Why did the young girls of Longton rush to touch lamp posts, iron pillars or railings whenever they saw the local rector? Who were the Potteries `resurrectionists' involved in body-snatching from St John's churchyard, Burslem, in 1831? Why did some Hanley people fear that the world was about to end in 1835? In which Potteries town did rat-baiting take place in 1867? And which fine vocalist was banned from singing at Goldenhill church on account of his being a boxer?
This is no pub quiz, nor is it a book of tall stories, but a unique insight into the city of Stoke-on-Trent. Here is a feast of little-known facts relating to the city's history `below the surface'. By turns quirky, shocking, investigative and always original, it reveals much about the Potteries of the past and proves the old adage that fact is far stranger than fiction. Local historian Mervyn Edwards has been collecting ephemera on Stoke for twenty-five years. Now he shares it with the public.
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).