Stoke-on-Trent - photo of the week

contents: 2012 photos

click for


Mark Elsmore, "The Potteries National Park"

First Prize, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2012.


Mark Elsmore, "The Potteries National Park"
Mark Elsmore, "The Potteries National Park"

The painting is of Dudson's Hope Street pottery works, in the background the derelict land is the Century Street area where the former Walkers Oil company was located. 

The Potteries Loop Line Train ran through this area.

The terrace houses in the background surround the Portland Street area of Cobridge. 


Born in the Potteries area of North Staffordshire, Mark Elsmore’s family have worked in the Pottery Industry for five generations. Self-taught, he has been painting professionally for 18 years. He is a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and the Wirral Society of Arts, and regularly exhibits nationally. He has been selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition on twelve occasions. 

He comments: 

‘The Potteries National Park is painted in the tradition of Edwardian photographic postcards. Stoke-on-Trent used to be a city crammed with terraced houses and pottery factories. Bottle kilns blackened the streets and darkened the skyline. Postcards at the time sarcastically proclaimed: ‘Fresh air from the Potteries’; ‘Stoke soots me’; ‘A Whiff from Staffs’. 

My painting updates the sarcasm and turns it around. Today the Staffordshire Pottery Industry has declined. Bottle kilns are rare and many terraces have gone, areas of derelict land have been reclaimed by nature. The Potteries as a National Park requires a leap of the imagination, but the ‘buddleia city’ that is Stoke-on-Trent today is a changing city. I’m not sure if economics and wasteland can ever be paradise but the lungs of the city are finally getting their fresh air!’

Supported by Smith & Williamson, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is the largest watercolour competition in the UK and offers a total of £18,000 to artists who demonstrate a high level of skill and creativity. 
More Information:
Copyright ©



contents: 2012 photos


Related links...

Century Street Area of Hanley

Dudson Potworks