Welcome to Kidsgrove in the year of Our Lord 1871.
The reigning monarch is Queen Victoria and the Prime Minister is William Gladstone.
The Town Crier is George Waddups and you have probably heard that there has been a pretender to his office in the form of Paul Goldstraw.
Mr Goldstraw has been sent on his way by the powers that be.
Even though we are a town, we do not have a town hall yet, this is probably not going to happen until about 1898 I should think.
The parish is made up of 1008 acres of land and the main owners are, Ralph Sneyd Esquire, Mrs Kinnersley, W. Lawton, W.H. Edwards and several others.
Ralph Sneyd is the lord of the manor.
The population stands at around 4000.
We have a post, telegraph and money order office which is managed by Thomas Wardle, sub postmaster.
Letters arrive at 7-00 am & 4-00 pm and are dispatched at 10-00 am & 8-00 pm.
W. Cooper Esquire is the Chairman of the Local Board of Health and Henry Woodcock is the clerk.
There is a railway station, on the main Stoke to Manchester line and George H. Howarth is the station master.
The Kidsgrove Gas Light Company Ltd in Hardings Wood is managed by Mr J. Davies.
St Thomas’s church in the Avenue, erected in 1843 by Thomas Kinnersley of Clough Hall, has the Reverend Frederick T. Wade as its vicar.
Mrs Kinnersley has provided the money for the vicarage to be built
The Wesleyans have a chapel whose minister is the Reverend John Reacher.
The Primitive and Methodist Free churches also have a presence here.
We have a Church of England School which has places for both boys and girls, Moses Salter is the master and Sarah Salter the mistress, Miss McClaren is the mistress for the infants.
There is also a Wesleyan Methodist school whose master is G. Gregory.
At the moment we don’t have any street or road names because everyone knows everyone else and where they live.
We have a selection of public houses, namely,
The Crown and Thistle: William Beech.
The Roebuck Commercial Hotel: Lawrence Dale.
The Plough Inn: Ann Emmons.
The Lamb Inn: John Harrison.
The Harecastle Hotel: Elizabeth Poyser.
The Wellington Inn: William Thomas.
The Swan Inn: J.H. Hancock.
Here is a list of the local traders.
TRADE No TRADE No
What is a lime burner, you ask, well, he has one of the most unsavoury jobs around here.
He heats the lime to about 1000 degrees Centigrade in a kiln and when it has cooled, it is used in the making of building mortar and plaster.
The dust it produces causes blindness and burns to the skin.
The carbon monoxide given off during the process can kill and also cause giddiness and permanent damage to the brain.
There are ten farmers local to the town, they sell their produce to the residents and shops and provide jobs for the quite a few people.
Coal mining plays a major part in the employment of our residents and quite a lot of people travel into the Potteries for their work.
The average wage for a coal miner is, £50 per annum, a skilled engineer, £60 per annum and a teacher £80 per annum.
The good news for the workers is that trade unions have been legalised.
Nationally, the life expectancy is around 40 years and the average woman is giving birth to 5 children.
Sadly, three out of children will die in their first year, people accept this as part of life’s woes.
The average rent for a two up, two down terraced house is a one shilling and sixpence per week and if it was built during the last 20 years it may have its own outside privy and running water in the scullery.
The better off people have had gas lights put in their homes.
Some of the big houses have inside lavatories and baths, the baths are fixed in and have taps on them.
We mostly eat, bread, butter, potatoes and bacon, sometimes we have meat, but there are a lot of very poor people here who don’t have anything at all.
People like that may have to go and live in the workhouse at Westcliffe.
Nobody wants to do that because the stories we hear about that place are terrible.
What do we have or what could we count as our blessings?
We have banks, shops, jobs, trade unions, schools, railways, canals, gas lighting, places of worship, postal service and the will to work to provide for our families.
If we don’t work we can’t provide for them and the vicar said in his sermon “the Lord helps those who help themselves”.
The North Staffordshire Railway Company is extending its loop line railway towards Kidsgrove.
Hopefully over the next 4 years we should be connected to this line, it will make getting to work easier for those who work in the Potteries.
Birchenwood colliery has expanded now and it is producing a lot of coal which is converted to coke by a special process.
http://www.btinternet.com/~newchapelvil ... istory.htm
We don’t have a doctor yet, but, our chemists Bennett & Perkins and W.S. Pearson can supply remedies for common ailments.
Four beer retailers and seven public houses is not the best thing for the community according to The Temperance Society and the local clergymen.
Goldenhill has sixteen beer retailers and four pubs and that is only a village so perhaps we are not doing too badly.
What can we look forward to over the next 40 years, do you think?
Better housing, more schools, better roads, better working conditions, better pay and a resident doctor perhaps.
Have a look at this link, it will explain the national situation in greater detail.
Acknowledgements to the various sources who contributed the information for this project.
http://places.wishful-thinking.org.uk/S ... e/MIs.html