We are the family that live at Ladymoor Gate, or as the Webmaster calls it "The Sticks". If there is a theme to this site it is the connection between people and places over time; from the families who lived in our house before us to the gardeners who planted the trees we admire on our walks; from the current generation born here to to their ancestors from far and wide.
Today Ladymoor Gate Farm is a small holding of approximately seven acres comprising a house and a range of outbuildings. The "Gate" part of a place name means "way onto" or "entrance" and has nothing to do with a hinged section of fence or fancy wrought iron security barriers. So we are situated at the way on to the moor known as Ladymoor. It is located on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands, six miles from the centre of Stoke on Trent (in the English Midlands) and a similar distance from the market town of Leek. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country and on this site we have documented some of our favourite local walks, all accessible from nearby car parks.
We have lived here for over thirty years but are still relative new comers, many of our neighbours tracing their families back in unbroken lines for generations. However we, unknowingly, returned to a place where some of our distant and not so distant ancestors once lived and there is a family myth that the family once owned Marshes Hill and that it was named after one of my paternal great grandparents. To this day some of the family members have Marsh as a middle name. Our genealogy research certainly shows we have long and deep connections with this area and our research, including into the history of the house and its previous occupants, has shown that my Marsh ancestors did indeed live at a farm on Marshes Hill and may well have owned some of the land, but certainly not the whole hill.
Photo shows and Arial view of Ladymoor Gate in 1972
The Sticks has a reasonable sized garden and the rest is fields. One of the fields was rendered almost unusable when the council changed the road drains resulting in road surface water from many metres in each direction to drain directly into it. Several attempts by various drainage engineers to solve the problem have failed and we a now wondering whether a coppice of willow or similar trees may help. Horses (not ours) graze in the other field. Fortunately the garden was not directly affected. Over the years we have waxed and waned in our efforts in the garden variously making a pond, planting an orchard, renovating a vegetable patch and building a green house. The weeds always seem to win. The Seeds and Weeds section chronicles our triumphs and our disasters, particularly those following my retirement in 2017.
Lovely as it is to spend time at The Sticks our adventures have spread far and wide and for no better better reason than just to write about them and hope someone out there reads them I have included a travel section. It comprises transcriptions (still in progress) of my travel diaries from the 1980s onwards with a few photos to illustrate. I began with my Indian adventure in 1981 which was popular with many of my Indian work colleagues, most of whom were either toddlers of not even born at the time, and who were interested in my ousiders looks at their country.
Last but not least I added "Rooted to the Spot" a magazine style (I hope) fun approach to surviving Brexit which, as an active member of a European and international community has hit me very hard.