Chatterley Whitfield is one of the most important sites in the City of Stoke on Trent (The Potteries).
It is one of the most complete former colliery sites in Europe, and has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a host of buildings on the site have Listed Building status. When the museum closed in 1993 the contents of the museum were auctioned off and the site was abandoned.
However a small group of like minded people interested in preserving the site, it's history and the buildings was founded in the early 2000s and became know as The Friends of Chatterley Whitfield. Over the years that followed 'The Friends' were able to amass a collection of historic maps, books, documents and artefacts from other buildings.(They were left on site after the auction).
'The Friends' have managed to save that documentation.
The Friends have limited access to the site, which unless developed will fall further into disrepair and access to storage facilities will be lost.
Hence the move to a more suitable building off the main site in January 2018, where we would like to develop a Community Resource Centre.
The Chatterley Whitfield site dominates the area of Fegg Hayes, Chell Heath, Whitfield and Norton. Many of the residents in the area, are from a mining background or have grown up in the shadow of the site.
Since the publication of this new website and our Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and our Blog page there has been a renewed interest in the site with enquiries coming from all over the world. It has also attracted quite a few new members, who have been able to offer their services.
We have a number of former miners, teachers, computer experts, and other members who have amassed a great knowledge base from being involved in the site when it was a museum.
In recent years we have been able to actively promote the site and through Heritage Open Days to the general public for tours. This year we are open two weekends in September. These tours are always over-subscribed. (Heritage Open Days)
We also assist the City Council and supervise tours etc......from Film and TV Companies ( BBC Countryfile, Lloyds TV advert,Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the year 2017 and most recently a TV company using drones for a program (Channel 4 Hidden Britain by Drone, which aired in August 2018), Abandoned Engineering, Universities, and local community groups.
There is a renewed interest in Chatterley Whitfield, from young and old alike. This resurgence in the quest for local history has had a positive effect on all the members of the 'Friends' who attend the site to do work.
The 'Friends' are actively engaged in digitising documents and maps and are in the process of passing on the skills needed to members of the community.
They are also looking at developing a video recording facility so members of the community can visit our new Resource Centre to talk about their lives and the importance of coal.
Chatterley Whitfield is an industrial time capsule is and widely acknowledged to be the most comprehensive surviving example of a deep mine site in England.
The 'Friends' will seek to regenerate viable and sustainable uses at Chatterley Whitfield to maintain its existence as one of the most complete examples of a former working colliery in England and its position at the forefront of twentieth century mining technology for today’s and future generations.
It is also the intention of 'The Friends' to inform, advise and educate people within the City of Stoke-on-Trent, the North Staffordshire coalfield and worldwide by communication through, amongst others, social media, face-to-face contact and the written word, to keep alive, celebrate and remember the historic significance and enduring legacy of the mining industry.
"To archive, share and preserve memories and practices of our coal-mining heritage through active participation of members, associates and the community working in unison"
"Grow to become a leading Heritage site within Stoke- on- Trent and the UK, which will educate and involve people in preserving the cultural importance of coal-mining for future generations".
The object of the CIO is to advance the education of the public in the history of mining at the former Chatterley Whitfield colliery by the demonstration of mining methods and the exhibition of machinery and ancillary matters connected with mining transportation, social conditions and industrial archaeology and in such other ways as the trustees consider appropriate”
1. 'The Friends' will inform, advise and educate people within the City of Stoke-on-Trent, the North Staffordshire coalfield and worldwide by communication through, amongst others, social media, face-to-face contact and the written word, to keep alive, celebrate and remember the historic significance and enduring legacy of the mining industry.
2. 'The Friends' will promote, assist and, wherever possible, improve, maintain and publicise Chatterley Whitfield including, but not exclusively, its colliery buildings and features, archives, artefacts, history and community memories, in co-operation with the owners and the community.
3. 'The Friends' will seek to regenerate viable and sustainable uses at Chatterley Whitfield to maintain its existence as one of the most complete examples of a former working colliery in England and its position at the forefront of twentieth century mining technology for today and future generations.
Preserving the 'Past for the Future'