St Marys Road Longton (1949)Beaconsfield Drive Blurton Farm (1954)
Near to Mossfield Colliery Near to Hem Heath Colliery

With Thanks to the Stoke-on-Trent City Archive Hanley Library

Miners Housing in Stoke-on-Trent

In the years after the Second World War there were big demands on the new Labour Government to build new homes for people.At this time, with the nationalization of the coal industry on the 1st January 1947, things were being set in motion to begin housing the people in new modern housing.
Quite a section of this housing was for incoming miners and their families.
The miners came from other mining communities in Britain, Wales, and the mining areas of Europe such as Poland, At first most of the incoming miners had to be housed in hostels and lodgings and join the queue on the council housing list.

The Sentinel newspapers of the time 1940-1950s give you an insight in to how the local council went about the building program for new housing in North Staffordshire.

Sentinel 12/3/1947

New houses: The miners plan, 1,550 to be drafted to North Staffordshire.

The Ministry of Health is asking local authorities in North Staffordshire to prepare housing sites as near as possible to the collieries, to accommodate 1,550 miners who it is stated, are coming into the area.

Sentinel 12/3/1947

Biddulph

After discussing the Ministry's proposals at their Housing Committee meeting the Biddulph Council decided against the provision of any prefabricated houses in there area.
It was also decided to point out to the Ministry that the council were already making a contribution to the proposed scheme by allocating approximately 73% of the traditional type houses built under their post-war housing programme to members of the local mining community.

Sentinel 18/3/1947

Housing plans for 16,000 people at Blurton and Newstead. This plan for housing in these areas began with the compulsory purchase of land by Stoke-on-Trent Corporation .The plan was to purchase 141.67 acres of land in the Blurton-Newstead area.
Several landowners in the localities raised objections to the compulsory purchase of their land, as this would take their livelihoods away from them. It was finally resolved and by the early 1950s housing was being built at Blurton.

Sentinel 25/9/1947

Chell Heath, Bucknall, and Trent Vale sites. Permanent Aluminium Bungalows.
A scheme for the erection of permanent aluminium bungalows for miners on the Chell Heath and Bucknall sites. To which approval had been given by the Ministry of Health, came before the Stoke-on-Trent City Council.There was a recommendation by the Housing Committee to accept an offer of 50 British Iron and Steel Federation houses, to be erected in Trent Vale and let mainly to miners.
These houses went under the name of "Dyke" houses.

Sentinel 29/5/1947

MINERS HOUSES ON "POINTS" Stoke-on-Trent scheme.
Details of a special "points" scheme for providing accommodation for miners in the city was presented to the city council on this day by the Housing Committee who asked the council to approve the scheme.
In the Miners Points Scheme it was stated that the registered applications from local miners would be added to the applications from "outside miners" sponsored by the National Coal Board.The combined list would regarded as a "Miners Waiting List"

A house with a job

The following article is from one of the miners who came into North Staffordshire from County Durham. Our thanks to John Lumsdon for this insight into moving to a new area to live and work.

My name is John Lumsdon and I worked as a coal miner at Wardley Colliery in County Durham for 14 years from 1952 until 1966.
Alf Robens was chairman of the Coal Board and his job was to see that the mines produced 200 millions tons per year. However, this was slowly reduced over the years due to various circumstances. Many of the coal seams in Durham were thin and had adverse geological conditions that did not suit mechanisations, in comparison to other parts of the country, these began to close.

At first men could transfer to another colliery nearby or to another industry. Employment began to dry up, with the run down of the Coal, Steel, and Ship Building; this also affected suppliers to these industries.
Unemployment continued to rise until the Wardley colliery was near the top of the list for closure. By this time unemployment was running at 20% in the area so it was either the dole, or uproot and move.

At the time I had a wife and four children between the ages of one to eight years of age and I wanted to maintain our living standards and quality of life so we decided to move.
I received a booklet entitled "For a Future in Mining look at North Staffordshire
The first paragraph stated: "In changing times a man sometimes thinks of moving on but before pulling up his roots, a wise man decides where best to put them down. Where better than the North Staffordshire coalfield in the West Midland's?"
It went on to describe
A coalfield with a big future
A City with a small town's warmth
A house with the job
Entertainment, Sport, Leisure
And other benefits of moving here

Regarding a house: with the job, two of my work mates from Northumberland had got housed at Smallthorne, a new estate bedside the Green Star pub. I had been offered one also, but it was a two bed roomed house and as I had a mixed family this was unsuitable. I waited a little longer and got a three bed roomed house on the Swindle Hill estate, Longton. It had only been built two years earlier, after they had demolished the ‘Prefabs' on that site.
There were quite a few Durham and Northumberland miners living here at the time, having moved down before me, and it was easy to settle in to such friendly surroundings.

In fact nearly 700 incoming families were housed in 18 months up to June 1964, most of them in new houses.
There were 12 working collieries at the time; all but one was medium size or large units with 650 to 2,600 men. Some of the collieries had been completely reconstructed and others partially reconstructed and modernised.

I was fortunate as all of my family settled down quite well, but others did not. And after a period of time went back up North.
It is a major decision to uproot and move to another partof the country, as everyone has to settle. If a child is upset, maybe because of school then the mother is upset and this is what happened to many who, after a while went back to their original homes.
My daughter, Elaine, commented:"I was only 7 years of age when I came to Stoke. I remember feeling very frightened, I had left all my friends and relatives to come to a strange place. It was a very long train journey with my mother, sister and two brothers. The nice thing I can remember is that our new next door neighbour who had come down here two years before us, made all our family tea, which made us feel very welcome".

My wife died in 1991 and I now have 7 grandchildren and 1 great grand daughter.

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