Longton Town Hall
Longton shown within Staffordshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Stoke-on-Trent South|
Longton ('long village') was a market town in the parish of Stoke in the county of Staffordshire. The town still has a market housed in an attractively renovated market hall.
In March 1865, Longton and Lane End were incorporated as the Borough of Longton. On 1 April 1910, the town was federated into the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. In 1925 the area was granted city status. One legacy of Longton's administrative independence from 1865 to 1910 is Longton Town Hall, a prominent landmark in the town centre. In 1986 Longton Town Hall faced demolition by Stoke-on-Trent City Council amid considerable local protest. Work on stripping the interior had already begun before an injunction was brought and the building saved.
Together with Rochdale, then in Lancashire, Longton was host to the first Workers Educational Association tutorial classes. R.H. Tawney, known as "the patron saint of adult education", taught the classes for three years from January 1908. For a time, until he moved to Manchester in 1909, Tawney was working as part-time economics lecturer at Glasgow University. To fulfil his teaching commitments to the WEA, he travelled first to Longton for the evening class every Friday, before travelling north to Rochdale for the Saturday afternoon class.
Arnold Bennett referred to Longton as Longshaw in his novels centred on the Potteries towns.
The district has a long history as a base for the pottery industry, such as Paragon China and Aynsley, and several major manufacturers still have a presence, along with Gladstone Pottery Museum. Roslyn Works, which adjoins the latter, is now home to several small-scale manufacturers of ceramics.
In 1997 the one-way system was finally bypassed when a new section of the A50 was opened, running past the town in a cutting. The one way system remains, but is no longer the main route into the main town centre of Hanley.
Longton is served by a railway station which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on 7 August 1848. A new bus interchange was opened adjacent to it in 2003 on the site of a former Co-op supermarket.
In 2003 a large Tesco Extra superstore was built and has helped to rejuvenate the town. Since then, other major retailers such as Argos, Next, Pizza Hut, Matalan, Wilkinson and B & M have opened new premises.
Other local business like Hylands Ltd ( www.hylands.tv ) and Bevans have also thrived in the area.
Jollees Cabaret Club was a very popular nightspot in the 1970s, attracting some of the biggest names in entertainment. In the early 1990s, Shelley's Laserdome became widely known throughout the Midlands as a rave venue, but it was forced to close in 1992.
Club Kinetic located above the old bus station in the former Jollees bar was a popular rave music venue, but unfortunately had to close in January 1997 after going into administration.
- Longton is the birthplace and home of Alan Povey's character Owd Grandad Piggott
- Black Country folk singer/songwriter, Neil Morris, now lives near Longton
- Elsey, B. (1987) ‘R. H. Tawney – Patron saint of adult education’, in P. Jarvis (ed.) "Twentieth Century Thinkers in Adult Education", Beckenham: Croom Helm
- Abberley, John (2003). The Way We Were in the 1960s: Memories of Staffordshire in Photographs. Altrincham: Hochland Communications Ltd. ISBN 1-904038-07-7.
- Make it Stoke-on-Trent - Longton Regeneration (listings of local amenities and regeneration projects)
- Longton - Stoke-on-Trent
- Gladstone Pottery Museum
- Use interactive maps to find historic photographs and artefacts of old Longton
- Town profile at The Sentinel (local newspaper)
- Longton South Community Blog (local blog)