|Fred Leigh | People from Stoke-on-Trent|
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Fred Leigh was born in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire in 1922.
He left school at 14 and started work in the local coal mine. At the age of 16 he was injured and at 20 left the pit.
Fred married and went to live in Coventry where he became a Process Engineer.
In the 1960's he returned to the Potteries and retired from ICI in 1979
He lived at Oulton, near Stone, Staffordshire.
Fred Leigh wrote a number of books on the history of the Potteries and the people who lived there. Some of the stories were broadcast on BBC Radio Stoke.
Evening Sentinel Newspaper:
"You only have to read a few pages of a book by Fred Leigh to know that this is an authentic Potteries voice. Both his language and his characters are from real life, allowing for a bit of embroidery. After all, Fred lived in the same street as the people in his stories. He knew the pubs and chip shops, the knocker-up, the pawn lady with her pram and, of course, the miners, the main source of his inspiration. He came from a family of miners and went down the pit himself in his early working years. The experience has clearly stayed with him. Half-a-century later, he writes in vivid detail about old-time pitmen."
John Abberley June 1995
Evening Sentinel Newspaper:
MUSEUM HONOURS MINING HISTORIAN'S WORK
A mining historian has had a permanent memorial to him donated to a North Staffordshire museum.
A plaque depicting Fred Leigh has been presented to the ceramics section of the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley by trustees of the Apedale Heritage Centre.
Mr Leigh, who died last year of cancer aged 79, helped to found the renowned mining centre in Silverdale, Newcastle.
But the man who worked down a pit is best remembered for his writings about the lives of working people in The Potteries.
Keith Meeson, founder of the Apedale Heritage Museum, said: "The design is really wonderful and it's been reproduced beautifully in Cobridge Stoneware. "Auctioneers Louis Taylor have offered to auction the other plaque for us free of charge."
The plaque is one of two produced by Burslem-based pottery firm Moorcroft in their Cobridge Stoneware range, while the other one will be sold at auction to raise money for the Apedale Heritage Centre. Former Royal Doulton and Minton artist John Cole, of Blurton, designed the plaque. He said: "I read some of his books when I was ill and this has been a nice way of paying that back. "I care for my father full-time and so I did the work over a period of eight months when my father took his naps."
The plaque features Mr Leigh's face surrounded by images of the memorials to North Staffordshire's miners.
His design was brought to life by Moorcroft painter Samantha Johnson and engraver Jackie Strode.
The plaque was presented to Miranda Goodby, the curator of the museum's ceramic collection, by Mr Keith Meeson of Apedale Heritage Centre at a ceremony yesterday attended by the two workers from Moorcroft and Mr Leigh's daughter Adele Leigh.
25 January 2003
Tales of Old Hanley
The Potteries at War
Most Valiant of Men
Frederick Barrett a Legend of the Titanic
The First Day
A Father's Lament