On 16th July 2015 the Rt. Hon. the Baroness Williams of Crosby visited Newcastle-under-Lyme to give a lecture at the North Staffordshire Medical Institute. Whilst in Newcastle she took the opportunity to visit 9, Sidmouth Avenue , the house in which her mother, Vera Brittain, was born.
In 2007 Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society commissioned a blue plaque to commemorate the life and work of Vera Brittain.
Having admired the plaque, Baroness Williams walked into Brampton Park to see the recently installed sculpture of “The Lady in the Park” that depicts a young woman during the 1st World War sitting on a bench reading a letter from the King. Inscribed into the stone paving nearby is an extract from Vera Brittain’s “The Testament of Youth” that refers to the lady being “….in the leafy Brampton”.
Baroness Williams was also interested to view the nearby sculpture, carved from the trunk of a chestnut tree, depicting Thomas Brown Tivey of Wolstanton in his 1st World War soldier’s uniform. Thomas survived the war and became a writer and lecturer at the College of Building.
Baroness Williams then returned to the house in Sidmouth Avenue to have tea with its current owner. This was, apparently, the first time she had been inside the house where her mother was born.