Minton Library - Update

The Minton Free Library and Stoke School of Art (Herbert Minton Memorial Building) stand proudly on London Road, Stoke. These two majestic buildings are extremely important historic remnants of the internationally significant Minton story. The buildings overlook the former location of the world famous Minton China Works now sadly lost. Some of the most important tiles and exhibition ceramics to be found in buildings and collections across the world were made in the pottery or 'potbank' that once stood on this site.
Danny Callaghan and Ceramic City Stories have been working in residence at The Minton Library over the last 6 months. During this time - more than 1,500 people have visited the building and got involved in a wide variety of coordinated events including:
  • 'DIY Heritage Day' Access, Conservation & AHRC Connected Communities Festival (27.6.15)
  • 'A Night on the Tiles' Access & Conservation Event (11.7.15)
  • 'Take the Tiles' Access & Photographic Event (25.7.15)
  • 'Heritage Open Days' National Heritage Initiative (12.9.15 & 13.9.15)
  • 'Fun Palaces' National Art & Science Initiative (3.10.15 & 4.10.15)
  • 'What If' Contemporary Artists Residency (10.11.15 & 11.10.15)
  • 'Tiles & Architectural Ceramic Society' UK Members visit (16.10.15)
  • 'Local Plan' Second Look Stoke & Potteries Heritage Society (17.10.15)
  • 'Transfer Collectors Club' International Members Visit (20.10.15)
  • 'Potteries Artists & Artisans' Local Industry Showcase & Demonstrations (31.10.15)
  • 'Inside Out - Outside In' N-u-L College Art & Design Resdiency (3.11.15)
  • 'Potteries Flea Market' Vintage Ceramics, Crock Swap & Tile Trade (7.11.15)
  • 'Topographies of the Obsolete' European Network Visit & Think Tank (9.11.15)
What's next... we will complete our current residency by the end of the year. Over the next 6 weeks we will continue to work behind-the-scenes and aim to complete and publish images & information from our pilot conservation survey by the end of November. However, this is a conservation study and process with a difference - would you expect anything less from Ceramic City Stories? It has already been informed and supported by YOU! We have already received numerous public contributions including photographs, shared memories and stories (about the tiles, Library, Baths, School of Art, Mintons, London Road & Stoke)… however, WE WANT MORE!
PHOTOGRAPHS: We are currently collating hundreds of images taken of the tiles, basement space and Library building during the events. Many visitors have already helped us by sharing their photographs using social media and email. This crowd-sourced collection of photographs will help us to build a unique online archive and resource that celebrates these exquisite tiles and this important historical building. It will also provide the basis for ongoing conversations, research and projects inspired by local and global Minton stories. PLEASE HELP US BY SHARING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS USING OUR DEDICATED DROPBOX UPLOAD FOLDER:
Plans... We have been reflecting on our activities and events to date and will use this review process to inform our next step plans. Although our initial main focus has been the historic tiles and Minton Library building - we have also used this programme as an opportunity to turn the space into an independent specialist resource and focus for creative DIY heritage work in The Potteries. We have been overwhelmed at the response from local people, visitors and potential partners. We are now taking stock and planning a number of exciting next step initiatives (Minton Library & Ceramic City Stories). Our work will continue to focus on 'DIY Heritage' activities including conservation actions, community research, digital archives, shared stories. We are already exploring exciting partnership opportunities to promote national and international links and connections. We will share news about plans and projects on this website and also via Twitter: @potteriestiles (Ceramic City Stories) and Facebook: Ceramic City Stories
THANK YOU: We have met many wonderful people during the last 6 months - thank you so much for your encouragement, superb contributions & passionate support. We hope to keep in contact, build relationships and involve you in future events and activities.
Finally, the programme to date would not have been possible without the amazing core team who have worked so hard to make it a success. I want to offer sincere thanks to each and every one of the dedicated volunteers who have contributed such valuable knowledge, passion and Potteries' pride week in - week out to the programme during the last 6 months:
  • Simon Ball
  • Jayne Fair
  • Robert Fair
  • Kristian Foster
  • Jan Roberts
  • Phil Rowley
  • Bret Shah
  • Steve Shaw
  • Jane Wells
  • Kate Innes (Fun Palaces)
For more information please contact: Danny Callaghan e: t: @potteriestiles m: 07999 350176