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Focus on The Potteries

Chloe Enya Photography

W-bottleovenW-Spode_5W-flowersW-potteryw-Spode_5 2W-floorpiece

The pottery industry is what Stoke On Trent is well known for. Wedgewood, Royal Doulton, Dudson, Portmeirion, and Emma Bridgewater are popular bands of pottery that came/ come from the area throughout the 17th century. Delicate craftsmen/ women took pride in their work to produce some of the best china and ceramics that came out of Stoke On Trent.

This industry is something that has sadly faded out due to geographical mobility as potteries and ceramics are now cheaper to mass produce abroad. Museums such as ‘Gladstone Pottery Museum’ keep the history of the potteries alive by offering a hands on experience to create your own pots and ceramics such as flowers to give individuals a taste of the creativeness that went in to each piece as well as giving insight in to the life of a worker through walking around the preserved pottery factory. From stepping back in time it allows…

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Tunstall Market 1817-2017

tunstall market

Getting to know North Staffordshire

I’ve been really enjoying exploring recently. We moved to Newcastle-under-Lyme (in the Midlands, not the Newcastle in North East England that most people know!) in December 2015 and although it’s not far from where I grew up in the Staffordshire Moorlands it’s not an area I knew well. We live walking distance from the town […]

via Exploring your surroundings — Joeyanne’s Journal

NewsDesk: Teaching a new generation the art of Pottery

Clay College, Stoke, offers a skills-based, full-time ceramics course taught by potters who make a living through ceramics, something unique in the UK. We are proposing that from September 2017, a two-year full-time course will be run for 14 students, with each year consisting of three 15-week terms.

The emphasis will be on core skills and the use of materials. Students will be taught all aspects of design, throwing, glazing, kiln building and firing, alongside traditional hand building and decoration techniques. This will be augmented by modules focusing on business and marketing which will offer students the opportunity to become self-sufficient, developing their own business model to suit their work and sufficiently skilled to join a work force in a production pottery…

To Read More Visit Clay College – Teaching a new generation the art of Pottery

Focus on Kidsgrove – The Kitcrew Bugget

Brindley's Harecastle Tunnel (Chatterley)The Rev. Frederick George  Llewellin, who was the Vicar of Kidsgrove from 1922 until his death in 1941, wrote a book “The Lighter Side of a Parson’s Life” about his ministry in the town.

In this edited extract from the chapter which looks at the lives of the boat people who worked on the Trent & Mersey Canal, he tells the story of the Kitcrew Bugget – a ghost that haunts the Brindley Tunnel which runs under Harecastle Hill.

The Kitcrew Bugget 

“Lor, bless yer, lad, don’t yer know? Did yer never hear tell o’ it? Well, gaffer, years ago, in the very middle o’ the tunnel right atween Tunstall on the one side and Kitcrew (Kidsgrove) junction on the other, two men murdered a woman and threw her body inter the tunnel and because it wor a deed o’ violence and her life wor taken from her before it wor asked for, that there ‘oman have never lain quiet.

“But years ago as it wor, she’d appear, sometimes in the form o’ a white horse, sometimes like a female without a head, but whenever her comes, trouble’s sure to foller. Never wor there an accident at the collieries but the Kitcrew Bugget wor sure to come to tell o’ it. Somebody ‘ll die, or be murdered or drowned in the cut (canal) or coal mine when that there ghost appears.”

Edited by Betty Cooper and David Martin

The photograph taken in 2012 shows the Chatterley entrance to the Brindley Tunnel – the home of the Kitcrew Bugget

Staffordshire Moorlands – Exploring Leek

I was out and about on the weekend to do some much needed shopping. It was a sunny Saturday so I thought I’d take a trip to Leek, which is about 12 miles from where I live. It’s a little old market town nestled in the Staffordshire moorlands. The surrounding scenery and walking opportunities are […]

(First posted June 4th, 2017)

To read the full post visit Explore Leek, Staffordshire UK — Decor Lasting

Kidsgrove – The Boggart and Another Tale

 I decided that Kidsgrove had to be more interesting than we came away thinking yesterday. It was originally a mining village which prospered well with the coming of the Trent and Mersey Canal, being not far away from the Potteries of Stoke. When the railways came the town mushroomed. In Edwardian times […]

To read the full post visit The Boggart and Another Tale. 5th February — NB Lillyanne

Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Terracotta Trail

Last summer, I sketched a Victorian building in Newcastle-under-Lyme. This was a fine example with plenty of details , especially the terracotta tiles. Terracotta means ‘fired earth’ -and describes a form of moulded clay masonry of a finer quality than standard bricks. Sketching the building as a whole meant losing some of the finer details […]

(Posted December 7th, 2016) via

To read the full post visit Terracotta Trail — Drawing the Street

How to make Staffordshire Oatcakes

Wotchers! Staffordshire Oatcakes are, quite possibly, the best regional speciality you’ve never heard of. In fact, that is much more of a generalisation than you may realise, because they’re specifically regional to North Staffordshire, centering on the region around Stoke-on-Trent. It’s historic origins are mixed, with some anecdotes suggesting they originated from soldiers returning from […]

(Posted December 5th, 2016)

To read this post visit Staffordshire Oatcakes — Time To Cook – Online

Burslem – Reflections on a town’s heritage

A Second World War Liberty Ship

Like all the towns in our area, Burslem has a proud heritage.

In the 18th century, its master potters brought the Industrial Revolution to North Staffordshire.

The old town hall is one of the finest examples of civic architecture erected by a local board of health.

Burslem born architect, Absalom Reade Wood designed the Woodhall Memorial Chapel, the Drill Hall, the Art School, the Wycliffe Institute, Moorland Road Schools, Longport Methodist Church and Middleport Pottery.

Created by local craftspersons, the Wedgwood Institute has a unique terracotta façade which is an inspiring tribute to the skills of the men and women who worked in the pottery industry.

During its long history, the Wedgwood Institute has housed several schools and colleges whose alumni have played a significant role on the world stage in the fields of literature, science and technology.

They include:

  • Oliver Lodge, the first principal of Birmingham University, who invented the spark plug and perfected radio telegraphy;
  • Arnold Bennett whose novels vividly described life in North Staffordshire and immortalised The Potteries;
  • Summers Hunter, one of the world’s leading maritime engineers, whose firm designed the engine that powered the Liberty Ships* which helped to keep the supply lines between Britain and North America open during the Second World War; and
  • Reginald Mitchell, the 20th century’s leading aircraft designer, who created the Spitfire which saved the world from Nazi domination.

*The photograph shows a Liberty Ship which was powered by a marine engine designed by Summers Hunter.

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