|Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire||
|all about Stoke-on-Trent in 5 minutes...|
Stoke-on-Trent the world's largest and most famous pottery producing city....
now named Stoke-on-Trent was officially born on the 31st March 1910, with
the Federation of the Six Towns.
This brought together the
boroughs of Hanley, Burslem, Longton and Stoke, together with the
districts of Tunstall and Fenton.
Tourism is very
strong in the Potteries:
Visiting the pottery
Short history of Stoke-on-Trent:
The city’s history is intimately bound up with that of the ceramics industry; the Stoke-on-Trent area is, in fact, generally known as the Staffordshire Potteries, or just the Potteries.
The production of pottery
dates back to at least the 17th century, and was founded on the area’s
abundant supplies of clay; of salt and lead for glazing; and of coal, used to
fire the kilns. By the time Josiah
Wedgwood set up business
for himself in 1759, the area was supplying a wide variety of earthenware and
stoneware produced in and around the villages of the area.
In 1769 Wedgwood himself built one of Britain’s first large factories, in Etruria, the village he established on the outskirts of Burslem, his birthplace.
His work, and that of other famous 18th-century Staffordshire potters, such as Joseph Spode I, Thomas Minton, the Wood family, and Thomas Whieldon, helped make the area synonymous with ceramics. This position was confirmed when, in around 1800, Spode’s son, Josiah Spode II, developed a fine bone china (porcelain containing bone ash) that was cheap to produce and eminently marketable. His success ensured the Potteries domination in subsequent porcelain production.
The industry’s growth was also aided by the opening, in 1777, of the Grand Trunk Canal (now the Trent and Mersey Canal), which provided an outlet to the ports at Hull and Liverpool in order to transport raw materials into the city and for the export of the finished ware.
Growthof the city:
By the 19th century the villages of the Potteries had grown
into sizeable towns, of which Burslem was the largest. Calls for them to be
amalgamated into one administrative unit began as early as 1817.
Administrative rationalization began in 1857, when the towns of Hanley and
Shelton were combined into the borough of Hanley. In 1865 Longton and Long End
became the borough of Longton; and in 1874 the towns of Stoke, Penkhull, and
Boothen were brought together as the borough of Stoke-upon-Trent (generally
known as Stoke). Two other towns, Fenton and Tunstall, gained urban district
status in the 1890s.
Stoke-on-Trent is still the centre of the British ceramic industry, and is the largest clayware producer in the world, other local industries include chemical works, rubber works and tyre manufacturing (Mitchelin Tyre Co.), engineering plants, paper mills, textile processing, and electronics.
The site of an old colliery and other reclaimed land is being planted as the Central Forest Park. Stoke-on-Trent was the site of the first National Garden Festival in 1985; the site was subsequently developed into the Festival Park, a business area where some 3,000 jobs have been created.
The Wedgwood Group (Wedgwood, Johnson Brothers, Coalport, Mason's Ironstone, Meakin)
The Royal Doulton Company (Royal Doulton, Beswick, Minton, Royal Albert)
The Potteries are particularly associated with the literary work of Arnold Bennett (born in Hanley, 1867), notably through his "Five Towns" novels; Bennett refused to acknowledge that Fenton, the sixth town of the Potteries, was a town at all.
Other notable people associated with Stoke-on-Trent include Captain E. J. Smith, the captain of the Titanic, who went down with his ship.
Stoke-on-Trent a city and unitary
authority in the west-central of England,
for geographical purposes forming part of the county of Staffordshire,
and located on the River Trent in the north-west of the county, near the
border with Cheshire.
Until April 1, 1997, Stoke-on-Trent was also administratively part of
Staffordshire, with local government responsibilities divided between the
county council and the city council. On that date, it was administratively
separated from the rest of the county, becoming a unitary authority. Under the
new arrangement, Stoke-on-Trent city council is responsible for all local
government services, including those previously provided by the county
council. However, the city remains part of Staffordshire geographically, and
for ceremonial and related purposes.
Quick facts & figures
[ Questions / Comments / Contributions ? email: Steven Birks ]
updated: February 2008