Posted by: stokiecat | April 18, 2015

Bottle Kiln Bimble Part 2

It was a training peak week last week so my LSR was twenty miles. I took this opportunity to head “Up ‘Anley Duck” and further north into the mother town, aka the land of the soap dodgers. Having done Longton, Fenton and some of Hanley in my previous Bottle Kiln Bimble, I was tracking down the remaining ovens, firstly in Hanley and then in Burslem. This run wouldn’t take me into Tunstall, the most northerly of the six towns, as unfortunately there are no kilns left in the town.

I tried to ensure that my route would follow on from the previous bimble so that it is possible to do all the kilns in one linear route. I’m sure there is probably a better way to run the whole lot but Bottle Kiln Bimble Part 2 _ Strava Route Cue Sheet illustrates the route I took. It doesn’t show the whole 20 mile run, just the bottle kiln section, starting from where my previous run finished.

1. Wetherby Falcon Works, Old Town Road, Hanley

Town Road  Got off to a bad start on this one. Unfortunately this whole factory is derelict and it looks like the kiln top has collapsed so all that can be seen is the hovel 😦

2. Dudson, Hanover Street, Hanley

Dudson Although I couldn’t get in to see this one properly it’s definitely in better nick than the other kiln in Hanley. Previously belonging to pottery Dudson Ltd, the site was restored and is now a hub for voluntary organisations, the Dudson Centre.

3.  Moorcroft Pottery, Sandbach Road, Cobridge

Moorcroft Still home to Moorcrofts, a manufacturer of very distinctive art ceramics.

4. Moorland Road, Burslem

Moorland Road  Firstly, I had to take a detour into the rather lovely Grade II* Victorian park in Burlsem in search of a loo (it’s a bit annoying that nowhere is open at 9am on a Sunday morning, don’t people know there are runners about!) but it took an age to find the kiln.  I’m hoping it’s a positive sign that I eventually realised I couldn’t see the kiln because the whole building was clad in scaffolding and plastic and I had to take this photo from an alleyway around the back. Fingers crossed it’s an on-going restoration project.

4. Fountain Place Burslem. This one was a bit of a detour as some web research suggested it no longer exits. There is a photo here:  but I couldn’t see anything sign at all on my bimble and it doesn’t appear of the English Heritage list, so it looks like the kiln has definitely gone. There is a modern factory round the back of the location so there is still a possibility that it’s there but hidden in some way but from the photo link it doesn’t look good.

5. Acme Marls, Bournes Bank, Burslem

Bournes Bank After the fruitless search around Fountain Place, it was impossible to miss these three as they stand in the middle of a large piece of derelict land with nothing else around them.

6. Furlong Mills, Middleport

Furlong Mills I don’t know if the calcining kilns are still in use but the factory most definitely is still a working material supplier to the ceramics industry.

The remaining ovens can all be seen from the Longport/Middleport section of the Trent and Mersey Canal:

7. Teapot Works, Canal Lane, Longport

teapot You can see the full kiln from the canal as you get around the corner.

8. Burleigh Ware, Port Street, Longport

Burleigh Still manufacturing the blue and white Burleigh Ware, now part of Denby Pottery Ltd.

9. Oliver’s Mill, Newport Lane, Middleport

Oliver & Sons It’s unclear whether there are two kilns (that can be seen in this picture and is on the official English Heritage listing) or whether the large square kiln is actually two in the same housing. The only way

Thus ended the Bottle Kiln Bimble Part 2 proper and I carried on back taking the canal back home.  Generally it has been positive and I think my favourites are the kilns that still form part of the continuing ceramics industry in Stoke on Trent.

What Next

I had never been to Burslem Park before my brief toilet stop on this run and the fact that it was a very pleasant diversion got me thinking about attempting a different type of park run.  I believe there used to be a series of races held in the parks but they have long ceased so now only Hanley Park is used for parkrun every Saturday morning. Of the Stoke on Trent parks, Longton, Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall Parks, as well as Hartshill (Stoke) Cemetary are all listed parks and Gardens, so I think that will be my next heritage route.

Potteries Marathon News
As well as the bottle kilns and Burslem Park, my LSR took in the Britannia Stadium. The breaking news last weekend is that the start and finish for the Potteries Marathon will now take place at the Britannia Stadium. Most of you will be aware I am a big Stoke City fan so I am very pleased with this development. It does mean that you’ll not be able to see the Phoenix works kilns en route as I mentioned in the previous blog but as I said before I’ll be doing something at a later date about things you can look at whilst running the Potts. Of course, I think the changes have made the course just that little bit tougher, the organisers clear just want to give us a bit of a challenge, so I’d still encourage everyone to enter 🙂


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