Stoke-on-Trent Local History


Federation of Stoke-on-Trent


Federation of the six towns
31st March 2010 is the Centenary of the federation of the
six towns to form the County Borough of Stoke-on-Trent


6 towns - 100 years
6 towns - 100 years


Federation of the six towns of the North Staffordshire Potteries took place on March 31st 1910.

The county borough of Hanley, the municipal boroughs of Burslem, Longton and Stoke together with the urban districts of Tunstall and Fenton now formed a single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. 

The story of Federation

the history of the 6 towns.....








The Pro and Anti-federation giants.... Geen and Malkin:
  Geen, Frederick - Alderman of Stoke town and a "bitter anti-federationist"
  Malkin, Sydney - Alderman of Burslem town and pro-federation
  Malkin, Sydney - a sketch of Sydney Malkin's career - prepared around 1924/5 for his bid to become a Member of Parliament.

People who made The Potteries: 
Written by local historian Fred Hughes - a series of portraits of people who were key in the development in the city of Stoke-on-Trent.
The characters at the first meeting - It was exactly 11am on Friday 1st April 1910 that the Hanley auctioneer Walton Stanley and the local oil magnate Sampson Walker climbed out of a chauffeur-driven limousine into the spring sunshine of Winton Square Stoke.

The first Chief Constable - If electing Stoke-on-Trent's first mayor was tricky the appointment the first Chief Constable was trickier. In 1910 Hanley was the only town with an independent police force.....

Sam and Harold Clowes - Family dynasties often have substantial influence in the way the city is governed. One such family are the Clowes's.
The Barber Dynasty - If you glanced at a list of City Councillors for the period between 1936 and 1942 you'd see something rather unique. For there, on the benches of the council chamber, you'd find a father, his son and his grandson sitting side by side; an exceptional case of political ancestry.
Harry McBrine - McBrine was the rarest of all Stoke-on-Trent's councillors for he was the last of the original federation founders to hold the office of Lord Mayor. He must have thought his chance would never come. And it has to be said that it may never have if it had not been for the war when many younger politicians had been called up.
The Labour Party - By 1929 the Labour Party began strengthening its ranks on Stoke-on-Trent council with the support of trade unions. While most of the original pottery manufacturers had been replaced by tradesmen and retailers, there were only 14 councillors who were manual workers of which seven were union officials. 
James Plant and Albert Bennett - On 24th April 1945, major plans were unveiled for the reconstruction of Stoke-on-Trent. This pioneering document had been prepared by the council's chief planning officer, James Plant, an academic architect who was under no illusion that he would be the man who would transform Stoke-on-Trent into a powerhouse for regional development and enterprise.
William Hancock - Conservative politics have seldom been fashionable in the Potteries. One name, though, that gained notable esteem forty years ago, was that of a Conservative whose alternative strategy to Labour's plans to elevate the status of Stoke-on-Trent as a regional administration, certainly influenced the way we've been governed since.
Horace Barks - whose uninterrupted 44 year stint was mostly served as chairman of the genuine museums and libraries committee. And it was because of his individual appreciation of the subjects that Stoke-on-Trent has the outstanding services recognised today. The basalt plaque at the entrance to the City Central Library claims that Barks was the 'Father of the City Libraries and Museums' - a remarkable statement - but true.

Arthur Cholerton & Ronald Southern - In 1977  Labour had hit rock bottom and needed a strong leader to change its fortunes. That leader was Arthur Cholerton.
Southern used the government's garden festival proposals to liberate de-industrialised city locations.  Southern chose as his principal collaborator the regeneration company St Modwen who followed it up by redesigning the site into a hugely successful regional business and retail park.

Ted Smith - No single politician has caused more polarised debate than Ted Smith. He was a romantic chauvinist; hero and anti-hero at the same time – a bare-knuckle politician who’d scrap with anyone to promote and profit Stoke-on-Trent.
Stoke-on-Trent MP's -  Most Stoke-on-Trent MPs have been bound in grassroots socialism, first through the waning Liberals and then Labour.
Parliamentary Elections Pt 1 - In 1832 Stoke-on-Trent elected its first MPs, both pottery manufacturers. Josiah Wedgwood II was a Liberal and John Davenport a Conservative. It was the Liberals, though, who set the model of electing MPs associated with industry even though few were locally born. 
Parliamentary Elections Pt 2 - As far as our patch goes communism ignited in 1920, its flames stoked by a humble Silverdale woman named Fanny Deakin (1883-1968)

Places & buildings involved in federation:

  Town Halls- the battle for the new council meeting place.
'Symbols of Unity, Division and the Potteries' Heart of Darkness'
31st March 2010 sees the centenary of the Federation of the Potteries’ Six Towns, .... It would be a great tribute to the event if the City Council could use the Federation’s centenary as the catalyst to kick-start the much needed regeneration of the city.

federation 'walks':
people, places and buildings connected with federation.

  City is born after historic Act
  Accountant was breath of fresh air - [Frederick Geen]
  Theatre legacy of Mother Town's civic bid - [Sydney Malkin]
  Duke of Sutherland supports federation
  Cecil Wedgwood - the first mayor after federation
  Leonard Grimwade - the federation spin-doctor
  Clerk met his match as police chief laid down law - [Eustace Joy & Frank Bunn]
  Fred Hayward - Co-op unionist, the peoples’ delegate
  Phillip Elliott - Tradesmen Councillors
  Women in Potteries politics

  Definitions associated with local government and federation
  Key dates in the federation process



Potteries Centenary Ale
Stoke-on-Trent, The Federation

"The federation of the six towns was first proposed in 1888, when an amendment was raised to the Local Govenment Bill which would have made each town a district within a county of the Staffordshire Potteries.

On 31 March 1910 the six towns were finally brought together when the county borough of Hanley, the municipal boroughs of Burslem, Longton and Stoke, together with the urban districts of Tunstall and Fenton formed a single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent.

The year 2010 is a celebration of the federation's centenary."

Potteries Centenary Ale
Potteries Centenary Ale
brewed and bottled by Titanic Brewery, Burslem