Displaying the first of 8 old photos of Rocester. View all Rocester photos
Historic maps of Rocester and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Rocester maps
Rocester area books
Displaying 1 of 4 books about Rocester and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Rocester
I cannot believe I have found this site. My dad used to work at JCB and we stayed in a little cottage (I believe is now privately owned) not too far from the factory. The cottage was originally owned by JCB and occupied for a time by my family - the Dellers - during what was to become my halcyon days. I am now 43 and still reminisce of the quirky cottage and adjacent stream and woods of the time. We found in the small orchard of the grounds a few fossils that our dog dug up (chasing a mole), most interestingly a prehistoric shark's tooth (52 million years old) dated by the History Museum which I still hold dear. I think my dad's boss was Mr Bill Hurst nearby. I used to go to Denstone Primary School in the next village. It is amazing to me that these older memories I still hold are dearer than recent ones.
Kathryn Butcher, nee Deller, daughter of Brian Deller.
When The Searchlights Came
When the searchlights came... During the Second World War, Uttoxeter hardly knew that the war was on, although our young men and women kept leaving, and rationing was severe. One change to us all, on the park side of the town, was the opening of the bypass in 1939. The war stopped operations, and of the dual carriageway (a source of wonder to me) only one lane was open, the nearside side, facing Stoke, the remaining lane remained in its raw construction state, frequently filled with water, and was not completed for 2 years after the war. We local children noticed the arrival of large army lorries on a field abutting the unused lane of the bypass, about 1940. Nissan huts went up, concrete roads laid, and to our amazement an assault course, with death slide over the River Tean, was constructed. Various rumours circulated. It was to be a anti-aircraft battery, then a barrage balloon site, then a prisoner of war camp, but we finally had the answer, four... Read more
Growing up With All my Relatives Living in Stramshall Parish
I was born in 1928, to John James and Olive Mellor, my grandfather was Percival Jackson Mellor, my grandmother Mary Ellen Mellor. They built with help Park Hill Farm, New Road, Uttoxeter, paying tithes to Stramshall Parish. All the family went to Stramshall Church, all my parents, uncles, and grandparents are buried in Stramshall Church. The first Vicar I remember was the Rev Charlon, an Anglican churchman of the old school. My great uncle, Thomas, lives with his wife Selina at Hill top Farm(Cottages). I spent my youth between the two farms and the surrounding fields. With the River Tean running between, it was an exciting place to grow up.
Park Hill Farm, Stramshall Parish
My grandfather was enlightened in many ways. He permitted the children from the western side of the town, to bathe and swim, at The Pipe, boundary with campbells, The Basin, near to stramshall footpath, subject to no litter, and interference with animals. This was permitted long after his death by my family, until 1972, when the farm was sold, due to the deaths of my aunts.
Bombs During The War
Uttoxeter did not suffer much during the war. The first stick of bombs fell in a field at Loxley, and a further stick followed later. The only 'blitz' was on the Bailey and Mellor families, in New Road (parish of Stramshall) - exact date forgotten, 1941/2. I was at home at 57 Park Avenue. My father was on Home Guard duties (he was too old for military service) at Bamfords Ltd, not JCB.
I usually got up early in the summer, walked along the unfinished by-pass and down to Park Hill Farm, breakfasted with my uncles and cousins. Then to school, or I went off scouring the fields. On this day, I met a neighbour, Tom Simpson, veteran of the First World War. He had a strange stacatto speech. He said, "The Germans hit your grandma's". I told my mother and went to the farm. Some rescue and firemen were about, but no police. I saw a large crater in the front garden, some 30 feet across, and... Read more
AWalk With Grandfather
A walk with grandfather
« Thread Started Yesterday at 2:03pm »
A Walk with Grandfather.
I was about 11 years old, one summer's day, when I noticed my grandfather, who lived at Park Hill Farm, New Road, Uttoxeter (Parish of Stramshall) was preparing to go out. He had his walking stick, that meant no horse and trap. His name was Percival Jackson Mellor, and he lived with his family, and my paternal grandmother, Mary Ellen (nee Leedham). He said, to me, “Come for a walk”. We walked across the fields, to Campbell’s, and then to Titleys Mill. We gained the Ashbourne-Uttoxeter Road, turned left over the River Tean bridge, and then into Leasons Farm. My grandfather went and spoke to Mr Leason, senior, we then departed, turning left, and carried on until we reached Stevenson Bus Depot, the Yellow Bus service.
We then got onto the footpath immediately opposite the Depot. Grandfather then explained that the large grass mounds were the remnants of... Read more
Our Local Bobbies With Guns. 1941/2
Our police officers, left after mobilisation and known to me, were PC Whale, Stramshall. Sergeants Anderson (Div Clerk), Sgt. Chamberlaind (Great War veteran) and PC Jack Blower, who was called the Black Abbot, I never knew why. All ARP activities were police controlled and during 1941/2 parachutes, clearly German, were found at Bramshall, Stramshall and Marchington. We were then treated to the rare sight of our police officers carrying sidearms, large revolvers from the Great War. Stop Points, I remember, were Three Tuns junction with Ashbourne Road, Hollow, Stramshall (outside my Great Uncle Tom's), Spath and Beamhurst. Sgt. Chamberlain was always on duty outside the Three Tuns. As a Great War veteran he would have no trouble using his revolver. After a few months, the police realised that the parachutes were dropped to upset and alarm the population. It did not work. The police took off their revolvers and Stop Points were abandoned.
John Mellor (John P Mellor., OBE., QSM., Ridder van den orde Orange-Nassau, Vier Dienst Kreuz mit... Read more