(died December 1980)
Margaret was the eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. F. H. Clews. She was educated at Newcastle Grammar School and qualified to become a primary school teacher, subsequently teaching on the Westlands, where she lived.
Her strong affection for Newcastle led her to become an active founder member of the Civic Society, as were her parents.
Together with them, she was a member of the Unitarian Meeting House, being the Secretary from the mid 70’s until her death.
Members, friends and local organisations contributed to a memorial fund that financed the commissioning of the plaque from the Royal Label Factory, now part of Leander Architectural, and its installation in Merrial Street by the Borough Council in 1986.
On Saturday 8th October 2011 Mr Akira Mitsuzane (retired Chief of the First Criminal Investigation Division of the Tokyo Police Department), accompanied by his wife and an interpreter, presented to the owner of 1, James Street, Wolstanton a framed bronze cast portrait of Dr Henry Faulds. The portrait will eventually be installed above the front door and a brief description will be produced following discussion with both the owner and tenant.
The party then visited the plaque in Castle Comfort Centre and laid flowers on Dr Fauld’s grave in Wolstanton Churchyard.
By Diana Bevan
The veterinary practice in Queen Street, Newcastle, was established there in 1813 by Thomas Mayer (1764-1835) and his son, also Thomas, born 1791.
The sons of the younger Thomas also became vets. They were Thomas Walton Mayer and John Smith Mayer.
In 1835, when Thomas Mayer senior died, his grandson Thomas Walton Mayer, newly qualified, joined the family veterinary practice. So continued “Thomas Mayer and Son” of Queen Street.
The Royal Veterinary College in London had been founded in 1791 but there were no regulated standards or independent governing body for veterinary matters. There was disagreement nationally about this and Thomas Mayer and his son became involved.
They personally contacted every vet in the country urging support for a petition to the Privvy Council for a Royal Charter.
A committee was formed and the campaign started. After many setbacks they achieved their objective. In 1844, a “Charter” was granted to the “Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons”, a governing body at last.
Thomas Mayer and Son of Newcastle-under-Lyme had made their mark in the veterinary world.
The elder Thomas Mayer died in 1848 and his two sons then ran the practice in Queen Street, not always amicably it seems.
Both were active in civic life in the Borough of Newcastle, and in particular Thomas Mayer.
He had been elected to serve as a Newcastle Burgess and was a town councillor and magistrate.
He was a founder and committee member of Newcastle Literary and Scientific Institute.
From 1849-50 he was Mayor of Newcastle.
His book “Canine Pathology” was published.
Meanwhile the personal life of Thomas Walton Mayer was very complicated.
His first wife Mary Walters had died in 1841 leaving him with a young daughter. He remarried in 1844, Alice Mayer and they had two sons, one of whom died in 1850.
The 1851 Census indicates that Thomas and his wife were not living in the same household.
Alice Mayer was living in Wolverhampton. Thomas W. Mayer was living in Newcastle with his son and two servants. Sarah Millward, Nursery Governess, had lived with the family for over ten years and in 1848 had borne his child. She had a second son in 1852.
Shortly afterwards, Thomas made the decision to leave Newcastle and the family veterinary practice. He and Sarah Millward set up home together. Early in 1854 he joined the army and became a vet in the Royal Engineers and went immediately to the Crimean War.
In the summer of 1856, he returned to England. Alice, his second wife had been working as a governess in Suffolk and she died there in the August of 1856.
Two months later Thomas married Sarah Millward in London. They were living in Gillingham in Kent in 1861 where the census recorded him as Walter Mayer. A daughter was born at Aldershot in September 1861.
He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1867 before retiring from the army in 1871. He then became a college lecturer in veterinary science and also returned to practice for a while.
In later years he went through a difficult time financially. He died in Aldershot in 1887 and was buried in the military cemetery there.
John Smith Mayer had pursued other business interests as well as his veterinary work. He died in 1863.
So ended the veterinary connection of the Mayer family to Newcastle-under-Lyme, except that their houses, stable block and old veterinary surgery are still there in Queen Street.
Recently Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society placed one of their blue plaques on the old surgery. It is a reminder of the achievement of ‘Thomas Mayer and Son’ who led the successful campaign leading to the foundation of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1844.
Contributed by Philip Crush
This blue plaque, our sixteenth, has been fixed to the Station Booking Office. It was unveiled by the Borough’s Mayor, Councillor Mrs Ann Heames, on Saturday 11th September. The plaque commemorates the opening of the station in 1837 and the Coronation steam engine 6220’s 114 mph “run” in 1937.
To date fifteen plaques have been commissioned and are displayed in the Borough (see below).
This scheme is ongoing and three new plaques are currently in production.
If you would like to suggest a local person or special building for our consideration contact us at – firstname.lastname@example.org
This trail will help you to find some of the more interesting buildings around the town centre.
1 Guildhall and Market Cross – Blue Plaque
2 71 High Street – Historic Building Plaque
3 75 High Street – Historic Building Plaque
4 85 High Street – Historic Building Plaque
5 93 High Street – Historic Building Plaque
6 Holy Trinity Church
7 The Barracks– Blue Plaque
8 Hassell Street Primary School
9 (former) St Giles’ and St George’s Primary School
10 2 Nelson Place – Historic Building Plaque
11 King Street – Historic Building Plaque
12 10 Queen Street – Historic Building Plaque
13 6 Queen Street – Historic Building Plaque
14 St George’s Church
15 (former) Ebenezer Church – Blue Plaque
16 Queen’s Gardens and Queen Victoria Statue
17 31 Ironmarket – Historic Building Plaque
19 13 Ironmarket – Historic Building Plaque
20 Lancaster Buildings
21 28a High Street – Historic Building Plaque
22 48-50 Merrial Street – Historic Building Plaque
23 Civic Offices
24 Ebenezer Schoolrooms – Blue Plaque
25 7 High Street – Historic Building Plaque
26 (former) Golden Ball – Blue Plaque
27 St Giles Church
28 Unitarian Meeting House – 2 Blue Plaques
29 65 Lower Street– Historic Building Plaque
30 Queen Elizabeth Gardens and Castle Site
31 The Orme Centre – Blue Plaque inside
32 56a High Street – Historic Building Plaque
In the 1970s, Civic Society members wanted to identify and celebrate some of the buildings of historic or architectural merit remaining in the Borough and mark them with small plaques.
These plaques, designed by Phillip Gibson, are cast and fired in a stoneware ceramic body and decorated in blue slip. The design shows a castle in a pool, symbolic of Newcastle and taken from the Borough’s coat of arms.
The 23 plaques were fixed by Newcastle Round Table members in April 1975 to these buildings –
13 Ironmarket The Barracks
31 Ironmarket 2 Nelson Place
7 High Street 6 Queen Street
22 High Street 10 Queen Street
28a High Street Brampton Lodge
56a High Street 12 King Street
71 High Street 16 King Street
75 High Street 27 Marsh Parade
85 High Street Clayton Hall School
93 High Street Orme Youth Centre
65 Lower Street Knutton Road School
50 Merrial Street
Contributed by Darren Price
Architecture and Urban Design Advisor
I work as the Architecture and Urban Design Advisor at Urban Vision North Staffordshire which is one of twenty-three Architecture and Urban Design Centres located across the United Kingdom. Urban Vision is a not-for-profit company and a registered charity set-up with the aim of bringing about successful, physical and economic regeneration, and social inclusion by creating a better and more sustainable urban environment, improving the image of the area and raising the quality of life for the citizens of today and tomorrow. In my day-to-day work I provide a range of advice, manage Urban Vision’s renowned Design Review Panel and we have reviewed and commented on almost two-hundred significant development proposals in the sub-region in the last five years. As a result of this it has become evident to me that rewarding good practice is every bit as important as criticising and helping to improve that which is not so good.
So when I was approached initially by Jim Worgan and then shortly after by Louise Wallace of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, to act as a judge for the recently revived Civic Society Awards my first reaction was to say ‘yes’ and my second was to try and find a way of being able to honour the commitment! By way of explanation I was at the time in the process of organising the inaugural North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership Awards and was already confirmed as a judge for the Southern Staffordshire Partnership that covers the remainder of the county and time was at a premium. I am happy to report that all three awards went very well and I was very pleased that I was able to take part in each of them.
There were some buildings of real quality on the Civic Society awards shortlist, including the overall winner of the North Staffordshire Architecture and Urban Design Award and numerous other accolades ‘Blue Planet’ in the Chatterley Valley. This building is not only of local, regional and national significance but is quite probably the most sustainable logistics building in the world and this is something to be really very proud of. Alongside this the other category winners – the Knutton Terraces Heritage Refurbishment and the Newcastle-under-Lyme Guildhall as well as the commended schemes – the Maer Estates cottages and the stained glass window at St Luke’s Silverdale – were also of significant quality, if of a completely different scale, and this was pleasing to see.
In the three years that I have been working in North Staffordshire I have noticed a marked improvement in the quality of the buildings being developed, though there is clearly still work to do and we should all be reminded that the current recession is no excuse for letting standards slip. With this in mind, I look forward to being involved in future design awards when we can once again recognise and reward this raising of the bar.
Contributed by Miss Joan Howe
On 18th November 2009,approximately thirty people gathered at the Civic Offices to congratulate the winners of this year’s Civic Awards.
Those present included the Mayor and Mayoress, award winners, judges and members of the Borough Council and Civic Society.
The evening began with a welcome from Robin Studd, Deputy Leader of the Council. He recalled the original project on which this year’s was based and said how pleased he was that the Society had decided to revive it. He indicated how important the co-operation between the Borough Council and the Civic Society is and his pleasure that the project had been successful.
Mr Neale Clifton, Executive Director of Regeneration and Development, spoke on the importance of this joint project to the Borough. Supporting and encouraging high standards of design and workmanship in any development is very necessary. He also acknowledged the benefits of co-operation between the Civic Society and the Borough Council.
Mr Jim Worgan, Chairman of the Civic Society, said how pleased he was that the Society had revived this project and the Borough Council had agreed to join with the Socoety, helping to ensure the success of the project..
Louise Wallace, Conservation Officer, announced the recipients individually and the Awards, (plaques and certificates) were presented by the Mayor – Councillor Marion Reddish. Photographs were taken of the winners receiving their awards from the Mayor.
Everyone was then able to mix and talk whilst enjoying some excellent refreshments.
The organisation of the evening was largely due to the hard work of Louise Wallace and once again the thanks of the Civic Society go to her for this and for her contribution to the whole project.
We would also like to thank the Mayor and Borough Council for hosting the evening at the Civic Offices.
We now look forward to 2011 and the next occasion to celebrate good design and workmanship within the Borough.