Middleport Pottery (the home of Burleigh) http://www.princes-regeneration.org/middleport-pottery/visit-us
City Voices tour the pottery - and learn some amazing facts!
Middleport Pottery, home of Burleigh, is now an exciting visitor destination in the heart of Burslem, the Mother Town of the Potteries. It was Chair Alan Barnett's idea to take members of City Voices on a tour of this working pottery. The world famous Burliegh pottery has been created there since 1889. In June 2011 HRH Prince Charles's charity The Princes Regeneration Trust stepped in and bought the site to restore it. Middleport is now a fully working pottery but in the Victorian style. In two groups we were shown around the pottery by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. All the guides work on a voluntary basis. We were able to learn all about Middleport Pottery, see pottery being made from start to finish, and visit the original Victorian offices. We could step back in time as we explored the largest mould collection in Europe, and Burleigh gallery, and learnt about the people and events which have shaped the Pottery. Afterwards we relaxed in the café which overlooks the Trent and Mersey Canal. As a scouser, all of this potteries history was quite new to me. It was genuinely fascinating to see how top quality pottery was made and of course still is. I found out that China clay does not come from China, but Cornwall, and finally solved the mystery of what a "sagger makers bottom knocker" actually is! Or rather, who. Of course hearing about the working conditions of the (not so far-off) past was at times shocking. The average life span of workers in the bottle kiln was around 40 years. I could go on but in this case pictures will speak louder than words, so please have a look at the slide show of our day, and my extra-curricular tour of the old bottle kiln which was free of charge! It goes without saying that I could not resist buying a piece of modern-style Burleigh pottery, albeit a "second".
Our involvement with the Middleport Pottery is set to continue - watch this space