'These pictures are documenting our city's history'
HISTORIAN Fred Hughes praised the urban explorers for documenting Stoke-on-Trent's history.
But he has warned them to be aware of the dangers of taking pictures of abandoned pottery factories.
Fred, an expert on the bygone days of ceramic, said: "Any urban explorer does a good job in that they are recording the past and preserving history.
"Both Weatherby and Wade's are historic manufacturers and they date back into the early Victorian period.
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"What we have in Weatherby is a kiln in place which has collapsed and needs renovation. They are both typical original pot banks.
"In that sense they are very attractive for those who want to look back in to the past. But they are very dangerous places because they have been out of use for so long and are derelict.
"I think we are in that limbo phase where we want to regenerate as much heritage as we can but we have to remember that these were private places of work and whatever we do has to be down to the owners of the sites.
"Where I praise them for their heritage initiatives and crossing over into an artistic project, the unfortunate thing is that they are putting their health and lives in serious danger.
"I would love to wave a magic wand and bring those great days back but they are never coming back. It is very doubtful that we can preserve all that heritage.
"Thankfully we do have renovation projects ongoing at Gladstone Pottery and Middleport but these other sites do not carry the same historical weight."