A couple of paintings I did two years ago? They were on display in the waiting room gallery at Longport. These are paintings of the Falcon Works behind Portmeirion pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. A lot of these buildings are either falling down or just sitting empty. I wish some of them could be restored. There is a wonderful place called the Black Country Museum in Dudley I think in Central England. They have rebuilt many old buildings on the site so you can visit and see the history of industry and businesses in England. There are some museums in Stoke-on-Trent which are smaller versions. For example the Gladstone pottery museum. It’s a real shame that so many old buildings are being allowed to fall into rack and ruin.
Photo of Middleport pottery. The walls are stained with pottery clay. These buildings are now artisan studios. Make do and mend. Reusing old buildings rather than knocking them down. But it costs money to do that. Historical buildings are getting demolished, history is being destroyed. Old buildings that could be refurbished are sometimes left to rot. There is a place in Dudley, in the West Midlands, called the black Country museum. They have demolished old buildings, then rebuilt them on the site. Maybe my city should do the same. X
Enamel kiln at Gladstone pottery museum, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. These burn hotter than a normal pottery kiln. This is to create enamel from powdered glass, fired about 1400°C. There is a working enamel kiln at Stevensons in Middlewich on the banks of the Trent and Mersey canal. Enamels are used from jewellery to bathroom ware. This is because it has to be stronger and not chip or crack.
The industrial heritage of this country is hanging on. Places like the Black Country museum in Dudley in the West Midlands give us a place to see how the past was. Manufacturing changes and evolves. Soon robots and AI might be the only way things are made. But despite the old dirty polluting past may have been bad, it still stirs memories and romantic ideas of the way things were.