One thing that Stoke-on-Trent is really good at is dereliction. Many of the buildings were jerry built anyway, the traditional pottery industry was well known for its chaotic buildings, just read Arnold Bennetts’ Clayhanger for a good description. The housing though has often been made of very good quality brick, though tightly packed and left by successive landlords to rot for over a century. Today’s photographs were taken on Friday in Middleport, it was a cold sunlit morning, ice on the puddles. I had noticed from the bus a few times the completely cleared area and how they had left the street lights standing and ‘houseless’ streets, I’m not sure what they plan eventually, but it has become an odd open area in what was a huddled up community near the canal and opposite the former teapot factory. The plight of communities makes for photogenic images and the boarded up streets of Middleport are no different, other people’s poverty is highly exploitable for interesting images, nice new builds not so! Middleport has been blighted by many plans and grant schemes from outside bodies, none of which ever seem to run to their fruition, it is far too complex to cover here and needs its own history, but as I said it does make for some interesting bleak images.
Click on images to enlarge.