Launch of Staffordshire Volume XI

On Saturday 18 May, a combined event to mark the formal launch of Volume XI of the Staffordshire VCH series and host the first of the Marc Fitch Fund VCH Lectures to be held outside of London was held at Keele Hall, which forms part of the campus of Keele University.  Volume XI: Audley, Keele and Trentham is the third volume produced under the editorship of current County Editor Dr Nigel Tringham and is available to purchase here following its publication in March 2013.

After many years of financial support for the annual VCH Lecture in London, the Marc Fitch Fund, established in 1956 to support the work of national local historians, has lent its support to VCH lectures taking place thrice annually to coincide with the launches of new VCH red volumes.  The first of these, 'Aristocracy and Industry: the Sutherlands in Staffordshire' was delivered prior to the official launch of the Staffordshire volume by Dr Tristram Hunt, historian, broadcaster and Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central.

The Marc Fitch Lecture was followed by the launch of the volume during which Elizabeth Williamson, Executive Editor for the VCH series outlined Staffordshire's place in the national project before giving a vote of thanks to Dr Tringham, the volunteer contributors, the Staffordshire Record Office and the Staffordshire project's major funders: Staffordshire County Council and Keele University.  Professor David Hey spoke on behalf of the Marc Fitch Fund and reminisced on his own personal connection with Keele University where he was awarded his undergraduate degree, before the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson CBE formally presented volumes to the chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Ian Lawson and to Professor Ann Hughes, the Director of the Research Institute (Humanities) at Keele University.

The event was concluded by a walking tour of Keele Hall, its gardens and the wider university campus given by Dr Tringham.  The hall itself was built in 1860 by Ralph Sneyd to a design by the architect Antony Salvin and replaced a hall built by the Sneyd family in 1580, after they had acquired the Keele estate on which the modern university campus sits.

Photographs of the lecture, the launch and the tour can be viewed in the gallery below.