A campaign has been launched on Friday to ensure the installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies, forged from Potteries clay, come to Stoke-on-Trent as part of a nationwide tour
A tour of UK towns and cities is being arranged to allow more people to see the sculptures, organised by 14-18 Now, which is responsible for commissioning artwork commemorating the First World War.
Tristram Hunt has teamed up with The Sentinel and Etruria-based-Potclays – which supplied the artists with 497 tonnes of Stoke-on-Trent clay along with scores of businesses, education, community and charity leaders as well as artists, historians and senior British Army officers to ensure the tour stops off in Stoke-on-Trent.
Tristram has written to 14-18 Now to demand the art work is brought to the Potteries.
Tristram said: “It would be totally unacceptable for the city which actually produced the poppies not to be included in this national celebration. Stoke-on-Trent was behind the most exciting cultural commemoration of the First World War. Our clay, our manufacturing, was absolutely fundamental to the installation at the Tower of London.
“It should come to Stoke-on-Trent to reflect not only the role of the Potteries in this project, but also the role of North Staffordshire in the First World War itself.”
James Otter, director of Potclays, said: “This installation was made of clay from Stoke-on-Trent and a good proportion of the ceramic poppies were made by people in Stoke-on-Trent. It is only right it comes back to the home of ceramics.
“It is a fitting tribute to the men of North Staffordshire who laid down their lives during the war.”
While clay was provided by Potclays, hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, about half of the overall display, were manufactured in Stoke-on-Trent at Johnson Tiles.
During the First World War, Stoke-on-Trent sacrificed as much as any city in the country – with 6,600 young men killed who served with the North Staffordshire Regiment alone, and many more who died fighting with other regiments.
Burslem historian Fred Hughes said: “It distinctly resonates with our heritage. Everyone who has seen it thinks it’s wonderful.If we could get it here, it would mean many more people will be able to see it.”
Sentinel Editor-in-Chief, Martin Tideswell, said: “Clay from here in the Potteries, and the skill of craftsmen and women here, was vital to the success of the powerful and evocative installation at the Tower of London. It is only right and proper these wonderful works of art, a legacy of our Great War commemorations, come here to Stoke-on-Trent.”
A campaign has been launched on Friday to ensure the installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies, forged from Potteries clay, come to Stoke-on-Trent as part of a nationwide tour A...