Not a lot of information about this place, we passed it on the way to another explore and it enticed us in. An excellent little place.
Tropical reefs developed in warm, shallow seas during the Silurian Period, 440 – 410 million years ago. The fossilised remains of one of these reefs are preserved in limestone rocks in parts of England and Wales. This is Wenlock Limestone. Lea Quarry has been disused for little over 3 years now, but in its’ prime worked the local land for varying formations of Limestone. The Wenlock limestone occurs either as a series of thin limestones within shales or as thick massive beds; it is sometimes hard and crystalline and sometimes soft, earthy or concretionary. Bardon Aggregates took over the site and excavated the stone for commercial purposes, but also worked with local geologists in studying the land and collecting stone and fossil samples.
Construction of the airfield was completed by mid 1942, with a classic three concrete runway RAF “star” arrangement. The name ‘Whitchurch Heath’ being used until 1 June 1943, when RAF Tilstockwas adopted. Between 1 September 1942 and 21 January 1946, the airfield was used by No. 81 Operational Training Unit and No. 1665 Heavy Conversion Unit Royal Air Force for the training of pilots and crews in the operation of Whitley, Stirling and Halifax heavy bombers. During the 1950s, Auster AOP.6 ‘spotter’ aircraft of No. 663 Squadron RAF used the facilities of the otherwise non-operational airfield during weekends for liaison flights with Royal Artillery units. The airfield is still being used today at weekends for skydiving. Skydivers have used the airfield for Tandem Skydiving and running Parachute Jump Courses since 1966. Today all that is left of the old RAF base is the control tower, standing alone in a field next to the A49, 1 runway used by the parachute club and a jumbled mess of overgrown buildings in the wood. These building however do still have a few suprises left behind.
The sidings at Oakamoor are a relatively recent addition to the line’s history, and were first used as a siding to the quarry nearby. The sidings are currently used for storage as part of the Churnet Valley preserved Railway. When the line was first opened in 1849 there were no sidings at Oakamoor. The line originally ran between North Rode and Uttoxeter, primarily for heavy freight in and around the numerous limestone quarries and copper works dotted around the area. Further along the track is Oakamoor Tunnel which is 497 yards long, I didnt get to that part this time but will be heading back soon. Finally closed in 1964.
One of the last remaining family-owned pottery firms is to close after more than a century. J H Weatherby and Sons in Hanley is currently being run down and is will soon cease trading after 109 years. Its chairman, Christopher Weatherby, the great-great grandson of company founder John Henry Weatherby, today blamed cut-throat competition in the hotelware business for the firm’s decline. At its height the company employed 200, but the figure was down to 50 at the turn of the year and now stands at 10. Mr Weatherby said: ‘‘We have decided to cease trading and are in the process of finishing off stock and things like that. ‘‘Basically we’ve decided to close down before someone else forced us to – while we are solvent rather than insolvent. ‘‘It’s really upsetting. One of the main reasons is for the employees who work here. ‘‘We have had two or three generations of people working here and one of the things I’ve found warming is their reaction to this. ‘‘They have been very sympathetic and understanding. Everyone who works here has been very happy here.” The company was founded in Tunstall in 1891 and moved to Hanley the following year. It first made domestic ware such as basins and ewers, later moving into tableware and giftware. The firm also entered the market for hotelware – leading ultimately to its downfall. Mr Weatherby pointed to tough competition from home and abroad for the company’s current problems. These included pressure on prices owing to ‘‘block production” and [...]
Burton Superbowl at the Riverside center closed its doors in 2007 and is currently awaiting demolition. Surrounding the bowling alley are also several closted up shops, restaurants and even a couple of nightclubs.
This mill was built in 1771 for Henry Copestake who, along with his brother Thomas, ran a jewellery business from Uttoxeter. They were well known goldsmiths throughout the Midlands and the water mill was Henry’s pet idea for speeding up the process of lapidary, the polishing of gemstones, which was normally a long job to do by hand. This was before electricity was introduced. Water mills were utilised in various trades on the River Tean from Lower Tean down to the Cotton Mill Farm prior to joining the River Dove. There were six mills working the same water as it passed through.