Kidsgrove is a town in the borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England, near the border with Cheshire. It forms part of The Potteries Urban Area in North Staffordshire, along with Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Kidsgrove has a population of 24,112.
From the 18th century, Kidsgrove grew around coal mining, although the pits have now closed. Clough Hall Mansion in the town, now demolished, was a local theme park. Modern Kidsgrove is very much a commuter town, which has seen house prices rise quite sharply in the first decade of the 21st century. Many people now work in the larger cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. The engineer James Brindley cut the first Harecastle Tunnel on the Trent and Mersey Canal near the town; Thomas Telford cut the second. Kidsgrove also marks the southern extremity of the Macclesfield Canal. There is a legend regarding a headless ghost that is said to haunt the Harecastle Tunnel. The ghost is said to be that of a young woman who was murdered inside the tunnel. She is referred to as the "Kidsgrove Boggart".
Kidsgrove was made an urban district in 1904 with the abolition of the Wolstanton Rural District, including the parishes of Kidsgrove and Newchapel. Talke, previously part of the Audley Urban District, was added in 1932.
Kidsgrove is served by Kidsgrove railway station which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on 9 October 1848 as Harecastle, later becoming Kidsgrove Central. This railway station is still open as a junction (now Kidsgrove). However, there were two other stations on the closed loop line namely Kidsgrove Liverpool Road, opened 15 November, 1875 and Market Street Halt, opened 1 July 1909.
Kidsgrove Ladsandads was formed as a branch in its own right exactly 20 years ago this year in 1992 and was the last of the current eight branches which make up the Staffordshire Ladsandads Club which was formed by the late Doug Brown ( Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent ) in 1967.
We currently have 16 Mini Soccer teams and 11 Junior teams who play in the North Staffs Junior Youth League, which was renamed in 2003 from the Ladsandads League, and play home and away League fixtures against teams from within the eight branches. We also play in the coveted Area Cup which culminates in the Finals at Stone Dominoes.
This year sees Kidsgrove hosting the Doug Brown Founders Trophy and in July five of our teams travel to Osterode, North Germany to take part in a series of International Friendlies and the Peterschutte Tournament. In 2010 we went on tour to Osterode including a civic reception granted to us by the Bergermeister, Claus Becker.
We are obviously predominantly football orientated but we provide our members ( the Children ) with other sporting opportunities including athletics and swimming events as well as opening doors towards other areas within football itself.
The home grounds for Kidsgrove Ladsandads are :- Birchenwood Playing Fields, Mount Road, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs ST7 4AY.
To find out more about the work of Kidsgrove Ladsandads please visit their website: www.kidsgroveladsandads.co.uk
Newchapel, a village with nearly 5,000 inhabitants, and spread over some 200 acres, lies much to the north of the county, between Tunstall and Mow Cop.
In 1086, William the Conqueror ordered a census to be taken throughout England, listing all the landowners and their possessions. Two local villages mentioned in the now famous Domesday Book for Staffordshire, were Thursfield (Turoldesfeld) and Normacot. It was stated that: "Richard the Forester holds Turoldesfeld, from the King, and Nigel de Stafford holds it from him. There is one virgate of land (30 acres of pasture) for two ploughs, of which there is one, with two villeins (serfs) and one cottager. The wood is one league (mile) wide and as much long. It is worth 10 shillings, area about 153 acres. Apparently the name originated from the Scandinavians, who invaded England at that time.
At about the year 1185, 12 frankpledges of Tunstall were staked out, with Chell, Wedgwood, Stonecroft, Stadmorslow, Brieryhurst and Thursfield all belonging to Adam de Audley (1212), who had aquired them as a wedding gift. The rent to be paid for the 12 amounted to 15s-4d per annum. On his confirmation, the rent of Thursfield was given to the Church. (Hence tithes which only disappeared in the 1930s.)
In 1348 John Adams was at Thursfield, and this name probably existed in Newchapel until the 1930s.
Even at this early time there is mention of coal and ironstone being mined by outcrops in this area, and cottages were erected for the workers. In 1560 some of Audley's land passed to the Sneyd family, and remained in their hands until the 19th and 20th centuries.
Kidsgrove Town Council made the effort in the 1990's to twin Kidsgrove with St Paul Du Bols in France. Some people have been sceptical about the actual relevance of this twinning of Kidsgorve and St Paul Du Bols, as the towns are not really that comparable. There is also the issue that many residents of Kidsgrove and St Paul Du Bols are totally unaware of such twinning.
More recently we have seen local parties go out to visit St Paul Du Bols and as you enter Kidsgrove from the North and South of the A50 you will see a stone placed at the side of the road advertising this twinning.
Some facts about St Paul Du Bols are included below;
Bath Pool valley was a creation of the Ice Age, and a participant in the industrial revolution by virtue of nearby coal seams in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the 1970s, however, the lake and surroundings had been transformed and matured into a pleasant leisure amenity for the Kidsgrove area in Staffordshire. And it was then that Bath Pool attracted the attentions of an unwelcome visitor who for a time gave the area a spell of national notoriety.
This stranger was a self-employed jobbing builder from Yorkshire who had begun life in 1936 as Donald Nappey, but later changed his name to Donald Neilson. Sadly, he had developed an unhealthy interest in planning and executing military-style operations which became a series of small scale post office robberies. By the time he reached Kidsgrove he had been augmenting his earnings with the proceeds from burglary for fifteen years. With an overdose of self-esteem, he styled himself 'The Black Panther' and had already killed sub-postmasters in Harrogate, Yorkshire; Accrington, Lancashire; and Langley in the West Midlands.
Neilson apparently noticed the potential of the Bath Pool valley for his murky purposes in September 1974. It was uninhabited, not overlooked by any housing, and had several exits with speedy access to a maze of major and minor roads. Most significantly for his criminal plans, he noted the network of drainage shafts, some connected to parts of the old mine workings, which could be used as places of concealment.
On the night of January 14th 1975 he kidnapped 17-year old Lesley Whittle from her family’s Shropshire home. Lesley was a student at Wulfrun College, Wolverhampton, and - of more interest from Neilson’s perverted viewpoint - an heiress to her family’s successful coach business. He left behind a demand for a £50,000 ransom, giving preliminary instructions for its delivery. He then drove to Kidsgrove and forced Lesley to descend a drainage shaft in the Bath Pool valley. He tethered her using a wire, and left her in complete darkness with a sleeping bag and some scraps of food.
Kidsgrove Town Council (KTC) is the local council for the Kidsgrove area. Members of Kidsgrove Town Council are all unpaid and are elected to serve on Kidsgorve Town Council for a maximum period of 4 years. Kidsgrove Town Councillors will sit each year and elect a Mayor of Kidsgrove who will take the responsibility of representing Kidsgorve over the next year.
The role of Mayor of Kidsgrove is meant to be non-political, however in 2011 returning Kidsgrove Councillor Margaret Astle was accused of breaking with tradition when requesting that the Kidsgrove Labour Party members elected family member Kyle Robinson as Kidsgrove Town Mayor and appointing Gillian Burnett as deputy Mayor of Kidsgorve. Gillian Burnett was also a returning Kidsgrove Town Councillor who in the local area is known for her NIMBY (not in my back yard) campaign against a mobile phone mast close to her house. She wasn't so vocal about the installation in phone masts elsewhere in the area.
There are 24 elected Kidsgorve Town Councillors, split up into 5 different wards.
The powers of Kidsgrove Town Council are very limited and as a result they are only really responsible for local allotments and the maintenance of the Victoria Hall in Kidsgorve.
Kidsgrove Town Council Minutes
Kidsgrove Town Council has to produce minutes for all of the council meetings that are held in Kidsgrove. Here you can find copies of all of the minutes which Kidsgrove Town Council have published online.
Harecastle Tunnel is a canal tunnel on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Kidsgrove in Staffordshire. It is made up of two separate, parallel, tunnels described as Brindley (2,880 yards) and the later Telford (2,926 yards) after the engineers that constructed them. Today only the Telford tunnel is navigable. The tunnel is only wide enough to carry traffic in one direction at a time and boats are sent through in groups, alternating northbound and southbound. Ventilation is handled by a large fan at the south portal.
The Brindley tunnel was constructed by James Brindley between 1770 and 1777. Brindley died during its construction. At the time of its construction it was twice the length of any other tunnel in the world.
To construct the canal, the line of the tunnel was ranged over the hill and then fifteen vertical shafts were sunk into the ground. It was from these that heads were driven on the canal line. A major problem was the change in the rock type which ranged from soft earth to Millstone Grit. The construction site was also subject to flooding regularly, a problem which was overcome by the construction of steam engines to operate the pumps. Stoves were installed at the bottom of upcast pipes to overcome the problem of ventilation.
The tunnel had no towpath and so boatsmen had to leg their way through the tunnel, lying on the roof of their boat and pushing on the sides of the tunnel with their feet. It could take up to three hours to get through the tunnel. The boat horses were led over Harecastle Hill via 'Boathorse Road'. A lodge (Bourne Cottage) was built by the side of the squire's drive at the point that the boat children crossed it, to prevent them straying up towards Clough Hall.
Kidsgrove has local bus services which is provided by First Bus, D&G Bus and Stanways Coaches. Bus services operate to Hanley, Tunstall and Newcastle, details which can be obtained from the individual operators. Stanways Coaches who operate the Kidsgrove Town service have provided us with the latest timetable that is in operation, as well as details on the 315 service which also operates from Kidsgrove.
Service 80 Kidsgrove Town Service
Operated by: Stanways Coaches
Days of Operation: Tuesdays and Fridays
Kidsgrove Health Centre, Mount Road, Attwood Street, Heathcote Street, King Street, Whitehall Avenue, Gloucester Road, Liverpool Road, Tesco, Liverpool Road, The Avenue, First Avenue, Clough Hall Road, Beech Drive, Mitchell Avenue, Cedar Avenue,Congleton Road, Old Butt Lane, West Avenue, Linley Road, Coppice Road, Lynn Avenue, Walton Way, Coalpit Hill, Newcastle Road, Unity Way, Mitchell Drive, Mitchell Avenue, Beech Drive, Clough Hall Road, First Avenue, The Avenue, Liverpool Road, Tesco, Liverpool Road, Gloucester Road, Whitehall Avenue, King Street, Heathcote Street, Attwood Street, Whitehill Road, Mount Road, The Mount, Liverpool Road, Stone Bank Road, Chatterley Drive, Hillside Avenue, Chatterley Drive, Stone Bank Road, Windmill Avenue, Ravenscliffe Road, Long Row, The Mount, Mount Road, Kidsgrove Health Centre.
Timetable: Download Here
Service 315 Kidsgrove - Congleton
Operated by: Stanways Coaches
Days of Operation: Monday to Saturday
Timetable: Download Here
The village of Butt Lane has always been rather in the shadow of Talke. Early directories speak of it as "scattered houses" but, being alongside the busy turnpike road through Staffordshire (from Carlisle to London), it must have also had its share of pubs and beer shops for travelers.
The increase in coal-mining activity in the area in the 19th Century was probably the reason the village expanded. Slackern, or Slappenfield Colliery, Woodshuts, Hollins Wood, Bunkers Hill and other smaller pits flourished and then were worked out. Many of the miners who worked them lived in the streets built at right angles to the main Congleton road - Wright, Church, Chapel, Glebe, Skellern and Woodshutts Streets. A number came from Wales to work, and the Ebenezer Hall in Banbury Street once rang with their voices, so it's said.
Late in the 19th Century two fustian mills were set up, one in Banbury Street and one in Old Butt Lane. Fustian was a cheap cotton fabric, like velveteen. In 1892 Samual Cope is listed in a trade directory as a "Fustian Cutter and Tobacconist". During the early years of this Century the two factories provided work for local girls, who according to one of them, Mrs Cooper of Talke, used to walk miles up and down the long tables each day cutting the cloth, and were paid 3 shillings (the equivalent of 15p) a week.
Also late in Victorian times, the Butt Lane Co-operative Society opened a shop, first on the left hand corner of Church Street and Congleton Road, but later expanding into a much larger building on the opposite corner and becoming the local department store - grocery, butcher, hardware, shoes, clothing and savings bank all under one roof.
Birchenwood was the largest industrial site that the Newchapel area has ever known, and provided employment for several thousand people in its heyday. It is almost certain that the village we live in today, and the surrounding area, was born as a result of the success of Birchenwood, and the first houses built, were to provide homes for the workers and their families.
During the excavation work for the first Harecastle tunnel, the wealth of coal underground was discovered and almost immediately the mining began, although not in the usual fashion. The chief engineer of the tunnel, James Brindley designed small branch canals that were used to access the coal and to transport it to the surface. Before long it became apparent that the whole area was rich with coal and Thomas Gilbert who represented the Duke of Bridgewater, was the first to start the ball rolling with mining. He had been the person who had sanctioned Brindley to build the canals, and now began to set up the collieries that would mine the area on a massive scale. Iron ore was also found to be in plentiful supply and in 1833 the first blast furnaces were built to produce pig iron.
During these early years all of the activities took place on land owned by Thomas Kinnersley but he had very little to do with the running of things. He employed a manager to take care of the business, Robert Heath the 1st, and following his death in 1849, his son Robert Heath the 2nd. In 1854, Heath left to open his own furnaces and mills in the Biddulph Valley, but would return some years later as outright owner. In fact the Heath family would be a major influence in the way of development in the area.