Potteries Thinkbelt (PTb) was created by Cedric Price in 1963-65 and was published first in New Society in June 1966 and then in Architectural Design in October 1966. Both articles have since been published on issuu by Archiblog and can be viewed at:—(1) Potteries Thinkbelt, New Society and (2) Potteries Thinkbelt, Architectural Design.
The main stories are ‘Life-conditioning’ and ‘Potteries Thinkbelt’ – both by Cedric Price. They were originally published in Architectural Design in October 1996 and can now be viewed here on issuu.
nb These publications are for educational purposes only.
Notes on the featured image:
“This photograph is one from a selection of the “smoky post cards” which were very popular in the days when Stoke-on-Trent was proud of its dusky image in the belief that plenty of smoke meant plenty of work.” (Staffordshire Multimedia Archive)
It is also one of six photographs Cedric Price used in Dwg No 64/99 SITE PHOTOGRAPHS and one of the four he cropped and used in the header to his article in AD October 1966 – see p.484, Potteries Thinkbelt.
“a fantastic collection of narrow-necked jars or bottles peeping above the house-tops on every side, looking as if giant biblical characters, after a search for oil or wine, had popped them there, among the dwarf streets“
“The pottery manufactories — known locally as “potbanks” – have nothing big about them, no six-storey factories or towering chimneys. You see no huge warehouses, no high public buildings. Even the smoke – and there is plenty of it in the Potteries – does not hang well above the towns like a dark cloud, as it does in other industrial districts, but seems to drift heavily….
It resembles no other industrial area I know. I was at once repelled and fascinated by its odd appearance. Perhaps it was all the more curious to me because, being a Yorkshire-man, when I see so much grimy evidence of toil, I also expect to see the huge dark boxes of factories and the immensely tall chimneys with which I am so familiar.
Here, however, although there was more smoke than I had ever seen before, so that if you looked down upon any one of these towns the drift over it was so thick that you searched for the outbreak of fire, there were no tall chimneys, no factory buildings frowning above the streets; but only a fantastic collection of narrow-necked jars or bottles peeping above the house-tops on every side, looking as if giant biblical characters, after a search for oil or wine, had popped them there, among the dwarf streets. These, of course, are the pottery kilns and ovens, which are usually tall enough to be easily seen above the rows of cottage houses.
I never got used to their odd appearance, never quite recovered from my first wild impression of them as some monstrous Oriental intrusion upon an English industrial area. But without these great bottles of heat, there would be no Potteries. They represent the very heart and soul of the district, as you very soon learn;”
J B Priestley, English Journey