Our Great War Project

Welcome to the Blore Rural District History Society Great War Project

covering Ashley, Broughton, Croxton, Hales and Mucklestone

The objective of Our Great War Project is to commemorate the centenary of the Great War (1914-1918 (1919)) by recording as much information about the personal, family and military history of the names on the War Memorials in the above Churchs/Churchyards, including any known circumstances of their death and their resting place or commemoration.

Visit the website at http://www.greatwarproject.co.uk

If you are interested in participating, then you are recommended to contact one of the co-ordinators so that duplication of effort is avoided.

Over All Co-Ordinator – Eric Pemberton, telephone number 01630 673543, email info@greatwarproject.co.uk

Ashley Co-Ordinator – Martin Holdcroft

Broughton & Croxton Co-Ordinator – Sara Humphries

Mucklestone Co-Ordinator – George Butters

New Book Launch “Ashley Then and Now”

New Book Launch ‘Ashley Then and Now’

by Local Historian Martin Holdcroft.

It is hard to believe now that Ashley and Loggerheads was once a popular tourist spot for day trippers from the potteries. Small businesses thrived on this passing trade. The area became known as ‘Switzerland in England’ clean fresh air and tranquil walks in the countryside.

As a result the area has a rich collection of old photographs. Ashley Then and Now, is a carefully selected collection of these old photographs. Each photograph has a corresponding picture taken in the same spot as it is now.

Please click here for full details

The face behind the name……

It comes as a shock when the editor of the church magazine asks you to write an autobiography but here it is.

I was born in 1955, we were then living at 6 Norris Close Ashley. My dad for his pains was the headmaster of the Hugo Meynell school, Ashley between 1955-1980. This inevitably resulted in me becoming a pupil at the same school. More about this in a later book I will be writing. Between 1966 and 23rd July 1970 attended Ashley Secondary modern school at Loggerheads. Left school with no qualifications and also prone to dyslexia .

Began working as a grounds man and worked my way up to Contracts manager. In 1995 was made redundant  and subsequently unemployed. I retrained while unemployed in computer technology, finally finding employment with Staffordshire Police. Here I was an intelligence officer and then migrated to the development of ANPR, (Automatic Number Plate Recognition).  Here I gain two commendations for my developments in this technology nationally .

In 2009 I suffered two TIA, mini strokes and found it difficult to continue working. I took early retirement two years ago and now enjoy the finer side of life. Married to Anne for 38 years and we have a married daughter Lesley and a grand daughter Gemma.

I have always had a deep love of local history and have spent all of my life collecting the stories that go to make up this history. Now I have the time I can collate these stories and start to publish them.

The first ‘Ashley The Crowded Skies’ is available now. Details in this magazine. The second on my computer is ‘Ashley Then and Now’ featuring the old photographs and pictures taken on the same spot as it is today. The third book ‘The Bells Gone’ an in depth account of the Hugo Meynell of my childhood as the son of the headmaster will be written this winter. I always find it a great pleasure to be asked to provide local history. I have provided local history on the Ashley Church DVD ‘Playing on air’ and to the Turner Hodgkiss Community Nature Reserve. Every year in October I am booked to give a talk of local history for the Blore Rural District History Society, this years talk will be entitled ‘Putting Ashley on The Map’ the nineteenth century Tithe and Enclosure Award maps.

Martin Holdcroft


Welcome to The Blore Rural Districxt History Society based in the heart of Rural England in an area around Loggerheads in North Staffordshire.

Contact Name:
Eric Pemberton – Chairman
Contact Telephone:
01630 67 35 43
Contact Address:
Blore Rural District History Society, c/o Loggerheads Library, 7 Eccleshall Road, Loggerheads, Market Drayton, TF9 4NX

Contact email address:
Blore Rural District History Society
The reason for the name:-
Blore Heath Rural District
Blore Heath was a rural district in Staffordshire, England from 1894 to 1932.
It was created under the Local Government Act 1894 from that part of the Market Drayton rural sanitary district which was in Staffordshire (the Shropshire part becoming Drayton Rural District). It covered the parishes of Ashley, Mucklestone and Tyrley.
It was abolished by a County Review Order in 1932, and was added to the Newcastle-under-Lyme Rural District.
Because there is already “Blore Heath Heritage Group”, it was decided to drop the word “Heath” from the name.

Hence “we” are called:-  
Blore Rural District History Society