The city of Stoke-on-Trent (also known as The Six Towns, and The Potteries) is a sprawling conurbation in The Midlands, United Kingdom. Stoke-on-Trent is situated almost equidistant to all the major cities in the North/Midlands of the UK (Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, Leeds). The population was estimated in 2000 at 254,000.
Stoke-on-Trent officially became a city in 1925, when the Federation of the Six Towns brought together the boroughs of Hanley, Burslem, Longton and Stoke, together with the districts of Tunstall and Fenton. Although the city is named after Stoke, and the City Council is located there, conventionally the City Centre is regarded as being in Hanley.
Since the 17th century the area has been almost exclusively known for its pottery manufacturing, with such world renowned names as Doulton, Spode, Wedgwood and Minton being born and based there. Lesser known is the locally-loved Potteries Oatcake (very different from the Scottish version), whose fame has yet to travel outside of North Staffordshire.
In recent years Stoke-on-Trent has been hit hard by the general decline in the UK manufacturing sector, with numerous factories and potbanks being closed. This has resulted in a sharp rise in unemployment in the semi-skilled workforce.
The fortunes of the city seem however to be on the brink of changing, with the city shrugging off its undeserved image of an industrial northern hellhole - several service sector companies have established there (notably, the Caudwell Group), and new business parks are promising to bring new economic life to the city.
The motto of Stoke-on-Trent is Vis Unita Fortior which means United Strength is Stronger. See picture (above right).
Sites and Attractions
Stoke-on-Trent has a reputation of being something of a "studentville", and with good reason. Stoke-on-Trent College has two sites, one in Burslem and the main centre in nearby Shelton. The Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College is based in Fenton, while Staffordshire University has one site based in Shelton (the other is in Stafford).
Nightlife has boomed in recent years, with Hanley becoming increasingly popular for it's nightclubs, pubs and restaurants. Nearby Newcastle-under-Lyme also has plenty to offer in that respect.
If you fancy a bit of shopping then try Hanley, with the Potteries Shopping Centre and plenty of major high street stores. Indulge in the city's past with a visit to one of its many museums, including the newly opened Ceramica in Burslem.
People born in Stoke-on-Trent
- Jenny Barker (broadcaster)
- John Baskeyfield (WWII soldier and war hero)
- Arnold Bennett (author)
- Frank Bough (TV presenter)
- Bruno Brookes (radio disk-jockey and Top of the Pops presenter)
- Clarice Cliff (ceramic painter and designer)
- Susie Cooper (ceramic artist)
- Leslie Cope (ceramic artist)
- Hugh Dancy (actor)
- Peggy Davies (ceramic artist)
- Robbie Earle (footballer and TV presenter)
- Nick Hancock (TV presenter and comedian)
- Ted Hankey (world champion darts player)
- Dave Harold (snooker player)
- Bernard Hollowood (editor of Punch magazine 1958-1968)
- Freddie Jones (actor)
- Alan Lake (actor and former husband of Diana Dors)
- Lemmy (rock singer)
- Patricia Leonard (singer/contralto)
- Arnold Machin (sculptor/artist)
- Sir Stanley Matthews (footballer)
- Reginald Mitchell (designer of the Spitfire)
- Charlotte Rhead (ceramic artist)
- Slash (rock guitarist)
- Captain Edward Smith (of the RMS Titanic)
- Josiah Spode (18th c. potter and industrialist)
- Pauline Stainer (poet)
- Phil Taylor (world champion darts player)
- Jackie Trent (60s pop singer)
- Charles Tomlinson (poet, graphic artist, translator, editor and critic)
- Anthea Turner (TV presenter)
- Sidney Tushingham (painter)
- John Wain (poet, critic and scholar)
- Jeffrey Wainwright (playwright and author)
- Patricia Wainwright (architect)
- Josiah Wedgwood (18th c. potter and industrialist)
- Jonathan Wilkes (actor)
- Robbie Williams (international music superstar)