Both the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme and its name almost certainly owe their existence to the building of a `new' castle there in the mid-twelfth century. The town's importance gradually grew from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, by which time Newcastle was referred to as the `Capital of North Staffordshire' and the place to go for markets, fairs, doctors, banks and lawyers. The twentieth century wrought huge changes on Newcastle-under-Lyme, but traces of the town's fascinating history are visible to the enquiring eye. Join local author Mervyn Edwards as he delves into the past in this unique approach to the town's history, blending the serious with the frivolous, seeking out Newcastle-under-Lyme's hidden secrets.
Mervyn Edwards is the author of many published books on North Staffordshire history and is a weekly columnist for the Sentinel's The Way We Were nostalgia magazine. He has appeared on BBC TV's The One Show and Twenty Four Hours in the Past, and is a familiar voice on Radio Stoke. He was a local history tutor for the Workers' Educational Association for eight years and helped to develop the education department at the now-defunct Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum, where he often acted in period drama for school groups. Mervyn runs an annual history programme in North Staffordshire. He is also MC of Burslem History Club and a member of the Potteries branch of the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA).