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Rugeley
Rugeley
(/ˈruːdʒli/ ROOJ-lee) is a historic market town in the county of Staffordshire, England. It lies on the north-eastern edge of Cannock Chase
Cannock Chase
next to the River Trent, and is situated between the towns of Stafford, Cannock, Lichfield
Lichfield
and Uttoxeter. At the 2001 census the town's population was 22,724, (including the Brereton and Etchinghill wards).[1] increasing to 24,033 at the 2011 Census.[2] Rugeley
Rugeley
is twinned with Western Springs, Illinois
Western Springs, Illinois
and in July 1962 the towns made telephone history on national television when the chairman of Rugeley
Rugeley
Urban District Council made the first telephone call via the new Telstar satellite to the Mayor of Western Springs.[3]

Contents

1 History 2 Transport 3 Media

3.1 Television 3.2 Radio 3.3 Newspapers

4 Demography 5 Amenities 6 Events 7 Future 8 Notable people

8.1 William Palmer 8.2 George Edalji 8.3 Christina Collins 8.4 Other notable people

9 Nearby places

9.1 Towns and cities 9.2 Villages 9.3 Other

10 References 11 External links

History[edit] The town, historically known as Rudgeley or Ridgeley, is listed in the Domesday Book. This name is thought to be derived from 'Ridge lee', or 'the hill over the field'. In the mediaeval period, it thrived on iron workings and was also a site of glass manufacturing. During the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
the economy of Rugeley
Rugeley
benefited from the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal
Trent and Mersey Canal
and then from it becoming a junction on the railway network. Although smaller pits had existed beforehand, the town became a centre of industrial scale deep shaft coal mining from the 1950s, taking advantage of the geological faults that cause coal seams under Cannock Chase. The Lea Hall Colliery that opened in July 1960 was the first modern coal mine opened by the National Coal Board, which managed the United Kingdom's nationalized coal industry. Nearby the Central Electricity Generating Board built two power plants.[4] With the construction of Rugeley
Rugeley
A and B power stations Rugeley
Rugeley
became a major centre for electricity generation. These developments led to the town growing very quickly in the 1960s. The Rugeley
Rugeley
A power station was designed to take its fuel directly from Lea Hall by conveyor belt (although the coal was of poor quality not suitable for Rugeley
Rugeley
B). This was the first such arrangement in Britain. The Rugeley
Rugeley
B coal-fired power station continues to dominate the skyline where a flue gas desulphurisation plant has been constructed. This will allow it to continue to generate electricity and comply with environmental legislation. St. Augustine's Church in Rugeley
Rugeley
has memorials to the Levett
Levett
family, who live at nearby Milford Hall
Milford Hall
and who established the Rugeley
Rugeley
Home and Cottage Hospital on Church Street in 1866.[5][6] Between 1793 [7] and 1967 Rugeley
Rugeley
Grammar School provided selective secondary education for the town and also for Hednesford. Historical characters who were educated at RGS include the banker and railway promoter Edward Charles Blount
Edward Charles Blount
and the Australian pioneer and politician Charles Bonney. Transport[edit] For many years in the 1970s and 1980s Rugeley
Rugeley
was served by British Rail, with four services each way to and from Stafford
Stafford
and Rugby/Coventry. After the closure of Rugeley
Rugeley
A power station and Lea Hall Colliery and a reduction in rail freight, it became possible to open up the Rugeley
Rugeley
to Walsall
Walsall
line for passenger traffic. Rugeley
Rugeley
now has two railway stations Rugeley
Rugeley
Trent Valley and Rugeley
Rugeley
Town. Rugeley
Rugeley
Trent Valley lies on the West Coast Main Line, and has a regular hourly service to London
London
via Lichfield, Nuneaton, Rugby and Milton Keynes, and to Crewe
Crewe
via Stafford
Stafford
and Stoke-on-Trent. Rugeley Trent Valley also has an hourly service via Rugeley
Rugeley
Town railway station and the Chase Line
Chase Line
suburban route connecting to Cannock, Walsall
Walsall
and Birmingham. The major roads into Rugeley
Rugeley
are the A460 from Cannock, and the A51 Lichfield
Lichfield
to Stone. A new eastern bypass was opened in 2007 to facilitate the development of new employment areas on the former colliery site, and to reduce congestion in the town centre. Media[edit] Television[edit] BBC Midlands Today
BBC Midlands Today
and ITV Central
ITV Central
cover Rugeley
Rugeley
from studios in Birmingham. These are mainly received from the Sutton Coldfield transmitting station, however, some parts of the town are shielded from Sutton Coldfield and rely on the Rugeley
Rugeley
relay, located at the Fair Oak Academy.[8] Some parts of Rugeley
Rugeley
can also receive good signals from the Waltham transmitting station near Melton Mowbray
Melton Mowbray
in Leicestershire, which carries BBC East Midlands
BBC East Midlands
and the East Midland variant of ITV Central. Radio[edit] Rugeley
Rugeley
lies within the coverage areas of the West Midland regional stations, like Heart and Planet Rock, Touch FM and Signal 1
Signal 1
in Stoke-on-Trent. BBC Local Radio
BBC Local Radio
is covered by BBC WM
BBC WM
from Birmingham on 95.6 FM, though reception is not good, and in some parts, BBC Radio Stoke on 94.6 FM is better received. In terms of community radio, the town is covered by Cannock
Cannock
Chase Radio. Newspapers[edit] For many years up to 1980, Rugeley
Rugeley
had its own newspaper, the Rugeley Times published from Bow Street. The paper was sold to the Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Newsletter. Today the town is covered by the Express and Star. Students from the local area began writing a newspaper for Rugeley
Rugeley
called The Hart of Rugeley. This is published three times a year. The team of students are based at The Hart School. Demography[edit] Rugeley
Rugeley
is a mixed community in terms of age groups and household incomes, but in terms of its ethnic make-up it remains an overwhelmingly White British town. Much of the ageing population and their families are linked to the ex-mining communities, with an increasing proportion of the younger population being new to the area and associated with the services sector. As former mining towns, Rugeley
Rugeley
and neighbouring Brereton suffer from a moderate level of social deprivation, with parts of the town consisting of council or ex-council house stock (such as the Springfield Estate and parts of Brereton) or former National Coal Board
National Coal Board
housing, such as the Pear Tree Estate. However, on the fringes of Rugeley
Rugeley
there is more affluence, particularly in some of the areas bordering Cannock
Cannock
Chase, some of the older Georgian streets including the conservation area of Crossley Stone or waterfront properties along the Trent and Mersey Canal. A number of new houses were built in the housing boom of the early 2000s, providing a mixture of affordable and higher-end properties. Amenities[edit] Rugeley
Rugeley
has a modern swimming pool and leisure centre, opened 2006 on Burnthill Lane. Rugeley
Rugeley
has a skate park in Hagley Park. Schools in the area include The Hart School (formerly two separate schools - Fair Oak Academy and Hagley Park Academy).[9] Rugeley's town centre has an outdoor market three days per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It also has an indoor market and a shopping centre called the Brewery Street Arcade. Rugeley
Rugeley
has a number of well known high street names like Boots, Argos, Greggs
Greggs
and Morrisons. Residents of the town benefit from their proximity to Cannock
Cannock
Chase and indeed there is a heritage trail funded by the National Lottery linking the town to Hednesford
Hednesford
and Cannock
Cannock
with excellent disabled access. The trail contains numerous notice boards highlighting the town's history. Rugeley
Rugeley
also has a state-of-the-art health centre off Sandy Lane, a replacement for its predecessor on Horsefair. A modern care home now stands on the site of the former surgery. Technically, two separate surgeries coexist there. There is also the Aelfgar Surgery in Taylors Lane. Rugeley
Rugeley
Rose Theatre is a theatre and community centre in Taylors Lane. Heron Court Hall, is a gothic style mansion (built by Joseph Whitgreave in 1851) on the outskirts of Rugeley
Rugeley
town centre. It is a former convent and private residence and is now owned by Rugeley Snooker Club (also known as Rugeley
Rugeley
Billiards Club). It is home to both Rugeley
Rugeley
Snooker Club and Rugeley
Rugeley
Poker Club. Rugeley
Rugeley
Snooker Club has three full size snooker tables and in addition to serving its members, regularly plays host to other clubs from local snooker leagues. Rugeley
Rugeley
is home to two cricket clubs ( Rugeley
Rugeley
C.C. and Trent Valley C.C.), several football clubs and Rugeley
Rugeley
Rugby Club, as well as Rugeley
Rugeley
Rifle Club, which caters to .22 and air gun target shooting. The Lea Hall Social Club, which underwent extensive renovation between 2005 and 2011, serves Rugeley
Rugeley
residents with a variety of facilities including cricket and football pitches, tennis courts and a crown bowling green. Events[edit] A charter fair occurs during the first weekend in June, which is a huge attraction with most people from the town joining in the street parade. The town council also puts on a fireworks display during the last weekend of the school summer holidays, known as "Back to School with a Bang". A Christmas lights switch-on during December includes a market and late night opening of shops, with the local traders association joining in the organising of street entertainment. A Pagan conference happens on the May bank holiday every year. Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Pagan Conference started in 2015 and was held at Lea Hall Social Club. The conference is attended by over 250 people from all over the country. Over £1,000 has been donated to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with the profit from the event. As of 2018 the conference will be relocating to The Rose Theatre and will become Witchfest Midlands. For the last two years, in 2016 and 2017, the British Quidditch Cup has been held at Rugeley
Rugeley
Leisure Centre. The third British Quidditch Cup took place on the 19th and 20th March 2016,[10] with 32 teams competing, and the winners were Oxford's team, the Radcliffe Chimeras. The fourth British Quidditch Cup
British Quidditch Cup
took place on the 11th and 12th March 2017,[11] with 32 teams competing, and the winners were Velociraptors QC. Future[edit] Rugeley
Rugeley
suffered an increase in unemployment when Lea Hall Colliery closed in 1990. Following many years of demolition and regeneration, a number of large industrial units have been built on the Towers Business Park, a brownfield site situated on the former ground of the colliery. In August 2011, Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.co.uk
opened a 700,000 sq ft fulfillment centre on the Towers Park, creating between 700[12] and 900[13] full-time jobs as well as generating a large pool of seasonal work around Christmas.[14] Notable people[edit] William Palmer[edit] In 1855, the town gained notoriety when a local doctor, William Palmer, was accused of murdering an acquaintance, John Parsons Cook (who is buried in a still visible grave in the local St Augustine's churchyard). It was claimed that Cook had been poisoned, and in the months that followed, Palmer was implicated in the deaths of several other persons, including his own wife and brother, and possibly even some of his own children. He was put on trial for the murder of Cook in 1856, and an Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
was passed to allow the trial to be held at the Old Bailey, London, as it was felt that a fair jury could not be found in Staffordshire. Palmer was found guilty of murder, and hanged publicly outside Stafford
Stafford
Gaol on 14 June 1856. Local legend has it that, on being instructed to step onto the gallows trap-door, he asked the now-famous question "Is it safe?". Another tale holds that following the uproar surrounding the discovery of Palmer's activities, the town put in a special request to the Prime Minister requesting that they be permitted to change the name of the town to disassociate themselves from the murders. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister at the time was Lord Palmerston, who agreed to the request only on the condition that the town be named after him. For obvious reasons the locals declined this offer. The story of Palmer was told in The Life and Crimes of William Palmer (1998), starring Keith Allen in the role of the infamous doctor. George Edalji[edit] George Ernest Thompson Edalji (March 1876 – 17 June 1953) was famously and wrongly convicted of one of the ' Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
Outrages', (the village of Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
being some eight-and-a-half miles south of Rugeley, south of the Cannock Chase
Cannock Chase
district and north of Walsall) but cleared as the result of an investigation by Arthur Conan Doyle. Julian Barnes's 2005 novel Arthur & George recounts the entire episode in great detail, though it does not always stick to the historical record.[15] Edalji was educated at Rugeley
Rugeley
Grammar School in the 1880s. Christina Collins[edit] The body of Christina Collins was discovered in the Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley
Rugeley
on 17 June 1839. She was believed to have been raped and murdered by barge men who had agreed to transport her from Liverpool
Liverpool
to London
London
to join her husband. The steps which she was carried up are still known as the 'bloody steps' to this day. Although, as they are made from sandstone, the steps have no doubt been replaced several times, local legend has it that they sometimes ooze blood and her ghost appears upon them. Christina's grave can still be seen today in the churchyard at St Augustine's. Three of the four bargemen were charged with her murder. The story of her murder was the inspiration for an Inspector Morse mystery first broadcast in 1998, entitled The Wench is Dead.

Mary Knowles

Sir Nicholas Winterton

Other notable people[edit]

Thomas Weston (1584-1646) Merchant adventurer, admitted to the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
in 1609 Mary Knowles
Mary Knowles
(1733–1807), English Quaker poet, supported abolition of the slave trade and slavery. John Stevenson Salt (1777–1845) English barrister, banker and land owner, served as High Sheriff of Staffordshire
Staffordshire
in 1838 Thomas George Bonney
Thomas George Bonney
FRS (1833–1923) English geologist, president of the Geological Society of London John Porter (1838–1922) English thoroughbred flat racing trainer, founder of Newbury Racecourse Frederic Bonney
Frederic Bonney
FRS (1842–1921) British land owner, photographer and anthropologist Ethelred Luke Taunton (1857–1907) English Roman Catholic priest and historical writer. William Beaumont Burns (1883–1916) English cricketer, played more than 200 first-class matches mainly for Worcs. Wilfred John Simkin CMG (1883–1967) was the 6th Anglican Bishop of Auckland Sir Nicholas Raymond Winterton (born 1938) British Conservative Party politician, MP for Macclesfield 1971 / 2015 Paul Davies-Hale (born 1962) British long-distance runner, competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics
1984 Summer Olympics
in the 3000m steeplechase and at 1992 Summer Olympics in the marathon

Nearby places[edit] Towns and cities[edit]

Cannock Hednesford Stafford Lichfield

Villages[edit]

Abbots Bromley Admaston Armitage Blithbury Brereton Cannock
Cannock
Wood Colton Colwich Cheslyn Hay Etchinghill Great Haywood Hamstall Ridware Handsacre Hill Ridware Kings Bromley Little Haywood Longdon Mavesyn Ridware Slitting Mill Upper Longdon

Other[edit]

Blithfield Reservoir Brindley Heath Shugborough

References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rugeley.

^ Rugeley
Rugeley
Online – Statistics ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ Mace Archive of the television broadcast ^ Sarah O’Connor (February 8, 2013). "Amazon unpacked: The online giant is creating thousands of UK jobs, so why are some employees less than happy?". Financial Times. Retrieved February 8, 2013.  ^ Rugeley, A History of the County of Stafford, Victoria County History, L. Margaret Midgley, British History Online, 1959 ^ Rugeley, Churches, A History of the County of Stafford, Victoria County History, L. Margaret Midgeley, 1959, British History Online ^ http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/1419b8f0-b36a-4720-acee-20e30fe8714f ^ Rugeley
Rugeley
TV relay ^ http://www.hartschool.org.uk/rugeley-academies-merger-questions-and-answers/ ^ QuidditchUK 'BQC 2015–16' https://quidditchuk.org/bqc/current (accessed 24 March 2016) ^ QuidditchUK 'Current BQC' https://quidditchuk.org/bqc/current (accessed 30 March 2017) ^ http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/News/Amazon-take-over-Rugeley-warehouse-08072011.htm ^ https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2011/07/11/amazon-bringing-900-jobs-to-rugeley/ ^ https://www.expressandstar.com/business/midlands-business/2011/10/26/1700-christmas-jobs-at-rugeley-amazon-centre/ ^ Roger Oldfield (2010). Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes. Vanguard Press. 

External links[edit]

Rugeley
Rugeley
Town Council Brereton and Rugeley
Rugeley
Parish Website Map of Rugeley
Rugeley
at Streetmap.co.uk Rugeley
Rugeley
Bypass Rugeley
Rugeley
Power Station Rugeley
Rugeley
Cricket Club Rugeley
Rugeley
Rifle Club Rugeley
Rugeley
Rangers Football Club Rugeley
Rugeley
Snooker Club Lea Hall Miners Welfare Centre and Social Club The Landor (Local History) Society serves Rugeley, Staffordshire
Staffordshire
and the neighbouring parishes

v t e

Ceremonial county of Staffordshire

Unitary authorities

Stoke-on-Trent

Boroughs or districts

Cannock
Cannock
Chase East Staffordshire Lichfield Newcastle-under-Lyme South Staffordshire Stafford Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Moorlands Tamworth

Major settlements

Biddulph Burntwood Burton upon Trent Cannock Cheadle Eccleshall Fazeley Hednesford Kidsgrove Leek Lichfield Newcastle-under-Lyme Penkridge Rugeley Stafford Stoke-on-Trent

Burslem Fenton Hanley Longton Stoke Tunstall

Stone Tamworth Uttoxeter See also: List of civil parishes in Staffordshire

Rivers

Anker Blithe Churnet Dane Dove Manifold Mease Penk Sow Swarbourn Tame Trent Wheelock

Canals

Birmingham
Birmingham
& Fazeley Caldon Lichfield Shropshire Union Staffs & Worcestershire Trent & Mersey Wyrley & Essington

Topics

Flag Museums Schools Grade I buildings Grade II* buildings Windmills High Sheriffs

v t e

Civil parishes of Cannock Chase
Cannock Chase
District

Brereton and Ravenhill Bridgtown Brindley Heath Cannock
Cannock
Wood Heath Hayes and Wimblebury Hednesford
Hednesford
(town) Norton Ca

.