Take the Tiles!

TAKE THE TILES! 10:00am - 4:00pm, Saturday 25th July 2015 - FREE + EVERYONE WELCOME. The doors will be open again at The Minton Free Library, Stoke for a third time in less than a month due to public demand! Everyone will have an opportunity to see all of the tiles revealed for the first time (thanks to the help and hard work of visitors to the previous two events!). This time we want you to help us by taking and sharing photographs of the tiles and basement space. This will contribute to the conservation audit and help us to create an online showcase to celebrate these exquisite tiles and this unique space. If you have photographs from previous events and are willing to share them - we would also really appreciate it if you could share them. It's really easy - just click on the link below to our dedicated DropBox folder.
[*You enter your name and email then simply upoad the photos you want to share. This means we will know they are your photographs and that you give us permission to use them with a credit to you of course.]

What's next?
It's a question many people have asked during the last amazing four weeks. We have welcomed more than 250 visitors through the basement doors of The Minton Free Library in Stoke during the first two public events - 'DIY Heritage Day' (27.6.15) and 'A Night on the Tiles' (11.7.15). We have had wonderful support and coverage from press (BBC Radio Stoke & The Sentinel) and an unbelievable local and global response online (Twitter, FaceBook) - literally thousands of views, comments and interactions! The events have offered local people access to an amazing tiled basement space in this important historical building. Both events have actively encouraged local people to take part in the remedial conservation clean up. Local families, enthusiasts and heritage professionals have helped to remove wallpaper and wash down nearly 500 tiles. The tiles were all made in the 1870s at the famous Minton China Works that stood on the other side of London Road opposite. The wall displays feature an array of valuable block print tiles designed in the main by well known designer John Moyr Smith and some by C.O. Murray. The tiles reference a wide range of literary themes including Shakespeare Plays, The Bible, Tennyson's Idyll of the Kings, Nursery Rhymes and Aesop's Fables.
The atmosphere has been electric - There has been so much interest, passion, high profile national recognition and lots of local pride of course! The aim of the events was to highlight these important tiles, promote 'The Canteen' (basement space) and the importance of The Minton Free Library building itself. These opportunities have offered initial public access and a chance for visitors to get involved in the initial conservation clean up. We have also been able to gauge interest and evidence demand from both the local community and key potential partners. The overwhelming success of these initial events has offered a huge boost for our plans. Here is an outline of what will happen next:
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.
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, these events would not have been possible without the amazing team who have
worked so hard to make them such a success - each and everyone of these dedicated volunteers brings knowledge, passion and a lot of Potteries' pride. These individuals make a lot of positive change happen in our great city - thank you all!
Contact: Danny Callaghan e: info@ceramiccitystories.org t: @potteriestiles m: 07999 350176
[video courtesy of the wonderful Bret Shah @bretshah or www.bretshah.com - many thanks Bret!]
Thanks to The Sentinel + Laura James for their support and latest article (Click on the image to link):
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