have read Ray Poole's informative books on Leek, but unfortunately cannot locate any references &/or pictures.
Sorry to be so long- winded, can someone please advise if both these houses/businesses are still standing?
Helen from Brisbane email@example.com
Subject: Emily Rowley
Date: Tues, 4 Dec. 2007
Im trying to find out anything about a girl who lived in Leek, her name is Emily Rowley, although I dont know if she has married and changed her name.
She used to spend her hollidays in Spain, in Santander, there was where I met her, Im talking of 1988, yes I know its a long time but if anyone could help me Id be eternaly thankful
Im spanish, I remember one time that a friend a me drove for 20 hours just to see her in the Alps without knowing where her hotel was.
Thank you all
This is my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
José Manuel Septiem Giner
For those with memories of Rudyard Lake why not visit.
http://www.youtube.com which is a short video of Rudyard Lake
Subject: Please help.....
Date: Mon, 1 Oct. 2007
My father was a soldier in the 2nd world war. I would like to know in what regiment he was. He lived in Longsdon (little Longsdon farm I think) and after the war he lived in Leek. He had a son named Barry who died in 1948.
I know he was in Africa and Bari (Italy) juring the war.
My father´s name is Jim Bishop and past away seven years ago. Who can give me some information please.
greetings from Holland
06 - 408 91 406
Subject: Chinese See-Saw in Pickwood Rec.
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2007
Having left Leek many years ago to join the RAF, I'm now trying to put down my life on paper with photographs where relevant (It might even get published one day). I lived on the Ashbourne Road from 1945 until 1961. In my younger years I spent many hours playing on the Pickwood Recreation ground and building the bonfire when Guy Fawkes night approached. There were swings, a roundabout, quite a large slide and a chinese see-saw. This was a large plank of wood supported at each end by swinging arms connected to steel supports. Children could stand at each end and 'work' the see-saw quite high. I think that there were three handles fixed to the wood so that other children could sit on it and hold on. My sister who still lives in Grove Street tells me that all of this equipment has now gone - probably Health & Safety rules came into it somewhere. Does anyone have any photographs of this see-saw that they could email to me please?
Subject: Lost Treasures programme
Date: Mon, 24 Sept. 2007
The Lost Treasures programme on the History Channel, Mark Olly visited a Yew Glade and a recently excavated well to the west of Leek. Could anyone throw any light as to the location of these interesting places as I have had several requests asking for more details.
Subject: Mountside Boys School
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007
I was born in Leek at No.2 Court 10, on the Ashbourne Road on 25th July 1945. I attended St. Lukes Primary School and after failing the 11+, I went on to the Mountside Boys School on the Springfield Road between the years 1956 and 1960. When I left school in 1960, I went to work at the London Mill owned by Brough, Nicholson & Hall in the Spinning Department. After a few months working there for the grand sum of £3 per week before tax, I left to join the RAF in January 1961 to train as an Aircraft Electrician at RAF ST Athan in South Wales. My first posting was to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire where I met and married my wife Patricia in 1964. I served for 28 years at various stations around the world and finished my service at RAF Sealand in Flintshire in 1988. We bought a house in Hawarden, North Wales where we still live. I was involved in an accident with a lady driver who didn't see me on my Yamaha Thundercat motorcycle when I was going to visit my mother in King Street Leek, who was dying of pancreatic cancer. This lady driver pulled out from a side road directly in front of me on the main road. I was doing 60mph and had nowhere to go except into her front wing. I was thrown over the cars bonnet and bounced for 60 yards along the road breaking most of the bones in my body. While I was in hospital, my mother died and it was several weeks before the doctors would let me be told. I now am disabled and have a severe memory problem.
I have decided to write a book about my life so far, but I cannot remember the House names that were used in the Mountside Boys Secondary Modern School on the Springfield Road between 1956 and 1960. I think there was Chaucer, Shakespeare and a Mansfield house, but the house that I was in I cannot remember. Can anyone help me out please?
Subject: Jabez Mellor
Date: Thur, 6 Sept 2007
I am trying to find information about a Jabez Mellor. He lived in the Heathylee district of Leek and appeared in the 1901 census as being 13 years old. He married and had a son, Alan Wright Mellor who moved down to the Fareham area of Hampshire.
I am hoping that your readers may be able to be of help. Jabez is the great-grandfather of a close friend of mine.
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007
I left Leek in the late 1960's but have been
back several times. However, in my memory of Leek
location are just as they were when I was a child.
I remember the Duke of York pub in Derby Street and
the Golden Lion with the "Coming to Leek Theatre"
billboard on the side facing the market place. I
walked in the annual Walking Round Day every year
and remember Percy Poole standing on the podium
outside the Red Lion singing his heart out.
I now live in the U.S. I hope you get good
response from other former Leekensians.
Subject: Percy Keates
Date: 05 July 2007
I am trying to trace any information on my
grandfather Percy Keates born about 1898. I would
particularly like to know when he died in Leek. If
anybody can help me I would appreciate it.
Subject: Family History: Hall, Allcock, Hassel,
Middleton and Burgess
Date: Sun 24 June 2007
I am from Australia and I spent a few days in
Leek in 2006 and had great joy in walking the
villages of my ancestors; Wetton, Grindon, Ford,
Waterfall, Ipstones and others as well as the
lovely town of Leek. We stayed out near the
Roaches. It was the highlight of my trip which
included many parts of the UK. However, I would
love more information on those ancestors of
Richard Hall was born at Leek on 20 November 1774
with the identity of his parents given as Hugh Hall
and Amy. The IGI lists a Hugh Hall christened 28
September 1754 at Leek and this may be the father
of Richard. It also lists a Hugh marrying an Amy
Hassal on 8 June 1768 at Leek, perhaps the Amey
Hassel born to John Hassel on 29 March 1752 at St
Michaels, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Richard Hall married Jane Alcock at St
Margarets, Wetton on 12 May 1794 and their
family were born at North Hinksey and Langford in
the south and two sons, Daniel and Hugh emigrated
to South Australia in 1839 from Stockport where
they worked as tailors. Richard Hall worked in
Custard Street, Leek as a shoemaker before, he too,
emigrated in 1853 with his wife Ellen Burgess whom
he had married at St James Church, Gawsworth
What I would like is more information on the early
Halls and the families into which they married
Hassal (Hassel), Burgess and Alcock
mentioned above and also the following:
Thomas Hall born 1707/8 at St Marys, Stafford
who married Mary Middleton in 1732 at Caverswall
Charles Hall born 1671 (probably at Waterfall) who
married in 1697 Lydia ?? of Wirksworth, Derbyshire
Any help would be much appreciated. I have much
material on the life Downunder of the Halls and
would be happy to share it. I can be contacted on
Cheers, Ross Thomas
Date: Sun 17 June 2007
Someone was asking about 1939. I can tell you
what happened in the September of that year. About
200 boys from Burnage High School in Manchester
arrived in the villages to the west of Leek and
were installed in the brand new Leek High School.
In fact, in a masterpiece of bad planning, the
evacuees started in the school before the rightful
I was one of the invaders and to this day I gain
great pleasure in re-visiting Leek when I am on my
boat on the Caldon Canal. Now that the Leek Branch
terminates some way from the town centre we usually
get the bus from Cheddleton and if possible make
the visit on Market Day.
An interesting snippet. We arrived in Longsdon on
Friday 1 September and war was declared on the
Sunday. On the intervening Saturday (no doubt to
keep us out of mischief) we were taken for a long
walk through the village of Horton. There we met an
old lady called, I think, Fanny Goodwin who was 96
years old. It fascinates me to realise that I once
spoke to someone who was born in 1843 - one hundred
and sixty four years ago years ago. And I ain't
Subject: Family History
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007
I understand my great-great grandfather (and
grandmother) originally came from Leek. They would
have been born in the early 1800's. I think their
surname was Grace but unsure of Christian names,
but he could have been called Henry or Harry. I do
know he was a builder and that at least two of his
sons Harry and James (Jim) followed him into the
trade. Harry and Jim were two of six brothers,
another of whom was Tom. Don't know the names of
the others but I believe one of them had something
to do with the BBC Orchestra.
Harry,as the eldest, took over the business when
his father died.
There was one daughter - Ellen - my great
grandmother who was born about 1850 Ellen married a
Joseph or John Bentley (born about 1846) and came
to live in Leicester. Ellen and Joseph had seven
girls - Alice, Margaret, Florence, Nellie, Gertrude
(my grandmother), Annie and Jessie. Most of the
family still live in Leicester. Alice (married name
Smith) had a daughter, Grace and a son Cecil.
Margaret (known as Maggie) and Nellie never
married. Florence married Arthur Blockley and had
two daughters, Flossie and Margaret. Annie married
Jim Mayes and had three daughers, Mary, Hilda and
another little girl who died aged two of
meningitus. Jessie (married name Pratt) had a son,
Auntie Annie went to stay at her cousin's house
for a time when she was young. I understand it was
quite a large house and seemed very grand to her as
she had been brought up in a small terraced house
in Leicester. Her grandfather (Joseph Bentley's
father) was a silk manufacturer but the family lost
all their money through making unwise
When my mother was young, Jim and his family
used to come and visit their cousins in Leicester.
He had at least one son and 2 daughters.
If anyone reading this knows of the Grace family
or their descendants, I would be very pleased to
hear from them.
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007
With all the speculation about privatising the
canal system in Britain at the moment, our own
beautiful Caldon Canal is just part of the 2000
mile network. I have set up this FORUM so ex pats
as well as locals can also keep in touch with the
Canal and its future.
For all familiar with it, The Caldon Canal is
our heritage, we have all grown up around the
Canal, we have all walked on the Canal and some
have boated on it.To support the Caldon Canal,
please use the forum and promote it, this forum and
its support could be a vital tool in its safety
should British Waterways want to sell it off or
worse, close it completely.
Subject: Family History
Date: Fri 13 April 2007
I am looking for a number of different
The first one is Podesta, my great nans maiden name
is Elsie Podesta she married James Orme and they
had Terry and Kathleen (my nan). Elsie had two
brothers Norman Francais and Vincent Andrew and she
also had a sister Mary.
Norman Francais married Maggie someone and their
children are Tony and John. Norman died in
Vincent Andrew married someone with the initals
D.E. he died September 10th aged 73 years old.
Mary married Harold Boswell and their child is
I only know my great nans fathers name, which was
Andrew Vincent Podesta, I don't know their mothers
actual name but there step mothers nan is Claria
Ameson. and they never had children.
I am also looking for Frodsham, I have got to my
great grandad Frodsham (Harry Frodsham) he married
Ruth Downs (she already had three children, Ann,
Francais and May) there children are William
Stanley (my grandad), Frank (now lives in
Austraila), Jessica Witica and Lucy Alcock (died).
Then Ruth Downs died and Harry married her daughter
Ann Downs and they had Andrew, Carol. Anne Caper
(Teddy), Steven (Teager), Sylvia Wilson, Hillary,
Enid Walters, Jean, Jo, Allan, and Pauline.
I am also looking for Downs, I know that my great
grandmother Ruth Downs mother and father are
Matthew Downs who died 7th August 1905 aged 61
years and her mother is Elizabeth Downs who died
17th June 1920 aged 67 years
If you recognise any of the names above please
let me no
Subject: Family History
Date: Sat 7 April 2007
My name is Amanda Beavis (nee Morley) and I am
currently researching my family tree. I have a
William Packin Morley who was born in about 1821 in
Leek. I know he had a brother called Henry S Morley
born in about 1829 in Leek also. He moved to St
Werburg, Derby, Derbyshire where he was proprietor
of a Silk Factory employing 150 women and 80
children - he was partners with a John P Morley
(maybe a brother or cousin) who as also born in
about 1821 in Leek. I was just wondering if anyone
had any information on the Morley's of Leek?
Any information would be greatly
Subject: Leek ancestors
Date: Thur 29 Mar 2007
My grt. grt grandmother Frances Elizabeth Lane
was born in Leek in 1867. Her parents were George
Henry Lane (butcher) and Mary Ann Weston. Both
Grandparents were Publicans; John Lane and Esther
Gould ran The Red Lion at Ipstones and later the
Sea Lion there. John Weston (born Waterfall) and
Frances Johnson (born Ipstones) ran the Talbot Inn
in Leek. Frances' mother Ann (Allen) was widowed
young and was a shopkeeper and publican in the
Ipstones 1861 census.
I would be very grateful if anyone out there
could help put some flesh on the bones of my
genealogy, Australia is a very long way from there.
I also have Finneys, Goulds and Dales from
Date: Thur 15 Mar 2007
I am searching for my ancestors by the name of
Mathews (Matthews ?) and Stevensons who lived in
Leek around 1880. Any help would be much
Margaret Huntley, Inverness, Scotland
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007
Hi all, my name is Robert Bratt I grew up in
Leek but now live and work in Ireland. I would love
to here from anyone that remembers me. I used to
live on Haregate Road and went to Leek High School
until 1979 and then went to work at Slimma Ltd. I
used to keep up with what is going on in the town
by reading the Your Leek Paper online
but it is not there anymore I hope this will return
Anyone can contact me at xx
Subject: Childrens' Home
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007
My mother and two of her sisters were residents
of the Leek Childrens' Home about 1907 - 1914. Has
anyone any photographs, information or nominal
rolls for that period?
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2007
Hi I am 12 years old and I just wanted to say I
think this web site is cool I never knew Leek was
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2007
To All... Ex Pats from Leek and Biddulph and
surrounding areas, please visit A BRAND NEW FORUM
focusing on Canals And Boats,, with a special
section for the Caldon Canal, where most of us have
grown up playing near.
There will be familiar photos and old friends to
keep in touch with, please visit
Subject: More memories of Leek
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2007
Following my e mail to you yesterday, more
memories came flooding back.
In the mid 50s there was a spot of notoriety
when a woman who owned a farm outside Leek and who
used to deliver fresh milk and butter to my nana
was arrested, charged and found guilty of murder.
It seemed she had a lover and, I think, killed his
wife. Great scandal at the time.
I had to emigrate to South Africa to find another
Leekite, Bill Honeyman, drummer for the group
Hedgehoppers Anonymous. His parents were
landlords/owners? Of the Cock in Derby Street. Bill
was sadly killed in a car crash in Durban, South
Africa in the late 70s and his ashes were returned
to his father who, by then, was working for a
brewery in Liverpool. Still on the small world
thing, the lead guitarist for Hedgehoppers is Mick
Matthews from just down the road in Newcastle Under
Lyme. Mick, who has just turned 60 is my best mate
out here and vividly remembers playing the Leek
Town Hall as teenager. Still on small worlds,
another mate of days gone by was John Keats, also
from Leek, who we met up with out here. He married
a girl from Springs, a town near Johannesburg but,
sadly, we lost touch, He had an Aunty Dorothy who
was best friends with my nana. She lived at, what
at the time, seemed the farthest part of Leek from
Fountain Street, and we used to walk there on
Sundays. In fact, we walked everywhere in those
days. We used to walk into fields and pick
mushrooms, and blackberries in season, and
bluebells from Ballington Wood. We used to walk to
town and right out into the country to visit where
my nana was born, a toll house I think it was
I still have bar towels, Bass and Worthington E,
from the Roebuck, sad to read on your site that the
pub is now run down and home to druggies and under
age drinkers. It wasnt like that in my day,
it had a touch of class. The Earl Grey was the pub
I used to go and fetch my nanas beer
There was a butcher in West Street that used to
sell faggots, a mixture of minced meat, suet and
who knows what else. Still, they were cheap and
tasty and I can taste them to this day.
We used to buy our fireworks from John Wests
shop, I think it was, for the Guy Fawkes
In the Summer we would go to Trentham Gardens to
swim in a huge open air pool with my folks and
their great friends Baz and Barbara, cant
remember their last name but they lived in
Southport Street and she managed an off-licence in
town, across the road from Eric Wilsons TV
shop, which was also the place where we caught the
bus to Hanley.
Before my mother was married, she was Irene Peach
then, she was, by all accounts, a champion ballet
dancer. If anybody remembers her I would be
grateful for any info. She passed away in Cape Town
in the year 2000 at the age of 80 where she was
looked after by my sister Mandy, who was also born
at home and delivered by Nurse Steele.
I recall spending a lot of time at the Rec off
Ashbourne Road where we played cricket and soccer
as little lads.
There was a cinema in town where, as primary school
kids, we were taken to see Richard III. I remember
I was terrified what with all the blood and all.
Its the one childhood film I still vividly
Every Christmas the entire English clan would
gather at our granddads house, The Mount. We
were OK because we lived in town but my uncle
Raymond and his family used to come all the way
from the USA and my aunty Alicia and her family
would have to travel from Bury.
Before we moved to Nottingham my dad worked for
William Tatton as a textile technologist- to this
day I havent a clue what that means. I do
remember that in lieu of a Christmas bonus, all the
workers got a turkey from Mr Tattons farm in
Angelsey. Generous hey?
Until my nana died she used to send us the Leek
Post and Times every week so we could keep in
touch. Is it still going?
I could legally drive and drink when I returned to
Leek for the last time in 1967 and I have fond
memories of going with my best mate Chris Wilson to
a club called The Place in either Hanley or Stoke.
Bearing in mind that I was now living in a country
where it was illegal for black people and white
people to mix, it was an eye opener to see bands
like the Coloured Raisins, The Chuckles and Geno
Washington and the Ram Jam Band, and to see white
girls going dilly for them, but it was great. I
also remember seeing Chris Farlowe and the
Thunderbirds, the St Louis Union and Chris Bennett
and the Rebel Rousers. The Place was amazing and
the beer was magnificent. We had nothing like that
in South Africa at the time and it was a real
culture shock when I returned home. I also saw one
of South Africas top bands, The Bats, on Top
Of The Pops during my stay and they are still
around here and going strong, and great mates of
Until next time.
Subject: Memories of Leek
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007
My name is Adrian English and I was born in Leek
in 1948. I stayed in the town until I was 7 and
then my family moved to Nottingham. I returned
home every holiday until we emigrated
to South Africa in 1963. I returned for a
months visit in 1967 and have wonderful
memories of my brief time there.
I am trying to make contact with one of my best
mates at the time, Chris Wilson, who I believe has
left the town but lives nearby.
I am also doing research into my family history- my
grandfather was Walter English who was managing
director of Brough, Nicholson and Hall in the
1950s,. He lived in a house called the Mount which
was on the road leaving Leek for Buxton and my
maternal grandmother was Ivy Peach, who originally
lived in West Street and then moved to Fountain
Street just off Ashbourne Road. Her maiden name was
Nixon and she had a brother Eddie as I recall. The
West Street house had no indoor loo or bathroom
when I was little, just an outside privy. How times
have changed. If anybody has any information I
would be most grateful.
Also, I have vivid memories of the Roebuck pub in
the main street. Is it still there? It was managed
in my time by an old family friend, Muff I think.
She used to let me pull pints on my return trip in
Your web site brought back many memories, notably
fishing in the Churnet and the canal, a dance at
the Town Hall, also in 67, the May Day parades,
buying oatcakes on a Sunday morning and swimming in
the indoor pool. I also recall a pub, the George I
think, where they played folk music, and the open
market. My great uncle Allen Nixon worked there and
in the indoor market.
My sister Mandy returned a number of years ago to
visit the house where we were born in Moorfields
and she was knocked out by the warm welcome she