A photo walk across Stoke Fields to Winton's Wood, Stoke-on-Trent
- the parish of St. Simon and St. Jude


next: the very early years - the times of the Romans and Normans

An unremarkable inner urban area which hereafter we shall call St Jude's, lies between Shelton and Stoke, and although bearing the designation Hanley, is physically nearer to Stoke. Before the Federation of the Six Towns in 1910  however, it fell as did the Township of Shelton, within the County Borough of Hanley. It lies generally to the east of the main Hanley to Stoke road, and is bounded in the north by the Caldon Canal, Hanley Park and the smaller Flower Park; in the east by Leek Road and the River Trent, and in the south by Station Road. College Road (Victoria Road until the early1950s) runs north to south through the centre, and  Cauldon Road runs east to west below the parks connecting Stoke Road with Leek Road.

Pupils from Cauldon Road School - 1945

A smaller, associated urban area lies immediately to the west of Stoke Road centred on Elgin Street, which is bounded in the north by Hanley Cemetery and in the south by the Stoke to Manchester railway line. The terraced houses and grid patterned streets are late-Victorian in design and layout, with some later Edwardian and "between the wars"  suburban-type houses filling the gaps, mainly in the north below the parks. Parts of Staffordshire University now occupy the area near Station Road, having taken over the former Stoke-on-Trent Technical College and Staffordshire Polytechnic buildings.

Immediately north of the parks, above the Caldon Canal, Stoke College of Further Education (Cauldon Campus) occupies the former College of Building. Staffordshire University  has  developed a much  larger area  between  Leek Road and the River Trent, so much so that St Jude's is now quite reasonably  called the University Quarter. The Church was demolished over twenty years ago, but the adjacent vicarage remains intact. The Post Office in the next street still bears its name, as does the sheltered accommodation built on the church site.

St. Jude's Post Office
Corner of Ashford Street and College (was Victoria) Road

Unremarkable, for a traveller arriving at or departing from Stoke Railway Station in Station Road, would hardly lift his eyes to inspect his environs, and a traveller on the Stoke to Hanley road, or Leek Road will be largely unaware of what lies behind the frontages he is passing. More remarkably however, it can lay claim to several unique developments which over the centuries have taken root here. It was in the beginning a new community forged out of the Industrial Revolution, and is now a newer community still, as diverse and multi-cultural as any in the land. Students of local history are invited to read on.


next: the very early years - the times of the Romans and Normans


John Alcock - (c) Copyright 2006