Central Hanley, looking south along Town Road showing (centre right) the statue of Sir Stanley Matthews
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Hanley, in Staffordshire, England, is a constituent town of Stoke-on-Trent. Hanley was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1857 and became a county borough with the passage of the Local Government Act 1888. In 1910, along with Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton, Longton and Stoke-upon-Trent it was federated into the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. Hanley was the only one of the six towns to be a county borough before the merger; its status was transferred to the enlarged borough. In 1925, following the granting of city status, it became one of the six towns that constitute the City of Stoke-on-Trent.
Hanley is the de facto city centre having long been the commercial hub of the city of Stoke-on-Trent. It is home to the Potteries Shopping Centre and many high street chain stores.
The name Hanley comes from either "haer lea", meaning "high meadow", or "heah lea" meaning "rock meadow".
At one time, there were many coal mines in North Staffordshire. Hanley Deep Pit was opened in 1854. It was the deepest pit in the North Staffordshire coalfield, reaching a depth of 1500 feet. At its peak in the 1930s it employed some 2000 men and boys often producing 9000 tons of coal a week. The pit was closed in 1962 but much of the headgear and spoilheaps were left in situ. Then, in the 1980s, the original site was cleared, landscaped and converted into Hanley Forest Park. Coal miners in the Hanley and Longton area ignited the 1842 General Strike and associated Pottery Riots. The College Road drill hall was completed in 1903.
The 1986 Stoke-on-Trent Garden Festival led to the reclamation of large areas of land west of the city centre area - including the former Shelton steelworks, which had been derelict since 1978. Ironically, when the Garden Festival closed, the land remained derelict for some time, before being re-developed partly into public parkland and partly for retail and leisure.
In 2013, a brand new and modern bus station opened in Hanley. This replaced the former bus station, on Lichfield Street. The new bus station is the first stage in the regeneration project which will see the previous bus station demolished, and replaced with a new centre consisting of shops, restaurants and a cinema. The new bus station is smaller than its predecessor, and has seen various routes in and out of the city changed to accommodate the location of the new bus station. The bus station features a sheltered waiting area, Spar shop, cafe and toilets, is covered by CCTV, and has digital timetables showing information on travel times for the day, as well as Now/Next above the entrance to each bay. Access to the station is controlled by automatic doors, at both the pedestrian entrance and coach bays.
The new bus station links Hanley with towns in North Staffordshire, as well as Buxton, Crewe and Stafford. Most services are run by First Potteries, though there are a number of smaller independent operators, such as Wardle Transport, D&G Bus, and Arriva Midlands. In addition, National Express Coaches connect Hanley with destinations including London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, with additional seasonal services to holiday destinations. As part of the redevelopment of the town and wider city, a new bus interchange will be built on John Street, allowing the current station to be demolished to make room for further redevelopment of the town.
Hanley no longer has a railway station but there was once one located on Trinity Street, on the Potteries Loop Line, which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway for passengers on 13 July 1864. The station survived for 100 years - it was closed in 1964, as part of the Beeching Axe, and the land is now a car park.
Hanley also offers several cultural facilities such as the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery (a large ceramics collection, and restored Spitfire), the Victoria Hall, the Regent Theatre, BBC Radio Stoke's Open Centre and studios, while Piccadilly hosts the annual Sanity Fair and French Market events. Hanley is also the location of Stoke Pride, an annual pride event for LGBT people of the city.
Christian Churches and Chapels in Hanley include: Bethel Evangelical Free Church (Newhall Street), Bethesda Town Mission (Jasper Street), Congregational Independent Tabernacle Church (High Street), Elim Church (Bucknall Old Road corner of Mynors Street, Northwood), Etruria Wesleyan Chapel (Etruria Old Road, Etruria), Holy Trinity C of E (Lower Mayer Street, Northwood), Providence Methodist Church (Junction of Town Road, and Hulton Street), St. John's C of E (Town Road, Hanley), St. Luke's C of E (Wellington Terrace), St. Mark's C of E (Broad Street, Shelton), St. Matthew's C of E (Birches Head), Sacred Heart RC (Jasper Street), Trinity Methodist (Keelings Road, Northwood), and St Simon and St Jude (Seaford Street, College (was Victoria) Road, Shelton).