Until the early twentieth century Rugeley was celebrated for its annual June horse fair, during which it was said to be impossible
to move in the Horsefair for the number of horses and people. This major event reflected the town's agricultural background.
During the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries improving communications and its situation on the Cannock Chase coalfield
gave rise to Rugeley's industrial development, which was to culminate in the twentieth century in the opening of two large
power stations. The increasingly widespread use of photography from the mid-nineteenth century onwards was making possible
a visual record of the changes the area was undergoing which would provide future generations with a remarkable and immediate
insight into the live and times of their forebears. The photographs in this fascinating selection, many of which have been
drawn from private collections and are published here for the first time, throw light on the diverse aspects of everyday life
for ordinary people. Informative captions remind us that beneath the apparent tranquillity of so many of these scenes lay
a reality often characterised by difficulty and hardship. The compilers have brought together a wealth of local information
which makes this, their latest volume, an invaluable addition to the libraries of all those who want to know more about Rugeley
and the surrounding areas.