My thanks to Pepperstreet Performing Arts, Audley Male Choir and The Burslem Blowers, all of whom have agreed to practice and perform the piece.
There has been a huge response to this post and it looks like the project shall be going ahead! My thanks to all who have shared/supported and pledged help towards this project. There’s still time for more choirs/performing arts schools/bands/singers etc. to get involved! Fire an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be a part of this project.
My thanks to all who have shared/supported and pledged help towards this. There’s still time for more choirs/performing arts schools/bands/singers etc. to get involved! If interested, send me an email at email@example.com
Once again, thank you.
There is a song that has stayed with me since my schooldays, and as Stoke on Trent bids for the City of Culture 2021, I feel it’s message is relevant today now more than ever.
Blackpool Rock, a high school production written by former Painsley RC High maths teacher Joe Malkin, and English Teacher John Hall, featured The Potteries Anthem as part of its finale that encapsulated all that was (and is) great about Stoke on Trent’s heritage.
There is a lot to sing about, more than you probably realised, and I remember standing beneath the hot lights of the school stage, sweating profusely, belting out the Potteries Anthem, pride adding a hitherto unknown strength to my then-breaking voice.
And that memory got me thinking – why don’t we revisit that song? Why don’t share the work of Joe Malkin and John Hall (both of whom are no now sadly no longer with us), to help promote not only the bid, but also our heritage among the people of Stoke on Trent and beyond?
I believe there is no other song that captures the pride of the Potteries in quite the same way, and I’m a strong believer in the unifying power of music.
I’ve included the full song below, and I have obtained the music courtesy of Joe Malkin’s family. I’d like to see this song performed and recorded if possible (as would Joe’s family) and shared via the official City of Culture social media channels/website.
So, if there are any choirs/musicians/filmmakers or singers local to Stoke on Trent, who would like to help with this project, then please do get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by way of the comments section below.
I’ll wager that all those born and bred in Stoke on Trent will come away from reading the lyrics below feeling much as I did copying them down just now – proud.
My thanks to Richeldis Cope, Yvonne Malkin and Luke Malkin.
Joe Malkin and John Hall
Tunstall, Hanley, Longton,
Fenton, Stoke and Burslem,
Six towns, one federation,
A credit to the nation.
Folk who live there plain to see the finest in the whole country,
For work and skill and expertise here’s no can beat the Potteries.
Wherever you wander by land or sea or sky,
It’s odds on that the China bears the mark of Potteries ware.
Wedgwood, Doulton, Minton, Spode, are known the whole world through.
And Twyfords name is there on view in every decent loo.
But these are not the only ones among the Potteries illustrious sons,
In science, music, sport and art the Potteries plays its part.
Who’s not heard the one great name worshipped in the football game?
Stanley Matthews! Stanley Matthews!
Stoke’s own pride!
Stanley Matthews! Stanley Matthews!
Played for city’s greatest side!
And in music Brian’s symphony upheld its noble pedigree,
And Arnold Bennetts books displayed why the potteries are top grade.
And the grey and sooty skies saw one more genius rise
Mitchell’s Spitfires famous deeds saved us all in time of need.
There’s some who jeer and some who joke about our towns of grime and smoke
But these things only serve to hide the excellence inside.
Land of pottery,
Land of glaze,
Land of oven and kiln.
Land of industry,
Land of steel,
Land of forge and mill.
Land of Mitchell and Matthews,
Land of Wedgewood and Spode,
Land of Vale and City,
Land of coal and clay.
Land of smoke and glory,
Potteries we love thee.