By E O'Donnell, W Thompson, C Heath and J Bucknall.
Published by Staffordshire County Council Education Department, 102 pages. A4 size booklet (A19JWSO)
From the introduction: This book of photographs of Old Chasetown has been produced in an attempt to record some of the village's historical past. As part of the expanse of Cannock Chase, the area was a semi-wilderness of scrub and bracken, until the opening of the No.l and No.2 mines, which encouraged settlement by providing regular work. The village grew up round the mines and soon was covering the whole spectrum of services, which met the daily needs of the miner and his family. Shops, public houses and places of worship rounded out the village, and set it on its path to the growth and extent that we witness as the Chasetown of today.
During 1979, three of the local Chasetown schools were involved in a project to "mine" historical records, documents and photographs of the area, which undoubtedly lay under the depths of "overburden" in drawers, trunks or in attics. Children of the St. Joseph's, Chasetown Primary and Oakdene Schools acted as mining "agents", and many "seams" of interesting material were discovered, unearthed. and finally"mined", As editors we would like to thank the children, parents and friends concerned for the interest shown. This little pamphlet is an example of child / adult co-operation which is the basis and substance of the educational style of today. The young learn from those experienced in life who have a story to tell. The' enthusiasm of the young and the archives of those older have provided us with the material from which this selection has been made. We are indebted to the many people, too numerous to name, who provided original photographs for us to copy. We must mention Mr. Bert Atkins for his mining photographs, and also for his vital background information on mines and mining in the area. l,)'e ar.e indebted to Mrs. Thacker who lent material, and also by correspondence enabled us to loan vital photographs from Miss Sopwith. Mr. Derek Sanders volunteered prints from the family archives, which showed the famous Spot Garage and Silent Knight coaches of the past. Councillor Ernie Lambourne pooled his resources with us, and has helped to fill gaps in our collection.
Our information has been swelled by the observations and memories of many friends, who have willingly contributed their recollections towards this work. To name them all would require another booklet solely for this purpose, so collectively we acknowledge their donations, so willingly passed on orally.
The old Chase villages and communities are now at a crossroads in time. Their previous prosperity~ based on coal, has ceased, and they look forward to the technologies of the dawning 21st century as the basis of their futureexistence. With so much of the historical material of the past going quickly, as the older generation is replaced, it was imperative that we tried to rescue as much material of social and educational interest as we could, before such material was thrown away as irrelevant to modern society and its aspirations.
This booklet is a result of the concern shown by many people, children and adult alike, to keep Chase town traditional folklore and former way of life, in a photo-montage form, for those who are yet to come. Our final tribute is to the many unknown photographers whose vision and skill in recording these early scenes has enabled us to produce this book.
The condition of the booklet is generally ok. The covers have several minor scuffs and blemishes, and light wear along the edges and corners, but the spine is intact and all pages are intact, unblemished and tightly bound.