If you didn’t go to see them in person, you may have seen the brilliant coverage of the recent Weeping Window installation at Middleport Pottery as the poppies ‘returned home’ to Stoke-on-Trent before making their final stop at the Imperial War Museum… a truly sensational work of art which has gained national and international fame.
The installation not only created a fitting tribute to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, but highlighted Middleport as a home of historical importance. Here is where we can introduce you to Harper Street.
Whilst the imposing Middleport factory may dominate the eyes that fall on it, Harper Street offers visitors a glimpse of life as a Middleport pottery worker. The row of currently undeveloped terraces has remained untouched for many years, last housing the pottery firm’s Lodge Keeper who would oversee operations at the site, but that is all about to change.
The Heritage Lottery Fund have granted the site £974,500 toward the regeneration and development of Harper Street. This exciting opportunity will showcase new and old, with the homes being restored to their original condition highlighting life as a pottery worker as well as hosting a Middleport Pottery collection.
The historical aspects will be complimented with a new community centre, workshops and retail spaces for local artists. The space shall be revived and modernised, but keep the historical touch that Middleport has become so well loved for, all over the world.
CEO of Hanley Economic, Mark Selby, is a Patron of the United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust who operate the site;
“When I first joined Hanley Economic, I wanted to get to know Stoke-on-Trent better and understand the city. Part of that was to get under the skin of the history and clearly the pottery industry is a huge part of that. I was introduced to photographer Richard Howle, who has a gallery at Middleport Pottery and I wanted to hang pictures of Stoke in my office.
Richard showed me around the pottery and, like many people, I fell in love the place. The sense of history is palpable. I think Stoke can celebrate its industrial heritage as well as its current and future successes. With the combination of the existing working pottery of Burleigh, the old kilns, the Victorian architecture and now the unique development in Harper Street, Middleport really does reflect many of the great things about the city.”
We would like to offer our congratulations to all involved in the Weeping Window installation and wish the team who will start the regeneration of Harper Street in 2019, the best of luck.