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Potteries Heritage Society is to receive a grant of £51,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, “Revealing Voices: North Staffordshire”. Supported thanks to National Lottery players, the project focuses on saving a unique collection of tape recordings made in the 1970s and 80s by former radio producer, jazz musician and canals enthusiast, Arthur Wood. The project will digitise and make available hundreds of archive recordings of local people talking about local topics, with a series of events based on the recordings, culminating in an exhibition in 2018.

The project will enable local people to be involved in rediscovering the content of these historic recordings. People will have the chance to be the first to listen to and catalogue the recordings, and to help share them with North Staffordshire communities over the next 2 years. Potteries Heritage Society will work with a team of partners – Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Archives Service, the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, and Staffordshire University – to train volunteers, host events and offer work experience opportunities. Local community and arts groups will help run workshops and events for schools and interest groups.

Following weeks of planning and collaboration between our two societies, a full coach of visitors from historic Wavertree in Liverpool arrived at Stoke mid morning on Saturday 23 July.

The forty-or-so visitors were welcomed at the Spode site and led to the newly-refurbished function room, part of the Spode Works Museum which occupies a significant proportion of the factory buildings. Our visitors were welcomed first by Heritage Champion, Cllr Dan Jellyman, on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent City Council, then by Potteries Heritage Society’s Chair, David Williams.

PHS Treasurer, Andy Perkin, gave a short presentation outlining the Society’s aims and significant projects and invited the Chair of Spode Works Trust, Paul Wood, to set out the context for the visit, the site’s 250-year history, the challenges facing its conservation and the ambitious regeneration projects already starting to reposition Spode as a tourist attraction, business hub, conference and exhibition centre.

Lynn Bentley has become the Society's new Vice-Chair. Lynn left Portland House County Technical School for Art and Commerce and began a career in the pottery industry at Crown Staffs as a flower paintress. Other jobs included a 6-year spell demonstrating at Gladstone Pottery Museum.

Join us for our series of walkabouts to seek out potential Assets of Community Value in advance of our Community Rights Workshop on 16 March.
The three walkabouts will take place in Stoke, Burslem and Newcastle.

Potteries Heritage Society has been chosen as one of only 15 civic societies to take part in a national pilot programme focusing on Community Rights. The programme is being co-ordinated by Civic Voice, is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and will cover the Community Right to Bid, Right to Challenge and Right to Build, as well as Neighbourhood Planning.

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