The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Universal Grinding Wheel offices, Doxey, Stafford, 1938 Photo © Mr I. Tavernor

North West

Event: March 2015 visit to Stafford *UPDATE*

On Saturday 21 March the North West Group of the Twentieth Century Society is organising a ‘sortie’ to Stafford. This is a new type of event which will be less structured than previous tours, with an emphasis on wandering and exploration of an area on foot.

The event will include a wander round and chance to photograph Stafford’s wonderful brutalist railway station of 1962 and also the nearby art deco Grinding Works.

As part of the Stafford trip, the owners of Edgar Wood’s Grade 2* listed Arts and Crafts house ‘Upmeads’ have kindly invited the group to visit. The house, which is in the suburbs of Stafford, is on the market, so this is a rare opportunity to see inside a famous Wood house. We can also see the exterior and gardens.

Details of ‘Upmeads’, including plans and pictures, are at the estate agents Savill’s website. There’s also an interesting essay, with many pictures, about the house here on the Our Manchester history site.

Lunch will be in a listed former cinema, built in 1914. We expect to travel to ‘Upmeads’ about 3pm by local bus. However, besides these buildings the day will be very much an unplanned ramble round Stafford town centre to see what interesting commercial and industrial buildings we may discover.

We are meeting up at 11am at the main entrance to Stafford Station. People going from Liverpool and Lancashire by Virgin Trains can arrive at Stafford at 10.40am. From London you would need to catch the 9.07am from Euston arriving at Stafford at 10.23am. (Travellers from Manchester – we are meeting outside Boots at Manchester Piccadilly at 9am to get the 9.27 or the 9:30 and change at Crewe.) We will return on the 17:30 which arrives at Manchester Piccadilly at 18:35pm.

This event is free, but as numbers for accessing the house are limited you will need to book a place by emailing: You would be expected to pay for two short bus rides (to and from ‘Upmeads’) if you don’t have an English bus travel pass. The fares would be about £1.50 a trip so make sure you have a few £ coins in your purse or pocket.

Please book your own train tickets.

Finally, Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery re-opened on 14th February to great acclaim. There were 12,500 visitors on opening day. The architects MUMA have taken advantage of the gallery’s position in a park to produce wonderful new spaces. Our group is planning a visit there in the spring with the architects.

Matthew Schofield
C20 North West