December the 15th 2018 saw the launch of a new publication.
Cavalryman Voltelin Percy Heath
Cavalryman Voltelin Percy Heath by Michael Turnock is the story of a Royal Horse Guard Soldier in the Great War 1914 - 1918 with a plaque in St. Lawrence’s Church, Biddulph. Cavalryman Voltelin Percy Heath costs £3.50. (24 A4 colour pages).
December the 17th 2018 saw the launch of a new publication.
Transactions No. 13
This book combines two articles ‘A History of the Chatterley Whitfield Railway by the late William Jack III’ edited by Mr. Roland Machin and ‘The Workings of the Locomotives and Trains of Private Firms over the North Staffordshire Railway’ by Dr. J. R. Hollick. Transactions No. 13 costs £5 (76 A4 pages).
November the 27th 2018 saw the launch of a new publication.
The Flight Training Notes of Cadet J. E. Machin
This book has been created by converting 201 pages of hand written notes in exercise books written by Cadet Machin during the First World War. The training notes include chapters on the theory of flight; the theatre of War, observation and mapping; the instruments; the engines; and, on reconnaissance and armaments. The book includes an introduction and addendum written by Roland Machin whose father John (known as Jack) and his elder brother Harry had followed John Egbert into the Royal Flying Corps. The Flight Training Notes of J. E. Machin is on sale at £5.00 (84 A4 pages).
October the 24th 2018 saw the launch of a new publication.
From Workhouse to Lord Mayor
This book is a reprint of George Herbert Barber’s autobigraphy which was first published in 1937. It has a prologue written by Brian Barber who is one of George’s great grandsons. Subjects covered include the setting up of Cinemas in the Potteries, working at the New Chemical Works, Stoke-On-Trent City Council with the “Lid Off”, trips by air in the early days of aviation and flights to the Continent, Palestine and Egypt, visits to Russia and Geneva, the Sunday Cinemas and experiences with Royalty. From Workhouse to Lord Mayor is on sale at £7.50 (84 A4 pages).
Biddulph Grange Gardens
This book is a reprint of the articles in the ‘The Gardeners’ Chronicle’ written by Edward Kemp who was born in 1817 and served as a garden apprentice under Joseph Paxton during the 1830’s. The articles are from the years 1856 and 1862 and describe the gardens in detail. A short biography of Edward Kemp and some of the drawings from his book Landscape Gardening, re-published in 1911, are included as well as a nine page colour picture glossary of the plants included in the articles. Biddulph Grange Gardens is on sale at £5.00 (52 A4 pages).
The History of Cowlishaw Walker
The book charts the rise and fall of a Biddulph company that was at the forefront of both coal cutting and steel pressing machinery and includes more information about the Cowlishaw family. The authors, Gordon and Pam Lomas will be available to sign copies of the book in the morning and there will be a display of photographs featuring the staff of the Company in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. The History of Cowlishaw Walker is on sale at £5.00 (52 A4 pages).
Biddulph Grange Gardens and A History of Cowlishaw Walker
Transactions 12: Ada - Love at Jerusalem
The original story is about a Mr. Wayton of Middulph Grange who takes his daughter, Ada, to Palestine and Egypt. During the visit they meet Captain Beaulite. Ada and Captain Beaulite fall in love. They are married in Middulph Church and spend their honeymoon at Mypersley Hall. The book was written by Henry Francis Gordon and published in 1895
Christine Jesson found this book on her late father’s, Harry Page’s, book shelf. She thinks that when Mr. Page found the book in the 1970s he noticed the dedication to the Goodfellows at Woodhouse Farm and this led him to read the book where he saw that the story involved characters from Middulph, Middulph Moor and Mypersley.
She states: “I think that anyone with an interest in the history of Biddulph will enjoy reading the chapters set in Middulph. So, to make them accessible to a wider audience, I have transcribed excerpts from the book and scanned some pages. The main part of the book which tells the story of Mr Wayton and his daughter, Ada’s, tour of
Palestine is also fascinating. There are many photographs, drawings and descriptions of life in 1890’s Palestine which had changed little from biblical times.”
Transcriptions No. 12 Research by Christine Jesson into Henry Francis Gordon’s “Ada - Love at Jerusalem” with references to Biddulph And Knypersley has 40 A4 pages and will be on sale at £4.00
Always Doing His Duty
The story of John Harold Rhodes VC DCM and bar - the Packmoor Hero [Ref: B06] has doubled in size to 24 A4 pages at £3.00
This is the centenary year of remembrance for John Harold Rhodes who died on those far-away battlefields in France in November 1917. This booklet “Always Doing His Duty,” is intended as a tribute to a local hero and is not intended to glorify war in any way.
The army service record of John could not be found and so other forms of research into his military history were sought. The story of the Grenadier Guards and the battles in which John’s battalion fought, old newspaper articles, and importantly the recollections, family stories and photographs shared by a man with an ardent interest, Mr. Arthur Potts.
All this we hope will add to the enjoyment and understanding of this remarkable story of our brave local VC.
Peter Biddulph by Phillip Wheeler
A Biography of Peter Biddulph (1602-1657) alias Fitton of Biddulph Old Hall - Priest, Rebel and Antiquarian by Phillip Wheeler at £3.50
The Colourful Career of Peter Biddulph aka Fitton
The Medici family is the subject of intense study, with real and imagined portrayals in books, novels and more. But what about those who served and lived in that household? One such member was an Englishman called Peter Biddulph, whose career took countless turns before he found his role there.
Born in 1600 into a Catholic family he was one of six sons of Richard and Ann Biddulph of Biddulph Hall, Staffordshire, England. He and his two brothers, out of necessity in those times of persecution, took the alias of Fitton and trained abroad to become priests.
He entered the College at Saint Omer aged 13 and by 19 as a paying student, the English College in Rome, where he was described as being, ‘of noble parents, brought up in Staffordshire and Lancashire’, where he studied Greek and Latin.
Soon, however, his life was linked to a single event that carried his name: the -‘Fitton Rebellion’- of 1623. Discord between the Jesuits supported by students in the orders and the seminary students had become acrimonious and Fitton, along with 13 other students, was accused of insubordination.
On hearing of this, the pope sent his representative known as ‘the visitor’ to inquire. Some of the students were ordered to do penance; others including Fitton were expelled and sent to Douay, France, to finish their studies, yet they carried with them a letter proclaiming their innocence of any charges.
The event distanced him not only from his father but also from his brothers who were by then priests in Valladolid. When his father died in 1636, it is probable that Fitton was excluded from the will; over a decade had passed but the ‘rebellion’ had not been forgotten.
Ordained in 1625, Fitton was, in 1631, appointed as the clergy agent or representative of the seminary priests of England and Wales in, of all places, Rome.
We know however that by 1635 Fitton, his workload affecting his health, wished to leave Rome but he was unable to be released from his duties. Surreptitiously visiting London in 1642, he was described as a priest at large, (a treasonable offence punishable by a gruesome execution) and indicted.
We next hear that he is appointed dean of the chapter for England in 1644, which he oversaw from Paris due to the English Civil War, which reduced the family home to a romantic ruin. He was back in Rome in 1646-47.
But by 1655, Fitton had obtained a position in Florence as archivist/librarian to Cardinal Leopold de’ Medici, the brother of the grand duke, Ferdinand. At 55 he seems to have found quietude and possibly his true vocation, however brief it proved to be.
For two years he catalogued the grand ducal collections, including intaglios, corresponded with fellow antiquarians in Paris and Rome, and drew a salary from the royal treasury.
At the end of his life, in 1657, ‘Pietro Fittone’ was known as a distinguished antiquarian with a great knowledge of coins, medals and statuary. His last resting place has still to be looked for.
Phillip Wheeler lives in Stoke-on-Trent and after co-authoring “A Greate Service: The Biddulph Family and the Old Hall” (1997) he has continued to research the period and family.
..... and secondly:
Duke of York Square by Michael Turnock, published to coincide with this year’s walk at £2.50.
This work was prepared by Michael for the Staffordshire Historical Survey and all the photographs were taken by Michael in March 2011.
The three streets known locally as the “Square” are located between High Street and Station Road in an area mentioned on the 1876 map of Bradley Green (the original name of present day Biddulph) and a mainly working class residential area in that period.
..... and thirdly:
“St Lawrence Parish Church, Biddulph - Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1813-1836” was originally transcribed by the Society and published in 2003. It has been reworked and printed with a full list of baptisms, marriages and burials including a page missed in the original publication. St. Lawrence Parish Registers [Ref: B00] has 116 A4 pages and costs £4.00.
Still available are:
Biddulph Grange and Knypersley Sale Document of 1871
The book has been produced from an A3 photocopy of the original sale document which was in the possession of Mr. Christopher Slater of Biddulph who gave the Society permission to take a copy. It has been converted to an A4 publication with missing information added from copies at the Staffordshire Record Office (S.R.O.) and William Salt Library in Stafford. It includes seventeen pages describing the House and Gardens; six pages of Lithograph Drawings of the House and Gardens; fifteen pages of details of the fields, field use and tenants; and finally, eleven pages of Maps of the Estate drawn in 1791. All this information will be on sale at £4.00 per copy.
Moor to War
The Biddulph & District Genealogy & Historical Society is pleased to announce that “Moor to War” written by Michael Turnock is still available to buy at £2.50 per copy.
It is the story of two friends from Biddulph Moor who went off together to fight in the Great War 1914 - 1918
..... and that the re-published version of Mr. Gordon Lomas‘s “Brindley Ford” is also available.
Gordon describes growing up in Brindley Ford, the people of the village, the local dialect of the people and miners, the Churches and Chapels, the Victoria and Chatterley Whitfield Collieries and the beginning of Primitive Methodism in the area.
One of the new pictures added to the original copy in this edition which costs £5.00.
..... and a reminder that Mr. Richard Dean’s
is still available. A map of the Parish using the 1876 Ordnance Survey Map which was published in December 2015, it has 61 A4 pages and is selling at £6.95
..... and that Geraldine Outhwaite’s
Womens Work in The 1940s and 1950s.
(The jobs women were doing in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-on-Trent areas)
.... is also available.
Women‘s Work in The 1940s and 1950s has 122 A5 pages and costs £8.50
..... and that they are all available to buy at Society Meetings; in Biddulph Library; or, by contacting the Secretary