Memories of Stoke-on-Trent people - Mike
I was born in 1936 in Mount Pleasant, Shelton, a few doors away from the entrance to the air raid shelter (know as The Tunnel) which was under the ruck. Various people have told me that the ruck was also known as Scotchman's Hill, although I never heard this name. My mother was the warden there until we moved to Carmountside, Abbey Hulton, in 1943. I remember that there were three tier bunks for people to sleep on, my two older brothers slept on the top ,me on the middle shelf and my mother and baby brother on the bottom and one of my earliest memories of that time is wearing a 'siren suit' to keep me warm. I also remember the Mickey Mouse Gas Masks, and that my brother who was only six weeks old at the beginning of the war, being put in a kind of cradle. I still have my own identity card from those years.All of my father's family lived in Mount Pleasant and the surrounding area of Tinkersclough. Two of my cousins worked on Lancaster and Sandlands pottery which was at the top of Mount Pleasant, and I remember when I was very young, being taken with them to the top of the building when they were on a fire watching rota. There was also a ware house across the road, (think the saggars were kept in there) and a small incline adjacent to the main road, where all the older children used to play 'doffers'.
St. Mark's Church, Shelton, Hanley
I was christened at St. Mark's Church and attended St. Marks Mission, which was sited on the corner of the Mount Pleasant alleyway and Clough Street, I think the Church Army were also involved, because I was a Church Army Sunbeam and I seem to recall that Captain Haynes ran the Sunday School. I attended Shelton Infants School and both of my older brother's transferred from Shelton School to Cannon Street Senior School. Alma mentions Dudley's house, which also struck a cord, as I think that Mr. Dudley was the caretaker for the Mission and had a daughter named Maureen.
After I left school, I returned to the area to work in the offices at Ridgways Pottery in Bedford Road, and every day I would walk along Rectory Road, down Milton Street, over Sun Street and up to my Aunt's in Mount Pleasant to have my dinner, and then walk all the way back. Mentioning Ridgways, the Managing Director at that time was Mr. Philip Bailey whose son (I think) is Sir Richard Bailey, formerly the Chairman of Royal Doulton. As I was a very junior member of the office, I used to be sent on errands to collect shopping etc for Mr. & Mrs. Bailey. If I had to go further than Hanley, Mr. Bailey's chauffeur, who was always called just 'Hilton' would take me in the car which was either a Daimler or a Humber Super Snipe.Best Wishes
4 April 2004