Our Village - By Fulford Women's Institute

CHAPTER 8

Saverley Green

Saverley Green is the hamlet to the N.E. of Fulford and is very compact. In the centre is a plot of ‘common land’ and about thirty houses and cottages are scattered around it. This plot is called “The Green”. The largest house in the vicinity is Saverley House, which stands snugly in its own grounds, with very fine gardens and parklands surrounding it. This house has been modernised recently and makes a pretty picture in its lovely setting. During its lifetime, it has been the home of two of the City of Stoke-on-Trent’s Lord Mayors, of which the villagers were very proud.

Saverley Green, unlike her mother village of Fulford, is the proud possessor of a mains water supply, which she has enjoyed since 1937. An electricity supply was installed previously, so that life for the villagers has improved in every way, particularly for the women folk, who for years had had to put up with many inconveniences, and who now possess many electrical appliances which lighten their daily tasks.

Apart from these improvements Saverley Green has changed very little from what it must have been a hundred years ago.

The local tavern is called “The Greyhound Inn” and is a very old building with two cottages adjoining it. This inn like the one at Fulford has enjoyed many happy occasions. The same customs were observed and the same “Round of Beef” and Fig pies were distributed to anyone who cared to come to the Inn on these festive occasions, especially at local weddings. It was a custom and still is, that if any well known villager was to be married, a barrel of beer was ordered to be consumed on the premises and anyone could call and drink a toast to the bride and bridegroom and needless to say the drinks were free of charge. This always helped to create a friendly feeling among the villagers.

The famous Fig-Pie Sunday, in middle Lent, Known as Mothering Sunday, has not had its Fig Pies for a few years, no doubt one reason being the intervention of war, when no figs were obtainable and secondly, we presume, because of the death of the grand old lady who made them in Saverley Green, the late licensee of the “Greyhound”. Nevertheless we have been fortunate in obtaining her recipe, which we print below: -

Fig Pies 1 pint water ½ pound Figs ½ teaspoon spice ½ teaspoon ginger Pinch nutmeg 1 level tablespoon black treacle 2 tablespoons golden syrup Method: - Cut Figs into small pieces and simmer in water for twenty minutes, add treacle, syrup, spice nutmeg and ginger. Thicken with a little cornflour and put into pastry cases, already cooked.

Several of the villagers are experts at making wines from parsnips, damsons, elderberries, rhubarb etc., and these wines are of excellent quality, particularly parsnip wine, which when well matured, could easily be mistaken for whisky. We are unable to give recipes for these wines unfortunately.

There is a more modern inn called “The New Inn”, but this is actually on the border of the Cheadle Parish and so is not considered to belong to Saverley Green. From this crossroads corner you can see “Blythe Colour Works”, a modern building, which finds employment for many of our local residents.

Also there are six farms, all within easy reach of each other, except “Leacroft Farm” which is hidden away across the fields towards Blythe Bridge. This farmhouse is of the same type as those in Fulford, having an oak staircase and three floors and it borders a stretch of bog land, which is known locally as “The bogs”. This land extends to the lower part of Stallington Lane near Blythe Bridge Station. A path, which runs across this land, must have served a useful purpose for a great number of years, probably before the existence of the Railway.

From family records in the village it is known that a nail-making trade flourished and was carried on by the family of Stanyer for generations. There appears to have been no organised industry, the work being done by individual effort in small outhouses. These nails are reputed to have been made entirely by hand. Needless to say, in these modern times, this trade is now extinct and Saverley Green is simply an agricultural district.

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