The Biddulph and District Genealogy and Historical Society
All the Society's Books are available to buy at Society Meetings and from the staff of Biddulph Library. You can also purchase the books by ordering them by email from the Secretary of the Society. You can order your book(s) by visiting “The Books Sales Page” using the links below.
You can navigate to the other pages in the Publications section by clicking on the links below:
Books Page to view how to purchase BDGHS books
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Associated Books to view more information about our associated publications.
Please note: A full list of all our publications can be downloaded here List of All BDGHS Books
Books Published by the Society
B00: ‘St. Lawrence Parish Church, Biddulph - Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1813-1836’ was originally transcribed by the Society and published in 2003. It has been reworked and printed with a full list of baptisms, marriages and burials including a page missed in the original publication. St. Lawrence Parish Registers has 116 A4 pages and costs £4.00.
B01: ‘St. Lawrence Monumental Inscriptions No.1’. A survey of every gravestone around Biddulph’s Parish Church of December 2002 was transcribed and compiled by Gordon and Pam Lomas. [The 658 graves closest to the Church] The book has 116 A4 pages and costs £6.00 (of which £2 will donated to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice).
B02: ‘St. Lawrence Monumental Inscriptions No.2’. A survey of more gravestones around Biddulph’s Parish Church of July 2005 [Graves in the plot along the roadside to the North of the Church]. The book has 150 A4 pages and costs £6.00.
B03: ‘The Story of the Creation of Meadows Way: the Biddulph Inner By–pass’', written and edited by Nigel R. Yates in 2003 and published in March 2007 with colour photographs taken by Brian Nightingale, Michael J. Turnock and Nigel R. Yates. The book details the long arguments and fight for the by–pass. It includes a photographic record of the town before and during the building of Meadows Way and has over 100 colour photographs. Click here By-pass to see some of the photographs included. The book was printed with support from The Tourism Committee of Biddulph Town Council.
B04: ‘Goowin' dine th’ grayn – A History of Biddulph High Street’ has been compiled by Elaine Heathcote, Margaret Fernyhough, David J. Outhwaite, Kath Walton and Derek Wheelhouse of December 2007. Nearly 200 pages of information about the families who have lived on Bradley Green High Street; with a detailed history of the buildings and photographs of many of the businesses.
This book was revised by Elaine Heathcote and reprinted in March 2019. There are now over 200 pages of information about the families who have lived on Bradley Green High Street; with a detailed history of the buildings and photographs of many of the businesses. A History of Biddulph High Street now has 214 A4 pages and still costs £12.99.
B05: ‘Old Gillow – the story of the community at Gillow Heath’ by Elaine Heathcote of September 2010. 154 pages of anecdotes and history of the village next door to Bradley Green (Biddulph). The book has 154 A4 pages and costs £12.
B06: ‘Always Doing His Duty - The Story of John Harold Rhodes - A Packmoor Hero’ by Michael Turnock of October 2017. This is the life story of Lance Sergeant John Harold Rhodes V.C., D.C.M. of the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards who was awarded a V.C. for his bravery on the 9th October 1917. The book has 24 colour pages and costs £3.00 per A4 copy or A4 Adobe PDF file. It is an updated version of ‘A Packmoor Hero of the First World War’ written by Michael Turnock, and published in June 2011.
This is the centenary year of remembrance for John Harold Rhodes who died on those far-away battlefields in France in November 1917. This booklet “Always Doing His Duty,” is intended as a tribute to a local hero and is not intended to glorify war in any way. The army service record of John could not be found and so other forms of research into his military history were sought. The story of the Grenadier Guards and the battles in which John’s battalion fought, old newspaper articles, and importantly the recollections, family stories and photographs shared by a man with an ardent interest, Mr. Arthur Potts. All this we hope will add to the enjoyment and understanding of this remarkable story of our brave local VC.
B07: ‘A History of Biddulph’ – from the writings of Mr. Richard Biddulph of January 2012. Published as an A5 book in 1997 and updated as a PDF document. The history of Biddulph from 1600 including the English Civil War and Siege of Biddulph Old Hall. The book has 60 pages and costs £2.50.
B08: ‘The Surveys of Biddulph’ of February 2019 combines the “Survey of the Population of Biddulph in 1779” and the “Survey of the Population of Biddulph in 1801.” Both of the census documents collated by Derek Wheelhouse are now printed in one document. The Surveys of Biddulph has 24 A4 pages and costs £3.00. Launched on the 23rd of March 2019 the book also includes the write up from the Chronicle of the funeral of Robert Heath.
B09: “A Collection of Trade Directories for the Biddulph District from 1818 to 1940’ of March 2018 the collated records for Biddulph in one book for use in family history research. The Collection of Trade Directories has 88 A4 pages and costs £5.00. This book was also launched on the 23rd of March 2019.
B10: ‘The Topography and Antiquities of Biddulph in the County of Stafford’ – also known as the Writings of the Reverend Hadfield of May 2012. Written in 1837 and converted from a handwritten manuscript by members of the Society. It gives detailed family history of Local families, Church Registers, Payment of Tithes and other interesting information. The book has 79 A4 pages and costs £5.00.
B11: ‘Biddulph Born and Bred’ by Elaine Heathcote and Kathleen Walton of September 2102. A guide to tracing your ancestors in the parish of Biddulph, Staffordshire. This is a short guide to family history research and provides details of resources held locally and at Staffordshire and Cheshire Record Offices with special relevance to tracing Biddulph ancestors. Sources discussed include directories, local newspapers, civil registration, the census, parish registers, monumental inscriptions, wills, parish accounts, maps and plans, rental lists and tax records. The book book has 42 A4 pages and costs £3.00).
B12: ‘The Robert Heath Sale Document 1919’ also known as the ‘Outlying Portion of the Biddulph Estate: For Sale by Auction Document of September 1919’ was reproduced in March 2015. The document gives details of many of the properties and land on the east side of the Biddulph Valley. The book has 40 A4 pages, the maps are reproduced in colour, and costs £5.00.
B13: ‘A Guide to St Lawrence’s Church, Biddulph’ of September 2015. The new A5 guide to the Church includes a guided tour of the Church; an early history and information on the important local families and has 36 pages including 4 pages of colour photographs. The Guide is also available from the Church. The book costs £2.50.
B14: ‘Victorian Biddulph’ compiled by Mr. Richard Dean published in December 2015. An Atlas of the Parish of Biddulph using the 1876 Ordnance Survey plans and includes the early history of the Ordnance Survey; the mapping of the United Kingdom; and, the ‘Book of Reference to the Plans’ which details the measurement system and the field use of the area. The book has 61 A4 pages and costs £6.95.
B15: ‘Brindley Ford’ written by Mr. Gordon Lomas, first published in December 1994 and now re-published with additional photographs in February 2017. Gordon describes growing up in Brindley Ford, the people of the village, the local dialect of the people and miners, the Churches and Chapels, the Victoria and Chatterley Whitfield Collieries and the beginning of Primitive Methodism in the area. The book has 68 A4 pages and costs £5.00. One of the new pictures added to the original copy in this edition which costs £5.00.
B16: ‘Moor to War’ written by Michael Turnock was launched at the March AGM. It is the story of two friends from Biddulph Moor who went off together to fight in the Great War 1914 - 1918. The book has 20 A4 pages and costs £2.50 per copy.
B17: ‘The Biddulph Grange and Knypersley Sale Document of 1871’ compiled by David J. Outhwaite. When James Bateman decided to sell his Estate the sale document included seventeen pages of description of the House and Gardens; six pages of lithograph drawings by Kell Brothers of London including Biddulph Grange, the Billiard Room, the Italian Garden, China Garden, the ruins of Biddulph Old Hall and the Grounds; fifteen pages of details of the fields, field use and tenants; and eleven pages of Maps of the Estate drawn in 1791. The Sale Document of 1871 has 56 A4 pages and costs £4.00.
The book has been produced from an A3 photocopy of the original sale document which was in the possession of Mr. Christopher Slater of Biddulph who gave the Society permission to take a copy. It has been converted to an A4 publication with missing information added from copies at the Staffordshire Record Office (S.R.O.) and William Salt Library in Stafford.
B18: ‘A Biography of Peter Biddulph’ This is the story of Peter Biddulph alias Fitton of Biddulph Old Hall (1602-1657) written by Phillip B. T. Wheeler. The Medici family is the subject of intense study, with real and imagined portrayals in books, novels and more. But what about those who served and lived in that household? Many whose names were well known at the time have faded into obscurity. One such member of the Medici household was an Englishman called Peter Biddulph, whose career took countless turns before he found his role there. A Biography of Peter Biddulph has 40 A5 pages and cost £3.50.
The Colourful Career of Peter Biddulph aka Fitton: The Medici family is the subject of intense study, with real and imagined portrayals in books, novels and more. But what about those who served and lived in that household? One such member was an Englishman called Peter Biddulph, whose career took countless turns before he found his role there. Born in 1600 into a Catholic family he was one of six sons of Richard and Ann Biddulph of Biddulph Hall, Staffordshire, England. He and his two brothers, out of necessity in those times of persecution, took the alias of Fitton and trained abroad to become priests. He entered the College at Saint Omer aged 13 and by 19 as a paying student, the English College in Rome, where he was described as being, ‘of noble parents, brought up in Staffordshire and Lancashire’, where he studied Greek and Latin. Soon, however, his life was linked to a single event that carried his name: the -‘Fitton Rebellion’- of 1623. Discord between the Jesuits supported by students in the orders and the seminary students had become acrimonious and Fitton, along with 13 other students, was accused of insubordination. On hearing of this, the pope sent his representative known as ‘the visitor’ to inquire. Some of the students were ordered to do penance; others including Fitton were expelled and sent to Douay, France, to finish their studies, yet they carried with them a letter proclaiming their innocence of any charges. The event distanced him not only from his father but also from his brothers who were by then priests in Valladolid. When his father died in 1636, it is probable that Fitton was excluded from the will; over a decade had passed but the ‘rebellion’ had not been forgotten. Ordained in 1625, Fitton was, in 1631, appointed as the clergy agent or representative of the seminary priests of England and Wales in, of all places, Rome. We know however that by 1635 Fitton, his workload affecting his health, wished to leave Rome but he was unable to be released from his duties. Surreptitiously visiting London in 1642, he was described as a priest at large, (a treasonable offence punishable by a gruesome execution) and indicted. we next hear that he is appointed dean of the chapter for England in 1644, which he oversaw from Paris due to the English Civil War, which reduced the family home to a romantic ruin. He was back in Rome in 1646-47. But by 1655, Fitton had obtained a position in Florence as archivist/librarian to Cardinal Leopold de’ Medici, the brother of the grand duke, Ferdinand. At 55 he seems to have found quietude and possibly his true vocation, however brief it proved to be. For two years he catalogued the grand ducal collections, including intaglios, corresponded with fellow antiquarians in Paris and Rome, and drew a salary from the royal treasury. At the end of his life, in 1657, ‘Pietro Fittone’ was known as a distinguished antiquarian with a great knowledge of coins, medals and statuary. His last resting place has still to be looked for.
Phillip Wheeler lives in Stoke-on-Trent and after co-authoring “A Greate Service: The Biddulph Family and the Old Hall” (1997) he has continued to research the period and family.
B19: ‘Duke of York Square’ written by Michael Turnock. A study of the three streets known locally as the “Square.” They are located between High Street and Station Road in an area mentioned on the 1876 map of Bradley Green (the original name of present day Biddulph), and it was a mainly working class residential area in that period. Duke of York Square has 20 Colour A4 pages and costs £2.50.
This work was originally prepared by Michael for the Staffordshire Historical Survey and all the photographs were taken by Michael in March 2011. The three streets known locally as the “Square” are located between High Street and Station Road in an area mentioned on the 1876 map of Bradley Green (the original name of present day Biddulph) and a mainly working class residential area in that period.
B20: ‘A History of Cowlishaw Walker’ has been written by Gordon and Pam Lomas and adds a lot of new photographs and information to the original publication. It charts the rise and fall of a Biddulph company that was at the forefront of both coal cutting and steel pressing machinery and includes more information about the Cowlishaw family. A History of Cowlishaw Walker has 52 A4 pages and costs £5.00.
B21: ‘Biddulph Grange Gardens’ a book is based on articles in the Gardeners’ Chronicle from the years 1856 and 1862 describing the gardens in detail. They were written by Edward Kemp who was born in 1817 and served as a garden apprentice under Joseph Paxton during the 1830’s. A short biography of Edward Kemp and some of the drawings from his book Landscape Gardening re-published in 1911, are included as well as a nine page colour picture glossary of the plants mentioned. Biddulph Grange Gardens has 52 A4 pages and costs £5.00.
B22: ‘From Workhouse to Lord Mayor’ a reprint of George Herbert Barber’s autobigraphy which was first published in 1937. It has a prologue written by Brian Barber who is one of George’s great grandsons. Subjects covered include the setting up of Cinemas in the Potteries, working at the New Chemical Works, Stoke-On-Trent City Council with the “Lid Off”, trips by air in the early days of aviation and flights to the Continent, Palestine and Egypt, visits to Russia and Geneva, the Sunday Cinemas and experiences with Royalty. From Workhouse to Lord Mayor is on sale at £7.50 (84 A4 pages).
B23: ‘The Flight Training Notes of Cadet J. E. Machin’ created by converting 201 pages of hand written notes in exercise books written by Cadet Machin during the First World War. The training notes include chapters on the theory of flight; the theatre of War, observation and mapping; the instruments; the engines; and, on reconnaissance and armaments. The book includes an introduction and addendum written by Roland Machin whose father John (known as Jack) and his elder brother Harry had followed John Egbert into the Royal Flying Corps. The Flight Training Notes of J. E. Machin has 84 A4 pages and costs £5.00.
B24: ‘Cavalryman Voltelin Percy Heath’ by Michael Turnock is the story of a Royal Horse Guard Soldier in the Great War 1914 - 1918 with a plaque in St. Lawrence’s Church, Biddulph. Cavalryman Voltelin Percy Heath has 24 A4 colour pages and costs £3.50. The book was launched on the 15th of December 2018.
B25: ‘All in a Day’ by Michael Turnock (compiled by Madelaine Lovatt and Michael Turnock) is the story of Mr. George Gerard Booth DFM who was a Handley Page Halifax rear gunner with 51 Squadron during the Second World War. The book has 36 A4 colour pages and cost £5.00. The book was launched on the 15th of June 2019 when George Gerard Booth signed copies in Biddulph Library.
B26: ‘Biddulph Gasworks - A Brief History’ by Michael Turnock is the story of the Gasworks with contributions from Derek Wheelhouse and Adrian Lawton. It is the result of research undertaken during the Spring and Summer of 2020 Lockdown due to Covid-19. The book was produced on the 20th of September 2020. Biddulph Gasworks - A Brief History has 16 A4 colour pages and is free to download as a PDF from the Essays section of the BDGHS website. A printed copy will be available in the new year (2021) and will cost £2.50.
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