Project cements past into future
MEMORIES of the life and times of a former ceramics factory are to be immortalised in a new housing development springing up in its place.
The 334-home Johnson Wharf development is being built on the site of the now demolished Trent Works, in Joiners Square, Hanley.
Developer Ben Bailey Homes has commissioned a six-year project to link the two eras at the site through a series of artistic pieces.
The first piece of work will see a brick wall sculpture embedded in the wall in Eastwood Road, opposite Waterside Primary School.
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Now artist Sue Gould, pictured, who is based in Chesterfield, is appealing for people with stories of life in Stoke-on-Trent at the time when the pottery industry was booming to help with the work.
She said: "The idea is to try and weave threads of the old factory into the new housing development.
"Housing developments are going up all around the country, but most look the same and don't have any real feel or identity to them.
"Stoke-on-Trent has a very proud pottery and ceramic history and we are still left with the big five to this day.
"The first idea I have for a piece of artwork is to contrast the grumpy people, going into the old factory gates, with the happy people coming out of them.
"I want to put faces to the many people who would have passed through these factory gates before its closed a few years ago.
"The site which the housing development is going on has a lot of history behind it and I really want to impose the city's history on it."
Once the brick sculpture is complete, one piece of artwork will be added to the estate each year for the next six years.
It will culminate in a piece of artwork being unveiled at a unique urban park, showcasing the site's pottery heritage as part of the housing development.
The park will feature two bottle ovens which were preserved when the rest of the factory was demolished.
A total of 334 homes are planned for the old Trent Works site, with 182 still to build over the next six years.
Nicola Craggs, secretary of Joiners Square Residents' Association, has welcomed the plans to create pieces of artwork to link it with the area's heritage.
The 41-year-old, from Joiners Square, said: "I remember all of the pottery factories as a child because we all used to play there.
"Anything that helps to improve the look of the area can only be a good thing and it sounds like this artwork will be one way of doing that.
"I like the idea of them wanting to preserve the history of the area and make it come across in the new development."
Anyone who can help Sue with her art project can contact her at email@example.com
Alternatively, search for Trent Works Remembered on the social networking site Facebook.