October, 1914 at 8.45pm is an important date and time in Appley
Russell explained that, that was the
date and time a meteorite weighing 33lb hurtling at 8 miles a
second landed in a field at Halliwell Farm.
out as a piece of space debris left over from the formation of
the planets at the birth of the Solar System some 4.5 million
years ago. Orbiting in the asteroid belt between Mars and
Jupiter’s orbit it, at some point in time, became set on a
collision course with Earth.
It appeared in the sky
approximately 30 miles above Stoke-on-Trent and blazed a trail,
lighting up the sky for just a few seconds before impact.
The conflict, which became known as World War 1, was just 2
months’ old. Not surprisingly, public reaction and contemporary
newspaper reports told of it being a Zeppelin raid.
Russell Parry with his book
piece of meteorite
its retrieval from the field it was confiscated by Lancashire
A Prof. Jenkins at Manchester and the
British Museum, which later bought it off the landowner for the
then princely sum of £252, secured its release. Over the coming
years the meteorite made journeys to several museums around the
world, including the Smithsonian in Washington DC, which still
holds a piece.
It now resides in the British Museum.
However, Russell said it made a TV appearance at Halliwell Farm
on the 100th anniversary of its landing there.
their scarcity and scientific value meteorites are highly
valued. Russell said a piece of meteorite weighing just 1.8
grams was recently sold for £300. Apparently, 3lb of the Appley
Bridge meteorite remains unaccounted for from its time in police
Another fine evening of interest and
The Appley Bridge Meteorite book
by Russell Parry