Stoke-on-Trent is proud of its heritage

A Mark IX Spitfire

People from Stoke-on-Trent are proud of their city’s heritage.

History records the achievements of men and women from our city and tells us the role they played on the world stage.

Stoke-on-Trent’s city council was one of the pioneers of comprehensive education. It defied both Conservative and Labour governments and replaced grammar and secondary modern schools with neighbourhood comprehensive schools and a sixth form college.

Local art schools, technical schools and colleges of further education were progressive centres of excellence. Reginald Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire, turned down a place at Birmingham University. He wanted to serve an apprenticeship with a firm in Fenton and to study engineering at technical schools in the city.

By the beginning of the 1930s, the North Staffordshire Technical College was a university in everything but name. The college had an international reputation and attracted overseas students. It possessed the world’s leading ceramic research centre and had Europe’s best mining school.

There are those who say the past is dead. They are wrong. The past lives in our collective memory. It makes us what we are today. Stoke-on-Trent has a proud heritage – a heritage which must not be forgotten. A city that forgets its past is a city without a future.

(Photograph of the Spitfire taken by Chowells, Edited by Fir0002)

Tunstall Market – An Abandoned Stall



Looking at several photographs taken inside Tunstall Covered Market when it was closed for regeneration in the 1990s, we came across this photograph of the Refreshment Stall at the rear of the Market Hall. Although the colours have faded with time, we are sure the photograph will bring back memories of both the refreshment stall and the oatcake stall seen in the background.

At the moment Spotlight is trying to digitally enhance the photograph which is one of several photographs of The Potteries given to David when he was in Tunstall recently.

HOMe-hOUSE 25 – The alleyway — Tim Diggles

HOMe-hOUSE 25 – The alleyway The alleyway behind my house is part of a mirror image of the streets similar to the millions of alleyways (or often called around here ‘the backs’) behind terraces up and down Britain and I am sure abroad as well. There is an alleyway joining Newfield and Bond Street so […]

To read more visit HOMe-hOUSE 25 – The alleyway — Tim Diggles

Diary Date – The Big Feast 2018

Prepare for another unforgettable August Bank Holiday weekend in The Potteries as the annual arts extravaganza The Big Feast returns to the streets of Stoke-on-Trent City Centre.

On Friday 24 and Saturday 25 August there will be an assortment of astonishing, unexpected and appetising FREE entertainment for you, your family and friends.

For more information visit The Big Feast Festival 2018 – What’s on – Appetite Stoke

Diary Dates – Heritage open days in The Potteries

Heritage Open Day: Hanley Park – Past, Present and FutureMeet at the fountain in the Cauldon grounds of Hanley Park. Booking essential.
Date: 6 September
Location: Hanley Park, College Road,, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2DG (Time: 18:00 – 19:00)Heritage Open Day: Ford Green Hall

Find out about Tudor and Stuart food and drink, peek at our re-opened dovecote and handle replica period objects and experience toys and games played 400 years ago.
Date: 9 September
Location: Ford Green Hall  Ford Green Road, Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 1NG (Time: 11:00 – 15:00)

Heritage Open Day: Gladstone Pottery Museum

Special Heritage Open Days event – normally chargeable.
Date: 8 September
Location: Gladstone Pottery Museum  Uttoxeter Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 1PQ (Time: 10:00 – 17:00)

Heritage Open Day: Fenton Town Hall

Special Heritage Open Days event – not normally open to the public. Come and see the progress of the on-going restoration of the old town hall.
Dates: 6 September – 8 September
Interval: Every day
Location: Fenton Town Hall, 1 Albert Square, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 3FA (Time: 09:00 – 16:00)

Heritage Open Days: Dudson Museum

View the museum in a bottle oven and the Dudson Ceramics Collection during this special Saturday opening of The Dudson Museum for Heritage Open Days.
Date: 8 September
Location: The Dudson Museum, The Dudson Centre, Hope Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 5DD (Time: 10:00 – 15:00)

Heritage Open Days: Cineworld

Heritage Open Day special event – not normally available. Booking essential for this 25-minute documentary about Clarice Cliff.
Date: 6 September – 9 September
Interval: Every day
Location: Cineworld Cinema, Bryan Street, Hanley, ST1 5BN (Time: 09:45 – 11:00)

Heritage Open Day: CoRE at the Enson Works

Heritage Open Days event – not normally open to the public.
Date: 6 September
Location: CoRE, Normacot Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 1PR (Time: 10:00 – 16:00)

Heritage Open Days: Ceramic City Stories

Heritage Open Days event – not normally open to the public.
Date: 8 September – 9 September
Interval: Every day
Location: CLAYHEAD, Winkhill Mill, Swan Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7RH (Time: 09:00 – 12:00)

Heritage Open Day: Ceramic City Stories

Part of Heritage Open Days event – not normally open to the public
Date: 6 September – 7 September
Interval: Every day
Location: CLAYHEAD, Winkhill Mill, Swan Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7RH (Time: 12:00 – 18:00)

Heritage Open Day: Biking to Bottle Ovens

Part of Heritage Open Days festival – bike ride around 20 bottle ovens.
Date: 9 September
Location: Central Forest Park  Chell Street, Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 6BB (Time: 09:30 – 12:30)

Celebrating the Hardworking History of English Ceramics

Pottery and ceramics are enjoying a revival in England. It’s early days, and it’s patchy, but there are some gloriously green shoots of renewal, investment, and public support. A visit to the Staffordshire Potteries opens up the history of this important industry and demonstrates why it thoroughly deserves a resurgence. And this year is the ideal time to visit, as they are marking 40 years since the last giant bottle oven was fired…

via Celebrating the Hardworking History of English Ceramics — The Vale Magazine




Tunstall’s indoor market was opened in 1858. To celebrate the 160th anniversary of its o, historical geographer, Betty Cooper and international heritage lawyer, David Martin are writing a book about the market which is being published later this year.


Tunstall’s historic Market Hall is one of the few remaining Victorian covered markets in the country.

The covered market cost £7,651 13s 1d. It was designed by Wolverhampton based architect George Thomas Robinson, who created Burslem’s old town hall. The market hall was opened by the chief bailiff, Thomas Peake on the 2 December 1858. Trading commenced there on the 4 December 1858 and customers could buy meat and fish, poultry and game, fruit and vegetables, groceries and dairy produce, clothing and manufactured goods.

In the early 1880s, one-third of the covered market, including its main entrance in High Street, was demolished to make way for a new town hall.

Built in the free Renaissance style, the town hall was designed by North Staffordshire’s leading architect, Absalom Reade Wood.

While the town hall was being constructed, Wood regenerated the remaining part of the market hall giving it a new glazed roof. New stalls were erected. The floor was relaid and the building was redecorated. Tunstall’s chief bailiff, John Nash Peake, opened the new town hall on the 29 October 1885. To celebrate its opening, a luncheon was held in the town hall. Afterwards, the band of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and the members of Burslem Prize Choir gave a Promenade Concert in the covered market. In the evening a football match took place in Phoenix Park and the day ended with a grand ball in the market hall.


Many people who shop in the market today must remember the covered market before it closed for regeneration in the 1990s and the temporary market hall that was erected in Woodland Street.

If you were a child in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, your mother could have taken you to the market on Saturdays when she did the weekend shopping. You may even have had a part-time job working on one of the stalls when you were at school or college.

If you have memories or photographs of the market which you would like to share with Betty and David please contact them via Leave A Reply (below) or email them at

Mow Cop

Art by Christine Mallaband-Brown

Mow Cop…..

If you ever drive on the A34 between Stoke-on-Trent and Congleton, look to your left as you are driving North, just past little Moreton Hall. You might catch a glimpse of Mow Cop on top of the hill…

Mow Cop is a folly, built to look like a castle, and it stands above the village of Mow Cop, giving views of the Cheshire plain and Shropshire and the Welsh hills.

We decided to visit today as a group I am in- Stoke USK, (urban sketchers group) is due to visit on Saturday but I can’t make it.

I did some brief sketches of the castle and the view, clouds were quite low over the plain and rain was threatening. I irritated myself because I started the castle drawing too far over the page so had to start again.

While we were there we saw a carved stone with…

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Visitors give Tunstall Market top marks

Spotlight on The Potteries is always pleased when it discovers nice comments about our area.

Recently, while glancing at TripAdvisor, we found three reviews written by visitors to Tunstall Market.

All reviewers rated the market as excellent.

The first reviewer, who posted her review on 14 September 1917, visited the market to buy bacon and to purchase a sausage roll and an egg custard for her mother. She found that people in the market were friendly and said it had a “good wool stall” and “a great café”.

Her words about the café were echoed by the second reviewer who went to the market to get a bite to eat. Although the café was busy, the reviewer, who had a full English breakfast and a mug of tea, said the “huge meal” which was reasonably priced “tasted great”.

The third reviewer, whose review was posted on 17 February 2018, described the market as “a lovely, old-fashioned indoor market. This reviewer, who seems to know Tunstall Market well, said the original Victorian Market Hall still retained the “lovely old atmosphere that it had decades ago” adding that the stalls were excellent and sold “a wide variety of goods”.

Historical geographer, Betty Cooper, and international heritage lawyer, David Martin, are writing a book about Tunstall Market. If the third reviewer or anyone else who has known the market for many years would like to share their memories of it with Betty and David please email them at  

Screenshot (1)


Up ‘Anley Duck

Literature Moments

A night out in Stoke doesn’t fill many people with excitement. Whether you’re from the city or just visiting, there’s not much that Hanley has to offer.

If you’re not from Stoke then you’ve probably never heard of Hanley and you’re unlikely to know about the minimal array of nightclubs that it hosts. I believe I can count all of them on 2 hands (or 1 hand if you’re from Cheadle – a town well known in Stoke for it’s incestual nature).

First of all, I need to explain the difference between ‘Anley and ‘Castle. Stoke doesn’t have just one ‘town’ to go out. There are 2 options available to the party goer.

1. ‘Castle Friday’s

Newcastle-under-Lyme is your best option if you’re going out on a Friday night. The locals appear to have chosen this as their weekly routine. In Castle you’ll find numerous bars and clubs that are…

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