‘The great beauty of the Gladstone Museum is that the clearly marked progress through its exhibits takes you around the actual premises in which the processes described took place. Including the kilns.’

Events coinciding with home games in February
8 The History & Future of Chocolate
22 Bloody Flicks Awards
2-8 British Pie Week
7 Down on the Farm
24/25 Middleport Pottery Beer Festival

to 29 Mar Asian Costume & Culture
to 31 Mar Ceramics Precision & Skill
1 Feb (to 19 Apr) Animals PDSA Dickin Medal
8 Feb (to 27 Sep) Models Kapow!

‘Two [ovens] are preserved as tableaus, illuminated and stacked with the ‘saggars’ that protected the pottery during firing. In one, a mannequin poses for eternity with saggars on his head’

What to see
You’ll find accounts of Stoke’s tourist attractions in Towns of Two Halves (and of 91 other places: order the book now for £8 from For additional information plus shopping, eating out etc there’s Visit Stoke. For events coming up go to Visit Stoke’s What’s On pages.

Comment and colour
“The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery isn’t to be missed. On the first floor are such ceramics as you will seldom have seen. This is the Potteries in all their former glory.

“By contrast with the spectacular ceramics of the PMAG, the Gladstone Pottery Museum, in Longton, is mainly about the people. The Gladstone works produced run-of-the-mill goods. There are some decorative items in the collection but this museum is primarily concerned with the working lives of the people employed in the Potteries. It was a hard life.
“The men for whom the treasures of the PMAG were made would stop at nothing to avoid paying their workers. They deducted money for breakages or other imperfections, they laid off youths as soon as their apprenticeships were served, they employed women and, with the connivance of men, paid them less. Above all they obliged their people to work in such dire conditions – temperature, dust, toxins, burdens – that they were not long a drain on the payroll.”
(This is an extract from Towns of Two Halves. Links to Stoke attractions include:

‘A walk will take you through Hanley Park. This is a fine, old-fashioned English park, with a lake, a bandstand, a pavilion, play areas and sports fields and, bringing the Industrial Revolution to the party, the Caldon Canal’

Arnold Bennett Locations
Caldon Canal
Emma Bridgewater Factory
Etruria Museum
Spode Museum
Stoke Minster
Wedgwood Museum

‘Sir Stanley Matthews has two statues locally: the one outside Stoke City football ground is more ambitious artistically, portraying the man in three phases of leaving a full-back on the seat of his pants’