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.
First up Federation House architects: Wood Goldstraw Yorath 1930 – described as Art Deco.
Built to house the British Pottery Manufacturers’ Federation now multiple occupancy.
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.
Over the road the new build of the Cadman Studios 2016 ABW Architects.
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.
hanley park was laid out in the 1890s by Thomas Hayton Mawson the pavilion of 1896 is by his associate Dan Gibson.
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 1968 – formerly home to Hanley Economic Building Society.
Attached to some towers.
Surrounded by housing.
Back into town again to look at the Burton’s.
Photo: Stoke Sentinel
Odeon Cinema – architects: Arthur J Price and Harry Weedon 1938
The Odeon was one of the original cinemas in the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. It was opened on 13th February 1938 with Max Miller in “Educated Evans”. It had a very small entrance at the corner of Trinity Street and Foundry Street, with a slender fin tower on the left side, and clad in cream faience tiles. The bulk of the auditorium was along Foundry Street, and seating was provided for 1,036 in the stalls and 544 in the circle. Decoration was in a typical Odeon style, with several troughs across the ceiling containing concealed lighting.
The Odeon was closed by the Rank Organisation on 15th November 1975 with Roger Daltrey in Tommy. The auditorium decoration was stripped out in the early-1980’s, and by 1982 it was used for storage, when on 4th August 1982, it was partially damaged in a fire, although the main shell of the building was not damaged. By 1991, the building was standing derelict.
By 1999, a bar was operating in the former foyer area. By 2003, the former auditorium had been brought back to use as a Chicago Rock Café. In 2008, the building had become a bar & nightclub named Revolution, with the former foyer in use as a bar named The Base.
In December 2021 plans were announced to demolish part of the former Odeon Theatre to build flats.
Photo: RIBA Pix 1937
Next door the former Stoke Sentinel newspaper offices.
You simply cannot miss the BT Hanley Tower.
And its elderly listed relation of 1900.
Up toward the Potteries Museum – JR Piggott City Architect 1956.
It has undergone extensive exterior reworking by Wood Goldstraw Yorath
Including the brick mural Industries of the Potteries 1981 Sculptor: G H Downing Designer: Frank Murrier
And recent extension of 2021.
Designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects, the team worked collaboratively through the SCAPE framework to design a 3,800 square foot extension. The facility includes bespoke structural glazing, which enables the Spitfire to be viewed from outside of the museum.
Next door the City Library and Archive 1968-70 by JW Plant City Architect.
The Archive is moving next door to the Museum.
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