Philip Astley and the history of the modern circus


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Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society invites you to join us for a free talk presented by Andrew Van Buren on 19th February 2018.

Why not come along and hear about this remarkable local character and his contribution to the development of the modern circus ?

Everyone Welcome

Van Buren Talk Poster




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Most of us live in a world of buildings;  they are all around us and a part of the landscape.  It is important to us therefore that they should, as far as possible, be attractive to look at, well designed and suitable for their purpose.  To be surrounded by ugly monstrosities can be very depressing and can affect our quality of life.  Many buildings will also carry memories for us; a school, place of work or a church where we were married, for example.   Some are of historic interest or add character or beauty to their area.


For these reasons buildings may have an importance beyond their practical use, or if no longer required for the purpose for which they were originally constructed.


Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic  Society does its best to highlight buildings which it believes are of significant merit to be worthy of preservation for the enjoyment and education of future generations, and lobbies to protect them if they become under threat from development.  We are not always successful, sometimes practical considerations overrule sentiment, but in many cases we are listened to.


In addition to this, we have  also inaugurated a scheme by which, in active co-operation with Newcastle Borough Council, we make bi-annual awards to encourage and reward examples of good design and workmanship for new developments, both commercial and residential, and tasteful refurbishment of older properties.  If you know of any such construction, completed during the last two years, which you feel should be considered for such an award, please let us know.


Municipal Hall Clock – Your thoughts ?


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This locally made clock, by Skerrett in 1890, is currently on display for all to see in the town library. It is an important symbol of our town’s heritage and Civic pride. The library was built on the site of the old Municipal Hall and that iconic building’s demolition was the impetus for the founding of the Newcastle -under-Lyme Civic Society in 1968.




Now a new “Civic Hub” is being built on the adjacent site of a recently demolished landmark Victorian school next to the Queen’s Gardens and the library will be moved into part of that new building. The space allocated for the library service is much smaller than it has at present. Consequently the future of the clock is now in doubt as space will be at a premium.


Civic Society members fervently believe that the clock should be prominently displayed in the “Civic Hub”. This view is supported by our local Member of Parliament, Paul Farrelly.

If this is not possible alternative sites within the town centre will need to be considered.

What do you think ?

Let us know where you think the clock should be displayed so that it can remain on view for everyone admire.