Minton Library Wall Tiles Pave Way!

[video courtesy of the wonderful Bret Shah @bretshah or - many thanks Bret!]
What an incredible turnout! More than 200 people visited The Minton Free Library, Stoke for a 'DIY Heritage Day' last Saturday. Local families and enthusiasts mingled with senior heritage professionals and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress made an impromptu visit and stayed for more than an hour to lend a hand! The exquisite tile covered basement space in this historical building offered a unique focus for this wonderful public event. The atmosphere was electric - There was so much interest, passion and lots of local pride of course!
The aim of this event was to highlight the tiles and promote the space. It offered initial public access and a chance for visitors to get involved in the conservation process. It also helped us to gauge interest and evidence demand - from both the local community and key potential partners. The overwhelming success of last Saturday's event has offered a huge boost for our plans. Here is an outline of what will happen next:
'Ceramic City Stories @ The Minton Free Library, Stoke', September - November 2015
We are pleased to announce next step plans for The Minton Free Library in Stoke. Ceramic City Stories has been invited to extend our current residency and have agreed a longer term occupancy. Over the next 6 months a programme of tile conservation work and public access events will turn the space into an independent resource and focus for creative heritage work. A range of exciting initiatives are planned to ensure everyone has an opportunity to get involved. These include hands-on conservation workshops, community research, digital archives and shared stories. The programme will also explore and promote exciting links with national and international partners.
In the short term, there are two more more public events planned in July:
'A Night On The Tiles', 6:00pm - 9:00pm, Saturday 11th July 2015 - The doors will be open again for public access and an informal 'work group' opportunity for volunteers to get involved again in some more of the remedial tile clean up work.
'Take The Tiles', 10:00am - 4:00pm, Saturday 25th July 2015 - The doors will be open again for a third time. This public open day will offer everyone a chance to see all of the tiles revealed for the first time. We want visitors to help us by taking and sharing photographs of the tiles and basement space. This will help us with the conservation audit and create an online showcase that celebrates these exquisite tiles and this unique space.
Ceramic City Stories will continue to undertake work behind-the-scenes over the next two months in the Library's basement space. Although somewhat limited, there are opportunities for individuals and small groups to arrange a visit. Please get in touch to discuss an access request or partnership project idea.
Finally, this event would not have happened without the amazing team who worked so hard to make it a success - each and everyone of these dedicated volunteers brings knowledge, passion and a lot of Potteries' pride to the make positive change happen in our great city - thank you all!

Danny Callaghan
m: 07999 350176
t: @potteriestiles
Many thanks to BBCRadio Stoke, The Breakfast Show Team and John Acres for their great support leading up to the event - it gave us a major boost! Here's John's Facebook video post:

There's been a significant discovery at the old Minton library on London Road in Stoke. The tiles uncovered are around 150 years old, and have been covered with wallpaper for 50 years.

Posted by BBC Radio Stoke on Friday, 26 June 2015