Lost mural of Burslem Riot that was destroyed in a fire

My legacy is my art. I have painted for years. I hope that someone wants them when I’ve gone.

I was involved in painting several murals over my time as an artist, but sadly most of them have been destroyed in one way or another. I painted a mural in the stairwell of the Unemployment action centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent just after I finished college. Then we found the building was going to be demolished. So myself and a friend got permission to go in and take photos. Unfortunately the photographs came back blank. The film had not been attached to the spool and was not exposed!

Then I painted some murals with a council art group. Over a few weeks we worked on a school canteen (alien/ sci-fi landscape) a ward at a hospital (images of Stoke-on-Trent to aid elderly patients memories), and a memorial for the 1914 to 18 war. All of these were demolished.

Finally I did twelve murals at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. This took me the good part of two years on and off. The painting above was a mural I did of the Burslem riot of 1842? I researched it and a lot of the characters were based on local Burlem residents and people who worked at or frequented the Leopard. All of the murals were destroyed in a fire that burnt down the hotel.

I have also painted scenery for the local pantomime and Mystery plays, but I don’t know what has happened to them.

What is the legacy you want to leave behind?

So if this isn’t my legacy what is? All the paintings and artwork I have created over the years since I was a child. Not all of them still exist. Art turns out to be quite ephemeral in some ways. But I’ve sold enough that, if no one wants the ones I still have, the rest have gone to new owners. Even if they were to appear in charity shops, I hope that some do find good homes.

Middleport visit

After visiting the Arts and Minds gallery in Harper Street Middleport today @arts_and_minds_vsn, we popped over the road to Middleport pottery to get a replacement burleighware tea plate to replace the one I broke. While we were in there I saw this stags head decorated with flowers on the wall. This is the kind of trophy I approve of… Ceramic! I took a photo because it was interesting…. I like the fact it is on an old wall with cracked and flaking paint. The place is an authentic piece of industrial history.

More paintings…

It was a busy day today. I forgot I took some other paintings over to Etruria Industrial museum too, and bought some home. I like the idea of people seeing my work, I hope they appreciate it. I don’t expect to sell the work, I guess people don’t have much money at the moment. I offered to halve the prices because my friend said the price point of things selling at the cafe is a lot lower than at a gallery. All I want, though, is for them to go to good homes. I feel like they are baby kittens being released out into the world. What a strange thought!

Tomorrow I’m going to try and paint something new….

Etruria Industrial museum.

Etruria Inustrial museum today, the museum is open on Fridays now and their first big event is in June. We visited today to drop off some paintings at the cafe there and to have a look round the Princess beam engine that was designed by James Watt I think. It’s a combination of steam and vacuum that was used to power a belt that is attached to flint grinding pans. This was where flint and bone was ground to a wet slurry that was dried to powder to be added to clay to make fine bone China. The mill is next to a canal to draw water in for the steam engine, which was also discharged back into the canal and to transport it’s ground flint and bone along to potteries in Stoke on Trent and beyond.

The original mill was called Jessie Shirley’s bone and flint mill and the painted name of it still partly remains on the building.

Photos are of the engine and boiler house including the governor on the beam engine which is used to regulate the amount of steam produced and the speed the Princess engine rotates.

Sawadee Thai taste

What is your favorite restaurant?

This is an friendly restaurant. The food is tasty and plentiful. I still find it exotic even after going there for a few years. The owner/chef is very gregarious and cheerful.

Examples of the food we enjoy include papya and seafood salad, different types of red green and yellow curries, sticky rice, and obviously speciality Thai meals that I like but at this time of night I can’t remember the names!

When we go there we eat the food and then I wonder why I haven’t taken a photo! I’m not really of the generation that does that. OK I take photos of food I make but that’s because it’s either a recipe or I’m surprised I managed to make it.

Sawadee Thai taste is a small restaurant. It can accommodate around twenty people and will help organise parties. It’s in Stoke in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. The atmosphere is friendly and informal. It is not expensive.

Craft fair in June.

I said I would post about this. Apart from trying to do some small paintings (see my previous couple of posts) I need to buy a small table. My pasting table was stored outside in the shed and it’s badly warped! I got it because it was cheap, too cheap unfortunately. Anyway I need something big enough, but not too big if you know what I mean. I can’t really carry anything too heavy because of my left arm and shoulder, but I need to make an effort if I’m going to try and do a few craft fairs in the future… It will be interesting to see what other people’s products are like. If its anything like the one I went to a few weeks ago I’ll end up buying more than I sell!

People sketching

When I was out sketching a few weeks ago there were lots of other people drawing. After I finished I took this photo of my friend drawing the same view I’d done. He was working in charcoal and pencil I remember. The day was overcast with patches of blue sky. The ground is covered in concrete, but the way it is breaking up I think there are probably cobblestones underneath. There is a large area of cobbles around the corner where you enter the Middleport pottery complex. In the backdround you can see a small wooden crane which was used to load and unload barges. Forty years ago my hubby worked at another pottery, he actually used one of these to lift packed pottery ware to load onto a lorry. He said you could lift a big weight easily because of the gearing on it. The one he used was cast iron. It had a band brake and a pawl and ratchet to hold the load in place as it was swung over the lorry.

We are not that far away from the past, history is not that long ago. A lot of the old industry in the area was using old machines and equipment, because they had always done things that way and it probably saved a lot in investment. Even now there are lots of pottery molds to be found in the area. Sadly a lot of them get smashed. Losing our heritage. Do we really want to wipe our history out completely?

Need to take better photos…

Three pottery paintings I did a few years ago. The one of the jug is going to a new home soon. ❤️

I took them to a joint performance of our Clay chorus and the Starfish choir because we were singing a song about the Willow pattern (this is based on a Spode platter) and also a ship called Hispaniola bringing pottery clay from across the seas that had been written for us by Mark Whitter. I was very proud to have my work appreciated.

I am making cards from these if I can so I need better photos to show them clearly .


Small ‘Mill’ painting sold.

It was very good to hear that my small painting of Etruria Flint Mill had sold to a friend yesterday. It was another in a new style I am experimenting with. I’m using more lines and textures to emphasise  the patterns in the bricks and sky and trees. The image is based on a photo of the Mill and Industrial Museum, but I added more white to give a feeling of when it was in use, and the site was dusted with the crushed bones and flints that went into Stoke-on-Trents bone China, their attempt to replicate Porcelain. The canal is brown with rusty water. If you visit Kidsgrove which is to the North of Stoke you can see the canal there is often very orange. The Trent and Mersey canal runs through the Harecastle Tunnel which is another interesting part of our industrial heritage.

I have other work for sale at Arts and Minds Gallery at Harper Street in Middleport opposite Middleport Pottery, Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Baker St Park, with flying dog!

A cloudy sky (with an odd dog shape- I’m not changing it) flys above a park. The grass is shaded by the long shadows of trees. The sun is bright, but starting to set. I used various techniques taught to us by Jo Watson, an artist who comes out and teaches charcoal workshops.

Most of the group used images supplied by Jo, but a few of us chose our own images. This drawing was based on a photo of Baker Street Park in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent.

I really loved learning about charcoal, I’ve used it before, but not been in control of it! ❤️