The people of Stoke-on-Trent are backing the city’s bid to become City of Culture 2021 and are helping ensure that dream becomes a reality.
StaffsLive reporter Hattie Harrison has come up with eight reasons Potteries people deserve the prize and she’s making no apologies about being biased.
1) We’ve made some proper famous people
First of all is the obvious one, Robbie Williams, who has just announced a new tour for 2017 – The Heavy Entertainment Show. The Burslem born and bred pop singer is now worth millions. His current home of Los Angeles is a bit of a change from his humble beginnings living in the town’s Red Lion pub.
Eddie Hall, competitor and finalist in The World’s Strongest Man competition, and the only man to ever deadlift half a ton, is another one of our famous sons.
Levison Wood, explorer and adventurer, is from the Staffordshire Moorlands, a regular at Cheadle’s Huntsman pub when he’s home (in fact, you’ll find Lev’s sock framed on the wall of the pub).
2) We invented the oatcake
The best hangover cure, the best breakfast, dinner, tea or snack.
Don’t be confused – these oatcakes are not the Scottish kind. These little gems known as Staffordshire Oatcakes are made out of something special – we don’t even know what – but what we could call a savoury pancake, filled with cheese, maybe a bacon rasher or a sausage. They are the food of the gods.
3) Our pet names for people are the best in the UK
We Stokies are a friendly bunch, but we won’t be calling you ‘babe’ or ‘darling. You’ll always be greeted with a cheery: “Ey up, duck” or “Ello shug.” For the uninitiated, both mean “Hello, how do you do?” in the Queen’s English. In fact, sometimes people think our accents is Scouse, but we are most definitely Midlanders. One thing is for sure – we speak to people on the bus, and greet people in the street, even if we don’t know them, because that’s the sort of people we are.
4) We genuinely are passionate about pottery
Even years after many kilns in and around the city closed, we are still obsessed with all things ceramic. After we’ve finished our oatcakes, you might find us flipping the plate over to see where it was made. This is a sure sign of spotting a Potter. We Stokies are the pros of pottery. We know are ball clay from our bunging and are obsessed with where your crockery is from. And – yes, if your plates are not from one of our world famous potteries such as Wedgwood or Spode, we will silently judge you.
5) We know Alton Towers like the back of our hands
Partially down to the fact most of us had annual passes when we were kids, bought with Tesco Clubcard Points, or mainly because we either knew someone who lived on the doorstep of the park or we did ourselves and got free tickets. Either way, you want to know the quickest way to Air? We’ll show you.
6) Our weather’s not great so we make the most out of the sunshine and summer
Many people complain about the Stoke-on-Trent climate. Fair enough, it’s not Dubai. But that first day of sun when the temperature reaches the dizzy heights of 14 degrees (a heatwave for us) is always memorable. You’re guaranteed to see at least one brave Potter stripped down to a pair of shorts, walking down the road like he’s strolling down to a Caribbean beach.
7) We’re football crazy
We will want to know what football team you support. Stoke City have done well in recent years and even have a swanky stadium. As for Port Vale…well, they’re not in the Premier League – yet.
8) We’re proud that our city has changed and is continuing to change for the better
Ever since we were allowed to catch the bus into Hanley alone, we’ve made the most of it. You’d catch most Stokie teenagers mooching around the Potteries Centre on a Saturday, before it was owned by shopping mall giant intu. And in the past few years a whole new eating complex as well as a massive cinema, has evolved as part of the intu Potteries move. It was rumoured that cheers could be heard as far as Biddulph when the city opened it’s first Nando’s.
Ready for 2021, we’ve also got a new Cultural Quarter full of quirky bars and eating outlets, as well as individual clothes shops and art shops.