Memories of Stoke-on-Trent people - David Salmon


David Salmon



Here are some memories from my time in Goldenhill (which is 326 miles from Land's End !).
I spent a very happy childhood at Goldenhill. My mother, Phyllis Salmon, owned a drapery shop - 826, High Street., where we lived. She later took over the Coop next door and expanded into ladies fashions. She specialised in supplying the 'designers' of the day and people from all over North Staffordshire visited her shops. We later moved to 2, Oldcott Crescent.
My mother was a WHARTON and she was born at Latebrook. My grandmother had a shop just past  the Old Workingmen's Club on High Street. The Wharton family later moved to Trenton House, Rodgers St.,

outside the shop on High Street
My mother with her two younger brothers (Samuel and Arthur) 
and Cynthia Beech ( from Beech's shop - Rodgers St.) 
outside the shop on High Street


My grandfather, Samuel, was known as 'pop' Wharton. He owned The Goldenhill Mineral Water Company  and manufactured pop which he sold to shops and pubs. He also had a coal round (every Thursday) collected from Birchenwood. He began his business, as a sideline to working in the pit, by making ice & selling it by horse & cart. 

View of the Mineral Water Co
View of the Mineral Water Co
(High Street to the left - Rodgers Street to the right) 


I went to the Goldenhill Nursery School, initially, where Mrs Bailey was the headmistress. From there I went to Goldenhill (St.John's) C of E  where Mr Charles Beech was our teacher and Mr Chesworth was headmaster.
I made friends from Goldenhill that I am still very close to today - Ian Broad from 640 High St., Sandyford, Kenneth Moore from Oldcott Drive, Janek Mandziak from Park Farm View,  Frank Cooper from Albany St. Ian's grandmother kept a 'sweet shop' at the top of High St. (before it joined Kidsgrove Rd.) Frank's mother kept one on the corner of Albany St., (which is still there! - 2001).
We regularly played football on the 'rec.' at Latebrook. We played around the streets and surrounding countryside- the Starvation Banks, Little & Big Woods, Birchenwood Marl Holes, The Railway Station.
I went to Sunday School (twice on Sunday) at the Christ Church at Rodgers St.,
Myself, Ian & Ken  formed our first pop group 'Page 27' in 1965 together with Derek Yeomans, Reg Tooth and Peter Cooke. We rehearsed in the Church Hall on Rodgers St., We travelled all over  Staffs, Derbys, & Cheshire with the band. In the early days, had we not been the entertainment, we would not have been able to get into many of the venues ( pubs, clubs etc.). We later changed the name to 'The Phase' because it sounded more psychedelic!
We went to the youth club dances and at 16, we ventured to the Golden Torch at Tunstall.
In our late teens we spent many happy nights at the Duke of Wellington with George and Alice Bradbury. George only had one eye and Alice had a laugh you could hear a mile away! There were all types of characters there but never any trouble - George wouldn't allow it! 

Duke of Wellington 
Duke of Wellington


As the years passed by, Goldenhill was torn down - redevelopment they called it but it took away all the happiness and comradeship. The community was torn apart. Families moved all over the place. It seemed to take so long for this 'so called' redevelopment to take place. Initially, we were told the road had to be widened and replacement housing would be built. But, look now - where is it? There is a lot of old folks housing and a cross close to the site of Mum's shops. The sad thing is that the old community was devastated.
So life has to go on - progress its called . I always drive through when I can, and try to remember what was where.


David Salmon
August 2001