The Potteries Bottle Oven Owners Club (or PotBOOC for short), was officially launched in December 2020 and brings together owners of bottle ovens to provide mutual support and share knowledge and ideas to aid in the ownership, conservation and maintenance of bottle ovens. Its membership represents all types of bottle ovens remaining in the city - potters' ovens, calcining kilns and decorating kilns - and covers private, public and voluntary sector organisations. For a list of bottle ovens remaining in the city and more information on Club member sites go to the Locations page.
Development of the Club was one of the projects undertaken by the ongoing Stoke-on-Trent Ceramic Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), a five-year scheme of initiatives covering Longton Conservation Area and the city's remaining bottle ovens being delivered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Historic England alongside local partners including the Potteries Heritage Society.
The Club was developed over 2019-2020 with the support of Stoke-on-Trent Ceramic HAZ partner Potteries Heritage Society. Having ascertained support amongst individual bottle oven owners for the creation of a club, a meeting was held in December 2019 where owners established the scope of the club and how it would be governed. In the course of that meeting, four main areas of interest emerged:
...from which the following aims were drawn:
- To promote the heritage of Stoke-on-Trent through stimulating interest in the city’s bottle ovens
- To support the conservation and preservation of bottle ovens and their historic environments
- To co-ordinate and collaborate on projects, campaigns and events
- To formulate and share best practice in maintaining and conserving bottle ovens of all types
To build our understanding of bottle ovens and to educate local people, workers and visitors