To Stoke-On-Trent, England... Thanks For Everything!

Ey up mi ducky? Stoke-on-Trent, the world's ceramic leader took me by the hand to teach me a thing or two. Don't you go about breaking any dishes! Oatcakes were on my mind the whole time until I got my hands on one! Trentham had my attention also but let's be serious, I don't appreciate posh, I wanted nothing but Stokey Realness! Somehow, Stoke's still got something!

Pottery has been a part of Stoke-on-Trent's soul for thousands of years, making the most of the rich source of clay, water and coal sparked the early Pottery trade. Established in 1774, the Gladstone Pottery Workshop worked through a thousand arduous days until 1970. Thankfully the 17th Century site was saved from demolition to be preserved as a working museum. Located in Longton, one of the five towns that historically made up the city of Stoke-on-Trent. If you couldn't stand the heat, then you wouldn't make it as a pottery worker! Feel all of those 700 degrees in that kiln! It's believed that half of Stoke's population made their money in one of the pottery works, it was a family affair! The Gladstone Pottery Workshop boomed through the late 17th Century through to the industrially rich 18th Century period. Gladstone Pottery Museum tells the truth, celebrating the legacy. Let's bring more pottery back to Stoke-on-Trent! I needed to get out for the day, Stoke had the location and the cheap train fares! Stoke came on through! 

Stoke had some bottle! I meant the bottle chimneys that once littered the skyline of that North Staffordshire city. Sure, the pollution plagued the people of the city with health problems, so eventually newer equipment was used during the 1950's and beyond. Call me crazy? I wanted to learn something about the pottery works in Stoke because it's rare that positive things are said about the city on the Trent river. Have you heard of Josiah Wedgwood or Henry Doulton? Josiah and Henry paved the way to become two of Stoke-on-Trent's most famous producers of fine bone China. Several top ceramic works have been commissioned to make products for the British Royal Family to represent Great Britain and the former Empire. Keep your opinions to yourself because they won't make a difference! Hanley, Burslem, Fenton, Stoke and Longton now work as one, things haven't been rosy for the Potteries but demand for British made ceramics is picking up now. Stoke-On-Trent, you better keep that kiln fired on up! Stoke finery! 

What's up H? Stoke-on-Trent may have an unusual layout but I made it to Hanley after I educated myself about the city's pottery legacy. Not being a bus person, I put bigotry aside for the day because I didn't fancy walking from point to point! Hanley, you have such a personality! I wanted nothing but an oatcake! Stoke does them best, like a pancake but made with oaty goodness! Choosing a catering van outside the Intu Potteries shopping centre, I indulged in a cheese and bacon whopper Oatcake! Duck, it was great! I didn't have time for clothes shopping, I just wanted my Oatcake from Hanley! If the truth be told, I randomly decided to visit Stoke-on-Trent, I didn't take anything seriously. You already know that I appreciated the uncomplicated vibe that Hanley had that Friday afternoon, I should really look North more often. I have to eat an oatcake when I'm in Stoke! Oh no ducky, Hanley hadn't changed one bit! Things got really real, keeping it moving I knew that the day had one more thing to serve! S, Hanley knows itself! 

Making sense of Hanley's city centre amenities, I could tell that a few things had changed since my last visit a few years previous. Yes, Hanley kept me on my toes! Well apart from the new bus station that served me well with my onward connections. My aunties both lived in Stoke-on-Trent for a number of years so it meant several visits to North Staffordshire. Throughout the years I had the chance to see Sneyd Green, Burslem and Talke, all showcasing something completely different. Sneyd Green and Burslem served straight up Realness with a no hold attitude about anything, both colourful neighbourhoods to say the least! Talke offered a slice of calm with the green fields and scenic views that I had the opportunity to witness. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, there's always time for an oatcake in Stoke-on-Trent! Not wanting to make any negative swipe at Hanley but after living overseas, I don't mind these edgy places! Stoke in general has an edge to it, that's for sure! Just truth Staffs, no lies would be told! 

The Trentham Estate took me by surprise! From the Gladstone Pottery Museum and Hanley City Centre to then end up being surrounded by the grandeur of Trentham Gardens, I was very impressed! The formal Italianate gardens are set within a three hundred acres estate of parkland that dates back to 1758. Part of the wider city of Stoke-on-Trent the suburb of Trentham, it acts as the scenic juxtapose. Captured above, the well manicured gardens caught my attention, standing from the viewpoint gave me a whole new perspective on the Potteries. Aside from the grand gardens there's plenty to get up to around the Estate, shopping can be enjoyed at the Trentham shopping village that borders the garden's entrance. I took the 21B bus from Hanley bus station that took around thirty minutes give or take some traffic. I had seen the Monkey Forest on a previous occasion, I chose to visit the gardens entirely, S! I knew where I was going in one way, it helped for sure by saving time. Will Trentham get that glow up? Come on now, TT!

Summer, Winter, Spring or Autumn, I can be assured that the gardens at the Trentham Estate look amazingly regal! Yes! Trentham definitely has gardens some would envy but what's going on with that five star hotel? Don't take this the wrong way, I always notice that there's a dreary look to the sky in Stoke. Taking the negatives away, I definitely saw it as a benefit during my Stoke day! Don't judge a book by its cover because Stoke-on-Trent deserves respect for all of its industrial advances! The legacy remains! Word on the street is that the pottery trade is filtering back into Stoke-on-Trent, so far so good! Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and the rest of you pottery works, keep working on your grind! Trentham Gardens gave the perfect opportunity for a little rest, relaxation and a pleasing view. I've previously mentioned I endorse the Stoke Oatcake, it can be best served with cheese and bacon! Hanley's centre has retained the same edge like before! Stoke-on-Trent served me well! I'm thankful for that familiarly delicious oatcake! Ta'ra! 

Don't Go Breaking Any Dishes!

Joseph Harrison 


  1. Took me down memory lane. Used to live and work in Stoke for many years so still have fond feelings for the city. In your pictures I can spot the old Weatherspoons pub in Hanley that I used to drink in as a student before a night out and the Oatcake van you mentioned (Oattie Motson's or something like that?) always did great huge oatcakes to eat. Always a nice cheap tasty lunch.

    I used to work for the City Council up there and part of my job in the PR team was to promote the four city museums (Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Etruria Industrial Museum, Ford Green Hall and Gladstone Pottery Museum, so it's nice to read about the latter here!

    Thanks for sharing, and if you have time drop by to check out my ramblings :-)

    1. Thank you so much for your comment!

      Glad to have taken you down some form of memory Lane!



Post a Comment

Popular Posts