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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 xxatomd@att.netxx

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?

Many thanks

Helen from Brisbane

Subject: Emily Rowley

Date: Tues, 4 Dec. 2007


I’m trying to find out anything about a girl who lived in Leek, her name is Emily Rowley, although I don’t 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, I’m talking of 1988, yes I know it’s a long time but if anyone could help me I’d be eternaly thankful
I’m 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 vexjmseptiem@inmelaex.comvex

José Manuel Septiem Giner

For those with memories of Rudyard Lake why not visit. which is a short video of Rudyard Lake

Johhny Barratt

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.

Great site,

greetings from Holland

Jim Bishop
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.

Editor, Leekonline.

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?

Many thanks



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.


Subject: Memories

Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007

Hi There,

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.

Best wishes,
Lyn ChrystalzxzCCandLChrystal@aol.comxzx

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.


Sue Rosexzxsuedave5049@talktalk.netzxz

Subject: Family History: Hall, Allcock, Hassel, Middleton and Burgess

Date: Sun 24 June 2007

Hello Leekonline

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 mine.
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 Margaret’s, 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 in 1841.
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 Mary’s, Stafford who married Mary Middleton in 1732 at Caverswall (Richard’s grandfather?)
Charles Hall born 1671 (probably at Waterfall) who married in 1697 Lydia ?? of Wirksworth, Derbyshire (Richard’s grand-father?).
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 email:

Cheers, Ross Thomas
Canberra, Australia

Subject: 1939

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 occupants.
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 finished yet.

Phil Dunsfordxzpdnsfrd@aol.comxz

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, Ron.

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 investments.

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.

Carole Law
email xxthelaws@ntlworld.comxx

Subject: Canals

Date: Mon, 28 May 2007

Hi Everyone.

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.

John Barratt

Subject: Family History

Date: Fri 13 April 2007

I am looking for a number of different surnames.
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 1969.
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 Ray.
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

Vicki Frodsham

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 appreciated.



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 Hayesgate Alstonfield.

Valerie Fennell.

Subject: Mathews

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 appreciated.

Margaret Huntley, Inverness, Scotland

Subject: Leek

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 soon!


Anyone can contact me at xx Robert.Bratt@hotmail .comxx

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?

Geoff Emery

Subject: Leek

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 so important!!


Subject: Forum

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

John Barratt"

Subject: More memories of Leek

Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2007

Hi again,

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 called.
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 wasn’t like that in my day, it had a touch of class. The Earl Grey was the pub I used to go and fetch my nana’s beer from.
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 West’s shop, I think it was, for the Guy Fawkes evenings.
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, can’t remember their last name but they lived in Southport Street and she managed an off-licence in town, across the road from Eric Wilson’s 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. It’s the one childhood film I still vividly remember.
Every Christmas the entire English clan would gather at our granddad’s 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 haven’t a clue what that means. I do remember that in lieu of a Christmas bonus, all the workers got a turkey from Mr Tatton’s 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 Africa’s 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 mine.

Until next time.

Ta ra,


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 month’s 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 67.
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 received.

Warm regards,


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