Lee Roberts

Birmingham, UK

#1 Aug 27, 2009
Writing in the Sentinel, 27th August, 2009, international heitage lawyer David Martin says:

" Mervyn Edwards is right when he says (Positive Vision - Points from the post Tuesday August 25th, 2009) there should be a
co-ordinated plan to market Burslem as a heritage town.

"It is a heritage town in everything but name. North Staffordshire's forgotten jewel, Burslem is the key to the region's economic regeneration. Despite the construction of faceless modern buildings, the historic town centre still retains its character.

"Burslem has a proud heritage which equals that of other places in the United Kingdom, I have helped to make World Heritage Sites. Its 18th century master potters Wedgwood, Wood and Adams brought the industrial revolution to the Potteries. The “old town hall”, which houses Ceramica, is one of the finest examples of civic architecture erected by a 19th century local board of health. Burslem born architect, Absalom Reade Wood, who designed Tunstall's late Victorian civic centre, gave Burslem the Woodall Memorial Chapel, the Drill Hall, the Art School, the Wycliffe Institute, Moorland Road Schools and Burgess Dorling and Leigh’s model factory in Middleport. A local craftsmen, Rowland Morris, created the Wedgwood Institute’s unique terracotta facade which is an inspiring tribute to the skills of the men and women who worked in the pottery industry. During its long history the Wedgwood Institute has housed several schools and colleges whose alumni include Oliver Lodge, who invented the spark plug and perfected radio telegraphy; Arnold Bennett whose novels immortalised the Potteries and Reginald Mitchell whose Spitfire saved the world from Nazi domination.

" An action plan should be drawn up now to save Burslem that would raise the morale of its citizens by giving them pride in the past, confidence in the present and hope for the future which are the prime objectives of all heritage based community regeneration projects."

Having lived and worked in the Potteries all my life, I believe Burslem should be made a World Heritage Site.

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