HERE’S a question for the pub quiz compiler . . . which former Russian premier once dined at Stone's Crown Hotel? Who was he and why was he in the area?
The answer is that on Wednesday, March 21, 1956, Georgi Malenkov - then minister of power stations - arrived in Stone for talks with Sir George Nelson, chairman of English Electric Co.
A crowd of around 200 curious folk gathered to watch his arrival and after posing for photographs, he and his entourage went to the Crown Hotel ballroom where he and Sir George dined on asparagus soup, smoked trout and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
Afterwards, Mr Malenkov and his convoy headed for a two-hour tour at the English Electric Works in Stafford returning to Stone for an evening meal before his eventual departure.
On Stalin’s death in 1953, Mr Malenkov had been briefly party leader but was soon replaced by Nikita Khrushchev, with Malenkov as premier, as the party did not want both functions entrusted to the same person.
His two-year term as premier ended in failure so he was put in charge of Russia’s power supplies. He was expelled from the Politburo in 1957, and from the party in 1961, being exiled to the remote province of Kazakhstan. He died in 1988.