Spotlight on North Staffordshire and The Potteries has had to postpone publication of its book The History of Tunstall Town Hall and Market.
David Martin who is editing the book and writing its closing chapters was taken ill shortly before Christmas.
He lost the use of his legs and was unable to walk for several weeks.
Although his legs are still very painful, David has just started to walk again.
He anticipates being away from work until the end of May.
When David returns to work, his first job will be to complete the book and arrange for its publication.
According to research by the Local Data Company, a third of the shops in Burslem’s run-down town centre are unoccupied.
Shops and banks have moved out. Nothing has come in to replace them.
Some shops have been empty for over five years, and one resident claims that there isn’t even a greengrocer’s shop where a customer can buy an apple. Very few people shop in Burslem. The town has nothing to offer them.
Many buildings in Market Place and Queen Street are abandoned and derelict. Their windows are broken. Willowherb and buddleias grow out of the guttering and weeds of all kinds have made their home in cracks in the brickwork.
June Cartwright the founder of Our Burslem, a group campaigning to regenerate Burslem, is trying to persuade Stoke-on-Trent City Council to open a street market which she believes will ease the town’s reliance on traditional high street shops.
Burslem is not the only town in The Potteries which has been abandoned by both shopkeepers and customers. Although Longton seems relatively busy, very few people shop in Fenton and Stoke which, like Burslem, have become ghost towns.