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Spirited space

Stoke-on-Trent was built on the pottery industry creating a unique and haunting landscape filled with thousands of belching bottle ovens. Arnold Bennett in ‘Anna of the Five Towns’ described the ‘enchanted air’ of Stoke-on-Trent in the heyday of this industrial past:

‘The entire landscape was illuminated and transformed by these unique pyrotechnics of labour… nothing can be more prosaic… yet be it said that romance is even here – the romance which, for those who have an eye to perceive it, ever dwells amid the seats of industrial manufacture’.

As Bennett suggests, there is more to Stoke than its industrial past. Stoke-on-Trent is also the hub of a thriving Spiritualist movement which represents a hidden heritage for those who have, as he put it, ‘an eye to perceive it’. This series of photos begins to explore the ‘Spirit’ of Stoke-on-Trent, hidden – but not forgotten – in the bricks of its industrial past.

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