Hidden In Plain Sight – post 15

This beautiful Georgian property was originally built as house sometime around 1774 for Thomas Mills who was a local lawyer it then was sold to John Cruso in 1819 (who was also a local lawyer) and the family resided there until 1892.

In 1893 a local silk manufacturer, George Davenport, purchased the house and he lived there until his death in 1912.
The interior had been re-modelled around 1900 and was probably the work of William Larner Sugden.

The Amalgamated Society of Textile and Kindred Trades purchased the house in 1919 as a headquarters and club, it also served as the office of William Bromfield (General Secretary of the Union) who had been elected Leek’s first Labour MP in 1918. The Union owned the building for most of the 20th century and was known as Foxlowe – Leek Trades & Labour Club. After the Labour club closed it doors for the last time near the end of the century and the house stood empty for a number of years before I assume it was purchased again.

The next time the house was used again it was in the early Noughties as The V Bar, a late night bar and club, fortunately they were only in business for a short time. Not the most reputable establishment as it quickly gained itself a reputation for trouble.

In December 2011 the building was leased by a group of volunteers and became Foxlowe Arts Centre & Cafe, which supports, promotes and exhibits local artists and their work as well as housing a successful cafe, a local history exhibit, a number of adult recreational classes and a small cinema, they also host live evening entertainment such as bands, choirs, etc. This is a charity organisation and has a large team of volunteers who do a large variety of roles to assist with the daily running and maintenance of the Arts Centre.

The Building was given a Grade II listing on 13 April 1951.

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm kit lens, Exposure 1/200, Aperture f/14.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 23mm

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