Staffordshire probably conjures up images of heavy industry courtesy of the Black
Country and the Potteries, albeit with a rich and fascinating history underpinning these two
former powerhouse areas.
The county is also home to stunning countryside, though, from
the Staffordshire Moorlands part of the Peak District in the north-east, to the valleys and
rolling hills of central Staffordshire, to the rocky outcrops of the south-west; a beautifully
However, lurking not far beneath the surface, there is also a host of oddities and
peculiarities that turn the apparently staid and conventional into something much more
Therefore even the Conventional Staffordshire section sees its County History
interspersed with the book’s idiosyncratic “Quirk Alerts”; like an anecdote about Hobbits
popping up in prehistoric times and how a certain Roaring Meg interceded between a
divided family during the English Civil War!
Naturally, though, it is the Quirky Staffordshire section where things turn very strange,
and where a seemingly random almanac of 94 Staffordshire places have their quirkiest
facts laid bare: like which town has a noisy peace memorial, which village is home to
Britain’s unluckiest church, which one was home to the vicious Sleep Rouser and which one
had a man who danced for a dozen days. Then there’s the Staffordshire constituency that
returned the oldest-ever MP (aged 93), the village that suffered the largest non-nuclear
explosion on British soil, and the town which saw its brand-spanking new canal lock destroyed
by the very cannon that was supposed to be heralding its grand opening!
Alternatively, find out which ancient customs involve one thousand year-old reindeer
horns, teapots, brass statues and a goose! If you think you know Staffordshire, read this
fascinating and profusely illustrated book and think again…
Derby-born Andrew Beardmore spent his formative years nurturing his love of
sport, history and geography in his home county of Derbyshire. Nevertheless,
it was Computer Science in which he graduated, with a First Class honours
degree, before embarking on a 28-year career in I.T. Now married with two
children, Andrew still works as a full-time I.T. Capacity Manager, and writes in
his spare time. Staffordshire: Unusual & Quirky is his fourth book that reunites those three
childhood loves of sport, history and geography, following on from previous Unusual & Quirky
releases focusing on Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire and Rutland.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 295 8, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published October 2016.