My name is William A. Neale. American author in a totally different field had already taken.
I showed an interest in local history from a young age, often visiting the Potteries Museum and Gladstone. My uncle’s copy of Barry Blaize’s seminal ‘The Lost Empire’ was so frequently borrowed by myself that I eventually got my own copy – it is surprising that the spine has not given way giving its use! I also showed a fascination for the local theatres – I recall taking a guided tour of the Theatre Royal, running around the fly gallery.
I was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1987, After completing education at Edensor High School, Longton and the Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, I accepted a place at the University of Birmingham to read Chemistry, moving to the second city in 2005.
I returned to Stoke-on-Trent to take a position at Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s City Archives as Archive Assistant. Along with cataloging the theatre collections, I took part in the Federation centenary celebrations, archive enquiries, promoting the service at events and helping to catalogue and care for the collections. It was here that I discovered, to my surprise, that there wasn’t already a local history work on the local theatres, leading to my production of Old Theatres in the Potteries.
Following the drastic local government cuts, I sought work in the private sector and am currently a Pharmacy Assistant for Tesco. I am still engaged in a number of history research projects when time permits, and have also helped out with the 100th birthday celebrations for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
I completed my studies in 2014, graduating with a First in Chemistry, and will hopefully start postgraduate studies in 2015.
Please contact me if you have any more information, pictures, programmes, interesting tales, or anything really!