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Our City


VIP patient opens centre

DECISION TIME... the panel who will decide on a new home for the statue of Josiah Wedgwood which has been in storage since the 1986 National Garden Festival. Pictured left to right are Garden Festival fan Elsie Walker, Councillor Adrian Knapper, local historian Fred Hughes, BBC Radio Stoke journalist Tim Wedgwood – who is related to Josiah – and Lord Mayor Councillor Derek Capey.

Panel set to decide on new home for Josiah T

HE face of Josiah Wedgwood – sculpted in red brick and kept under wraps since the 1986 National Garden Festival – is to be relocated to a new home thanks to the people of Stoke-on-Trent.

A panel has been set up to decide on a new home for the sculpture after residents responded to a call for suggestions in a supplement distributed with the last issue of Our City. Local media followed up the story and BBC Radio Stoke even managed to track down the widow of the sculptor in California. A shortlist of ten sites has been drawn up, including Burslem town centre near Wedgwood’s first factory, Festival Park near the master potter’s famous Etruria pottery and the Trentham roundabout on the A34. Lord Mayor Councillor Derek Capey,

Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Councillor Adrian Knapper, historian Fred Hughes, BBC Radio Stoke journalist Tim Wedgwood (a descendant of Josiah) and Elsie Walker, a regular visitor to the Garden Festival 22 years ago who called the radio station with information about sculptor Vincent Woropay, will decide on the brick face’s new home. Head of Neighbourhood Management, John Evans said a decision would be made quickly so the head could be in place in time for celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of Wedgwood’s first factory next year. He said: “The public has shown tremendous enthusiasm and we had lots of responses with ideas for sites. We want to move things forward now so once the panel has made a decision on a new site we will set the wheels in motion to have the sculpture in place during next year’s anniversary.”

Sculptor Vincent Woropay, who died in June 2002, has another sculpture on show in Stoke-on-Trent. Hand with Kronos, commissioned by British Rail for the National Garden Festival at Gateshead in 1990, is now at Stoke-on-Trent railway station, and consists of a tiny figure poised within the confines of a gigantic hand. BBC Radio Stoke’s Stuart Fear contacted Woropay’s widow Chloe Chard and she will be invited to the ceremony when the sculpture is unveiled. For more information on the sculpture see and see the Our Neighbourhoods supplement, or go to Where would you like to see a sculpture or public art? Write to Freepost Our City or email

A FORMER miner, who has been registered with his GP practice for more than 90 years, became a VIP for a day to officially open the £8 million flagship Shelton Primary Care Centre. Charles Lovatt, aged 92, pictured right, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the Norfolk Street centre on behalf of NHS Stoke on Trent. Mr Lovatt is one of the longest registered patients at the Queen Anne Street Practice, one of three GP practices to move into the centre. He first became a patient of the surgery when he was born in nearby Havelock Street in 1916. The former pitman was guest of honour at a community fun day at the centre where he performed the official opening. Unveiling a plaque, he said: “This is a lovely building and it is to everyone’s liking. You have all done a fantastic job to get us in something as good as this in Shelton.” The centre will cater for a total of 15,000 patients and provide services including midwifery, nursing, family planning, health visitors, child health and minor surgery. It was funded through a partnership between NHS Stoke on Trent and Prima 2000.

Advice served at lunchtime A SUPPORT centre aimed at giving young people a wide range of advice has been officially launched at Blurton High School. The Multi Agency Centre (MAC) operates before and after school and during lunchtimes with trained pupils on hand to give advice to other students. The range of agencies on offer includes the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Team, Connexions, Mental Health Services, Youth Service and Health Services. Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People’s Services, Councillor Roger Ibbs said: “We don’t want to preach to young people, we want to inform and educate them about subjects they wouldn’t necessarily find on the curriculum.” The centre is one of seven in the city. The others operate at Haywood, James Brindley, Trentham, Mitchell, Thistley Hough and Birches Head High Schools.

Our City Issue 07  

Stoke-on-Trent City Coucil Newspaper.