Open Forum

A letter from a researcher into his family

Rope, Crewe, Cheshire

In the last few days I opened a message in my inbox from Ian Bell. It was with regards to tracing his family tree. Just by change I am running a 10 week course on that very subject.

From the information given I was able to locate the person names on the 1861/1871/1881 census within a few minutes and also explained a few historical terms that were leading him to the wrong assumptions.

The is was his reply:

Rope, Crewe, Cheshire. 12 February 2019

Dear Dr Talbot,

I would like to express my appreciation for the information and assistance you have provided me with in my endeavours to explore further the background to my family history and its connections with Penkhull and the surrounding areas.

As I mentioned in my email I am very much an armchair, or perhaps I should say, computer chair, researcher at the moment, and to start my investigations I am using My Heritage to find past family members.

This is fine for identifying names, dates and such like, but my interest also lies in understanding the historical background to my ancestors’ lives. This is a lot more involved and time consuming and something that will require considerably more effort. So finding someone who has in depth knowledge of the history of the area is a major benefit.

Never having been in contact before with anything like a historical society I had no idea what kind of response to expect to my email enquiry. I have to say that your reply was a pleasant surprise, not least to hear that there is a specific interest in the family from which I am directly descended.

Thank you again and I do hope that should I require further help in the future it will be OK to communicate with you again.

Yours sincerely

Ian Bell

Updated the Poor Law page on vagrancy in the city by four articles.

Updated the Poor Law section with four new articles that I have recently published in the Sentinel on the subject of Vagrancy during the 19th century in the city and how it was treated.

A message re Boothen Farm all the way from down-under 

Thank you so much for passing on this photo, Richard. A very interesting view of maybe the Michelin Tyre Factory across the laneway! The house looks a bit sad, but interesting to me.

My Great Grandfather, Richard Bagnall emigrated to Australia around the 1860s, and he was the eldest son of Thomas and Ann Bagnall, the lessees of Boothen Farm. The remaining sons of Thomas, were William, Thomas and Robert, together with sisters Mary, Ann, Sarah. Young Thomas was a Shire Clerk for Stoke Council, William I think, a solicitor, and Robert carried on the farm til he died. Mary and sisters lived later in Summer Row, but I think the houses are now gone. Family history is so engrossing, I find! For my part I have come to a dead end with Thomas Snr. There were so many Thomas’ and Williams’. Bagnalls In Staffordshire, it has been difficult to find parents for him…… but that is the nature of the family history!

If you could give me you Bank details, I will deposit the £75, and you can post. I am happy to have the DVDs as well as the book.

Sincerely, Alison. Australia

Just wanted to say hi and pass on my compliments for your work. My fathers family moved to Stoke at the turn of the last century (Wood Street).   My father married and set up home in Hill Street were I was born in 1947.   Many of my early friends coming from Penkull.

Moved to Canada back in ‘71.

From Steve Blakeman

Many thanks Steve, comments valued as a great deal of work has gone into building this site. R

Susan Turner has been in contact regarding the one Royal Oak Beerhouse which stood on the corner of Manor Court Street and Newcastle Lane.  She has kindly sent me the will on an ancestor who once owned this beerhouse named Thomas Starkey. I was not previously aware of this name so quite interesting.

If anyone is having difficulty in reading these – please send message on contact and I will send direct j.peg by return

I have received the following from Ron Tarling who now lives in the USA.

He recalls his time at what was Penkhull Senior School form 1963-1967 and would live to have any photographs of the time from any viewer of this site.

So, if anyone out there has any or remembers Ron why not send him a message direct or via the contact address on this site and we will publish both the message and any photographs sent in.

Would be great so share memories.

Ron Tarling  e.mail address:>

Items found on this page are from the general public. We welcome both memories and questions together with photographs you may wish to share with other interested members of the public.

Appears to have been a great deal of discussion regarding the future of the former Senior School in Princes road which includes talks between our Tutor Dr Talbot and council officers.

Delighted that its been announced that the school has been saved from demolition and currently the council are in positive discussion with a local organisation regarding its future use. Watch this apace. Or, if you have a contribution to make why not send it in via the contact mail address for publication.