Welcome to PhoenixNews – The Phoenix Trust’s website

April 13th, 2012 by Phoenix 2 comments »


The Harecastle Tunnels on the Trent & Mersey Canal

Welcome to PhoenixNews – The Phoenix Trust’s website.

A not for profit foundation, The Phoenix Trust (Staffordshire) was established to make the North Staffordshire Coalfield’s Industrial Landscape and the Churnet Valley a World Heritage Site.

World Heritage Site Status is granted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to recognise the important role a region has played in world history.

Historically, there is nothing to prevent the North Staffordshire Coalfield’s Industrial Landscape and the Churnet Valley becoming a World Heritage Site.

The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain “the workshop of the world” began when James Brindley, who lived at Turnhurst near Chell, devised and constructed a national canal network that linked the new industrial towns with the major ports – London, Liverpool, Hull and Bristol.

North Staffordshire’s industrial heritage began 2000 years ago at Chesterton when the Romans built an industrial village where there were furnaces producing iron and workshops making pottery.

During the middle ages coal was mined in the Biddulph Valley. There were ironstone mines and furnaces at Tunstall and Apedale. Earthenware was manufactured in the small towns and villages which later became the Potteries.

By the beginning of the 18th century pottery was being exported to North America and the West Indies. During the Industrial Revolution our region was at the cutting edge of economic development. Wedgwood, Adams, Minton and Spode laid the foundations of an industrial conurbation which for over 200 years was the centre of the world’s ceramic industry.

At the beginning of the 19th century Hugh Bourne and William Clowes founded Primitive Methodism whose influence gave the six towns their unique culture and a way of life that was so vividly described by Arnold Bennett.

Despite North Staffordshire’s industrial decline, its architectural heritage remains intact.

Tunstall still has its early 19th century market square and late Victorian Civic Centre.

Burslem and Hanley have Heritage Parks which were designed by Thomas Mawson the world’s leading landscape architect.

Pre-federation town halls still survive in the six towns, which have all retained their distinctive character.

We have five major museums – The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston, the Gladstone Pottery Museum, Etruria Industrial Museum and Ford Green Hall.

A large number of bottle ovens and kilns have survived in Longton but much more importantly we have four things which merit World Heritage Site status in their own right. They are:

  • Biddulph Grange
  • Chatterley Whitfield Colliery
  • The Wedgwood Institute in Burslem and
  • The canal and railway tunnels under Harecastle Hill, between Chatterley and Kidsgrove.

To learn more see The North Staffordshire Coalfield – A Potential World Heritage Site at http://www.northstaffordshire.co.uk/?p=8

The Phoenix Trust

Email: phoenixstaffs@mail.com

Photograph © Copyright Robin Webster and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


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NewsDesk – First World War gunboat to be restored

September 29th, 2013 by Phoenix No comments »

More than £2 million pounds of lottery money will be used to help restore HMS Monitor, one of the two surviving First World War warships.

A gunboat, which bombarded Turkish coastal defences during the Gallipoli campaign, HMS Monitor will be based at Portsmouth and open to the public when restoration work has been completed in 2015.

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NewsDesk – Sculpture centre will attract more tourists to Bury

September 13th, 2013 by Phoenix No comments »

Bury Library, Museum and Art Gallery

An exciting new cultural attraction which is being created in Bury town centre will gain international recognition, attract more tourists and increase inward investment.

The high-profile sculpture centre in Bury Library, Museum and Art Gallery will provide a wide range of cultural activities for local people.

Councillor Jane Lewis, cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture, said the centre, which is due to open next year, will attract visitors to the town who will spend money in local shops.

She added: “The sculpture centre will give us the opportunity to host touring sculpture collections as well as acting as the visitor centre for the whole of the Irwell Sculpture Trail.

“Bury has already established itself as an international arts leader, most recently in its income generating tours of China. This innovative approach means that the centre will be able to attract sources of funding that most other local authorities don’t bring in. So while we are planning major art exhibitions, the new centre will have two new community learning spaces with comprehensive learning and family activities planned.”

To accommodate the sculpture centre, the library’s ground floor layout will be changed. All library services are being retained and the library will still have a lending area, a children’s area, a reference area, a computer suite and a study area.

Photograph © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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NewsDesk: My City, My Say – Roadshows where you can tell the council what you think

September 13th, 2013 by Phoenix No comments »

People in Stoke-on-Trent can have their say on how the city council should prioritise its spending by taking part in a pre-budget engagement exercise called “My City, My Say”.

The council is asking  residents two important questions:

  1. What services are important to you?
  2.  How do you think the council should meet the challenge of ever reducing resources?

A series of six road shows are being held across the city where you can tell council officials what you think. Five of the road shows will be drop-in sessions and are being held at:

• Burslem School of Art, September 16th, 1.30pm to 4.30pm;

• Fenton Manor, September 17th, 5pm to 8pm

• Tunstall Market, September 18th, 9.30am to 12pm;

• Longton Town Hall, September 20th, 1.30pm to 4.30pm;

• Mitchell Arts Centre, September 21st, 9.30am to 12pm.

There is also a ticket only event at the King’s Hall, Stoke, on September 19th between 6.30pm and 8pm, which will be attended by Councillor Mohammed Pervez, the leader of the city council.

Anyone wishing to attend this event must confirm by email to budget2014@stoke.gov.uk or call 01782 236886. You will then receive an email confirmation which you will need to bring with you to gain admittance. Tickets can be booked up to close of business on Tuesday, September 17th.

You can also make your views known online at www.stoke.gov.uk/budget2014

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A city without a past is a city without a future

September 13th, 2013 by Phoenix No comments »

A city that forgets its past is a city without a future. Today, Stoke-on-Trent stands at the cross roads. Important decisions have to be made about its future. They must be the right ones. Our city is unique. It is not and never can be a Manchester or a Birmingham. We will always be Stoke-on-Trent. There is nothing we can do to change that. We have a proud heritage. A heritage that must not be forgotten. A heritage that can be used to shape the future. Pride in the past and in the achievements of those who created the Potteries will give us the self-confidence we need to regenerate our city and retain its character.

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NewsDesk – Degrees for pottery workers

September 11th, 2013 by Phoenix No comments »

Staffordshire based pottery firm Steelite International is working with Staffordshire University to offer a Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management to enhance the skills of its employees.

The degree focuses on the latest national occupational standards prescribed for leadership and management.

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