Fred Hughes is a Stoke-on-Trent writer and historian, a former politician, a retired police officer and ex-soldier.
He was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1938 and has continually served the public in a wide ranging career since he was 18. First as an apprentice at the Michelin Tyre Company, he then enlisted in the Army in 1956, ten years after the end of World War II. He spent two years serving in Germany, assisting in the relocation of displaced people, before being discharged in 1959.
From 1960, Fred had a 26-year career in the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Constabulary. He rose to the rank of Detective in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and finished as a representative in the police union. After taking early retirement, he served as a Stoke-on-Trent City Councillor (1987-92) and Staffordshire County Councillor (1993-97). He was involved in returning spending powers to the city of Stoke-on-Trent, creating the unitary authority that stands today. He also worked five years as office manager for Labour politician Joan Walley, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North.
In 1997, Fred started to “transition to my second career as a writer and local historian”. He began writing weekly columns for The Sentinel and has since penned around a million words for the local newspaper. He’s also been published in nationally acclaimed history magazines and presented numerous historical travel shows for BBC Radio Stoke. He has published five books and is currently working on a sixth, covering The Kindertransport, which saw the relocation of around 30 children from Eastern European countries occupied by Nazi Germany to Stoke-on-Trent in 1939.
Fred has served as a Director and Deputy Chair of the Mitchell Arts Centre, Chair of Bethesda Chapel Trust, Director of The City Learning Trust, and Governor at Haywood Academy, among other governance roles across all levels of education in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of the University is bestowed upon Fred in recognition of his significant contribution to the City of Stoke-on-Trent. It acknowledges his continuing role as a champion of local history and North Staffordshire, in empowering communities and encouraging young people to achieve their potential through education.