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How can I hear the recordings?

During the project

We're currently cataloguing the collection and finding out exactly what we've got. While we're still working on this, you can hear some of the recordings by: 

  • visiting our exhibition at Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, where selected excerpts will change regularly
  • becoming a volunteer and helping us to listen to and catalogue the recordings
  • coming to one of our events where we'll be playing selected items
  • exploring the extracts here on our "Listen" page
  • inviting us to bring some recordings to your event!

After the project

At the end of the project in summer 2018, the Arthur Wood Collection will be presented to Stoke-on-Trent City Archives at Hanley Library, where you will be able to search the catalogue and listen to the recordings. We hope that some excerpts and highlights will be available online via the Staffs Past Track website. We also plan to present a set of the Arthur Wood Collection to the National Sound Archive at the British Library in London for easier national access.


All recordings are © copyright BBC and are used here with permission. The recordings may not be used commercially or in any other context without permission.


ARMISTICE 1918 - Mr Ted Averill explains his unique perspective on the historic announcement of the end to hostilities at 11 a.m. on 11th November 1918. We believe the speaker to be Edward Thomas Averill of Tunstall, born 1896, died 1975, who served as a telegraphist during the First World War. This recording was made in the late 1960s or early 1970s.




An assortment of snippets from the Arthur Wood Collection:


  • Mrs Edith Skerrett of Draycott Arms, born 1879, recorded c.1975, recalling her early life in Victorian times.
  • Unknown funeral director of Normacot, recorded 1987, possibly a member of the Bettelley family 
  • Unknown speaker talking about butter during WW2
  • Same funeral director of Normacot recalling a local saying in Potteries dialect, recorded 1987, possibly a member of the Bettelley family 
  • Les Oakes of Hales View Farm, Cheadle, recorded 1986
  • Herbert Latimer, of Cobridge, recalling enlisting for WW1, recorded c.1980
  • Sheila Hammersley of Pomes Penyeach Bookshop, May Bank, recorded 1987
  • Irene Turner, former headteacher of Brookhouse Green Primary School, recalling outbreak of WW2, recorded 1980
  • Arthur Wood, who grew up in Sneyd Street, Cobridge introducing Perce Barton, blacksmith of Sneyd Street, 1987
  • Perce Barton, blacksmith of Sneyd Street, Cobridge, recorded in 1987
  • Arthur Berry, recorded c.1988


Clips from some Keele University collaborations:

  • Three voices from "Preach the Word" (1971) - a community-led project recalling the 1907 Primitive Methodist camp meetings at Mow Cop, which themselves commemorated the 1807 events led by Hugh Bourne
  • "Voice of the Poet" (1987) Roy Fisher, poet and lecturer, coaches the audience to write and send in poetry, for broadcast and appraisal on air
  • "In a Manner of Speaking" (1980) John Levitt, lecturer - local dialect series


WW1 voices recorded by Owen Bentley in 1968 for "The Great War":

  • Mr Bill Yeats of Mynors Street, Hanley
  • Mr H. V. Scott of Thistleberry Avenue, Newcastle
  • Mr William H. Lawton of Crossways Garage, Blythe Bridge
  • Mr A. Farrell of Crescent Grove, Hartshill


Horace Barks speaking Esperanto with a German speaker; she is talking about making cheese and baking bread (estimated c.1970s)

Reginald Haggar, lecturer and artist, talking about the old Swan Bank Chapel, Burslem (used in a programme in 1978, possibly originally from a recording made in the early 1970s)

Susie Cooper, ceramics designer, talking about making her first impact with colour at an early exhibition in Stoke (recorded c.1987)


 Congregation of St John's Church, Longton (recorded August 1968)



Where is the catalogue?

We're still working on creating a searchable catalogue. When it's completed, you'll be able to search for names, places, industries, events and other topics to identify which recordings may be of interest to you.  For now, you can browse our provisional inventory list, but please be aware that this is an early draft compiled from what was written on the tape boxes, and the details may not be accurate. We can't be confident of all details until we've listened to everything and completed the full catalogue.

If you see something listed that might be of interest for a forthcoming event, please get in touch using the contact form and choosing the Revealing Voices category.