A descriptive account of The
1893 advertising and trade journal.
Other significant buildings:
Before quitting the public building of the town, we should draw attention to one, which if not exactly coming under this category, cannot fail to interest the antiquarian or literary visitor. We refer to Shelton Old Hall, a large half-timbered mansion, famous as the birthplace (1683) of Elijah Fenton, the poet and dramatist, and friend and assistant of Pope.
Lodges to Hanley Cemetery, Stoke Road, Shelton.
Hanley Cemetery, which was formed in 1860, covers an area of thirty-seven acres, and is very tastefully laid out, being kept in admirable condition by the burial Board, which is made up of members of the Corporation. In the centre are two mortuary chapels, united by an archway, above which is a small tower.
Hanley Town Hall, Albion Street, Hanley
The Town Hall, which is situated in Albion Street, is one of the finest buildings in the Midlands. It was erected at a cost to the ratepayers of £26,750, and is well worthy of the prosperous and liberal community which it represents. The building includes a handsome council chamber and committee rooms, with offices for the various departments, including the police. There is also a large assembly room, known as the Victoria Hall, capable of seating 3,000 people. The town also possesses three excellent covered markets for meat, fish, and vegetables.
Public Baths: We have already referred to the public spirited policy of the Corporation, backed up by the burgesses. This was admirably exemplified in 1873, when the public baths were erected in Lichfield Street. This eminently healthy and useful institution was built at a cost to the town of £11,000. The buildings are also quite an ornament to the borough, the structure forming an edifice of red brick, with white stone dressings. The amusements of the people are also well catered for at the Theatre Royal, which is situated at the junction of Brunswick Street and Pall Mall. The theatre was originally erected in 1870, and reconstructed in 1888, the present structure being a substantial brick building, capable of seating 3,800. The best of the touring companies visit Hanley, and are always sure of an intelligent and appreciative audience.
Education: In our introductory remarks we had occasion to refer to the admirable facilities which exist throughout the Pottery towns for educational purposes, and in this respect, Hanley, the capital of the district, has displayed that enterprise which might have been expected from so prosperous and enlightened a community. Elementary education is provided for in Board, national and sectarian schools. These are conducted in a healthy spirit of emulation, and display the most satisfactory results. Art schools flourish here as in all the towns in the district. The Government School of Art, in Pall Mall, which was established as long ago as 1837, has had a most brilliant career, and has turned out pupils who have made their mark, not only n the artistic employment offered in the various factories in the neighbourhood, but in all parts of this country and in the colonies.
Further facilities for art and technical training are afforded by the North Staffordshire Technical and Art Museum, also in Pall Mall. This admirable institution was established and formerly managed by the North Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce; but the control was transferred to the Corporation in July, 1891. The town also boasts a splendid public free library, which was opened in April 1887, by the late Earl Granville, K.G. The library contains 8,185 volumes. There are reference and lending departments, a news room and museum, chiefly devoted to objects of local interest. Science classes are also held here, and are well attended by both sexes.
The prosperity of Hanley would render the existence of any extensive charities superfluous; but the poor of the town and Shelton participate in the sum of £10, given in 1803 by Ephriam Chatterley, and by will in 1779 by George Broom, of Hanley. Beyond this, various local philanthropic societies meet all requirements.
The Queen, by the right of the Duchy of Lancaster, is Lady of the Manor of Hanley, and a manorial court is held in the town at fixed intervals.
Pottery: As we stated in opening this brief and inadequate description of Hanley, the town is known as the capital of the Potteries; and it is to its extensive manufacture of china and earthenware that the district owes its great prosperity. Every description of pottery is produced in the factories with which the town abounds; and the manufactures of the district are sent to every corner of the globe. At the same time the town does not by any means depend entirely upon this branch of manufacture for its existence; and if, by any chance, the pottery industry were to disappear altogether, Hanley would still be a place of considerable commercial importance, and would certainly hold its own with any town of its size, in the race for wealth.
Coal & Ironstone: The district around abounds in mines of coal and iron-stone, which are worked to the greatest possible advantage, both by public companies and private enterprise. The Shelton Iron, Steel and Coal Company, Limited, who are lessees under the Duchy of Lancaster, own extensive collieries and iron works in all parts of the neighbourhood, and are among the largest proprietors in North Staffordshire.
Retail: In the handsome streets of Hanley, too, may be met shops and warehouses devoted to all branches of trade, which would do credit to the best thoroughfares of the metropolis. Retail businesses are conducted with the greatest enterprise; and the thriftiness of the people who prefer cash transactions to extensive credit, enables the proprietors to sell at prices of exceptional moderation. These facts will be brought out more forcibly in the pages which follow, and are devoted to an account of the leading industrial and commercial houses located in the town and neighbourhood.
Wedgwood & Etruria: If Burslem can boast the proud honour of being the birthplace of Josiah Wedgwood, it was in the parish of Hanley that the "Father of English pottery" established those works, which have made his name and that of Etruria, a household word in every civilised country of the world. Etruria, named after the famous district of Greece in which the pottery, which Wedgwood chose as his model, was chiefly found, is now a flourishing suburb of Hanley, large enough to be considered a substantial town in many parts of the country. The works owned by Messrs. J. Wedgwood and Sons alone cover an area of seven acres, and give employment to upwards of 800 hands. Northwood and Eastwood are also pleasant suburbs in the neighbourhood.