Excerpts from 1,800 word article which ends with "For More Information"
DO CHINA IN A DAY IN STOKE-ON-TRENT
In the North Stafford Hotel's restaurant,
diners turn over their plates to note the
manufacturer's name and design. Display cases
in the hotel lobby and hallways are filled
with the finest china, crystal and porcelain.
Soap dishes and toiletries tray in my bedroom
are Royal Doulton, while below my window a
larger-than-life statue is of Josiah
Wedgwood, generally acknowledged as "father
of English potters."
Welcome to Stoke-on-Trent, where some of
Britain's most respected names in chinaware
originated, and pottery tours are now big
Now, Burslem, Longton, Tunstall, Stoke,
Hanley and Fenton are merged as
Stoke-on-Trent, a modern city in which
visitors are invited to "Do China in a Day,"
to "Get all fired up in our town," and "save
pots of money by shopping locally."
Nineteenth-century potbanks, as the
potteries were then known, disappeared along
with child labour. Today's factories are
modern, well lit and dust free. Several
conduct tours for groups and individuals.
Wedgwood's Exhibition Centre has artists
demonstrating their work, a film presentation
and a museum displaying some of the company's
The Royal Doulton Group has 13
factories, of which five offer public tours.
I spent the best part of a day in their
Minton and Royal Doulton plants. Next day I
hopped over to Barlaston where Wedgwood
occupies a park-like estate. I left Stoke
feeling I knew my china ...
Royal Doulton's museum has samples of
the company's many lines, from early ginger
beer bottles and sanitary wares that provided
funding for more frivolous and decorative
pieces. Noke's character jugs here are in
different sizes. Since the 1800s, designs for
children and commemorative wares which
celebrate royal events have been immensely
popular. Collectors are so keen an
international club and a quarterly magazine
offers special items to add to their
IF YOU GO: Stoke-on-Trent is 158 miles
(255km) north of London via M1 and M6. In
Stoke a hop-on-and-off bus service called the
China Link service operates between 10 a.m.
and 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday, with stops at
all the area's places of interest It operates
from Easter to Christmas.
TRAVELLER'S TIPS: Some factory tours do not
accept children under 14 years. Because these
are working factories you will be walking on
uneven floors and climbing stairs, so sturdy
shoes are essential. Discontinued lines are
well priced at factory shops. VAT rebate on a
set of dishes usually pays packing and