A nasty old Square for Bears

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St John’s Square, Burslem

Bear-baiting, bull-baiting and cock-fighting were once popular sports in St John’s Square, Burslem, shown above, fresh off my drawing board.  Residents of perhaps one or two of these buildings would have had a prime view on a Sunday morning, when these activities were likely to happen. All banned by law in 1837, thank goodness.

 

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Little clues of the past remaining on the walls of Market Passage, Burslem, just around the corner.

Interesting clues of what went on remain in place and pub names though.

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There’s a great old photo of the square which predates the arrival of the red brick building above ‘New Era’ Barbers shop, with the gable and brickwork bearing the date 1884.

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It looks like a thatched cottage stood here before this building

Thanks to the sharing of local history and photographs by Burlem enthusiasts in Facebook groups ‘Middleport Memories‘ and ‘Our Burslem‘, this intriguing photo from a book ‘Images of England Burslem, shows what still remains.

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From the book ‘Images of England – Burslem’ (see link above

I love discovering little bits of our history and thank you Geoff Barnett, for introducing me to the world of Burslem. Before I sign off, I was chatting about this drawing to Terry Hunt in Jollies Art Shop, Newcastle-under-Lyme. It turns out he was once the landlord of the Duke William!

So this post is for Geoff and for Terry.

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And here’s Terry outside his shop on Liverpool Road. Good to see that my drawings have got a bit more colourful over the last couple of years.

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Terry, former landlord of ‘Duke William‘, outside Jollies Art shop, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Thanks for reading!

Ronnie

 

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