Trent and Mersey Canal, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent

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Date:1930 - 1950 (c.)

Description:This is the Trent and Mersey Canal in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent.

The importance of the canals to the ceramic industry is well illustrated by the photograph: piles of ceramic wares and bottle kilns line the water's edge.

Nowadays, industry is less intense. The canal and nearby Westport Lake have become a focus for leisure activities, including walking, fishing and cycling on the new National Cycle Network.

Remembering Longport

A resident at Regent Court in Newcastle-under-Lyme remembers his younger days in Longport:

"At fourteen my first job was in the offices at Hughes' in Longport. I had to see to things that were brought in.

"In came three bottles of gold. I was told to take them to the decorating shop manageress. I dropped a bottle! They took my clothes off me to extract the gold from them. Every shop in the factory reminded me of this for a long time to come.

"I went to Elgrave Pottery. We sold to Woolies. Sixpence for each item. Sixpence for the lid, sixpence for the pot. This was about 1936-37. They would buy from different shops. They would buy at ten pence for a complete pot and sell for shilling.

"I lived in Longport, in the square. I saw the circus at the station in Longport when it came to the city. Elephants and everything!

"I walked to school along the path on the Trent and Mersey Canal. Burgess and Leigh is there. I have not been down recently.

"You couldn't cycle on the canal path in those days. Westport Lake had a motor launch back then. It was muddy though and there was a chemical works nearby."

About this photograph

This photograph is now among the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.

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Source: The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

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