£20k boost will help to uncover 'hidden history'
NEARLY £20,000 of lottery money is being spent on two projects to celebrate Stoke-on-Trent's civic and industrial heritage.
People's Park Tours has received £9,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to encourage people to share their memories of five city parks.
And the Potteries Tile Trail has been given £10,000 to recruit 12 researchers into the city's tile-making history.
The city council-run parks project will build on people's memories of the heritage parks in the city, so that schoolchildren and the general public can learn more about them.
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Money will be spent on 'reminiscence cafes', where people can share how they enjoyed the parks over the years, and celebration events.
The cafes will be set up in Hanley Park, Burslem Park, Central Forest Park, Queen's Park in Longton and Tunstall Park.
Kay Grice, park liaison officer at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: "Parks are important because everybody can use and enjoy them.
"The memories you get as a child playing in the park, stay with you all your life. There are fewer people using the parks now than 50 year ago.
"This could be because people have TVs, computers and Xbox games. It's about reminding people in Stoke-on-Trent how lucky they are to have access to so many parks."
The Potteries Tile Trail, led by the national Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society, will recruit 12 'tile ambassadors' to research the city's tile-making history.
It will also hold a tile roadshow early next year, in which six Potteries towns will be visited. During the event, an exhibition about the tile manufacturing industry in Stoke-on-Trent will be shown.
The society is also hoping to uncover stories from local people to include in the archives and filmed material.
The money will also go towards printing free booklets and making downloadable material for people to take part in a tile trail across the city, where they can explore the history of tiles in connection with the city.
Society trustee Danny Callaghan, who grew up in Madeley, said: "For me, it's about making the Potteries proud. We need to continue telling the story of the city, and it's history with the tile industry. There's still a lot of tile production in the city, which I think a lot of people don't know about."
Mr Callaghan said many people were unaware of the global success the city had with its tile manufacture industry.
He said: "There are Stoke-on-Trent tiles in every city including the in the middle of Central Park in New York. Although the project is about the city's past, it's also about bringing it into the future."