This is a song for Stoke: a fanfare for one of the great cities of the world's first industrial revolution; a lament for the bottle kilns and pot banks, the terraces and mansions that were thrown up or carefully planned to house a global industry and then torn down in the 1960s; and the ballad of a remarkable city - how she was born, how she grew and behaved as a big, bold grown up and how she crumbled as she grew old but, surprisingly, never died. This is not a guide book but an invitation to explore and discover a (deeply flawed) treasure trove Matthew Rice's detailed - and often funny - architectural watercolours are the basis of this book, but those bones are fleshed out with a narrative of the place: the towering figures of the eighteenth century, Wedgwood, Spode and Brindley; the geological underpinning of coal and clay that fixed its position; the trade with America with cargos mapping the great marches west across the prairies of the New World; the reports of unspeakable humanitarian horrors that sent a thrilling shudder through the drawing rooms of Victorian Britain and the changes those reports brought about; and the sad decline and mismanagements that all but destroyed the city after the second World War.
The foreword is written by Matthew's wife Emma Bridgewater, whose first visit to Stoke twenty five years ago inspired her to start a business that still employs over one hundred people in a Victorian factory in the heart of the city.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 152 pages, over 200 watercolour illustrations
- Publisher: Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 07/10/2010
- Category: Architecture
- ISBN: 9780711231399