We begin by doffing our caps to Josiah Wedgwood – who along with countless other unsung heroes defined Stoke on Trent as the heart of the pottery industry.
Stoke is polycentric, having been formed by the federation of six towns in 1910.
It took its name from Stoke-upon-Trent where the main centre of government and the principal railway station in the district were located.
Hanley is the primary commercial centre.
The other four towns are Burslem, Tunstall, Longton, and Fenton.
Around the corner to the Staffordshire University.
Staffordshire University was founded in 1914 as a polytechnic intistution, and was officially given University Status on 16 June 1992. Our University is famous for its forward-thinking approach, and has become a figurehead for its vocational and academic teaching, innovative grasp of industry, and student employability.
Although our campus continues to expand to create dynamic opportunities, we are proud of our heritage in the great city of Stoke-on-Trent. Steeped in the history of ceramic manufacture and production, industry in Stoke-on-Trent has been fuelled by Staffordshire University for over 100 years.
The Flaxman Building 1970 was designed by City Architect Thomas Lovatt and built by the City Works Department – the last public works assignment before competitive tendering opened up public restrictions to private enterprise.
Named for to Wedgwood’s famous modeller the classical artist, John Flaxman RA 1755-1826.
This concrete is very much in the style of William Mitchell – though there is no record of attribution.
The Regional Film Theatre opened in College Road, on the premises of North Staffordshire Polytechnic now Staffordshire University in 1974.
The North Staffordshire Film Society moved there to screen films one evening a week, while the Film Theatre operated on three nights a week.
Across the way is the assertive slab tower of the 1950’s Mellor Building with its curvy cantilevered porch cover.
Out back is the wavy roofed Dwight Building.
Walking towards Hanley we come upon the newly built Stoke on Trent College and Sports Academy.
Only one block of the original build remains.
Photograph – 28 Days Later
Tucked away in Hanley Park is this period building.
It has been refurbished and the walkway enclosed since my previous visit.
Further along the way we come upon Churchill House with its distinctive fire escape.
And original architectural signage.
Crossing the inner ring road to the sweeping canopy of the Hanley Bus Station Architects Grimshaw engineers Arup.
Wrapping a corner site, the canopy rises and falls to create a mutable form: appearing as a shimmering, contemporary shield to the south, and a welcoming timbered environment to the north with sweeping views to Victorian Hanley.
Tapered down at the ends to shelter waiting passengers from the prevailing wind, the roof extends beyond the station edge to connect with the neighbouring public plaza.
Sitting atop a Staffordshire blue brick plinth with a Carlow blue limestone concourse, the station adopts materials that are resonant in this area. Its gracefully sweeping canopy belies the challenging site constraints, which were carefully resolved to accommodate the difficult routing of buses, the creation of a safe, sheltered environment for passengers and drivers, and a sloping site underpinned by clay and coal.
The former bus station and precinct long gone.
Above the former bus station looms Blackburn House home to HMRC, an imposing brown brick behemoth.
Previously C&A currently Wilko – adorned with these enchanting Tiles.
This little-noticed panel is composed of six inch surface-textured tiles in a variety of muted tones, mainly greens, purples and blues, some with geometric reliefs. The mural is unusual because it is one of the few surviving installations produced by Malkin Tiles; at least one of the motifs is from their ‘Turinese’ range marketed during 1961-8 and designed by Leonard Gladstone King, Malkin’s art director.
Over the road Radio Stoke HQ.
Attached to some towers.
Surrounded by housing.
Back into town again to look at the BT Hanley Tower.
And its elderly relation.
Up toward the Potteries Museum – JR Piggott City Architect 1956.
It has undergone extensive exterior reworking.
And recent extension.
Next door the City Library and Archive 1968-70 by JW Plant City Architect
With its its ultra smart relief out back and around the front cantilevered canopy.
Next door the former Cop Shop with the final wavy feature of the day – all yours for a cool £1,500,000